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Setting up my first viv in an InSitu Amazonia. I've seen EpiWeb suggested as a drainage layer under the substrate, but is there another option? It's kind of pricey; is there another durable option that still gives the same benefits?
 

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Setting up my first viv in an InSitu Amazonia. I've seen EpiWeb suggested as a drainage layer under the substrate, but is there another option? It's kind of pricey; is there another durable option that still gives the same benefits?
I'm sure filter foam for ponds would work fine as well.
 

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If your not bothered about the look anything such as pebbles, grit or even pond filter biomedia will work as long as it cannot leach its composition into the water (so dont use things made of PVC)

If it looks poor get a piece of decorative wood and temporary fix this to the front of the tank to conceal it - but you need to keep an eye on the water level so you can drain it.
 

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To be clear, the only place you need anything by way of drainage layer in an insitu tank is the front trough. Thanks to the sloped bottom everything will drain there. I filled mine with calcined clay (surface, safe-t-sorb, etc). Insitu recommends natural charcoal in their directions. I have also seen filter foam, and gravel used.
 

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To be clear, the only place you need anything by way of drainage layer in an insitu tank is the front trough. Thanks to the sloped bottom everything will drain there. I filled mine with calcined clay (surface, safe-t-sorb, etc). Insitu recommends natural charcoal in their directions. I have also seen filter foam, and gravel used.
This is what I did with my Amazonias. Charcoal in the trough, a thin layer of calcined clay (Flourite, since I had a bag around) over the whole bottom, and calcium clay on top of that.
 

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To be clear, the only place you need anything by way of drainage layer in an insitu tank is the front trough. Thanks to the sloped bottom everything will drain there. I filled mine with calcined clay (surface, safe-t-sorb, etc). Insitu recommends natural charcoal in their directions. I have also seen filter foam, and gravel used.
Should there be a barrier fabric between the substrate and charcoal, etc?
 

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If your not bothered about the look anything such as pebbles, grit or even pond filter biomedia will work as long as it cannot leach its composition into the water (so dont use things made of PVC)

If it looks poor get a piece of decorative wood and temporary fix this to the front of the tank to conceal it - but you need to keep an eye on the water level so you can drain it.
Insitu vivs are designed to drain on there own right out of the box, you don't have to manually drain them. The drainage area is also concealed, hiding whatever drainage media you decide to use.

Edit: didn't initially see the posts addressing those topics.
 

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As others have stated I also used calcined clay (turface) to fill the trough as well as a thin (1/2-1”) layer over the sloped bottom. I then spread a gallon of abg on top of that.

I didn’t use a substrate barrier. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt but I haven’t seen a reason to have added one. I believe the idea behind a substrate barrier is to prevent the soil from eventually eroding down into the drainage material. With calcined clay it’s already fairly small compared to Leca and abg isn’t a very fine particle soil. This was my first tank and it’s only been set up for a few months but so far I haven’t noticed any issues without one.
 

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I used ultum nature systems controsoil for a substrate and put a little ABG mix over it. All these inert substrates provide nothing for the plants. The plants are growing really well with this setup along with some periodic fertilizing. I'm actaully having to cut back the moss.
 

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I have many InSitu... For me what works best is I used LECA balls in the opening trough. I then put a layer of horticulture grade charcoal on the sloping false bottom. I then use a weed fiber sheet ( from Lowes or HD) to cover the charcoal. Then I put ABG on top. I don't cover the leca with ABG. Just leaf litter
 
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