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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have the background done on my Exo Terra but I'm at kind of an impasse on how to do the bottom. I have seen threads on full bottoms and fake/false bottoms and I'm stuck at how to proceed. I have a waterfall so I have my pump down in the bottom. My main hurdles are... 1) if I do a full bottom, how do I protect the pump from clogs? 2) I cut and siliconed parts to where my pump is at the front in case something fails with it. Have you guys made "access hatches" in case the pump ever needs to be serviced? It would be a shame to have to tear apart a whole Eco system to service a pump. I did a search and I appologise if its been asked a million times but I only have access to the boards via my phone so try not to kill the noob.
 

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Yes, try making a hole then placing a bit of eggcrate a slight bit bigger than the hole over it, or you could make a column going up the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A bottom that is all gravel, followed by mesh and soil compared to one that has a grate raised above the glass by pvc pipes, then mesh and soil
 

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Alright, I'd just never heard of that referred to as a full bottom.

I'd say avoid using gravel and use LECA/hydroton instead. Lighterweight.

Some people have used eggcrate to build a sort of "cage" for the pump that helps protect it from getting clogged. I've seen a few examples of that, but I don't remember which threads so you'll need to check them out yourself ;) Can't help ya with the hatch though, sorry.
 

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What do you mean by "full bottom"?
Junk in the trunk LOL j/k

To answer the queston:
If I had a pump.. I would go eggcrate false bottom. Heck I dont even have pumps and have eggcrate on several of my tanks. I also have a couple gravel (bought them that way) and a couple LECA. I prefer Leca if cost is right over all of them. With a water feature though, false bottom all the way. Make an eggcrate square that goes all the way to the top of your tank. So you can just pull the pump out of the top. Cover the square in GS or clay. Works great.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Lol @ junk in the trunk, that was funny. I agree that a false bottom will be the way to go. I had not thought about the egg crate all the way to the top. That idea makes me kind of nervous in the remote chance a frog could somehow fall down and into the resevoir and I would not know until it is too late. I know the chances of that are probably small but I like to try and account for all possibilities. Also the tube I used for the water feature has also been great stuffed into the background and faux rocks. I had allowed enough tube to reach the pump on the opposite side, due to the pump not being able to push water up a tall viv and my bf wanting a slower trickle and not a strong falls. Like I said, this is my first build and I'm just going off of some of the great builds and tips I have seen here and some good ol Tennessee ingenuity. I have razored off ledges and planters changing the design already and I'm sure I will again before I'm satisfied with it. I'm going to make a build thread I think, if I'm allowed to do so. So you all can follow my build and give me input as it goes along.

Below are two pics of my mind changing already.

first design with ledge



revised to allow more planting space. we want a very lush tank for the frogs

 
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