Dendroboard banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, from what I have heard, for a false bottom, you would have (from bottom to top) eggcrate, fiberglass screen, LECA, fiberglass screen, substrate.
My question, can you skip the LECA (eg. eggcrate, screen, substrate)? I am looking at the height of the tank, and how high my actual substrate is going to be, and it was going to be something like 5" from the bottom of the tank :? .
This would be alright to do...correct?
Thanks
-Beeswaxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,961 Posts
I'd put down something for drainage, even if you have tall substrate. Otherwise your plants that are growing in it will have constantly wet roots, and most plants don't like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,921 Posts
I never use LECA in tanks with egg crate false bottoms. The point is that the false bottom raises the substrate above the water level so it drains well. You can create a good drainage layer with either LECA, gravel, or a false bottom. I think LECA over a false bottom seems like overkill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Here is the way we do it currently, as posted by Greg:

(from bottom up);

PVC spacers (size determined by desired depth, determined by preference with certain tanks), Egg Crate, #7 mesh (needle point), LECA (about a 2 inch layer), and then New Zealand Sphagnum moss

Plants are planted directly into the LECA, with or without some sphagnum wrapped around their roots - depending on the plant. Most are planted directly into the LECA.

We do not use the sloping bottom false bottoms anymore either - except in larger tanks where we circulate the water with a pump. Therefore, we take a length of pvc, notch the bottom end and stick it down one corner of the tank
- so we can siphon out water when it begins to reach the egg crate. Drilled bottoms with bulk heads can replace them. Also, if you want to hide the pvc better (in the corner you need to plug with a foam plug, but the frogs like to sit on them) you can punch it though somewhere out in the tank space more and put a clay pot over it - which the frogs like to sit on too, and springtails like to come out and graze on the algae that grows on them.

Lastly, some people have complained that the false bottom setups are unsightly and look unnatural (yeah, cause it's a TERRARIUM!!) ;). Well, I go for what works best rather than looks unnatural, but that is my choice. However, if you actually don't enjoy seeing how the root systems develop, then use black silicone on the inside glass up to where ever you want, or spray paint the outside glass - prior to setup.

Lastly, for years I struggled with the dang PVC spacers moving around under the egg crate. Some people solved this by siliconing them in, but I find it frustrating when tearing down a tank to have to scrape the silicone off. I take a drill and drill to holes near the tops of the spacer, then secure it to the egg crate using zip ties. You can leave the excess ties on, as they become very helpful when placing or removing the false bottoms.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
One thing i've discovered if you plan a water feature. Use some sort of divider or self contain the pump. Too often my pumps would get clogged with all sorts of crap and break.

The old fashioned technique that was used with semi-aquatic frogs (glass divider piece) can be used to keep the soil out of the water feature. Just make sure to add enough gravel/ stones to keep the water from being too deep.

Right now, I have a false bottom in my water feature, so the container will hold more water and I won't have to add more as often due to evaporation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
oh yeah, you cannot see the false bottom on my custom cage because the bottom wooden frame blocks it.

I use use styrofoam peanuts with fiberglass mesh, except for the water vessel with eggcrate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,921 Posts
Scott said:
Ditto - though I'm thinking about trying Greg's (AZDR) method with eggcrate. Screen. LECA and Sphagnum.

For now - I never use both false bottom and LECA.

s
BLASPHEMY! Those Arizonians are soil haters! (Sorry, folks. Just a little friendly feud between Greg and I).

But to clarify something. Those soil haters are actually using the LECA as the planting substrate rather than as another drainage layer. That makes perfect sense if you have some kind of phobia about soil and want to grow your plants directly in the media. What I meant as overkill was putting LECA as a drainage layer over egg crate which is also a drainage layer.

And to be clear, I have nothing against the fine folks at AZDR or their methods. They do good work even if they don't appreciate the fine value of soil. Of course I might not either if I lived in sand land.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top