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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a half inch gap between the sides of my false bottom and the walls of the tank. I plan on using Turface as the bottom layer of my substrate. I've never used it before, can anyone tell me how much it wicks water? Should I used Hydroton or equivalent to fill in that gap or can I just fill the gap with the Turface? I dont want my substrate level to be waterlogged...
 

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Hydroton wicks water too.

May I ask why you are using turface vs. hydroton? And why are you using either if you already have a false bottom?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is a very good question. When I know the answer I'll get back to you. Seriously though, I want to make certain I have enough drainage. False bottom is an inch high and is really so that I can forget to drain the tank for a few weeks since I didnt install a drainpipe. The Turface layer is to allow more drainage between the organic substrate leve and the water, since I have found that if I keep organic substrate directly above the water level it tends to absorb a lot of condensation and get very waterlogged. I know hydroton wicks water, but I've used it before so I understand its properties.
 

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Either would work then IMO. If I was doing it, I would choose Hydroton simply because it is lighter than turface and would allow more air flow for roots and microfauna that are living in it, etc. Turface is also very dusty and can leave iron stains on glass and in the water (not sure if you have a pond, or can see the glass where the substrate is).
 

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I would say that turface wicks more then hydroton in my experience. I have a bonsai planted in pure turface, I keep it in a dish with water. It is always moist at the top due to the wicking. I have used hydroton for hydroponics and find less wicking bc the top of the hydroton dries out. I like turface as a soil amendment or an additive to a clay background. It holds a lot of water/o2 and keeps good drainage.
 

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Turface will wick too much to use it to fill in that half inch gap where it would touch the water. You could also use gravel in that 1/2" gap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd go with gravel but 1)its heavy 2)turface is really inexpensive compared to gravel. Mainly its the weight though. I want to be able to move the tank without breaking it down...

Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
 

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I'd go with gravel but 1)its heavy 2)turface is really inexpensive compared to gravel. Mainly its the weight though. I want to be able to move the tank without breaking it down...

Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
I didn't mean instead of the Turface completely. Just to fill in the 1/2" gap between the false bottom and the sides of the tank. That wouldn't be so much as to drastically increase the weight. Then use the Turface for your bottom layer of substrate.
Gravel is very cheap. In the concrete aisle at Lowes it is less than $4 for a 50 pound bag.
 

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Ideally you don't want the turface to be on constant contact with the water layer (but you also really don't want this with any substrate). If the gap is sealed off on the inside (so frogs and tadpoles can't get under the false bottom) have you considered hiding it with contact paper and depending on the species letting them use it as tadpole deposition site? You could hide it from the outside by covering the area with contact paper.

I've never liked the look of filling it in with gravel etc since it usually ends up with a lot of particulate deposits and algae growth (and I like to see what is going on under the false bottom...)

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I didn't mean instead of the Turface completely. Just to fill in the 1/2" gap between the false bottom and the sides of the tank. That wouldn't be so much as to drastically increase the weight. Then use the Turface for your bottom layer of substrate.
Gravel is very cheap. In the concrete aisle at Lowes it is less than $4 for a 50 pound bag.
I have a 10lb bag of black aquarium gravel which I just found in a closet. Forgot I had it. That should work...


Ideally you don't want the turface to be on constant contact with the water layer (but you also really don't want this with any substrate). If the gap is sealed off on the inside (so frogs and tadpoles can't get under the false bottom) have you considered hiding it with contact paper and depending on the species letting them use it as tadpole deposition site? You could hide it from the outside by covering the area with contact paper.

I've never liked the look of filling it in with gravel etc since it usually ends up with a lot of particulate deposits and algae growth (and I like to see what is going on under the false bottom...)

Ed
I'll try that, see how it works out. I wont need contact paper because the plastic trim on the tank is almost tall enough to completely cover it so nothing will be visible. Plus, black gravel... I'll post pictures tomorrow after I test it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a 10lb bag of black aquarium gravel which I just found in a closet. Forgot I had it. That should work...
To be fair my wife said "Why are you buying more bags of rocks? There's one in the closet!" I didnt 'just' find it.


So. Plan is to use the Hydroton from my grow out tank, which I will be taking apart to plant in the 65 gallon, for the back and side gaps, and use black aquarium gravel for the front gap, which will be left partly open as a tadpole deposition site (fingers crossed, toes twisted etc!).
 
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