Dendroboard banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In my 18x18x24 Exo Terra, I have about 2" of Josh's frogs false bottom, a single layer of Josh's frogs substrate barrier, and around 2" of Josh's frogs "ABG" mix. Lately, I had noticed that the soil was getting too wet but was not draining at all. There was no visible water line in the false bottom, but the soil was still very wet. I only mist once daily and keep the humidity around 80%.

I read online that the substrate barrier (which I believe is something like weed block) may not be allowing water to drain fast enough. I wasn't a fan of the landscape anyways, so I took apart the viv and rebuilt it. I scored the heck out of the substrate barrier with a razor blade so that the water would be able to seep through better. But still after rebuilding it, the soil is still very wet and does not appear to be draining into the false bottom.

Does anyone have any ideas on what to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Usually I just get some regular fiberglass window screen from the hardware store and will put two layers of that. I've also heard that the weedblock doesn't drain very well, so I just avoid it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I can also confirm that there have been reports of weedblock not allowing water through. I just use josh's frogs substrate barrier. Not sure about screen but various threads report success with screen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,415 Posts
I actually performed this test years ago. Form a bowl with weedblock and some staples. Fill with water. I'm not very patient. I only gave it around 3 or 4 minutes. The outside of the bowl remained dry. Not a single drop fell.

That test was done with weedblock purchased from a hardware store.

I have used a single layer of fiberglass screen mesh for many years, and many vivs. You're going to have a hard time improving on a single layer of screen mesh. It's cheap, very readily available, stands the test of time, and is easy to work with. You will never find a weedblock that will flow water as readily as fiberglass screen mesh. Weedblock has to have an extremely fine mesh, or the weeds just come right on through.

Weedblock is made to drastically reduce flow.
Screen mesh is designed to allow as much flow as possible through.
Think about it. One is obviously far superior than the other.

Another point. Weedblock doesn't just block weeds from coming up. It also stops roots from going down. This limits your rooting area to your inch or two of substrate. My roots punch through the screen mesh, utilizing the LECA for additional rooting area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I can also confirm that there have been reports of weedblock not allowing water through. I just use josh's frogs substrate barrier. Not sure about screen but various threads report success with screen.
Is josh's frogs substrate barrier not weed block? It sure looks like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I like to poke holes here and there with a push pin and it works well enough for me. I initially noticed a lack of drainage but with the push pin treatment, this issue didn't seem as bad as it was before. Not the most effective, but it works, kinda.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Are you seeing any signs that the substrate being wet is causing problems? Plants rotting, mildewy/rotten eggy smells? Holding water may not be problematic for you if there is still good aeration.

If you are concerned, mix in something fairly chunky into the substrate, (charcoal, wood chip, gravel etc.) that will open up the structure and allow water to drain through to the barrier level and allow more gas diffusion through the substrate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I actually performed this test years ago. Form a bowl with weedblock and some staples. Fill with water. I'm not very patient. I only gave it around 3 or 4 minutes. The outside of the bowl remained dry. Not a single drop fell.

That test was done with weedblock purchased from a hardware store.

I have used a single layer of fiberglass screen mesh for many years, and many vivs. You're going to have a hard time improving on a single layer of screen mesh. It's cheap, very readily available, stands the test of time, and is easy to work with. You will never find a weedblock that will flow water as readily as fiberglass screen mesh. Weedblock has to have an extremely fine mesh, or the weeds just come right on through.

Weedblock is made to drastically reduce flow.
Screen mesh is designed to allow as much flow as possible through.
Think about it. One is obviously far superior than the other.

Another point. Weedblock doesn't just block weeds from coming up. It also stops roots from going down. This limits your rooting area to your inch or two of substrate. My roots punch through the screen mesh, utilizing the LECA for additional rooting area.
I love this observation! I tried this before setting up mine and decided on screen mesh.
more people need to read this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,312 Posts
Are you seeing any signs that the substrate being wet is causing problems? Plants rotting, mildewy/rotten eggy smells? Holding water may not be problematic for you if there is still good aeration.

If you are concerned, mix in something fairly chunky into the substrate, (charcoal, wood chip, gravel etc.) that will open up the structure and allow water to drain through to the barrier level and allow more gas diffusion through the substrate.
This only helps if the material separating the water layer from the substrate actually lets water pass through it.....

I think a lot of people go for the weed block because it is cheaper per foot than window screening....

some comments

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
The weed block I have works great. If I pot it under the sink it all drains straight through. I feel like it depends on which one you use though, I made sure to get the most drainable weed block there was.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
This only helps if the material separating the water layer from the substrate actually lets water pass through it.....

Ed
Good point. I meant my comment to be an extension of previous discussion on the drainage barrier. Both the substrate and the drainage barrier need to allow water through.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top