Curious about polystyrene

altwitch

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All,

Have been working to plan a couple tanks and you may see more posts from me later on this. First up is probably a 40 gallon breeder and I've not decided on décor but usually include an amount of rock. Historically I've been careful and rested it directly on substrate and not had a problem; however, in doing research I've come across some videos where folks put down polystyrene sheet as a floor to protect aquarium bottom. I'm not opposed but also tend to never introduce something I don't need to in order to minimize variables. What opinions are out there on this and is it necessary. I'd also be happy to hear any inputs on what works to lift substrate etc. Have also seen different types of fiber and such and would be interested what is non-problematic and works best from other aquascapers.
 

KinderScout

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Have to say never thought of this but it wouldn't add anything for plants. If I was setting up a new planted tank I might use this that someone mentioned recently - protect the tank and give an anchor to plant roots:
Caribsea Rhyzomat Sub Root Mat 12 X 12 Inch
 

Silister Trench

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I wouldn't worry about protecting the bottom if I were you. Protecting all the panels that the tank can be veiwed through (front, both sides, maybe the back) is much more important. The bottom of a tank will inevitably become full of scratches, especially if you're the type of person who likes to fiddle in their tank alot, rescape a bunch, or use lots of rocks in a design. The primary cause for scratches on any part of the glass or acrylic tank - in my personal opinion - is subtrate. Lava rock substrates like eco-complete are the worst offenders when it comes to scratches. Gravel substrates are right up there lava rock, and most sand substrate aren't that far behind. Aquasoils-type substrates are the least abrasive. Aquasoil itself doesn't scratch, but in every bag there are a few small rocks or pebbles here and there, and any rocks placed in the tank may finally settle to the bottom over time and if you completely remove everything from the tank you usually don't remember the stones you find, resting on the glass, now scratching it. That being said, if you decide you want to protect it then I would find a very thin sheet of cast acrylic (clear) and cut ittight to the footprint of the tank. Clear acrylic would protect it with you ever seeing it. As far as polyester fill? I wouldnt. Unless you bury it under sever inches of substrate, you may notice it poking up here and there, and if you use a sand substrate the tiny grains would still be able to reach the bottom.
 

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