Substrate tips and tricks

PaulThaAsian

I just bought my first 20 long and I was wondering if anyone had ideas on how to build height in a tank without buying tons and tons of substrate. Obviously, I don't need to build super high in a 20 long but I only have substrate from my current 10G tank and I bought a new bag of fluval stratum. I also bought sand and was thinking of doing a path of sorts.

I am using dragon stone for this scape and I want to build a bit of height to bring smaller pieces higher making them look bigger than they are. Besides, maybe filter bags filled with stone is there anything else anyone suggests? DIY options are possible too! Thanks guys!
 

Chanyi

Easiest way would be to use cheap sand, such as coal slag or pool filter sand.

Another option, more permanent, would be to go with the ADA style of using lava rock style media to build up height, and cap it off with soil. Media in a filter bag could also work...

If it were me, cheap sand is the way I'd go. Easy, simple, and maintenance would be a breeze.
 
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Sauceboat

I like to use bags of landscaping lava rock from Home Depot or Lowes, for how much it will build up the background its about the same price as play sand and it has less of a chance of causing issues with aerobic activity in the back where the substrate is high. It also can house a lot of beneficial bacteria.
 
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NoahLikesFish

I just bought my first 20 long and I was wondering if anyone had ideas on how to build height in a tank without buying tons and tons of substrate. Obviously, I don't need to build super high in a 20 long but I only have substrate from my current 10G tank and I bought a new bag of fluval stratum. I also bought sand and was thinking of doing a path of sorts.

I am using dragon stone for this scape and I want to build a bit of height to bring smaller pieces higher making them look bigger than they are. Besides, maybe filter bags filled with stone is there anything else anyone suggests? DIY options are possible too! Thanks guys!
Don’t use coral slag it will raise hardness a sponge block could work
 
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PaulThaAsian

Don’t use coral slag it will raise hardness a sponge block could work
That's a really good idea. I didn't think about using a sponge block. It's probably overall cheaper too

I like to use bags of landscaping lava rock from Home Depot or Lowes, for how much it will build up the background its about the same price as play sand and it has less of a chance of causing issues with aerobic activity in the back where the substrate is high. It also can house a lot of beneficial bacteria.
I have a Lowes in town. I didn't know they sold lava rock (all be it for landscaping. Would I have to give it the normal rock treatment of soaking and MAYBE boiling? I haven't looked into lava rock and I know I can't boil dragon stone...
 
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Sauceboat

That's a really good idea. I didn't think about using a sponge block. It's probably overall cheaper too


I have a Lowes in town. I didn't know they sold lava rock (all be it for landscaping. Would I have to give it the normal rock treatment of soaking and MAYBE boiling? I haven't looked into lava rock and I know I can't boil dragon stone...
I normally just rinse it an throw it in like I would any sand substrate
 
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PaulThaAsian

I normally just rinse it an throw it in like I would any sand substrate
This sounds dumb but how do you rinse it? Throw it in a bucket and throw water in it and power it out once or twice?
 
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