False Bottoms

Asian Jesus

Arachnopeon
Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
32
How do I setup a false bottom for a high humidity tank? I'm sorry if that is a dumb question.
 

Lubed Tweezer

Arachnobaron
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Dec 3, 2019
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407
There are several ways.
What works for me is a bottom layer of clay balls / hydro balls (~1inch/2.5cm), then cover that with mosquito netting as a separator. Finally substrate can go on top of that.
Mosquito netting is cheap and widely available, another alternative is 'root barrier screen' that is used in gardening and agriculture, it let's the water through but stops almost anything else.
An alternative bottom layer is vermiculite. It's light and cheap, absorbs moisture very well and serves several other life hacks around the house.
 

Lubed Tweezer

Arachnobaron
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Dec 3, 2019
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407
I have some aquarium gravel, will that work?
It depends. In most cases people want a false bottom for three reasons.
1 is to create a drainage system so their main substrate won't get/stay soggy and drenched.
2 is to absorb the excess moisture to prevent 'standing water' and thus prevent mold and/or fungus growth.
3 is to slowly release the excess water by evaporation when the main substrate gets (too) dry.
I think aquarium gravel won't absorb moisture very well, so it would only take care of (1) drainage.
If drainage is all you need, then go for it.
But experienced people swear by clay balls and vermiculite and that's not for nothing, it just works better.
You can also find clay balls and vermiculite in the soil of plants that you buy. Growers have used it for many years to regulate moisture in soil.
 

MasterOogway

Arachnoknight
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Jun 19, 2016
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241
Egg crate ftw. Or, if you're not strapped for cash (in today's economy!?), matala. Pvc tubs and egg crate are in my opinion the best of all worlds. Relatively easy to make, super light (compared to gravel),rot-proof, and dirt cheap.
 

Asian Jesus

Arachnopeon
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Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
32
Egg crate ftw. Or, if you're not strapped for cash (in today's economy!?), matala. Pvc tubs and egg crate are in my opinion the best of all worlds. Relatively easy to make, super light (compared to gravel),rot-proof, and dirt cheap.
Will egg crates take care of all 3 of Lubed Tweezer's reasons?
 

Asian Jesus

Arachnopeon
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Apr 22, 2019
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32
I have mistakenly posted this to the scorpion forum, but now I at 4:14 a.m. I realize there's a forum for this. I am planning to add a false bottom to a P. Imperator tank. The people at my mistake thread have said I should use those clay balls or egg crates, does it really matter?
 

MasterOogway

Arachnoknight
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Jun 19, 2016
Messages
241
Honestly, the biggest thing a false bottom does is allow a reservoir of water to sit at the bottom of the tank and not be in contact with your substrate. Otherwise your sub rots. While the egg/crate and pvc will not actively absorb and wick water, IME this is not desirable. Plant roots will grown down between the sub/false bottom barrier anyways so wicking is not really necessary. You will have a layer of water that sits below the substrate, and then an air layer between the top of the water and the bottom of the sub, if that makes sense.
 
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