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Thread: Question for Tank Users

  1. #1
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi

    I desperately need to get my 20-gal. tank set up but I have been procrastinating for one main reason. I am afraid that the tank will be too heavy for me to move it once its set up. I need to be able to slide it out and away from the lighting to get into it.

    My current little 10-gal. is set up with a layer of rocks and layer of long-fibered spaghnum moss over that. This has worked pretty well...tank humidity around 80% and I haven't had any problems with it. But with the rocks, the tank has some weight to it. So I know if I use the same set up with the 20, its probably going to be waaaay too heavy for me to slide out from under the lights. The tank alone is quite heavy (for me anyway...I'm a weakling compared to some of you 6-foot+ giants out there). :-)

    So I was wondering what the opion is regarding the rocks. Are they necessary? Would the tank do just as well with only a layer of moss? It would certainly be MUCH lighter without the rocks. But if rocks contribute significantly to the evaporation, then I'd hate to not use them. I have some of my orchids sitting in trays with rocks but I don't have to move those trays like I will this tank.

    Anyone out there using a soil-less tank have any thoughts on this?

    Would really appreciate any suggestions.

    Suzanne

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Well I use just plain ole soil for my current terarrium. I do use granite rocks for looks as these are not harmful to CP's. But I think the sphagnum would be just fine on it's own as it does float on the water to create a mat of itself. Of course it depends on what your growing in the tank. You don't want CP's that want it slightly drier as the moss eventually will become water logged near the bottom of the tank. Soo what plants are going to be in there? Later.

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    If your plants themselves are not too heavy you could try using pumice or small lava rocks to reduce the weight. Some small plastic decorative marbles like they use in vases at the florists and craft shops would work as long as they did not release anything into the water, and would reduce the weight of the water in the tank by displacing it instead of absorbing it like the above. Hope that helps.

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    good idea greencrunch!

    PAK, I have no rocks other than decorative in my tank... so I don't think you need them, though I don't see how they would hurt. just make sure they are not sedimentary (A little vinegar drop will do, sedimentary rock will fizz a little if I remember right) the idea being that if it is sedimentary, then minerals will leach into your substrate... you should be OK though...

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    That is why I use granite.

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    In two of my tanks..I have just a small layer of rock...then it is covered with live moss...then the plants...

    I wanted to put something in there because I just dump water and allow the moss to draw it up.

    my &#360.02

    I don't see why you couldn't use something else that someone suggested...or no rocks at all...
    I would just be careful that you don't make everything soooooo wet!

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Yeah,if ya want stuff wet you better just grow S.Purpurea or S.Psittacina or Aquatic Utricularia or even some wet loving Pinguicula.

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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Nep G....its all drosera in there...currently in the 10-gal. I just want to transfer them to the larger tank (need more space!) I don't really have a need for the higher humidity with the other CPs I have so they are in other locations (outdoors, terrariums or just in pots indoors). Currently there are several spaths, a nidiformis, a capensis, an aliciae and a capillaris. I've taken the binata out. I'm still fighting a battle with that one. I want to move all the drosera to the larger 20-gal and use the 10-gal for propagation and seedlings. I don't want to use soil...prefer in this instance to use just the moss. I do have my d. adelae in a terrarim and my nepethes...which is growing like a weed and scaring me. It stayed tiny for sooo long and then BAM...its leaves have tripled in length with larger pitchers. That little bugger must have 10 pitcher on it.

    Greencrunch...the lava rocks might work. The ARE lighter. As for plastic...I would think that would be too smooth get much evaporation. The graininess of rocks help to absorb and then evaporate the water. Granite is good for that with its coarse surface. Its only one layer of rocks in there... a rough quartz type...kinda chunky pieces...not the real small little white marble chips you see sometimes. But even a small amount makes quite a difference in weight. I could barely carry the bag I bought.

    I was afraid with no rocks at all the moss would lay on the bottom right in the water and rot. With the rocks, the moss is slightly elevated and gets a little bit of air circulation underneath. There is not a lot of water in it...just enough to evaporate off the rocks and moss. I wonder if some type of chrome or plastic, raised grid (like a baking rack) would work to raise the moss up some without the rocks. Hmmmmmm. I just know if I line the bottom of the 20-gal with the rocks I have, I won't be able to move it. I wonder...is the evaporation of water off a grainy rock more or less that it would be with plain sphagnum. Anybody know??

    Must have this worked out by New Years Eve weekend...I will have a 4-day play period to work on my plants and spiff them up...and get some seeds started for the spring. I think I'm going for some sunflowers this year! They are so cool!

    Thanks for the ideas ...you guys are great as always!

    Suzanne


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