creating hilltops and slope

filipem

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May 21, 2008
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I am having a difficult time trying to create deep slopes or hills in aquariums. I happened to be checking some of this years entries in the ADA contest and I came across this tank.

2008 AGA Aquascaping Contest

How would you make such a dramatic slope?
How does this person keep the substrate in place?

BTW that tank looks fantastic :)

any tips would be really helpful.

Thanks,
 

behhl

Junior Poster
Jan 16, 2008
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That's Kirwan's scape - he explains it step by step here

As far as he states they just rocks packed with Aquasoil material smashed into fines and mixed into mud. He lets it dry out some before adding water.
 

filipem

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May 21, 2008
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Thank you for the link.

Mud, much simpler then I thought.

This might be a silly question but is there any risk to adding mud to an aquarium right away or is there any preferred sources for mud or is there some type of de-sterilization required before putting mud into a tank?
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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ADA aqua soil is mostly clay and you can pack it in there very hard if you wish.
This makes it much better than hard sediments like flourite etc for slope creation.
That is a very nice 20 Gal tank, you have to admit and the rock work is excellent, one of my fav 20 gal tanks.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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The "mud" Kirwan is using is just broken down Aquasoil, and as I understand his interview, he didn't make mud on purpose, it just became mud as he worked it over and over in different scapes. Aquasoil could be described as "just dirt, baked a little, with some ferts mixed in". Of course that is much over simplified.

If you don't have the resources to buy and experiment with Aquasoil you can make your own "mud" by mineralizing ordinary topsoil. Here is a forum discussion about it on TPT, Mineralized Top Soil Substrate *Pics Updated 11/16 page 1*. This is intended for use under a cap of inert sand, flourite, etc., but it might be interesting to see if it could be used in a similar way to how Kirwan used his Aquasoil mud.
 

filipem

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May 21, 2008
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It is quite beautiful. I was inspired by it and I want try something similar.

ADA soil is not really available here. It cost's about 70 dollars a bag shipped. I use Eco complete and fluorite black sand. Those go for about 20 dollars a bag.

Could I just "borrow" some mud from a local river?
 

filipem

Prolific Poster
May 21, 2008
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Sorry Vaughn. I posted just after you and missed your thread.

Thank you for the link.