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Thread: Substrate Supports

  1. #1
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    Default Substrate Supports

    Thought it might be worth a thread?

    The green machine sells "Substrate Supports" which look like black flexible plastic can be seen here: https://www.thegreenmachineonline.co...rate-supports/, often used in the videos that TGM uploads to youtube.

    I can't recall if it was here or elsewhere but it was mentioned that they appeared to be just corflute. So in my latest scape in an attempt to keep a slope and stopping the substrate from coming through behind the sheer side of the rockwork I've reinforced the slope with black corflute from bunnings.

    IMG_20170506_190002 by Pseudostoloniferous, on Flickr

    IMG_20170506_185952 by Pseudostoloniferous, on Flickr

    Once I had the back of the rockwork covered I filled with substrate, and then laid additional supports perpendicular to stop substrate moving to the left. Its basically imperceptible with the dark substrate. Guess the proof will be in the pudding once it gets filled and the plants start growing. I should have taken more photos during the process.

    Anyone else trying this? I know there's a few different methods, like putting substrate in stockings and physically locking in the rockwork with silicone.

  2. #2
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    Looks good to me, Solomon.
    If it was taking a lot of soil, I might have used ordinary Take Away containers ( filled with cheap sand or something) along the back where it is so deep.
    I like the black corflute.
    Nice rocks too....I have some of them....must put them to use.

  3. #3

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    I also used corflute from bunnings, I had to use white because I couldn't find black. Works very well to keep banked up substrate from collapsing.

    I have also used scoria in old socks to create height.

    Once the plants start growing in it should be invisible

  4. #4
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    Looks good! We have used the plastic garden divider/edging from bunnings, which looks like a thin plastic version of corrugated iron to attempt to keep the hairgrass out of the Parva carpet.. 6 months later the black plastic has become quite visible after the substrate settled.
    Last edited by nchanted; 14-05-17 at 06:10 AM.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by nchanted View Post
    Looks good! We have used the plastic garden divider/edging from bunnings, which looks like a thin plastic version of corrugated iron to attempt to keep the hairgrass out of the Parva carpet.. 6 months later the black plastic has become quite visible after the substrate settled.
    Yes - I used the green plastic corrugated garden edge stuff too. I cut it down to what I thought wad the correct height, but it has also become visible after the substrate settled. I'll use stocking next time

  6. #6
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    my problem with this is that it blocks water circulation.

    plastic mesh bags (like the stuff garlic comes in) or even nylon fly screen used with lava rock is a better option imo. this will also prevent the substrate from settling between the cracksescaping and exposing the corflute as those above have mentioned.
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
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  7. #7

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    About to try "supports" now with a new tank as well, using cut plastic from thoroughly cleaned takeaway containers (using a 30cm cube - corflute would've been too chunky for my smaller detailed setup). I'm combining that technique with some lava rocks beneath the substrate for height.

    PiL makes a good point, if supports are overly used perhaps they could impact circulation?

  8. #8
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    Corflute is pretty annoying unless you are good at constantly hiding it. The best option is to get a carpeting plant to get hold at dry start. Then it will tend to stay. Otherwise I haven't found a great solution for someone who constantly re-scapes......

  9. #9
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    Is circulation that important though? It should be facilitated in some degree by plant roots. Now I need to re-read about substrate heating.

    Ill take some photos over the weekend, at the moment with my scape (DSM) you can't even see there is corflute present.

  10. #10

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    Much of the time the supports are behind rocks that are blocking the flow anyhow so I doubt it makes a lot of difference to circulation. "oyster mesh" is a good thick plastic mesh that would be great for perforated supports.
    Last edited by Grubs; 19-05-17 at 08:52 PM. Reason: speelungs

  11. #11
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    If there are enough plant roots around my thoughts were that there would be good enough O2. Never really thought much of circulation per se in the sub.
    Last edited by Rebel; 19-05-17 at 05:38 PM.

  12. #12
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    Inconspicuous?

    IMG_20170520_115702 by Pseudostoloniferous, on Flickr

    uncovered

    IMG_20170520_115712 by Pseudostoloniferous, on Flickr

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SOLOMON View Post
    Is circulation that important though? It should be facilitated in some degree by plant roots. Now I need to re-read about substrate heating.

    Ill take some photos over the weekend, at the moment with my scape (DSM) you can't even see there is corflute present.
    Since you have used a shallow rooting plant, circulation isn't a problem.

  14. #14
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    They could cut or drill holes through the plastic if circulation was an issue I guess.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.m View Post
    They could cut or drill holes through the plastic if circulation was an issue I guess.
    Not a bad idea at all!!

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