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View Full Version : What's the skinny on using egg crates.



melvin
12-21-2005, 12:03 PM
Why do you use egg crates? I thought it was to protcect a UGJ system? What are the advantages?

djfungus
12-21-2005, 12:23 PM
From my understanding, they help distribute the heavy weight from rocks and substrate. Helps to prevent breaking the glass bottom.

melvin
12-21-2005, 12:28 PM
I have a 150 and already put 3 bags of sand and water. I am planning to add quite a bit of river rock. Should I try to take the sand out and put down egg crates or will I be alright?

melvin
12-21-2005, 03:44 PM
Aquarium is half drained and I am now taking the sand out.I have purchased a 3/4 in. sheet of StyroFoam insulation to use in place of egg crates. Should I leave any sand under the foam, like a .25 to.5 in. with 1 to 1.5 on top, or should I take it all out and put ALL sand on top of StyroFoam. I plan on using lots of river rock.....am I missing anything?

blakrain
12-21-2005, 05:20 PM
there seems to be an even number of folks that use either and many use none. I had my tank for close to 6 years befure I put the eggcrate in. I did not have tnat many rocks so it was no big deal but as I got more I decided not to risk it. If you go with eggcrate ut it in before you put any more sand in or before ou put in rocks. Ideally, its easier with ane mpty tank and then you cna pur the sand in.

chc
12-22-2005, 10:43 PM
Argueable whether anything is necesssary, but egg crate isn't as good as a simple sheet of acrylic. The egg crate sheets are ugly and thick....... They can be brittle too.

RustyNut
12-23-2005, 11:49 AM
The acrylic sheet/eggcrate keeps pressure points from occurring.... acrylic sheets are much more expensive than the eggcrating so that is one advantage, also the eggcrating's thickness supports the weight over a wider area than acrylic, but how much is a matter of debate. The thinness of the acrylic does mean less sand is required to cover it so its asthetically better too.

The more weight you plan to have, the more you need to insure that no small area will take a considerable load.... like a rock point at the bottom of the pile... there is also falling rock to consider... a rock that rolls off the top to the bottom (due to undermining) will more easily crack a bottom without the eggcrate...

chc
12-24-2005, 03:25 AM
Egg crate will do fine in most situations, but some of the rocks I use would just crush it. I have a couple that are in the 100 pound range. They are resting on 1" thick glass so I don't even use anything under them.

djfungus
12-27-2005, 03:08 PM
Does having the egg crate with sand create gas pockets that are hard to release?

chc
12-28-2005, 12:04 PM
Not if you stir it a bit or if it's not too deep...... That's another reason I prefer acrylic... easier to stir.

RustyNut
12-29-2005, 07:57 AM
The sand in the eggcrating is so uniformly packed that detritus does fall into it except in places where fish have excavated. Malaysian Trumpet Snails will burrow into your substrate and eat some detritus while automatically keeping your sand stirred up. So it really have a dozen of one or six of the other..... I like cheap eggcrating, its a proven method. Cheap is good, since it allows me to spend more on fish!

If money is no object then acrylic is the way to go.

melvin
12-29-2005, 08:59 AM
I took no chances. I used a 3/4 in piece of styrofoam te egg crate. The egg crate was the exact size, uncut. I had an inch in the front and a half on each side. Where do you get your MTS. The local pet store's are sooooo unfairly expensive. Even PetSmart is half again more expensive than their web site.

RustyNut
12-29-2005, 12:45 PM
Buy some live plants and you'll get some free :)

I've seen them all over, you only need to start with one, they multiply like bunnies.

blakrain
12-30-2005, 12:03 PM
Oh! So those snails that hitchike on libe aquarium plants are MTS? I remember going to Wal mart and getting a bag full and none of them survived through the night in my Malawi tank.I suppose I could try again