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Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

This is a discussion on Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hello, looking for some opinions/personal experiences/suggestions in regards to using slate for lining the bottom of my axolotl aquarium. I ...

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Old 22nd March 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

Hello, looking for some opinions/personal experiences/suggestions in regards to using slate for lining the bottom of my axolotl aquarium. I personally have gotten tired of messing around with sand substrate and wanted to look into using cut slate tile. My aquarium I'm looking to use slate in is a 40 gallon Aqueon and sadly the base dimensions are a bit awkward so cutting the standard 12x12 slate tile (which coincidentally Lowe's will not cut) to fit nicely is going to be a pain but I'd like to at least try. Any input is much appreciated.



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Old 22nd March 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

I'm also considering slate tile for my 40 gallon. My concern is that if we seal it in, it will make the tank too heavy to easily move, but if we don't seal it, there will be places for debris to accumulate.

I'm also considering ordinary tile, since it would be thinner and lighter.

I haven't checked tile stores yet, but perhaps they will cut slate tile.



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Old 22nd March 2015   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

Oh, also, you can used aquarium sealer to stick a layer of sand to the bottom. I've just done this to one 40 gal, but haven't put the axies in yet. Be warned, the fumes are pretty intense.



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Old 23rd March 2015   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

I use slate...I love the effect.....but because it's made up of layers only the bottom one sticks....then the next one uo becomes free! I tried to use silicon to make hides but in the end made a solid balanced structure using slate and rocks



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Old 23rd March 2015   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

Laura has a good point about the tank becoming too heavy to move if the slate is sealed down but if not sealed, debris can accumulate. I can't remember who but someone here used a 3d background as a substrate. It looked quite effective and would not weigh the tank down as much and would be easy to clean. But it does have to be sealed down as it would float otherwise. Definitely something I want to look into at some point :).



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Old 23rd March 2015   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

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Originally Posted by Skudo09 View Post
Laura has a good point about the tank becoming too heavy to move if the slate is sealed down but if not sealed, debris can accumulate. I can't remember who but someone here used a 3d background as a substrate. It looked quite effective and would not weigh the tank down as much and would be easy to clean. But it does have to be sealed down as it would float otherwise. Definitely something I want to look into at some point :).

Is this the thread you are thinking of Skudo09? If you scroll down on the first page she has some amazing tank setups with backgrounds used on the bottom as well as the back of several tanks.
We have different way to keep axolotls in China



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Old 23rd March 2015   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

I've used slate in the past for a substrate, I never sealed it down to the bottom, but I can't see any issues doing so. You should be fine moving the tank with the slate in there, it will obviously add some weight but not so much that you can't move it. I've moved house with fish tanks in the past just by draining the water out and moving them with gravel, rocks, driftwood etc all left in there. Just be careful. You can cut slate very easily with a normal angle grinder, here is a thread where a very nice slate bottom is used.

Custom Built Glass Aquaria




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Old 23rd March 2015   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

Im not going to seal my slate tile with caulking because it wont actually be sealed.
My slate tiles do not sit perfectly flat on the bottom of my tank, slate is actually porous, so water will actually pass through the slate down to the tank bottom.

Im just cutting my tiles so they fit, and ill put a very thin layer of sand (1/2" or less) on the bottom so i can level out the tiles above them. Also, not having the slate glued to the bottom can make cleaning/replacing it easy if i ever get a bacterial/fungal infection in my tank and want to sterilize everything



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Old 24th March 2015   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

I'm not terribly worried about the additional weight however having the ability to clean under the tiles in a worst case scenario is a good point and is definitely something I'll need to consider. As much as I like how sand looks I really wish it wouldn't constantly jam up my Eheim electronic vacuum, hence my desire to switch to something new.



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Old 24th March 2015   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions or personal experiences with using slate bottom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatSpit View Post
Is this the thread you are thinking of Skudo09? If you scroll down on the first page she has some amazing tank setups with backgrounds used on the bottom as well as the back of several tanks.
We have different way to keep axolotls in China
No it was within another thread but can't remember what or where it was. It as a solid 3d background like the ones you silicon to the inside of the back wall of the tank that are made out some sort of foam stuff and usually designed to look like rock or wood.



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