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 [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks

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shebeen
Tityus
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Number of posts : 507
Age : 57
Location : Mountain View, Calif.
Registration date : 2011-05-15

PostSubject: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/1/2011, 4:23 pm

I thought I'd share with you how I built the false bottom in my emperor enclosure. Instead of gravel,
I'm using an "egg crate" light diffuser panel, window screen, and wicks made from 1/2 inch nylon rope.
It's more complicated, expensive and time consuming than a simple gravel or gravel/screen bottom, but
it's much lighter. I didn't take any pictures when I was assembling my enclosure, so I made a miniature
version from a critter carrier to demonstrate the concept. I hope you find the ideas here useful.


I use spacers cut from 1/2 inch PVC pipe to elevate the egg crate off the bottom of the tank. The spacers
are glued in place with a bit of silicon (I omitted the silicon for this demo.) The egg crate is wrapped with
nylon window screen secured with wire ties. The wicks are made from 1/2 inch nylon rope (the soft kind).
I chose nylon because it wicks water well and won't rot.


Bind the wicks in the middle with wire ties to prevent them from unraveling. When making the wicks, attach the
wire ties first before cutting the rope. Thicker rope would probably have been better but all I had was 1/2 inch.


Cut the egg crate so that it fits snugly against the sides of the enclosure. The window screen is wrapped around
the edges of the egg crate and secured with wire ties. This should prevent your scorpion from getting trapped
under the egg crate or between the egg crate and the screen. These egg crate panels are quite brittle. I found
the best way to cut them is with a pair of diagonal wire cutters.


Insert the wicks through the bottom of the egg crate.


Twist the wick so the end flairs out between the egg crate and the screen.


The tricky part is placing the assembled panel into the tank without having the wicks fall out. I found it easier if you
lay the tank on its side, thus the need to glue down the spacers. The screen does a pretty good job of holding the
wicks in place if you're gentle. If necessary, you can add additional wire ties to the center of the panel to hold the
screen a bit tighter to the egg crate.


The wicks will stay in place once the panel is resting on the spacers and the wicks resting on the bottom of the tank.
You'll also want to install a fill tube in one corner that extends down through the egg crate. I just used a length of
1/2 inch PVC pipe with a diagonal cut on the bottom (not pictured here).


Here's a picture of my false bottom in operation. It seems to be doing a pretty good job. The water level drops
about 1/8 inch a week and the substrate (coco fiber) stays nice and moist. I used 16 wicks for my enclosure which
has a bottom that measures 10x20 inches. I would liked to have used 20 wicks (perhaps more) but I ran out of rope.

Edit: 16 wicks has worked just fine and 12 would probably have been plenty.


Last edited by shebeen on 1/15/2013, 11:26 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Updated title)
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Bedlam
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/1/2011, 5:11 pm

That is really good work their. I might use this as a reference to a false bottom I may construct.
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/1/2011, 5:37 pm

Excellent. This is more of a true false bottom than the gravel method. I've seen this used in lots of Dart Frog tanks. Very helpful to be able to actually see exactly how much water you have in the bottom.
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Cyanide
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/1/2011, 5:58 pm

Very well done. You could probably sell these lol.
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shebeen
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Number of posts : 507
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Location : Mountain View, Calif.
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/1/2011, 7:51 pm

This is my first attempt to build any type of scorpion enclosure. I don't know how well it
will perform compared to a gravel false bottom, but I figure it shouldn't be any worse than
a true false bottom.
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Streettrash
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/1/2011, 8:24 pm

I think it will work great!
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shining
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   6/2/2011, 1:56 am

that is genius.and everything you need is at home depants or blowes. where do you pour the water?directly through the coco on to the wicks??
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emilights
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Registration date : 2011-08-20

PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   8/27/2011, 12:02 pm

This is GREAT. I have just did mine using this invention with some twists because :
- The materials used were not available
- The shape of my old aquarium is TRAPEZOID
- I am not really tactful Smile
So,
- Instead of PVC pipe I used bricks (I tried sawing some, but I produced different length with different angles)
- Instead of window screen and egg crate I sew left over of asbestos roof
- And since it is very difficult to shape the asbestos roof to TRAPEZOID, I cut some sponges as a replacement for the nylon wicks and use the sponges to cover all the miss cuts

Thanks
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shebeen
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Number of posts : 507
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Location : Mountain View, Calif.
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   8/27/2011, 3:54 pm

I'm glad you found the tutorial useful. I should caution you about sponges, however. Sponges, and other
materials made from natural fibers like cotton or wood pulp, will harbor bacteria and also rot. That's why I
chose to use nylon and plastic. As far as asbestos goes, it's a mineral so you should be ok. Just don't breath
in any fibers while cutting or working with it.
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emilights
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Build a False bottom using nylon rope wicks   8/28/2011, 5:11 am

You are correct about asbestos. I rinsed and dried it twice after cutting. Thank you for the information on the sponges it'll be a gem next time.

At the moment I'm still experimenting with the coco-peat, plants, millipede, crickets, if the can make a good food chain since the aquarium is quite big (I think) L X W X H = 33 X 15 X 15 inches roughly.
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