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Hey there.
Looking to start my 3rd planted tank and I was curious on what types of techniques other hobbiest use to create the "rolling hills" effect under there substrate. From what I understand the waterpressure will flatten the substrate eventually if not supported.

Thanks in advanced!
 

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water pressure in its normal sense will not flatten out hills you form. Rather water currents (think wave action) and fish etc will end up flattening them out. You can maintain hills much longer if you stablize the hills with roots from a foreground plant like glosso or HC> THis is similar to preventing errosion on hillsides.
 

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Hairgrass and small echindorus species are killer for this as well. Many small crypts might even be the best solution. THey have powerful root structures.
 

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Some hobbyists like to use rocks, woods, plant roots, acrylic panels, and/or foam moldings, etc. to support terraces. I prefer to use rocks and dress them with moss to hide it. It's long lasting w/o the nuisance of frequent re-terracing.

If you get the chance, then visit your bookstore and/or the LFS' book rack and take a look at Takashi Amano's Nature Aquarium Book 1. There are two detailed examples of how he used rocks and woods to terrace. One of my favorites is the use of this piece of driftwood to create three distinct tiers of plantings.





If you don't want to terrace but still desire the rolling hills effect, then your only option would be through careful prunnings.
 
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