11 March 2016

new looks

I'm trying something new in my aquariums. Because the subwassertang is already big enough to need a trim, and I'd like to have something in the low foreground, and moss is starting to cling on things (yay!) but not noticeable at all in the thirty-eight. I did some research to find out if the kinds of trees in my yard are safe, and prepped some small sticks picked up off the ground. Might be better to go through my woodpile and find interesting-looking ones that have sat dry for longer, but this is just to try it out.
I boiled them in my largest pot for two days, pouring off the water colored with tannins. (My husband said "what are you making for dinner?!" haha). Then soaked in outdoor tub of water (catches a drip from an exterior faucet) for about two weeks, until they sank. Then peeled all the bark off. Dropped in the tanks to see how they would look and how the fishes reacted. Everyone ignored it in the tenner, just a few trumpet snails ambled over. In the thirty-eight it was something else!

The kuhlis swarmed over immediately, it was really fun to see them wiggling over and under the sticks exploring every surface. The barbs all came to see it too, picking at things especially on the cut ends. I guess there were microorganisms on there they were eating. Seem to have come to no harm. The water has not discolored, and so far there isn't any fungus bloom either.

My plan was to use these as anchors for subwassertang and moss, but then I had the thought I could also use them to hold down hornwort stems. I've tied a bunch to rocks again, to fill up the background but it really is a pain to trim and re-attach to stones every week or so.
However I think it would be a lot easier to fasten small rubber bands to the shape of a stick- so I cut one of them into shorter lengths to try it out.
Much easier. With this I wouldn't mind re-anchoring trimmed stems weekly.
I didn't trim any moss this week, but did a big trim on the subwassertang. In the smaller tank I undid the band, hoping the plant was clinging. It wasn't. All came apart. Refastened part of it- now a tiny cluster again-
and put other bits on some sticks in the foreground-
In the big tank I put new bands on before cutting the old ones off- they were near breaking point. Thinking of making it permanent by tying down with netting or poly thread. Then just lift out to trim when necessary. I fastened bits
onto some of the wood. Here's the result:
I'm not sure of the looks of it yet, but wanted it on stone or wood so I can easily lift it out or shift the position. Had this left over:
It does make some really cool shapes

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