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Old 02-01-2007, 07:54 PM   #1
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My dead LIVING tree (with *pics*)

So if anyone hasn't heard the story behind this driftwood ordeal head over to the general discussion forum and have a laugh at my expense.

I'll skip all the drama and get right to what I did. I decided today was the day I was going to make my dead driftwood look like a living tree. I've seen some incredible tanks with moss and such growing off the driftwood, but I wanted a more tree-like look. Here's what the piece looked like before starting:



I got a spool of thread from my next door neighbor (note for anyone else attempting this match the color of the PLANTS your putting on and not the WOOD being covered. Then I cut about 30 6-10" pieces and laid them out. Next I got my christmas moss (what will covered the majority of the trunk), some Riccia (tufts at the top for "leaves"), and lace java fern (for flowers).

I filled a bucket with tank temp water, added some ferts and dechlor (didn't want to shock and kill the plants) and got to work. About every 5-10 minutes I gently dunked the piece to keep the live plants moist.

I started with the moss and laid out layers like bark. I then tied them every inch or two gently to the wood. Hopefully over time the moss will attach to the driftwood so I can trim it very short so it looks just like moss on a tree.

This is during the moss attachment (you can see one of the limbs I hadn't covered yet):


Next (the toughest by far) was to attach the Riccia to the tops of the limbs. Trying to do this by yourself is a nightmare. Get a friend, pay your wife/husband whatever, its just a PITA trying to hold it and tie it at the same time.

After that I attached the lace java fern (a piece of cake compared to the Riccia). I really like the look of this and when I can propagate more (only had 2 small ferns from GlitcH) I will attach them to the other limbs.

After everything was finished I trimmed off as much of the thread as possible and then removed the hood and light and put the wood in. I had originally planned to attach it to slate or some other base, but I figure I can always do that at a later time if needed (yeah I was impatient). So it turns out the wood stands perfectly upright even without putting any of the trunk in the sand. I was shocked, and expected it to tip over on its side or something. I buried it to the bottom (probably 2-2 1/2") and put a rock under where I would expect it to fall if it did.

And here are the final shots:


With flash so you can see exactly what was done:



Without flash (how it really looks):



Whole tank shot before replacing the ceramic pot with the driftwood:



Finished Product (I think it looks very natural):

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Old 02-01-2007, 07:59 PM   #2
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Hey 7......looks good.

You've definitely got more patience than I do.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:02 PM   #3
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I think that looks excellent! Nice job!
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
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My only concern is that it is not driftwood. It is a piece of tree that you cut down. I believe it will rot in your tank.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlitcH
Hey 7......looks good.

You've definitely got more patience than I do.
I think after the lock-out fiasco and the amount of time I've put in the last 3 months prepping this wood that I just had to do this. I really don't have much patience for things, but I made an exception for this one.

I might need to bug you for some more glosso in a bit (my foreground looks barren). Last time you gave it to me it rotted in my tank, which could have been a nutrient deficiency or Excel related issues.

Oh and forgot to mention, total time was about an hour and a half (after cleanup and arranging probably 2 hours).
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:10 PM   #6
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Every piece of driftwood started as a live piece of wood.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
My only concern is that it is not driftwood. It is a piece of tree that you cut down. I believe it will rot in your tank.
I let it dry for 2 months outside after cutting it down. I then let it soak for a month in water to sink. I then boiled it for hours and ripped off the bark. I haven't seen the slightest hint of it rotting yet, so hopefully that won't happen. Heck I'll coat the **** thing in silicone before I give up on this wood!
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:19 PM   #8
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I am no 'driftwood' expert, that's for sure. I just remember reading about putting real wood into an aquarium and the side effects of doing so. One of them was rotting and another was an uncontrollable amount of fungus growing of the wood as it dies.

I almost forgot: Your tank looks much better with your current setup.

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Every piece of driftwood started as a live piece of wood.
Really? I understand what you are saying, but most driftwood is dead and is semi decomposed.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 7Enigma
Heck I'll coat the darn thing in silicone before I give up on this wood!
LOL!!!

Hey you think your forground is barren.......I pulled up all my glosso and sold it about a month ago. It looks like a black desert. My whole tank looks like crap now. That's what neglect will get ya.
I have some HC that I've been floating for a month....I've been sick on and off (for what seems like forever now) and haven't found the time/initiative yet.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:27 PM   #10
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That HC is moneywort right? I'm bad with the scientific names. If so I did a cool thing the other day with a couple bunches of it. I found all the bases (where they had been propagated from) and weighed them down with a stone. I now have a nice vertical staircase of HC that has a 3-D effect. See the back right of the tank in the last shot (kind of difficult to see in that particular picture though).
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:07 PM   #11
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HC is Hemianthus Callitrichoides, a very popular foreground plant right now that is even finer leaved than glosso.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:56 AM   #12
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Do you have any pictures of it in your tank? How are the requirements?

Bah, I'll just head over to plant geek and answer my own question (I am still interested in your pics though).

I found the riccia you gave me basically rotted away in my main tank, so I transferred whats left to my QT tank and floated it. It has tripled (or more) in size and looks great. I would love to use that as a short grass in front of the wood but just don't think its feasable.

GlitcH, let me know if you ever have a sizable chunk to send out, the profile makes it look very similar to glosso, so in a bit I would be ready to try it again. My LFS' have virtually NO selection of plants.
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