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):