Practical Section

Aquascaping

Make sure that brushwood is completely dead before using it in the aquarium.

Mopani bogwood is precleaned and has interesting twisted shapes.

"Twisted roots" bogwood makes an ideal rooting medium for some plants.

Wood Although natural, or "normal," wood cannot be used in an aquarium because it will quickly rot and produce fungal growths, other forms are suitable

Bogwood can play a large part in the design of the planted aquarium. There are many different forms of bogwood, although these often arise from the different cleaning methods applied to the wood before it reaches the retailer. Some woods are precleaned using sand as an abrasive, which gives the wood a smoother and two-toned appearance.

Bogwood from aquatic retailers is safe to use in the aquarium without any prior treatment. This is because it has been dead and soaked for many years, during which time any harmful organisms will have been removed. Although you can safely place it directly into the aquarium, color the water slightly, often making it a light "tea" color. This coloration can be removed using carbon or other absorptive media. However, these media should be used only temporarily in a planted aquarium, as they also remove nutrients vital to long-term plant health.

Bogwood is a good medium for planting up in the same way as porous rock and is suitable for mosses such as Java moss. Twisted roots, another form of bogwood, are particularly effective in the planted aquarium. Being long and thin, they do not take up too much

Bark is highly buoyant and mi be weighted dowr in the aquarium.

it is not inert. Various humic and tannic acids continually leach from it over a long period of time and although the effect is minimal, these acids will lower the pH and hardness of the aquarium water. This is not harmful to plants and may even benefit many species. Soaking bogwood for a week or two can help to remove some tannins.

The other side effect of using bogwood is that the tannic acids will space, but still become a dominant presence in the aquarium.

Cork bark can be used in some circumstances, as long as it is old and completely dry. The major problem with bark is that it is very buoyant and must first be fixed to a weight of some kind. It can be particularly effective if fixed to unsightly items such as bulky filters, or when used to hide inlet and/or outlet pipes. In this instance, the best method is to silicone the bark to the object while both are dry, before the aquarium is filled with water.

Brushwood is simply a term for the dead twigs and small branches from trees or bushes. Because the wood is very thin, it dies quickly and dries easily, making it safe for use in the aquarium.

Bamboo Tree For Aquarium
Bamboo is available in several thicknesses, but bamboo canes are the easiest to find. Placing a number of canes among dense planting will create an interesting visual effect.

When using brushwood, it is important to make sure that it is completely dead, with no green areas present within the wood. If it is clearly dead and dried out, it should be brittle and will snap easily rather than bend when pressure is applied.

Bamboo is another form of wood with decorative possibilities in the aquarium. Various lengths of bamboo cane, placed randomly among dense planting, will add a natural and attractive element to many aquascapes. In time, it begins to rot and will need replacing, but this slow decay can be reduced - and in some cases prevented altogether - by coating the wood with a polyester resin or varnishing it before use.

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