USING DRIFTWOOD AND LIVE PLANTS IN THE FRESHWATER TANK
- Remove any leaves or foreign materials from the driftwood until only the wood remains.
- Use a sturdy brush to scrub the driftwood, making sure to remove as much dirt and any other foreign matter that you can.
- Place the driftwood in a large container.
- Fill the container with enough distilled water to completely submerge the driftwood – you may need to use a rock to weigh it down.
- Let the driftwood soak for about two weeks.
- During this time you’ll need to swap out the water as the tannins being leached from the wood turns the water brown.
- When the water remains clear for a few days, your driftwood has been fully cleaned.
- Remove the driftwood from the water and set it in a cool, dry place to dry out.
- Once the driftwood dries out it can be considered cured and it is ready to use in your tank.
The process of anchoring plants to driftwood is not difficult – all you need is a few simple materials. In addition to the driftwood itself you will need some dark cotton thread and whatever plants you want to attach to the driftwood. Follow the steps below to anchor your plants to your driftwood:
- Set your driftwood on a sturdy work space.
- Trim your plants, if needed, and test out different arrangements on the piece of driftwood.
- Start with small plants so they will attach to the driftwood as they grow and leave enough room for them to expand.
- Once you’ve chosen your arrangement, use the thread to secure the roots to the driftwood.
- Wrap the thread around the roots several times to anchor them then trim the thread.
After you’ve anchored your plants to the driftwood all that is left is to place it in your tank. Do not worry if the plants look a little awkward at first – after a few weeks they will have anchored themselves to the driftwood and it will look like they belong there.
Recommended Plants to Use
Theoretically you should be able to anchor any plant to a piece of driftwood as long as it has roots that you can tie down. Certain plants have thick or strong roots, however, and these plants are the best for this type of project. One of the best plants to use is Java Fern. Below you will find a list of recommended plants to use with driftwood:
Java Fern – This low-maintenance plant produces long, finger-like leaves in a bright green color. Java fern grows up to 8 inches tall and it is particularly well-suited to cichlid tanks. These plants require moderate lighting, but they will do just find in shade.
Anubias – Another low-maintenance plant, Anubias grows up to 20 inches tall and it produces bright green leaves. This plant does well with moderate lighting but it may require supplemental fertilization for optimal growth. To prevent algae from growing on the leaves, keep this plant out of areas of intense light.
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