What kinda sand are you going to cap with? I really want something dark.
I did a trial run with the MGOCPM and I was disappointed. It seemed to just disintegrate. Maybe I filled the container with water too quickly (I was filling it by siphoning through an airline, about as slow as possible I think) but it seemed like more than half of the product ended up as floating scum.
I did get some time last night to work on some odds and ends again and took some pictures. Here's the driftwood I have accumulated:
The white pieces towards the back are "filler" pieces from Blooms and Branches. They're nice and all but very twiggy, and they appear to be more or less fresh cuttings from living trees, which makes me nervous. I will soak them for a while before using them to make sure they're cleaned out. It seemed like a bargain (eight 24" pieces for around $50 shipped) but honestly unless someone wants twiggy stuff I would not recommend it.
The smaller dark pieces towards the front are from Tom Barr. A friend of mine bought them from him a few years ago and isn't using them, so he donated to the cause. They're nice shapes, for sure. And they actually look like real seasoned driftwood, though I'm honestly not sure if that's the way Tom shipped them, or if they got like that after being in my friend's tank for a while.
Then, there's THE BEAST. The Monster. The single biggest piece of driftwood I've ever owned. This is big enough to be a lawn ornament. It's the piece I mentioned above, which I bought at a local fish auction. The price was VERY very cheap compared to what large driftwood sells for in the LFS or online. I'm pretty sure it's because it's so big - there probably weren't many people at the auction who could actually use it. To give an idea of the size, it took me a good 5 or 10 minutes to figure out how to fit it in my car to bring it home. Granted, I drive a small car, but I had the back seats folded down and the passenger seat all the way forwards, and it still barely fit.
Also snapped a photo of my poorly implemented holding tank:
You can see the plants have, again, mostly floated out of the substrate. GRRR!
I also got the solenoid I bought for the CO2 system. It came in a box that looked older than me:
It's not one of the hallowed brands typically mentioned on these forums, but the specs are correct for this application and it's definitely solidly built.