wire moss tree - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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wire moss tree

hi all. i want to built moss trees, and i have couple of questions that i hope you can help with.
I want to use wires, not wood. there are several reasons why, but that is less relevant; e.g. i know how to do trees from branches, and there is info on that even in TAG journal, also here on this forum.
There are couple of videos how to build wire trees, that appear very nice, but those are not for aquatic use. So, one can borrow the building concept from there.
Questions:
1) what wires is it safe to use for aquariums? stainless steal? anything specific should be about this? is something like (that site) #252405782073 ok. There is colored version of this wire (that site) 262647289444. Is aluminium ok (eg that site #281657320495)?

2) once the tree is built, I assume that applying glue and place moss on it will do the job, as with all the moss on the wood etc. However, I am thinking that the moss will not steak very well to wires once it grows, unless glue is everywhere. Comments on that?

3) what material can i use to paint it, or apply some coating, if need be.

Finally, I do remember i saw instructions somewhere on the net where a guy was building gorgeous trees from wires, applying some glue to them, and something else (?), but i just can not locate that site/book. So, any relevant links will be helpful.

thanks.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:59 PM
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Welding shop, 1/16", SS316, Tig rod would be what you are looking for.

Most all other metals will decay in some manner.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Maryland Guppy, thanks. Interesting. So, anything that is SS but not for welding purposes will decay. I believe, but shortly, can you tell what makes the SS for welding different.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 11:25 PM
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The tig wire for welding is just a rod of pure 316 stainless steel.
No coatings or oil on it either when purchased.
The ends will have a stamp that reads "316".
Used for sanitary welding of pipes.
It is used in food and beverage for moving product.
Some welding supply sell in as low as a 1 pound tube.
5 pound is the norm. Rod is like 36" long.

If beer, soda, soup, etc pass through it and it's health department approved and with an NSF food grade rating I'm good with it.
SS304 also used in beverage and milk is not as high of a grade of stainless.

Stainless steel is safe for a freshwater tank as long as a magnet will not stick to it.
Many lower grades of stainless are available in the 400 series.
I would not recommend these.

Many also use SS316 mesh to attech plants and moss.
Available from Mcmaster Carr online.
Mesh is also used to guard filter inlets from fry.
Lily pipes are also available in SS but not sure what grade.
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Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 03-17-2017 at 11:31 PM. Reason: edit
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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perfect! that helps a lot. TIL about 304 and 316!
Any info on what can i use to cover, paint the SS wires so the moss steaks better? One solution that I know is to use a thin coat of super-glue and glue the moss. It would be cool to have something like a spray type glue (?) or paint.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 01:26 AM
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I cut the rod in half to 18" lengths and bend a hook on the end.
Attach 4-6 1.5-2"strands of moss with thread and a small dab of super glue on the thread.
Moving up about every two inches doing this.
Leaving the thread intact, why cut between bunches.
Hang the hook ends on the weir of filter inlet.
For me this turns into a massive moss mess, but I am propagating for several reasons.

During removal after about 3-4 months it is well attached to the stainless rod.
Beware of extreme shading! Upper moss will shade lower and then it rots away.

Being in Chicago I am sure a Robert's Oxygen or AirGas supplier is near by.

Beware of loose strands this stuff will grow anywhere.
If trimming try to take entire tree out, trim, then rinse to remove small pieces.

What type of moss?

Cotton threads rots away over time but moss is attached before it rots.
Stainless rod is drawn and very smooth prep would be required to paint it.
If not prepped paint will just peel and float around.
The rod is tough, vendor may also stock this in 1/32" and is more flexible.
Check it before you buy to make sure you can work with it.

Hope all this helps.
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Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 03-18-2017 at 01:36 AM. Reason: edit
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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very helpful! thanks a lot. I think all is clear now. Once I make a tree, I will post here the outcome.
I have now a clear idea how to proceed.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:03 PM
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Amazon has rolls of 314L SS wire in several guages. It's the same thing as 314 but with less carbon.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Kubla, got it. already ordered #2.
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