moss rope ladder - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 111 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 01:59 PM
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That Fissiden rope looks awesome!

FUNction over form
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post #17 of 111 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 02:43 PM
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Love the subwasserthingy and fissiden ropes. Also love the idea of kelpy forest. Refreshing and innovative idea in what, to me, seems to have become a creatively stagnant hobby.
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post #18 of 111 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AlGee View Post
Refreshing and innovative idea in what, to me, seems to have become a creatively stagnant hobby.
awww Algee, what a nice thing to write, thank you
now you've inspired me to show off my next original DIY project here on PTF.
it's my "rock string ornament" which I hinted to on another thread last Month.
Some day I'll get more clear photography work done, so I can post a new DIY thread,
that I hope will inspire more people to "think outside the box" errr I mean tank

Last edited by spypet; 09-13-2007 at 11:12 PM. Reason: added tank photo
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post #19 of 111 (permalink) Old 07-13-2007, 10:39 PM
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Okay... I finally did it!

Of course, the first one looks terrible. I tried kinda laying long strips of moss along the string as I braided... not good. Maybe it will fill out later, but I have a bad feeling I will have to undo that one. I guess it really is important to braid in little tufts instead of laying it along the string.

The next 5 got better and better. I even braided some little baby java ferns into one!

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish

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post #20 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Since this thread has kinda doubled as a Thai Red Claw Crab resource,
I'd like to answer some questions in public I got PM'ed for your benefit.

1. Do I need to cycle the tank for them?
maybe - crabs get hyper sensitive right before and after they molt, and when you buy crabs you never know when that period is, so I would cycle at least 2 weeks before risking it.

2. Are you adding salt to your tank?
yes - but only 1 teaspoon every 5 gallons.
despite what many post, I have found that half of all fine leaf plants may melt at 1 teaspoon every 2 gallons.

3. Are you conducting water changes and adding salt afterward?
yes - but the fewer animals in your tank, and better filter media system you use, the less often you need to water change after the first Month of new tank cycling. keep track of the water you change including the water lost during canister filter service, so you keep the salt replacement ratio consistant, but don't panic if you make a minor salt over or under as most of your fish and plants are forgiving of such things. remember to never add salt to the water you top off simply to replace evaporation. since crabs appreciate the iodine to ease molting, you can use table salt, but it's preferred by most, especially for your plants sake, to use marine salt which includes useful trace ferts, and then dose the iodine separately.

4. Do they eat your plants!?
generally no - but I have found that plant location and type is key. don't plant anything within an inch of the glass or an inch around the base of rocks and wood. crabs like feeling something behind them as they move, so if plant stems are in their way along the very surfaces they keep their backs to, they may cut down those plant obstacle's they find along their preferred sidewalks.
crabs will eat plant dead plant debris, but they occasionally mistake soft hollow stems and feather leaf plants as debris, so avoid soft hollow stem plants such as Anachris, and feathery leaf plants such as Cabomba and Myriophyllum. these crabs are not diggers, so don't worry about your foreground carpet plants, as long as they are out of their one inch crab sidewalks.

a new tip for anyone combining crabs with my moss ropes;
try to position the rope top and/or water flow where it catches some of your plant debris left floating at the water surface. the crabs love to munch on such debris while they are above the water line taking a breather.


since I'm posting here, I may as well update you on my latest moss rope projects;

weeping moss - second Month of filling in but moss still not weeping. I will update when it does.
used single rope with fishing line tie down.

Fissidens splachnobryoides - just started a new rope, will update in 2-3 Months.
used three braided ropes with plants stuffed between the braid seams.

japan marimo ball cladophora - just started two new ropes, will update in 2-3 Months.
rope 1 - sliced the ball surface into long strips, then lashed them along a single rope with fishing line.
rope 2 - soaking a rope coiled around the bottom of a small glass container full of clado spore from the balls center. later to be transfered to a regular planted tank once clado growth on the nylon is observed. if nylon is found to inhibit growth, I may try a tan color natural fiber manila or sisal rope.


a dozen people have PM'ed me regarding doing their own moss ropes.
please don't be bashful, and post clear visible progress photos here.
be patient, it takes a good 3 Months for your ropes to look presentable.


FYI: here is the fine clear fishing line I prefer using;
this same seller has fine clear line in different weights.
for lashing, 1lb is fine. for hanging & lashing, 4lb is best.
for hanging rock string ornaments, you must use 10lb line.
careful to order the Trilene Clear, not the Blue by accident.

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post #21 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 02:42 PM
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Hey Spypet,

Tried doing a couple of ropes on my shrimp tank last night and it looks awsome ! I can see my shrimp now and they couldn't wait for me to lower the ropes all the way before they came and investigated them. Looks so much better having the different types of ropes (I have the fissidens and that sub... stuff too) Then having the plants all over the bottom of the tank. We'll see if I attached it tight enough though. I did it pretty losely so as not to damage the leaves. I used a small quartz rock to weigh down the line.
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post #22 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-06-2007, 03:35 PM
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I've found RCC don't *need* salt, mine in my terrarium are fine w/out it.
they do like to munch dead plants, and will eat some plants.

mine seem to spend more time out of water than in, and they are very stubborn escapees.

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post #23 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 08:33 PM
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hey guys. Great idea spypet, the moss ladders are an ingenious invention! I am going to make one (or two) for the 125Gal I setup, but was wondering if any of you guys know whether its ok to use Nylon/Polyester rope...Its the only kind I could find without ordering online, and it's called "Twisted Nylon Rope" from Lehigh (got it at wallmart). On the back it says "100% Mixed fibers: Nylon, polyester." I'll also be using regular Java Moss for this project, as the fancy aquarium store did not have any other kind. I'd love to get the right stuff but just don't have much time left...trying to get this project done!

BTW spypet, you're right about the RCC munching on debris. When I started having problems with smaller fish getting sucked up into the overflow, I made some netting (out of that mesh potato bag ), and put it around the overflow. It has since been trapping a lot of things, including food. The crabs use this place on a daily basis to get out of the water, and have a snack . Its very easy to get to from the driftwood and the return jets. I'll try to post some pics of it here soon.
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post #24 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Nylon and Polypropylene are both petroleum product plastics.
they are completely aquarium safe. select fine stem plants
will melt when in contact with plastic, but not any mosses.

Ukrainetz; since your TRCC already have a way to get up to
the surface, be patient with the ropes as it may take them
a few weeks to discover and utilize them on a regular basis.

Last edited by spypet; 01-22-2008 at 03:28 AM. Reason: polypropylene corrected from polyester
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post #25 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 09:05 PM
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Perfect, I will start the project asap and post pics! Thank you
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post #26 of 111 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 10:16 PM
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omg awesome im gonna do this
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post #27 of 111 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by spypet View Post
I'm starting to experiment with aluminum wire to add rigidity to nylon rope so I can bend it into any shape I want.
Have you gotten anywhere with the posing of the rope and wire? I wanted to make an arch with either weeping or fissiden. Wanted to check on your progress.

Would it be ok to share a copy of this thread with my fish forum? Please advise Thanks

Last edited by Crystalview; 09-09-2007 at 05:42 PM.
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post #28 of 111 (permalink) Old 09-26-2007, 04:28 PM
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How are your rock string ornaments progressing? I would love to know more about them!

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post #29 of 111 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 03:58 PM
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New to the site, but this was the first DIY project that caught my eye, it's bloody brilliant.
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post #30 of 111 (permalink) Old 11-24-2007, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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