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auban 11-25-2012 11:48 AM

for the past couple months, i have been working on a clado algae mat. im basically trying to get it to grow into a form that is easy to aquascape with.

it didnt take long, here are the results.

after i grow it out a floating mat of clado, i cut it into small pieces like this:

the first piece i tested looked like this the day i put it in my wifes tank:

this is what it looks like now, just a couple weeks later:

i have to trim every three days to keep it from growing too fast, but the more i trim it the thicker it gets. the hardest part so far is getting it to attach to the wood, but it grows so fast that it renders any pins or thread invisible in no time. the snails and the shrimp love it, and as an added bonus, it seems to be working as an algae scrubber. the tank has six 48inch t5 bulbs over it, and it looks nearly algae free after a full week of 24 hour lighting.

i really dont have the time to put into the hobby that i would like to, so most of my projects are the set it and forget it type. this one just happened to work as intended.

its the little victories that keep me goin... :)

Green_Flash 11-25-2012 09:33 PM

good work! I like those mats :)

auban 11-27-2012 12:31 PM

the algae is pretty easy to work with.

auban 12-02-2012 09:57 AM

i have created the Truffula tree. Dr Seuss scape anyone?

Acro 12-02-2012 11:33 AM

Very cool!
Can you tell us how you made the clado algae mat?
Also, where did you get pure caldo algae?

Crob5965 12-02-2012 12:02 PM

awesome I would love to get a little more info on what exactly you did.
It looks like you grew it out on a scouring pad but I'm not sure

chibikaie 12-02-2012 12:37 PM

I want to give it a hug.

DogFish 12-02-2012 01:56 PM

Nice project!~

I could see that in a Lake Tanganyika bio-type covering rocks.

amberoze 12-02-2012 02:25 PM

Yes, please inform on how you created the cladophora mat, as one have four large Marimo balls (I've researched and found that these are nothing more than cladophora). I'd like to make at least one of these into a mat for a carpet.

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scotty82 12-02-2012 02:37 PM

subscribed. I'm curious to how this was done also. Very cool.

auban 12-02-2012 08:53 PM

the mat is pure clado. it was not grown onto a scouring pad or any other substrate. i had been trying to grow some cladophora algae into a mat for a while now, but it was by complete accident that i learned how.

first of all, i have been keeping hair algae(cladophora) in my E. Gilberti tank for a while now. the fish like to lay their eggs in the fine strands, plus it gives the fry something to hide in until i find them. a few weeks ago, i set up a new tank and added amano shrimp into it to help control the algae while it gets established. after the amanos wiped out all the cyano, i added some clado from the gilberti tank to feed them.

here is where the magic happened; the bubbles from the small filter i had in the new tank kept getting caught in the drifting clumps of hair algae and made them float. since the amano shrimp just went up to the top to eat it, i decided to let it grow. as it grew, it trapped more bubbles and ended up spreading out. it didnt take too long for it to grow into a dense mat of pure hair algae.

when i saw it grew into a dense pad, shredded a marimo ball and sprinkled the algae on top and let it grow for a couple weeks, untill the hair algae started growing up through it. i then flipped it over and let it grow for another week so that the clado from the marimo would grow back up through the mat. the result was a relatively tough pad that has at least two different types of clado in it. when it is cut into thin strips, it keeps its form just as well as a scouring pad would.

by accident and a little experimenting, i have created an algae pad that is easy to scape with. :)

the algae pad was grown under high ferts, high 24/7 lighting, and CO2 injection. it took about two weeks to go from a golf ball size clump to a mat the size of a dinner plate and about a cm thick.

amberoze 12-03-2012 03:49 PM

I don't have there ferts, high lights, or Co2, but if I put a marimo ball over my aerator, do you think it would work? Would the bubbles keep the ball in place above the air stone? It's that how it worked for you?

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auban 12-04-2012 09:12 AM

i doubt you would end up with a mat of algae if you just put an aerator below a marimo ball. i first grew a more aggressive type of hair algae into a mat and used it as a matrix for the shredded marimo algae to grow in. this allowed me to infuse the marimo type clado into the mat without ending up with a bunch of tiny marimo balls. i think there is another type of algae in there as well, but i have lacked the time and motivation to pull out my microscope for verification. ill probably get to that soon.

growing the algae into a mat involves using a long stranded fast growing clado to form a thin sheet and then using a shorter algae to cause it to form a dense mat. it ends up having the feel of rough wool. if i wanted to, i could cut it and make cloth out of it.

since there are two different types of algae, i should be able to modify its environment somehow so that the faster long stranded algae dies off, leaving the attractive short fluffy stuff behind. the marimo clado can survive with very low light, so i may just try scaping with the algae pads and turning the lights down low and reduce photoperiod long enough to kill off all the faster growing stuff. that would leave me with just aquascaped marimo that is attached to driftwood and such.

marimo balls are strange things, they consist of an algae that grows incredibly slowly when in the form of a ball, but much faster when its shredded into individual strands. hopefully, i can come up with a way to quickly create an entire tank decorated with neatly placed and well behaved algae.

that idea kinda stomps on the idea of algae being a nuissance in an aquarium...
then again, so does a marimo ball.

keithy 12-04-2012 12:41 PM

great work! I am by no means an algae fan, but this could be something useful and a good starting point for marimo mats. Thank you for sharing.

brinks 12-04-2012 12:55 PM

doesn't the algae spread throughout the tank?

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