Aquascaping tips for this giant spiderwood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Aquascaping tips for this giant spiderwood

***Edited thread title rather than starting new thread***

I'm re-scaping a 45 rimless tank soon (24x18x24") and it currently has a large flat piece of Mopani wood as the only hardscape. The piece only really fits in one place -leaned against the back wall so I'm inclined to pull it out (if I can get the Buce off of it) and replace with something more branchy. I'm finding that there aren't a lot of places that sell large aquarium wood by the piece that let you see it first. My vendors carry Zoo Med and they have a "show" sized piece of spiderwood that's in the neighborhood of the right size, though pretty pricey. Naturally no one could get a photo of it for me, and Google only seems to have stock photos. Wood varies a ton obviously, but wondering if anyone has seen the ZooMed offering and had thoughts one way or the other? Any other places you may know of that sell wood you can actually pick out? Thanks in advance.

Edit, I have a piece to work with now that can be seen below. For scale, those shop floor tiles are 12". Tank is 18"x24" footprint. About 5" will have to be trimmed off unless I can turn it diagonally. Will look for a similarly sized box tomorrow and place it inside and follow up with pictures.

Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 01-24-2020 at 12:27 AM. Reason: found a piece of wood
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 07:14 PM
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Haven't tried ZooMed wood, but have used this company that allows you to pick the actual piece that you want.

Manzanita Burlworks - Aquarium Wood
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well I didn't expect to update this so quickly, but my rep was in the area and brought one by! I had emailed her for photos and she did one better. I bought it on the spot. It's going to need some pruning to fit, but exceeded my expectations.
Front:

Back:

Closeup:




Still wrapped up at the moment, but I'll get better photos before/when it is in the tank.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
Well I didn't expect to update this so quickly, but my rep was in the area and brought one by! I had emailed her for photos and she did one better. I bought it on the spot. It's going to need some pruning to fit, but exceeded my expectations.
Front:

Back:

Closeup:




Still wrapped up at the moment, but I'll get better photos before/when it is in the tank.
Oh wow! Now, thats a beautiful piece right there.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know if she cherry-picked it for me or if it was just dumb luck but I'm ridiculously happy with it. That's going to change the look of the tank so drastically and keep the two from being so similar. Thinking about planting Anubias nana petite all over it -it'd be mini leaf buce in a perfect world. But I'm worried that maybe I'll wish I hadn't and then there will be super glue all over it and unhappy plants. And I'm undecided on which side to cut it to fit the tank. And how much I should let stick out of the water. All ears if anybody out there is a good aquascaper!

I'll find or make a 24" x 18" box tomorrow and put the wood inside for a better feel. Photos incoming when I do.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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I've spent a good chunk of my morning cutting boxes to size. Tip for anyone else trying this: tape up the box beforehand and get it really nice and solid before cutting. That may be obvious to smarter people than myself but I learned that when cutting a box with little tape on it, there's a tendency for them to fall apart. I'd also advise to mark it off with a Sharpie and use a razor blade to score it before using scissors. After my third try, I got one cut within 1/4" of tank inside dimensions.


The wood is really big for the space I have, maybe too big. I plan on trimming one side or the other but both are pretty nice and it's a tough decision. Here's the box with the spiderwood in it. Even turned diagonally to fit, it still touches both sides of the "glass."


Turned the other direction, it gives a lot more visible floor space which is nice, but it is still snug for a tank that will need to be wiped down:


I am thinking that the 1st picture is more along the lines of what I'll wind up doing and the thick back side of the wood is what will be cut down 5-6" or so. Both sides may have to be trimmed though. Or I could just save this piece for one of the 125s and try to find a different one. I don't *want* to go that route, but a spectacular planted tank is the ultimate goal and I'd hate to cut too much off of this nice piece of wood just to force it to work. All thoughts or ideas appreciated. Hadn't planned on incorporating rock or other hardscape, but I'm open to it. Thanks for looking and thanks for any ideas!

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 07:26 PM
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Have you removed the plastic wrap yet? It may change the overall shape of the piece and give a clearer vision of what you're working with
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 07:34 PM
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While I am normally loath to trim wood down to size, that big thick branch on the right is not only not adding a lot to the piece but has already been cut before necessitating hiding it to begin with. I would cut it as close to the central mass as possible so the newly cut surface can be hidden in the back. This will likely give you the space you need for maintenance.

As someone who recently super glued buce all over a piece of wood, only to have most of my buce die..... I can safely say that I will not go that route again. Though I wouldn't hesitate to use cotton sewing thread to tie buce in place until it roots....
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
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...that big thick branch on the right is...not adding a lot to the piece... I would cut it as close to the central mass as possible... This will likely give you the space you need for maintenance.
I second this shorthand version of minorhero’s advice. That large piece that has been cut on both ends needs to go. You could probably use it somewhere else, giving you two pieces for the price of one.



As for super glue vs thread, I’ve had success with both. I haven’t had super glue kill Buce, but I have seen superglue let go before the plant attached itself to the wood or stone. Therefor, I prefer tying. It is a bit tedious, but the results are more consistent.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 08:53 PM
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You guys are using the Cyanoacrylate-based stuff for the glue right. In my current scape every plant has been super-glued on which includes Anubias, Buce, African Fern and H. Pinnatifida. Nothing has died, melted or come off. The glue makes everything so easy.

BRR that's a nice piece. It's hard to see in the box, but playing around with substrate levels and working the piece into it can dramatically change the look.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I really wanted to dump gravel in this box for a better feel but my wife is home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
Have you removed the plastic wrap yet? It may change the overall shape of the piece and give a clearer vision of what you're working with
Good point, I haven't only because it's serves as a nice handle while I'm moving it around. I will do that though and snap an updated photo. It doesn't feel under pressure but I'll be in for a surprise if it springs another direction once no longer bound like that. In which case, I'll probably have to zip tie it back something like it currently is.
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Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
While I am normally loath to trim wood down to size, that big thick branch on the right is not only not adding a lot to the piece but has already been cut before necessitating hiding it to begin with. I would cut it as close to the central mass as possible so the newly cut surface can be hidden in the back. This will likely give you the space you need for maintenance.
Yeah, that's the side I thought I might take a saw to. I probably didn't describe that well. If it fit better, I'd planned on just planting over and in front of it, but it not being there at all is probably a better solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knm<>< View Post
I second this shorthand version of minorhero’s advice. That large piece that has been cut on both ends needs to go. You could probably use it somewhere else, giving you two pieces for the price of one.



As for super glue vs thread, I’ve had success with both. I haven’t had super glue kill Buce, but I have seen superglue let go before the plant attached itself to the wood or stone. Therefor, I prefer tying. It is a bit tedious, but the results are more consistent.
Now that I see what you meant, that makes a lot of sense. I'll have to see how easily I can get to that joint. Might have to use a handsaw.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Plastic wrap removed. No change really, not sure why they even did that.



This isn't going to be easy to cut by hand. Might try gently using a pry bar at that joint:
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 09:18 PM
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To be clear the super glue didn't kill my buce. I had tissue culture buce that I put on wood during a dry start method in Walstad bowl. The buce mostly died during the dry start process despite me misting heavily 3-5 times a day.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 09:22 PM
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To be clear the super glue didn't kill my buce. I had tissue culture buce that I put on wood during a dry start method in Walstad bowl. The buce mostly died during the dry start process despite me misting heavily 3-5 times a day.
Oh, okay, makes sense. I have several varieties of Buce, both tissue culture and mature submerged or emerged form. My experience is tissue culture Buce is pretty weak and if it does survive, takes much longer to start rooting and producing new foliage. I try not to get them as tissue cultures now.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2020, 09:56 PM
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Flip it upside down and put the flat spot against the glass and grow a mountain of epiphytes ontop
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