So finally an update on the Moss-Wall ! Sorry for the long delay, it has been finished and in use for some time now but just haven't had the time to sit down and write this post.
Went ahead with some 10mm pipe for aquarium plumbing use and decided to use the firm mosquito netting, the stretchy one was not firm enough, slacked and when I tried to attach it the mesh holes stretched and became to big for my taste.
Had a couple of hickups on the way and will point them out further down. So will take you through the build using the pics I took during it, more fun than reading a wall of text!
So this is how I started out, built a simple rectangle just to test the sturdiness of the piping. No noticeable sagging when stood up and felt more sturdy then I expected.
Some of the parts I ordered, the gray pipes was a much brighter grey then expected but I though that after I put the mesh over and infront of them it would maybe not be so notable.
Measured out the rectangle to the aquarium size also added a tech area in the middle where pipes, heaters, surface skimmer etc could be hidden from sight.
Added some vertical pipes to the left and right for further stability and easier attachment of the net.
Started measuring out the netting and ways to attach it. Superglue on the backside of the frame was the easiest solution. Also added a small "handlebar" on one of the vertical bars. Thought with this was to have an attaching point for driftwood. Looked ugly and was removed later on as I worked on the wall.
Sideview of the netting. Was really easy to work with when attaching using small dabs of superglue. Was a little bit of hassle to get it straight though. Had a tendency to "wander" and be missaligned in the ends.
First mayor setback was when I was gonna place the above frame down for testing and I realized I had forgot all about my two tank braces.............. So there was no way in hell it was going down into the tank. Raged a bit and back to the drawing board. Decided to make two cuts on each side on the wall and insert a piece of a pen shell (!) into the pipe. This made it so I could fold the two cut off sides and then just push it together when in the tank, doing this vertically across the depth of the tank I could still keep the snug and exact fit to length of the tank. Had to tear off all the netting once again and cut a new piece to fit this design. No glues points near the fold points to give the two sides more "moveability". When I got it into the tank It worked but I realized that the grey color of the pipes would not be hidden enough so I took the hard decision to once again
tear of the netting and glue some layers of the netting on the parts of the frame that were to be submerged.
At this point I also decided to grab my dremel and cut the old filterbox for the Juwel tank, wanted the meshed part for the skimmer at the top and the netting would not hide the equipment enough for my liking. Ended up really well, some loctite there as well to keep it in place (not sure what one would to without loctite?)
Frame submersible parts "dressed" with netting, did not cover the top of the frame since it will be above the surface at all times.
Netted again and took out a hole after some precise measuring for the filter outlets.
After some serious gluing I finally got it down into the tank. Fit really well and stands really firm without attaching it to something.
Plants for attaching on the wall, took some various mosses to try out and plant in different areas on the net.
Decided against Java moss due to its invasive growing, it is forever banned from my tanks !
Moss interesting was the fontinalis and the coral moss. Some other rhizome plants in the bags as well for roots I plan to add to the wall. Can add all the plants I used if anyone is interested.
When I was to remove the wall for planting I realized I had to do something about the intakes and outflows from the filter so I cut out some square holes in the tank frame for them to slide in to. A big plus so I can actually close the back lid!
Wall removed and started to attach the moss to the wall, here I unfortunately got into "the zone" and forgot to take pics for extended periods. Here I already cut and fixed the driftwood and attached it to the wall using steel wire for outdoor use covered with green plastic.
Started attaching the fontinalis, my initial plan was to "thread" the moss through the net but I had been at it for 9 hours and my patience was exhausted. So I glued it with small amounts of superglue instead. Went much faster but I spent another 5(!) hours planting mosses on the net.
Attaching some moss to the wood.
Left side area for spiky moss (same on the right side) to its right fontinalis. Above and below that some weeping moss.
Unfortunately the planting was so time consuming I forgot to take any more pics of the progress. Did not realize this until I was finished and the wall was in the tank. Took a final pic of the wall installed. Here you can see the moss zones and various plants attached to the driftwood.
Plants list and status
Anubias 'Petite' - Growing with some algae issues
Azolla filiculoides - "Deadish"
Bolbitis heudelotii - Dead
Bucephalandra 'Wavy Green' - Growing with some algae issues
Fontinalis antipyretica - Dead apart for some stragglers
Hydrocotyle tripartita - Growing and healthy
Riccardia chamedryfolia - Covered with algae
Taxiphyllum 'Spiky' - Growing and looking healthy
Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping' - Almost all dead or overtake by algae
Today I did some cleaning of the wall and replanting planned on taking some pics but started measuring light levels instead. And the water was a bit hazy anyway after the maintenance so visibilty would not be the best. Will take some pics tomorrow after lights on before I go to work to give you and updated view.
There has been some issues with the wall. Most of the Weeping moss has died off, not sure why maybe it could not handle the glow. Same goes for the fontinalis, just some stragglers that took rest fell of or died. The riccardia is trying but covered in algae, most likely since I planted it on roots to close to the surface and light. The spiky moss has filled out really nice and covers the areas planned. Not sure what to do with the bare areas, if I should try the same species again and hope for the best or try something else. But all in all I am pleased and it is starting to look really nice.
I am starting to realize it will be a high maintenance thing though. Keeping the mosses trimmed, and trimming mosses is a pain since you end up with moss pieces everywhere.
I am planning a new scape in the tank so there is currently no substrate and just some plastic lunch boxes with some plants I am going to keep in them (my Pelvicachromis pulcher pair really likes placing their eggs and fry in the boxes
Not sure if this is contributing with the growth issues on some of species. Maybe the tank balance is totally off from it, not sure... Irritating when plants die off so fast, some of them are kinda expensive.
Well that's it for now, will update with more pics as soon as I can and as usual thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions !