Thought it was about time to start a new project since my vacation is soon here. This time I am going to explore the wonderful realm of moss-walls.
Nothing new here you think, just slap up some plastic mesh on the back and be done with it, but nooooo. Way to easy and under-complicated for my taste!
Currently I have a Juwel 3D background installed. There is nothing wrong with it, looks rather good actually. But I have grown bored of the sand-brown color and I think it makes the tank look very narrow or rather the perception of depth is negatively affected.
It is also rather flat and feels lifeless. I have tried to remedy this by attaching moss to it but not liking how it looks and the moss does not really seem to like it. Sure the moss wall will look flat as well but I am hoping one can cut it into a more natural looking form and that it will feel more living and something fish and shrimp can interact more with. And since I have ordered 7 bags of Aqua-Soil and planing a re-scape this feel like the perfect time!
Initial plans and vision
My first thought was just to attach some plastic mesh-net to the background and that was that. But the more I thought about it the more I wanted to remove my current background and do something more living and interesting.
So my plan as it stand now is to build a frame and cover this with netting all over.
What I want
1. Be able to attach moss and other plants easily to it.
2. Be black or dark so it will not attract attention from the viewer
3. House my filter intake,outblow,heater, surface skimmer and PH/Temp probe.
4. The gadget housing should be placed in the center of the tank and not look to "squareish"
My first thought was to use an aluminum frame and use plastic 90 degree thingies to attach it. Luckily I did some research and came to the conclusion that metals in the tank would best be avoided with the exception for titanium. But since I want to make this as cheap as I possible can titanium is out of the question.
Many hours looking for plastic frames later I gave up and just surfed around the net for random aquarium gadgets. Came across a Swedish reef store by mistake and saw their permanent plumbing section and my frame was secured.
The frame will be built from aquarium plumbing pipes and accessories. The dimension will be 20mm pipes since it is somewhat hard to find accessories to smaller dimensions and I also do not want it to be to flimsy.
The following part has been ordered/bought and I will have them in week 30.
This will be the main part of the frame, Pipe 20mm (dark grey)
Different assortment of accessories
to be able to connect it and also build the protruding gadget housing. Inner diameter 20mm, outer 26,5mm (dark grey)
, bought two types. One is flexible and have a mesh size from 1,5-2,5mm. Not sure if it is fabric or synthetic. If it is fabric it would be a poor choice and I am not sure about its elastic properties either.
The other one is a plastic mesh, it is firm and won't stretch. Mesh size is 1,4x1,6mm and should not be able to pass fry, shrimp and small fish. The firm one will probably be the easiest to work with.
That is about how far I have gotten so far.
I have some concerns and possible solutions to those concerns. And I will have to make some decisions on the fly later on as the build goes on.
Here are some thoughts and concerns etc that I would like some input and thoughts on.
1 .I am planing to only use one layer of mesh and partially push in parts of the moss into the mesh holes for them to attach and hope for them to attach better as they grow.
2. Have not yet decided on a moss type but will probably not only go with one but mix a couple of them in different "zones".
3.The corners from the pipe frame when covered with net will not have an air gap underneath and thus making it impossible to push in moss there. I have some different thoughts on this.
I either dress these in cut of small/long pieces of moorwood/red moorwood (the rest of the tank will be rescaped with this wood type as well) in a eye-pleasing way.
Or attach moss here as well but using superglue instead.
Or installing some kind of thin plastic bar underneath to create a water gap between the net and the pipe.
4.Thinking if I should try to create some kind of depth difference in the netting to make it less flat or if one just should keep it flat and instead cut the mosses into form later instead.
5.Maybe would be nice to install some smaller pieces into the netting as well to plant other species on like anubias etc to make it look more alive?
Will keep this thread updated as I progress in the project.
And lets hope it does not come to a screeching halt due to me not being able to remove the current background since I used more silicone than I needed
Thanks for reading!