The Mopani Root Monster

6 November 2011

I’ve always wanted wood in my tank, but decided against it due to the sheer amount of time and mucking about it takes to prepare the stuff. It seemed like too much hassle when getting the tank started. But it’s been a while since then, and when I spotted a nicely shaped piece of mopani root for £1.99 in an outlet store I brought it home and stuck it in a bucket, where it’s spent the last month soaking.

Mopani Root - Top View

Submerged wood releases tannins, which turns water into the colour of tea. The purpose of pre-soaking the wood is to extract as much of the colour as possible before the wood goes into the main tank. It’s been a pain in the butt changing the water in the bucket day in day out, but it’s finally got the the point where the worst of it is out and the root is ready to go in the tank. It will still continue to release tannins into the water so there will be a permenant brown tinge, I’ll have to see what I think of that. I’ve got some unused bags of carbon from the old filter I can chuck in if I need to which should remove the colour from the water if it’s too powerful.

Mopani Root - Side View

Fishies were somewhat apprehensive of the giant dark brown sprawling monster that has taken up residence in the centre of their tank, but while I’ve been pulling the terrible photos off my camera Kio’s gone in for a closer look. I thought I’d have to keep an eye on them to see if they get used to it, but I think it’s okay. I’ve tied what’s left of the Java Fern onto it; the plant hasn’t been doing well and I haven’t figured out why yet. It’s an absolute pain tying knots in cotton with cold hands, but I think the end result was worth it.

Pictures another time; artificial light and camera aren’t playing ball.

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