Positioning Floating Plants

Frolicsome_Flora

Guru Class Expert
Jan 12, 2007
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Last night when I was staring at my algae I had a great idea for holding floating plants where you want them, thought Id share it.

1) Take about 18 inches of silicon tubing and form a circle out of it, leaving a tail of about 3 inches on one end.

2) Glue the circle together with some contact glue.

3) In each end, squeeze in a polystyrene bead of about the right size and glue in place.

4) Position it where youd like the floating plants to be placed, and anchor the tail to the side of the tank above the water line. (I placed it under the edge of the cover glass, but you could do all sorts). Then just throw as much of the plant into the lassoo you like.


Now Ive been able to place rafts of Riccia over low light plants where I want it, even with pretty reasonable surface movement, the plants stay put while allowing water flow underneath them as normal. You could make the lassoo any size you like.

Maybe this is has been done lots of times before, but I thought Id share anyway. :)
 

Frolicsome_Flora

Guru Class Expert
Jan 12, 2007
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Dorset, UK
Once the Riccia has grown up a bit you wont see the tubing at all, and from the front view of the tank you cant see it anyway as the tubing floats right on the water line, ill do some pics a bit later and post them to show you how it looks out of the tank :)
 

Frolicsome_Flora

Guru Class Expert
Jan 12, 2007
351
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Dorset, UK
lassoo.jpg


Sorry about the camera shake on the last one from underneath, my tripod wouldnt drop down enough to get the angle. And please excuse my partly eaten Riccia, the angel fish have moved out now!

If you have trouble shaping the tubing, get 2 cereal bowls, fill one with boiling water, one with cold. Hold the tubing (already glued) in the boiling water, minding your fingers, for about a minute to soften the tubing, then put it into the cold bowl to set it. I did it about 1/4 at a time, using the bowl bottom shape as a mold.

I used blue cos I didnt have any clear tubing, but you could use any, the polystyrene beeds in the ends stops water getting in and sinking the tubing.

Eventually, the Riccia (or whatever) would grow over it and around it, so its only a short time youd see the tubing at all. But depending on your water level, your not going to see it from the front anyway.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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If you use powerheads and spray bars, you can create all sorts of patterning with floating plants, I used water sprite, maybe 25-30 years ago this way with my old Aqua King power filter HOB.

I saw this done with two ehiems on a 60 gallon tank using Salvinia and he made a very nice darkened section in the front and had the light blasting in the rear where the stem plants where.

You can use things other than silicone tubing, that stuff is gastly:p
Try bamboo, driftwood that never sinks, cork is extremely effective for 10 or more years and looks natural and moss and many other things will attach.

Regards,
Tom Barr