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Posted By: Martin Thoene <martin.thoene@lakenheath.af.mil>
Date: Monday, 25 October 1999, at 5:47 p.m.

In Response To: Re: The roots in the clown tank. (Dave Guest)

This will be very familiar to Scarlett, because we've discussed these before off-forum.

I live in an area that is surrounded by masses of forestry known as the Thetford Forest. If I hop on my Mountain Bike, I can be in the forest in 2 minuites from my house.

When the trees reach marketable size they are felled en-mass and shortly after the root-balls are ripped from the ground by some powerful machine and piled up to dry out. Lately they've been returning about 6 months later and chipping them down as garden mulch, but there are areas in the forest with really old piles. These have fully dried out, and the thin bark-like covering is mainly falling off.

The enterprising Aquarist (me) goes out into the forest with saw in hand and removes attractive pieces. They need a lot of cleaning sometimes as the soil around here is very chalky, but once washed they are great in tanks. I tie them together and weight down to a rock. After a few weeks they are fully waterlogged, and can then be re-arranged to suit without the rock being necessary.

They are some sort of Conifer,(no idea which species) but I have never had any problem with leaching tannins or any other nasty into the water. The roots in the photo have been in my tanks for about 5-6 years now and have survived various Plec- attacks quite easily. I've never had any problem with fungasing of the wood.


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