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Dripping backgrounds

ROlesen104 at aol_com asked about weeping springs or caves or creek banks
as models for aquaterria-


I have used cork bark (not cork tiles) for this and also tree fern
fiber.  The cork bark worked better long-term, but is more difficult to
set originally (if you do not presoak it, it will warp/distort as it
absorbs moisture; if you do, it is difficult to attach- Catch 22).  The
tree fern was a great success in growing climbing fern and emerse
Anubias, but is very easily contaminated with algae, molds, and
liverworts- any/all of which can be a real pest in this sort of set-up.
If you want a wall of Java Moss however, I'd recommend it.

The growing medium with which I have the best success is long grain
sphagnum moss.  No inherent nutrient value whatsoever, but an incredible
nutrient sponge for any added nutrients.  Nutrient supplements seem for
me to block most of the sphagnum from sprouting, low nutrient tanks will
have the moss redevelop beautifully- red growth under strong light.

For water recirculation I have been most happy with air driven systems:
tubing from the base of the tank over the back to drop to the floor (use
hard tubing bends for the over-the-top portions), rise to below the base
of the tank to a simple old-fashioned air-lift (large version of a
thistle tube with narrow bore at the top, silicone or rubber stopper
with two holes, one small for an airline to connect to an airstone,
large hole for the return water tube.  Add flex tubing from the top of
the thistle tube to go back over the rim to whatever your release point
will be.  The top of the airstone chamber must be below the water level
of the tank.  If airstone replacement is needed, remember to raise it
before opening. <g>

I have grown to hate all air pumps (noise), so now use old Eheim 2013
canisters- a higher flow, but still far from firehose. I don't have the
data on the lowest flows available from canisters currently in
production, sorry.