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Re: Positioning Driftwood...

On Sun, 10 Sep 2000 18:33:56 -0400  "Gitte" <heinesen at bigfoot_com> wrote:
>Okay, now you guys really have me worried.  I have a big piece of driftwood
>on a piece of slate that I put directly on the tank bottom of my 50-gal
>planted tank.  Are you telling me I need to dismantle the tank and put
>egg-crate between the slate and glass?  Please say no.

Of course not.  To somehow believe that putting the slate on a piece of eggcrate
lessens weight on the tank bottom is just nuts.  What it *can* do is distribute
that weight more evenly.  This usually isn't a problem as far as I'm concerned.
Not with the pieces of slate I've seen used for holding down driftwood.

To add to this.  If the piece of eggcrate you place under the slate is the same
size as the slate, it will do absolutely nothing except increase the weight on
that spot of glass.  If it is smaller, then you are actually concentrating the
weight on an even smaller area - bad.  To "distribute" the load you need a piece
that is larger than the footprint of the weight you're putting on it.  And you
shouldn't be putting anything else on it or you will again be defeating its
purpose (ie. don't line the bottom of your tank with eggcrate thinking it's
going to save your ass :)

Next, the wood is buoyant.  That's why it's secured to the slate.  It's going to
lessen the effective weight of the decoration in your tank.  Most people that
put together these little decorations also use a fair-sized piece of slate (in
terms of area) and it's usually also not very thick.  It's not going to
significantly affect the "pressure" at the bottom of your tank.  Do people put a
piece of eggcrate under each rock they drop into their tank?

Just use some common sense and place decorations that are proportionally sized
to your tank and the thickness of its glass.  ie.  If you have a 15 gallon tank,
don't put a 2" x 2" pole in the middle of the tank, sticking up five feet with a
10 pound bowling ball balanced on it.  Well, you probably shouldn't do that to
any tank anyway. :)

as a last precaution, if you don't feel safe and you don't want to root through
your substrate, just tie some high tensile steel cable to your driftwood and
loop the other end through a hook or something in your ceiling.  Then just pull
it taught enough so there is no load on the bottom of your tank. :)