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Re: Positioning Driftwood

Let's see if I can follow up to James and offer Paul some info at the same

On Sat, 9 Sep 2000 16:45:00 -0500  "James Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com> Wrote:

>I'd put the driftwood in place first, before you shovel in the gravel.

Good idea if you're setting up a new tank and you have everything with you when
you're setting it up.  Easier than clouding everything up and generally
disturbing your substrate later.

>To protect the bottom glass from any possible damage from the slate base, you
>can use a piece of plastic needlpoint canvas

This is a good idea in principle for one reason you suggested.  It can reduce
the amount of scratching to the bottom of your tank if you move things about a

>On new tanks I usually cover the entire bottom of the tank with this stuff -
>it helps (a bit) even out any pressure from rocks or driftwood

I would (with a very educated guess) estimate that it would provide a negligible
relief of pressure, simply because of its thin nature and the fact that you're
lining your entire tank with it and putting the same pressure elements on it
that would go into your tank anyway - including the gravel.  It's not the same
effect to be had from placing a piece of rigid eggcrate that is significantly
larger than the rock or weight sitting on it.  The eggcrate won't flex (to the
degree of the thin plastic needlepoint stuff) and will distribute the weight
more evenly.  With the plastic you mention, you'll find the weight still
concentrated primarily under the objects in question.

My other tidbit regarding the plastic...  And it isn't to ask how on earth you
came to even find/try this material.  I have actually used it for some graphics
projects while in school a few years back.  My concern relates to its toxicity.
The material I had was purchased at a crafts store (like Michaels) and had a
distinct awful smell that never left it.  With the stuff I had, I would be
concerned about possible leaching of toxins into the water - albeit below the
substrate.  Your mileage may vary.

Next..  For Paul.  With regards to your specific problem.  It seems to me that
you are best served with your slate/driftwood NOT sitting on the bottom of the
aquarium.  But at the same time you want a stable footprint for it.  My
suggestion is to raise the wood to the point where you want it and maintain a
stable base.  I have two suggestions for this.

The first is to place some layers of eggcrate under the slate to lift it to
where you want it.  Make the bottom layer of eggcrate larger than the slate to
distribute the weight if you'd like.  The drawback that this has is that it
lessens the depth of substrate around the piece of wood.  

My better suggestion involves removing the wood from the slate.  Is the wood
screwed into the slate or glued?  If it has a screw, then it's very simple.
Remove the screw and find a piece of wood about the same size as the base of
your wood (ie. small footprint).  Attach that piece of wood to the driftwood and
then attach it to the slate base.  This allows you to put the slate at/near the
bottom yet have the driftwood higher up to make planting more

If the driftwood is glued to the slate, then carefully remove it and follow the
directions above.  This time either glue the thing back onto the slate with an
epoxy or drill a hole or two in the slate (very carefully so not to crack it -
might want to use a masonry bit) and then attach the things together.

Good luck.  Now how about more CO2 regulator discussions? :)