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Fastening Riccia to Plastic Mesh

In our tank we had riccia growing on three small stones, fastened with
fishing line. The growth was nice, but the line slipped off the smooth
stones when they were taken up for trimming. I thought of using needlepoint
mesh as a base for securing the riccia, but I was concerned that the soft
mesh would decay in time (and might be treated with substances best avoided
in a tank. At the arts & crafts store, I found sheets of 22 x 14" plastic
needlepoint mesh that is fairly rigid. Smaller pieces of mesh is also sold
in various shapes and colors. 

I removed the three riccia mats from the stones, flatten them by hand, and,
using needle and fishing line, tacked them to a piece of plastic mesh cut
from the large rectangle to the size of the approx. 6 x 8" area I wanted to
cover. http://www.knology.net/~jweinberger/aquarium/riccia2.htm shows the
plastic mat with the 4 pieces of riccia mat sewn on (three of the starting
mats were kept whole and was was cut into two pieces for better coverage).

The next picture, http://www.knology.net/~jweinberger/aquarium/riccia3.htm
shows at the top the mat two weeks later. The mat came up easily for when I
wanted to trim the riccial. Below in the same picture you can see the mat
as it appears today, a week later. The riccia has grown up to the edges. I
took it up to tack down the border. While the riccia is well entangled with
itself, it does not seem to attach itself by growth to the mesh. You can
put gravel over the very edges or nestle the mesh down a bit to hide the
edges of the plastic. 

The plastic has several advantages: 

You can tack down the ricca at any point
Unlike hairnet, there is no chance of fish becoming entangled in it -- 
Even if the riccia should detach, the fishing line will remain attached to
the mesh
The mesh won't decay
It comes up easily without disturbing the riccia
It should make shipping for sales and trade easier
The plastic mesh is light, but doesn't float and it can be easily cut to
any shape with a scissors

Jared Weinberger                    jweinberger at knology_net  
______    http://www.knology.net/~jweinberger/     ________