Low cost tank decor that looks real.....almost.

By Kyle May
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Kyle May
Posts: 1512
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: NothEast Ohio, USA

Low cost tank decor that looks real.....almost.

Post by Kyle May » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:37 am

I've been wanting to share this a way for you to save money on tank decorationg with you for a long time.
This isn't a fresh idea of mine, but rather one I stole from Dan Woodland....so credit must go to him if you like this idea.
In my mind the guy is pure genious and over the past few years he has saved me enough money by borrowing his ideas that
I can almost afford a vacation home on a small island somewhere. Take that as you will, but I think credit is due here.
I love the look of plants in the aquarium. They give life to stark landscapes, soften the edges of the rocks, and give the fish
hiding places to make them feel more comfortable. It is impossible to accurately recreate the surroundings for most of the fish we
keep, especially those river dwellers who live in muddy places. But adding plants to tanks that hold fish that would normally have them
in their environs is not such a bad thing. The fish won't care that these are not the plants from their original Bioscape and will appreciate
the comfort they will feel from having plants within which to hide...notice the pic below of a couple of my Severums peeking out from behind the foliage.

One thing about the pics to follow. They were taken while I was setting up a new 150 gallon tank. The tank was fairly clean but had some sand clinging to the sides.
For fear of scratching the tank glass, I did not want to remove the sand until I filled the tank, so obviously the tank was dry for the photos. Gimme a break on this please.

Here are the Severums in the planted tank. Understandibly many Cichlids will eat plants and this is why these are Silk. Why silk? I'll tell you more in a minute.
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You know that I love to save money in my fishroom. I love plants too. I hate that the plants in the Local Fish Store are expensive and that they often are too small to properly
deocorate a large tank. I'd go broke trying to buy plants like the ones in these photos at an aquarium store. Buying silk plants in the local craft store and modifying them for aquarium
use can save a bundle of money. They haven't hurt my fish, they haven't faded after long periods in the water and being exposed to my lights. I buy these plants out of season when they are
90% or more off. I remove the bases that the florists/crafters use to secure the plants in vases and then attach them to rocks for bases in my tanks. Various methods will work, but basically I shove them through a hole, zip tie the stalks together and then bend out the bases so that they will not pull back through. Take a look at the following picks that show pretty clearly how it’s done. I decorated the 150
gal tank for about $2. Another thing that makes these plants different than regular aquarium plants is that they don’t have bases that need to be held down by gravel. They’re also softer than plastic plants and look much more realistic. Take a look and see what you think.
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Kyle May
Kyle May
Ohio Cichlid Association
Northern Ohio, USA

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