This new decor is visually very appealing, and should offer loads of possibilities for aquascaping - but it can be awkward to work with says Nathan Hill.
I’m fascinated by this stuff, and I’m currently on the fence whether I love it or not in my latest layout.
Visually, it’s lovely. It has tangles of miniature roots, and the red hue is unlike most other woods available in the trade.
On the downside, it takes ages to sink, and I mean ages. I have two pieces I’m playing with, one of which eventually stayed down after being pinned under a rock for two weeks, the other I gave up on after the third week.
What I like is the way that compared to other woods I’ve used, there seems to be minimal leaching, and my water is the same colour as it was before I added it. That surprised me given the size of the piece used.
I also note that the wood hasn’t sprouted any of the annoying mould that I sometimes get on other real woods. In fact, the floating aside, it’s been well behaved, not altering water chemistry, and not turning crumbly and leaving me with debris, as I’ve become so used to experiencing.
From the angle of positioning it, I’ve found it to be a bit of a swine. Those attractive roots like to snag and catch on things as I try to position it, and personally I’ve struggled to make it look in any way natural. For the committed aquascaper with plenty of time to incorporate a design around it, it’ll be amazing, but for a simple addition to a tank it’s hard to orient it in a way that doesn’t look alien.
Awkward to work with, but ultimately rewarding if put to proper use. Prepare to pay a little more for it though.
Price: Varies hugely between stores, but expect about £10 for a smaller piece upwards. Kitting out a 1m tank with it may set you back £70 or more if heavily used. Available through J and K Aquatics.
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