Aquascaping is something aquarium hobbyists or even you, a little fish tank owner, would be interested in. Not only is it good for your fish, but it is also an exhilarating activity.
Before dabbing into it, you need to decide which aquarium driftwood to use. One of the common ones people have used is the spider wood or azalea roots.
Spider wood isn’t harmful to your fish; in fact, it provides some health benefits to your fish and serves other purposes. However, setting it up requires that you know what you’re doing.
More details on how to set up in this article. Read on to find out.
Benefits of Spider Wood Aquarium
What is the best way to set up your terrarium fish tank without some spider wood? Your terrariums can come alive with a touch of spider wood in your tank.
Spider wood aquarium serves a couple of benefits such as:
- For aesthetics
Spider wood in your terrariums will help add some beauty to your fish tank. Compared to other driftwood, spider wood sheds little tannings, which allows you to maintain clean water for a long period without messing up the aesthetics of your tank.
- Serve as shield
Spider wood aquarium also provides a sort of shield for your fish to hide, rest, and play.
- Serve as food
Spider wood is one of the softest driftwood you can use in your fish aquarium. It breaks down easily and can serve as food for invertebrate fish in your fish aquarium.
The good thing is that they are nontoxic, so they can do little harm to your fish. However, cleaning up the debris of spider wood in your freshwater aquarium can be a bit of work.
Preparing and Setting Up Spider Wood Aquarium
Preparing and setting up your spider wood aquarium is a bit of work, so you need to consider compatibility. That is, if the spider wood is compatible with your current fish aquarium. Or would you have to get another or break the branches into a different piece to fit in your fish tank.
Consider the maintenance and aquarium room that’ll remain for your fish. This will determine the size of the spider wood going into your freshwater aquarium.
Once you decide that, you can prepare the spider wood and set up the aquarium.
Selecting the spider wood
You need to begin by selecting the spider wood for your aquarium. Ensure it is non-toxic and safe for your fish before putting it in your tank.
A few spider wood to consider are:
- Galapagos (05319) spider wood
- Tfwadmx aquarium driftwood spider wood
- SERJOOC aquarium driftwood spider wood
Stage one: Preparing
- Remove debris
Shake the wood to remove debris hanging onto it like ants, bugs, dirt, or rocks. This is especially necessary when you don’t buy from a reputable seller or find the wood.
- Scrub and brushwood
Scrub the wood with a stiff, coarse brush to clean it and remove residual debris. Scrub the joints, roots, branches, and nooks. Then shake off the debris on it.
- Pick out leftover debris
After scrubbing, you need to pick at leftover or stubborn debris. If they hide in nooks, you can poke a knife or other sharp objects at it and get the dirt out. You should be careful not to hurt yourself or break the spider wood branches.
- Sand the wood
Afterward, ensure you sand the wood for a fine and smooth finish and remove wood debris. Desist from using coarse sandpapers as that may leave the wood with scratches.
- Quarantine the wood
Insert the spider wood in a sealed plastic bag for a couple of days. Ensure to leave it at room temperature and check back after days for evidence of dead bugs or insects.
However, don’t spray with insecticides as this is toxic to your fish. Shake off bugs instead.
- Wash under running water
After quarantining, wash the spider wood under running water and clean off leftover debris. Inspect the wood for dirt and remove it completely before removing it.
- Cure or soak the wood in water
Soak the wood in a container of distilled water for a week or two. This process is known as curing, which helps soften the wood a bit.
The water will darken over time as a result of tannins. Remove the spider wood and leave it in a cool place to dry.
- Sterilize the wood
After curing, you need to sterilize the spider wood with hot water. You can submerge the wood into boiling water or pour boiling water over it.
Boil for two hours and top up the water as needed. This helps kill residual insect and fungal spores, eventually softening the wood.
Stage two: Setting up spider wood aquarium
- Leveling mat first
First, you need to place a leveling mat beneath your aquarium tank to balance it, especially if it is a rimless tank.
- Fill up filter bag with gravel
Fill up a filter bag with gravel and place it in your aquarium tank, which serves as a hill or elevation in aquascaping.
- Add seiryu stone
This is another aquascaping aesthetic you can add to your freshwater aquariums. Place the stones in your aquarium tank.
- Add substrate
Add substrate into the tank. This could be light-colored gravel or any other substrate of your choice.
- Position spider wood
Place the spider wood on the hill you have created in the tank with a filter bag, stone, and substrate. Examine the aquarium at different angles and be sure you have balanced the wood in it.
- Add aquatic plant
Add extra beauty to your freshwater aquarium with minimal aquatic plants.
- Add water
Add water to your aquarium after you finish setting up. Before you do so, ensure you cover the setup with a plastic bag, so the water doesn’t ruin everything you’ve arranged.
Whether you are setting up your spider wood aquarium for the first time or not, you need to be sure of what you are doing. Apart from setting it up, you need to prepare for the maintenance aspect so your aquarium doesn’t become messy.
Moreover, ensure the spider wood sinks before transferring your fish into the aquarium, and watch for aquarium molds at intervals. Your spider wood aquarium is all set up!