Fixing wood together to create interesting shapes

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by teg1203, 14 Aug 2008.

  1. teg1203

    teg1203 Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Mid-Wales, Powys
    Many of the planted aquascapes on show feature what I can only describe as "root systems" - tangled masses of wood arranged to represent roots system breaking through the surface of the water and plunging into the substrate. Personally this is one of my favourite features as it allows the viewer to imagine the landscape outside of the viewable area and from a biotope point of view suggests an environment above the water line. However I digress. (and not for the first time) :?

    My question is what are some of the ways that pieces of wood (or other material) can be connected together to achieve this when a single piece is either hard to find or prohibitively expensive?

    My next question is - is it possible to use stainless steel in a planted aquatic environment or is any type of metal a big no-go area (i'm thinking stainless steel screws)?

    Cheers - Tim :D
     
  2. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    I've heard of stainless being used but I've never tried it myself. In my nano I used 3 pieces of redmoor wood and then used zip ties to hold them together, though not perfect it works.
     
  3. zig

    zig Member

    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Dublin Ireland
    Black cable ties do a good job for me :)
     
  4. teg1203

    teg1203 Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Mid-Wales, Powys
    I'd never thought of the cable tie approach guys. Thanks for the info - I'll give it a whirl this weekend. :)

    It would be nice to get a definitive answer about the stainless steel though! :?

    Cheers - Tim
     
  5. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Most stainless steel screws actually have a coating of stainless steal and aren't solid they would require care when screwing them in to prevent exposing any of the base material. ADA have a stainless steal inlet/outlet set so I would assume the material is fine.
     
  6. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    I'd go for them being ok too. I don't get too hung up on the whole "must be fish safe" thing, I wouldn't be stupid and bang a load of rubbish in there but small things like stainless in the aquarium? i wouldn't think twice. If your really worried, pop it in a cup of water for a week or two and see what it does.
     
  7. mick b

    mick b Member

    Messages:
    80
    There are many types of stainless, but IMO/E none will be detrimental (316 food grade would be best, but 303 or 304 wouild be OK), Screw-Fix direct, do a good range at a reasonable price, but;

    Where the screw 'cuts into the wood and pulls up tight', the wood will rot away, around the flutes of the screw thread and the whole thing goes loose!

    IMO/E use cable ties (zip-ties) most have st/steel gripper, so OK.
    Try to get the two mating parts lined-up and drill a couple of holes (or 3) through both, thread zip-tie through and zip-up (leave 1" of free-end).
    If it works loose (it will), you can re-tighten, with that 1" free-end, you did not cut off ;)

    HTH, Cheers, Mick B :D
     
  8. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I tend to use brass metalware around aquariums too and that has never caused any problems in my tanks/ponds. Food grade plastics are dead safe too.
     
  9. oldwhitewood

    oldwhitewood Member

    Messages:
    356
    I would just use tiewraps or ADA wood tight maybe. With my new setup I am using three pieces of redmoor arranged in a specific fashion, so I will probably use black tiewraps to keep them in place I think.
     
  10. Drilling 5ml holes in each piece and then pinning together with long wooden dowelling which will swell for a tighter fit on contact with water is effective on suitable pieces.
     

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