TIME TO BAMBOO THE AQUARIUM
In conjunction with bogwood I like to use bamboo shoots, as
I feel that they give a unique appearance, in my aquariums.
I first used bamboo shoots when housing a pair of Rainbow Crabs.
When both became territorial I split the aquarium, using Perspex
which had holes drilled into it for air circulation, into two
sections. I experimented by using bogwood and bamboo for shelter
and noticed that both were preferred by the crabs.
The bamboo shoots were glued at the bottom to create and maintain
a permanent spot. The problem with these crabs is they have
to moult from time to time, and when this happens they immediately
look for safe sanctuary to prevent themselves from being cannibalised
by other crabs or by predators (because at this moment of time
they are soft and fleshy, thus easy prey). Therefore the bamboo
shoots were used by the crabs for both shelter and safe sanctuary.
I also cut some smaller pieces of bamboo and placed them into
another aquarium housing small, thin coolie loaches which managed
to squeeze in and out of them, also using them as a resting
and hiding place.
Bamboo shoots were used in both coldwater and tropical aquariums
- where they were happily accepted by all the residents.
My intension was to make the bamboo long lasting so performed
the following tasks:-
1. Coat shoots (you can use a varnish dip for shoots with holes
so that the varnish gets inside the wood) with several coats
of polyurethane varnish (but you must make sure that the varnish
contains no additives - traditional Yacht varnish is polyurethane
but has a mousier added which will harm or kill aquarium residents).
Untreated bamboo can rot and foul the water. When this occurs
it leads to a greater demand for oxygen and an increase in toxic
waste products in the aquarium. The rotting plant matter will
also create or attract saprophytic fungi.
2. After applying the first coat of varnish I left it to dry
for a while and then performed the same task several times to
make stronger-water proof bamboo shoots.
3. The shoots were then glued together using silicone sealer
specifically made for aquariums. As an alternative string or
nylon cord can be used to hold the bamboo sticks together. All
kinds of shapes can be created that include triangles and rectangles.
Finally have a bamboo of an adventure with bamboos!
By Majid Ali