What do you need?
- TANK: 55x35x35h Cm.
- 5L of nutritional soil (below);
- 9L of normal soil (above).
- DRIFTWOOD: The driftwood used for this setup was handmade. From a main piece of wood,the trunk had been cut and shaped. Some parts of the wood had been used as branches and later firmly inserted inside holes, done with an electric drill, in the trunk. However any driftwood that will naturally resemble a tree will be perfect.
- STONES: For this setup Schist rocks, usually found in nature in the north of Portugal, were used. Other rocks can be used to get the same result.
- 3 x Eleocharis parvula cup – Aqvainnova Linea InVitro.
- 7 x Utricularia graminifolia cup – Aqvainnova Linea InVitro. To obtain a bushy and thick carpet in less time, more Utricularia cup must be planted.
- 5x Vesicularia montagnei “Christamas moss” cup – Aqvainnova Linea InVitro. The ratio used in this case is 1 Vesicularia cup per branch.
- TWEEZERS, SCISSORS, FISH LINE.
How to set up the underwater tree
Substrate is the basis of every aquatic ecosystem because it supplies useful bacteria through enzymes, peat and nutrients. Choose a substrate with a grain size between 2 and 5 mm diameter, then cover the bottom of the tank for at least 5 cm.
To create focus and a sense of depth to the final layout, add more substrate at one-third of the length of the tank, in the background. This is where the tree will be placed.
Take a driftwood that once underwater will resemble a tree. When choosing the wood consider that the wider the roots are, the bushier the result will be. Place the tree in the substrate and anchor it in the best position according to the branches’orientation. Place some decorative stones to give the layout a more natural appearance. Now it is time to prepare the plants for setup. For this particular layout Utricularia graminifolia, Eleocharis parvula and Vesicularia montagnei ‘Christmas moss’ are needed, all available in Aqvainnova Linea InVitro. Take the plants from the plastic cup and carefully remove the gel from the roots. Wash the plants and the roots with tap water, gently but thoroughly, then divide them into smaller portions, for the best result use sharp scissors.
Take the tweezers and start planting Eleocharis parvula in between the rocks, under the tree. This thin, vivid-green grass will emphasize the spontaneity of the layout.
Then start planting the Utricularia in the foreground of the tank. Do not worry if in the beginning the layout seems poor, in less than 1 month these plants will be covering all the available surface. When the planting is finished it’s time to focus on the tree. Prepare the Vesicularia montagnei ‘Christmas moss’ as done previously with Eleocharis parvula and Utricularia graminifolia.
Then take fish line and start the creation of the foliage branch by branch. It is important to tie very firmly the moss to the wood, because only in this way the tree will be able to grow in volume without affecting the naturalness of the tank.
When the set-up is ready it is possible to fill the tank with water. Pour gently water using a rubber tube, a plate or a plastic bag. It is recommended not to pour water directly on the substrate, otherwise the tank will not be 100% clear. Once the layout is completed it is very important to maintain the tank at its best. During the first weeks frequent water changes are needed. Clean the sponges of the water pump at least once a month and add fertilizers on a weekly basis. Add a CO2 diffusor or reactor. The result will be stunning.
Layout: Filipe Oliveira Ph.: Filipe Oliveira Plants powered by Aqvainnova