Entry #7 Mr. Chutipas Narkkrasae
The raw materials for this tank are branches from entire plants. However we must be confident that the wood is fully dried.
Separate the pieces according to the desired length. Wash until clean and leave to dry once again.
Sharpen the branches such that the tips are smaller than the stem.
Drill holes into the trunk to extend the branches.
These branches will be the main materials for this tank. I leave them out to completely dry so the glue will hold strongly.
Taking a break from woodwork. Let’s work on the main foundation of this tank.
I like to put tissue paper in between rocks or wood before adding quick-drying glue to join the pieces together. This technique is fast, and quite sturdy. One might use it to create a rough structure. Once the positions are set, you can use glue or silicone that dries slower but stronger to further secure the layout.
Use a small amount of tissue and let the liquid glue wet the tissue thoroughly.
I decided to use layered stones for this layout. After adjusting the positions I secured them with glue.
I used moldable clay [developed by Cal Aqua Labs] to mask the junction between the rocks. It also help soften the looks too.
Allow the moldable clay to completely dry. In the mean time, we work on the minor details before moving on to the next step.
After leaving it overnight, the clay hardens and becomes water-resistant. The layout is now ready for some wood work.
Happy New Year everyone. Now that the celebration is over, we come back to work on the woodscape. We used the branches that we prepared earlier and stick them to the rock work.
The layout is now 70% completed. The remaining I will add, refine, or reduce after planting.
I started planting according to the outlined plan. Most of the plants I used were grown emersed because they are tougher to transport and adapt well to submersed conditions.
In the front of the tank, I will use Hemianthus callitrichoides. In the middle section I will use Lilaeopsis brasiliensis and Hydrocotyle. In the back, I plan to use Rotala, which is the theme of this competition. I plan to mix them up so there is a good mix of texture and color.
I use mini pearl moss to decorate places where I want it to appear bushy. I also used Brazillian moss to decorate the bottom and rocks.
The overall picture from today still looks a bit disorganized. I am waiting for the stem plants to reach the surface before giving them their first trim.
At about 20 days old, the plants are showing their submersed leaves. At this age, I only trim the mosses to prevent them from growing too thick.