January 24, 2010
DIY: Fake aquarium plants from plastic trash bags
HOMEMADE PLANTS FOR YOUR
Jack Dempsey cichlids, like most large cichlids, enjoy ripping plants to pieces. Even artificial plants take a beating from the larger fish. If you wish to have plenty of hiding places in your breeding tank, try this simple method of making plant like cover.
Take a large green plastic trash bag and cut along one of it’s seems so as to spread it out on a table. We want to be cutting through just one layer. Before doing anything, wipe down both sides with a warm cloth or clean sponge to remove any industrial residue that may be on the surface of the plastic. Use this template (diagram 1) as a rough guide. Don’t be too fussy, this method is very forgiving. Cut your flat plastic sheet in a similar pattern. It doesn’t have to be perfect because plants are not perfectly symmetrical.
Place an appropriate sized rock in the center of this cutting and put a bit of silicone on it. Now bunch up the leafy petals around this rock (diagram 2) and use a rubber band or string to tighten the plastic around the rock. Leave this overnight and the next day the silicone will be cured. These homemade plants are now ready to be placed in your aquarium. Bury the bottom weighted section in the gravel or just let it sit on the surface of the tank bottom. The Cichlids will enjoy moving them about the tank.
You can be creative if you wish and cut these plastic leaves in all kinds of shapes. Cut them very thin and make it look like waving grass. You could slice the leaves in the middle making the leaves look unique, maybe even attractive. These plastic plants want to float so it will always stay upright for you. At the very least, you will provide a lot of cover for young fry. Kinda neat, huh? :)
… Jack Lamountain
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