Over the weekend I moved things around and added some new decorations. In addition, about two weeks ago I placed the Java Fern onto a fake sand castle decoration as it was the cheapest thing I could find at the store ;)
Here is how it looks now.
As you can see I spread out the plants quite a lot, took out the fake plants, and you can see my java fern is on its sand castle. I also have a piece of African Mopani driftwood with an Anubias on it.
While looking around for driftwood that I could get easily without paying an arm and a leg in shipping I had an epiphany that I should look at Amazon, and sure enough they have some. I noticed they had something called African Mopani, so I did a quick google search and everything I was seeing was saying it can be used in aquariums like the label says. Since it is mainly marketed for reptile terrariums I went off to Petsmart and sure enough they had it. The price was a little more, but I figured that was worth it since I could actually see what I was getting instead of a blind online purchase. It’s real wood so that means every single piece is different and unique.
I took it home and started boiling the heck out of it, several several times to try and get most of the tannins out. Tannins are a natural substance that leeches out of driftwood and makes the water a brownish color, very similar to tea. It’s also slightly acidic so has the affect of slightly lowering water pH. I didn’t want the brownish water, but the lowering of the pH is a bonus since my tap water is on the basic side (7.8) and most fish prefer slightly acidic (under 7.0).
However, will reading some forums on tropical fishkeeping I happened to see mention of this type of driftwood and how it is susceptible to fungus. Yuck! A quick google search, this time adding the word fungus, came up with lots of hits. Bleh, didn’t see any mention of it in my initial search but sure enough, lots of people report having fungus problems with this wood. Great. Texted my wife while at work to take a look, and sure enough she said she saw some. I take a look when I get home, and this is what I found.
Most people talking about it said it cleared up in a couple weeks with no ill effects. A few mentioned seeing some problems with cloudiness and their fish and possible cause of death to some fish. All of my fish look healthy with no signs of trouble, so I’m going to wait and see. If the fungus gets really bad or the fish show signs of stress I will remove it and see if it can be returned. Of course, that will mean I have to find a new perch for my Anubias.