Earlier this week we managed to recruit Mr Wright, our D&T technician, to create a suitable solution for the top of our tank. We were previously resting odd offcuts of perspex along the brace bars of the tank. Mr Wright had a cunning idea, he used his skills and the technology in school to produce two sheets of clear acrylic measured and laser cut to size, with gaps for filter pipes and finger grip holes. These sheets were laser cut in D&T to produce smooth and precise edges, they now act as a neat lid, allowing maximum light penetration and stop any unwanted items from entering, as well as reducing evaporation. Thank you, Mr wright, for doing such a cracking job!
On Wednesday this week we focused on our hardscape and plant selection. We first began to position the pieces of wood (redmoor root) around the tank to find an appealing appearance. Pupils discussed how these pieces, along with the use of stones, could create a very natural look, especially once plants are added. More importantly, this provided an opportunity for some of the lads to get their hands (and arms) in the tank!
We then looked at information on available plants so that we can pick ones which we like and have space for. We considered the following about the different plants:
How tall/bushy they grow
The colour and shape of the leaves
The light/co2/nutrient requirements
We wrapped up with considering how we could position each plant species to achieve a desired look. We also realised that one breaktime (30 mins) a week was not enough time for us to learn and make decisions about the hobby. We decided that we will also meet at Friday breaktimes from now on.
We now look forward to ordering/receiving and planting our new plants. As well as setting up a very kind and generous donation we have been fortunate enough to receive….. watch this space!
Today we received a very kind and generous donation of plants from Scaped Nature. I was in-touch with Ray McCune after seeing some fantastic videos on youtube of his shop (in Norwich) and home aquaria. Him and his wife have set up a business where they sell aquatic plants/aquarium gear/terrainiums etc. After reaching out to him and sharing our project, Ray kindly agreed to donate some plants towards our project.
He sent us a large number and variety of cryptocorynes, anubias and microsorums. These are fantastic plants which should hopefully thrive in our tank. They have a variety of leaf shapes/sizes/colours and demands. Some of these plants are epiphytes, meaning they grow on surfaces of other plants/wood/rocks. This gives us the ability to tie/stick them to rocks/wood and move them around our aquarium without the need to dig in the roots and disturb the substrate.
Some of the lads arrived rushed over at the end of the school day just to see the plants before going home for the weekend. They were surprised and excited to see our project coming alive. Mubarak said he never realised how empty the tank was until he saw all the plants in it now. We now look forward to carefully selecting the position of these plants and tying the epiphytes to rocks/wood.
Lastly, we would like to thank Scaped nature once again for their very substantial donation towards our club! You can visit them at https://www.scapednature.com/