And what's the word on using grapewood as driftwood? I've seen and heard conflicting things about it. Is it safe to use in an aquarium or should I avoid it? I have a nice piece that approximates tree roots that I was going to boil for a few hours and soak for a week or two, but if it's not a good idea I'll just bring it back to the store. What do you all think?
"My journey is at an end and the tale is told. The reader who has followed so faithfully and so far, they have the right to ask, what do I bring back? It can be summed up in three words. Concentrate upon Uganda." Winston Churchill, My African Journey
Would pitbull plecs fit the bill? As I live in Florida, I think I might go foraging for driftwood along the beach and the canals for some real stuff. I find driftwood to be rather overpriced, and I mean, what could possibly go wrong looking for it myself?
Whilst Alex's concern about industrial (and agricultural) [toxic] waste is a valid one, I think a much bigger reason for most people not using wood that they find on the beach/local river is simply the lack of suitable places to collect it.
As long as the wood is well dried, collected from a place where the wood is clean (from a "waste" perspective), and it's nice and old (not "green").
I think the very first consideration is what species you intend keeping and plan the tank set up to suit.
The term 'Corys' may be a standard one but their natural habitat conditions are not.
Substrates may vary slightly, but for most there will be a fine sand underneath them, this may have a smattering of leaf litter, none at all, or a dense layer. I collected C. delfax in a tributary of the Rio Mammon in July 2011, where the leaf litter was 10" - 12"deep, under which was very fine white sand. the water parameters were, pH 4.8, TDS 8.3ppm, temperature 76ºF.
There are many members here that have collected corys from various locations and I am sure once you have decided on the species you want to keep, they will be more than willing to help with habitat information.
Thanks for the input, Ian. Most of my cats are peppered cories, so the tank will be primarily geared towards them. I think most will be relatively happy with a riverbank root-snag kind of environment with clear water, low flow, lots of tree roots, and some leaves scattered on a sand substrate. I just need to find some root-like driftwood.
And what are peoples' thoughts regarding adhering rocks and such to the back wall of the tank via silicone?