Bamboo Decor In Aquaria
Bamboo is often seen used as aquarium décor and it does make a very attractive and interesting display. Unlike bogwood however, which has had many years of soaking and adaptation to a watery environment, bamboo is generally dry and relatively fresh.
The first problem this causes is that bamboo is very buoyant and will float in water. In the aquarium bamboo must be either weighted by siliconing pieces to heavy objects such as rocks, or wedged into position.
The fresh wood present in bamboo is prone to rotting and when placed underwater, a bloom of fungus and/or bacteria are quickly produced which will pollute the aquarium, cloud water, and kill fish. If bamboo cane is used, a simple soaking for a week or so will prevent this problem from occurring.
In the case of larger diameter pieces however, a film that is present on the inside of the bamboo can cause further problems and will need to be removed. This film, or 'skin', can be easily peeled away and the bamboo should be soaked for a couple of weeks. Once the bamboo is soaked, it should be dried and for extra safety, a coat of clear polyurethane varnish can be applied.
It is important to only use clear polyurethane varnish with no added chemicals or colourants that could be toxic to aquarium life. After a variable length of time, the varnish is likely to peel away, by this time however, the bamboo will have steadily absorbed enough water to prevent any fouling, and the varnish can be simply peeled away.