Sharing My Self-adjusting Corral For Floating Plants

  1. bitseriously

    bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    Do you ever reach a highly satisfactory solution to a particular problem, and want to share it with the FL community?

    The problem: My floating plants do best in a corral (because of strong-ish surface surface movement), but the moment you anchor the corral to the side of the tank with a suction cup or etc, any minor changes in the water level (e.g., evap) lift up a part of the corral and all your plants go free. Even if you tie it off with a string so that there is just the right amount of play to self-adjust for evap and topoffs, you still have to detach and re-attach it on water change day (and if you forget while dropping water level, you have to re-corral all your floaters).

    Here's my solution (pics below):

    The corral is a ring of standard airline tubing, ±6-8" around. The ends are connected with a straight connector. I glued a ±1" piece of 3/8" rigid plastic tubing to the edge of the straight connector, aligned perpendicularly. A separate, longer 1/4" rigid plastic tubing section extends up from the gravel at the bottom and is clipped in an airline suction clip at the top, just below the tank rim. The long 1/4" tube passes through the short 3/8" piece (the piece glued to the corral), so the entire corral floats up and down with the water level.

    A. Overhead view of the corral, and attachment.
    IMG_4523.JPG

    B. Next pic, looking through the back of the tank, you can see the smaller rigid tubing going from gravel to rim, with suction clip at top. The narrower tubing passes through the wider tubing, which is glued to the corral. The zip-tied piece of soft tubing at left is part of the old self-leveling assembly, which I no longer use but my shrimps seem to love, so I'm leaving it in place.
    IMG_4524.JPG

    C. Next pic, the bottom of the rigid tubing is simply held in place in the gravel, pushed right to the glass at the bottom. Hello, limpet!
    IMG_4525.JPG

    D. Next pic, here's the straight connector, with the small 1" piece of tubing glued on perpendicularly, and the smaller long rigid tubing passing through it. Hello, yellow tiger endler!
    IMG_4526.JPG

    E. Closer view of the rear of the assembly. The water is causing the upright tubing to appear offset. The crusty mess is where I scraped off scum with a razor, so the suction clip would hold.
    IMG_4528.JPG
     
  2. Coradee

    Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    I do something very similar but a tad simpler as I just go across the tank rather than making a ring
     


  3. sfsamm

    sfsamm Well Known Member Member

    I just make a ring and let it free float! But I like the idea of putting it where I want it and not having the water level issue!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    bitseriously

    bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    I have a sponge filter in the tank, and if the corral is anywhere near where the bubbles come up, the tiny droplets from the bubbles bursting at the water surface always get on the leaf surfaces, and the leaves don’t like that.
    In both my tanks I’m amazed how much better the growth of dwarf water lettuce and salvinia is when they are corralled and stationary.
     
  5. JoeCamaro

    JoeCamaro Well Known Member Member

    Great idea!