Have you ever noticed that in most aquariums the wooden roots are positioned with their wide ends at the bottom and the delicate roots pointing upwards? But why? While I was judging a biotope world championship, I noticed that almost all the participants there had done it differently. They had taken pains to position the roots to be visible in the aquarium with their roots facing downwards. A coincidence? No - definitely not! Biotope aquarists often collect an incredible amount of information about the habitats they want to recreate in the aquarium and look at lots of photos of them, if they exist at all. And these underwater photos tell you that it is only in exceptional cases that the roots do not protrude top downwards into the water.
On the JBL expedition to Colombia in February 2022 ( Expedição 2022 Colômbia I ), I paid especial attention to this issue. And it turned out that the result is not entirely clear. Most of the wood lies around in the water in all directions. When they break away from the river bank, the trees with their roots slide to the edge and tip into the river. When this happens the trees and branches end up lying horizontally in the water. Incidentally, this is quite unfortunate for the angelfish, whose vertical stripes are then as incongruous as dots in a check pattern. But maybe evolution will change that and in a million years we'll have angelfish with horizontal stripes. Crenicichla, on the other hand, often cavort in the water under horizontally lying tree trunks and their stripes perfectly match the shadows of the wood!
Back to the wooden roots. In smaller streams, the trees often grow right next to the river and when they die, there is a dead tree upright in the water. Then we have a root whose fine root network continues downwards in the water. By the way, this looks very natural in the aquarium and can be planted very nicely. The plants between the fine branches grow upwards and form a great visual complement to the wood.
You often get roots that have been cut into pieces with a saw to fit into your aquarium. Try NOT to put the smooth surfaces downwards, instead lean or glue them against the pane (this is more stable and prevents buoyancy). Since this sometimes happens when the aquarium is already full of water, you can use a good, non-toxic underwater glue such as JBL PROHARU UNIVERSAL . However, such glues are not superglues and, once glued to the pane, you’ll need to anchor the wooden root firmly in the right position with stones, until the glue has "hardened" the next day. This glue, by the way, is a good purchase for every aquarist, because we often need to fix something under water. But beware: when an object, whether wood, stone or plastic pipe, lies in the water for longer than a day, a biofilm forms on the surface that is so slippery that no glue will hold! So always remove biofilms first with a piece of clean steel wool, as with some pane cleaners (e.g. JBL Blanki ) instead of a steel brush, and remove the biofilm before gluing!
For above and underwater bonding of stone, corals, plants, wood, decoration, panes, technical items, small leaks, metal (incl. aluminium), plastics except PE/PP: JBL PROHARU UNIVERSAL
For quick gluing (non-toxic superglue) of plants, corals, small decorative items: JBL PROHARU RAPID
For foil backgrounds (to be stuck from the outside), to apply the foil free of reflections and bubbles: JBL FIXOL
Find out more about decoration (stones and roots) in the Themeworld under Decoração (pedras, raízes) .