Type of roots
Red Moor Wood/Branch Wood/Spider Wood/Tiger Wood
The most commonly used type of aquarium wood is Red Moor Wood which is also known by few other names. Red Moor Woods are actually roots, not branches—therefore thick, sprained root extensions are their distinguishing feature. Fresh roots are yellow-beige and they look poorly after being put in aquarium. Their color change to brown under the influence of water. Choosing Red Moor Wood roots, one should pay a great deal of attention to the attractive look of root extensions. When a specimen with few root extensions is bought, a good solution is to entwine a couple of roots with each other—it will help to create an interesting shape and a nice visual composition. A convenient method of roots arrangement is to place them in such setting so they could be pointed at water surface. Keeping the roots upwards may be helpful when we want to put plants and mosses on them to achieve naturalistic look. Usually, just a few days after roots arrangement, a white, gelatinous sediment can appear on roots; it is a phenomenon that affects only fresh Red Moor Woods. Soaking the roots before putting them in aquarium can help us to avoid this problem. There are positive qualities of Red Moor Woods. A chance that they will tint the water yellow or brown is slight, and time needed for their submerge is considerably short.
Many variations in color occur among Red Moor Woods.
Iron Wood/Horn Wood/Malaysian Wood
Hard timber of dark brown color. Few pieces of Iron Wood should be put next to each other in order to keep the composition interesting. Iron Wood owes its peculiarity to the fact that it is a self-sinking wood. This type of wood can color the water yellow to brown. It is a perfect decoration for blackwater biotope aquariums. There is no need to specifically prepare the wood before it is placed in aquarium. Woods with irregular structure—full of grooves and furrows—seem to present themselves in a more interesting light.
This type of wood comes from Africa. It has a natural look and gnarled shapes; its surface is full of bright and dark smudges. It is a piece of very hard timber which sinks perfectly in aquarium’s water. Mopani wood releases quite a bit of tannins; therefore, it should be prepared by soaking in water for a long time. This type of wood is highly regarded among aquarists—mostly because of its strong water durability.
Type of rocks
Dragon Stone/Ohko Stone
One of the most widely used rocks in aquascaping. A good deal of color variations occur among Dragon Stones, including yellow and brown. On Dragon Stone’s surface we can see small holes and cavities which resembles dragon’s scale. It is a soft type of rock; it could easily be worked on. It has been said that Dragon Stone is a naturally hardened clay. Its holes and cavities can be filled with inconstant clay so it needs to be washed out before it is placed in aquarium. These stones are pH neutral and do not have an effect on aquarium’s water.
Seiryu Stone/Scenery Stone
A popular stone frequently used in aquariums. It comes from Asia; it is gray in color and has calcite veins on its surface. Jagged edges, as well as many crackings and cavities makes it a very attractive aquarium décor. While choosing stones for aquarium arrangement, one should pay attention to its cracked surface. The setting of crackings on one stone should be identical with crackings on other stones. It will positively impact the naturalness of composition. Seiryu Stones are not neutral in their affect on water; they can raise pH, kH and gH levels. Aquariums that use soil substrate for plants will not be negatively affected in a significant way; other types of tanks should be equipped with reverse osmosis water filter to avoid difficulties. Seiryu Stone is the most popular rock that people use for Iwagumi and Ragwork tank layouts.
Volcanic lava stones.
Volcanic lava stones has been used as an underwater decoration material for years. It occurs in two structures—porous and compressed. It can be orange or steel black. Light and porous lava seems to be the perfect basis for plants and mosses planting. Lava do not affect water parameters in any way. Small pieces of lava are perfect for mosses planting. Lava is an excellent arrangement material which binds both plants and rocks.