Newsletter December 2014

Hey There, It's time once again for a BamaPlants Newsletter! We are well, and hope that everyone out there is too.

This month, we are going to focus on ceramics and tools. Let's start with "Moss tiles." A while back, we saw something similar to these on the market. They were coming out of Asia and were prohibitively expensive, but seemed to work very well. Then all of a sudden, they disappeared. We liked the idea and decided to begin producing them ourselves.

These are two inch by two inch square ceramic tiles covered with #6 stainless steel mesh. Of course, stainless steel will not rust or change water chemistry, and the tiles are made of the same aquarium safe clays we use to produce all of our other clay items. The wire edges are actually fired into the clay (by our friends at Norma's Ceramics). There is about a 1/8 inch gap between the tile and the wire on top. The purpose of these little beauties is to provide a flat weighted place to grow mosses. You simply thread moss between the wire and the clay base, drop the tile in the tank, and let the moss grow. Because the moss literally grows between the wires of the mesh, the moss is completely contained. They're wonderful!

The response to our pleco caves, shrimp cookies, and other fired clay items has been excellent! Because of this, we decided to start producing some other cave styles. Today we are introducing two new styles. The first is what we call the "Pelvicachromis cave". These are four inch diameter dome shaped caves, which are two inches high. They have an opening about 1 inch wide x 1 1/2 inches tall. These are absolutely PERFECT breeding spots for small egg laying fish, such as Pelvicachromis or Apistogramma. Catfish love them too. Yes, we are fish geeks as well as plant geeks... The really great thing about these caves, is that because they are made of unglazed natural clay that has been kiln cured... mosses, hairgrass,ferns and Anubias will readily attach to them, with a minimal amount of work.

Our second new cave is the 1/2 funnel cave. These caves are cone shaped and are open at both ends. The wide end is a 3 1/2 inch half circle, while the narrow end is a 2 1/4 inch half-circle. These caves are 6 inches long, offering slightly less privacy for the fish, but greatly enhanced viewing for the aquarist, These caves also work as breeding grounds for a variety of egg laying fish from Apistos to Central American Cichlids. If you have any special needs, we do take orders for "custom" caves. We are working on a great design for Discus and Angel cones as well

Just in time for the holidays, we received a new shipment of stainless steel aquascaping tools. We carry 10 inch straight scissors as well as 12 inch tweezers, in both straight tip and bent tip styles. These are an absolute must for the serious aquascaper. The tweezers are extremely helpful for threading mosses into our moss tiles. Their length assists aquarists in both planting and removing individual specimens, without disturbing the surrounding area. The length of the scissors allows for trimming in hard to reach areas.

Now for the plants.... we do have a couple more of the Echinodorus Hadi Red Pearls left, at the time of this newsletter. We also, still have a stock of ALL of the Anubias mentioned in the last news letter, with the addition of Anubias short and sharp. A. short and sharp have beautiful long pointed "sharp" leaves. The "short" is a reference to the plants prostrate growth. These are gorgeous.

As promised, we have Echinodorus "big bear." We have watched these plants grow more than three inches in the month since we first showed them to you. Here's a hint..... ........ Just remember what the Crimson Tide recently did, they put the "Iron" in the "Iron Bowl!" CRIMSON TABS put the "Iron" in the "Plant Bowl"!

This month, we have also added Echinodorus "tricolor," a cultivar of E. uruguaynsis. It has narrow lance-like leaves, and is a medium tall sword. New growth is yellow, which turns to green, and eventually becomes green with red spotting, hence tricolor.

We have already announced this plant on Facebook, but we think it warrants mentioning again here. We now have Rotala macrandra Mini Pink type II Roundleaf. Yes it is an absolute mouthful. We shorten it to "Mini Pink," but it actually deserves the full length of its name. The color is nothing short of "breathtaking!" Although it is slightly expensive, by stem plant standards...being sold by the individual stem, it is very RARE, and well worth our price, at WELL under two dollars a stem! That's what you would pay IF YOU COULD FIND IT anywhere else.

Please like us on Facebook, as we will be announcing a contest there in the near future.

We are also offering BamaPlants Gift certificates at ANY dollar amount for the hard to buy for Plant Geek.

As usual, it has been fun.... We love announcing "Kewl Stuff!" Y'all take care... Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New year! Visit us soon..... Next stop....2015! A hint... We're thinking about MOSSES and GRASSES, and WOODS...Oh My!

Ken and Russ

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