Our hand-curated Cholla Branches have been a popular favorite with our customers, and it's no secret as to why! They're terrific for aquascaping, as they are heavy enough to sink easily, yet have tons of cool little holes that you can easily use to secure plants like Java Fern, mosses, etc. And, they provide a great hiding place for shrimp, baby fish, Apistos, etc.
Ever on the lookout for new ideas, we discovered that our supplier can offer these assorted pieces of Cholla, created when they prep the branches for us. Turns out, these awesome little chunks have all sorts of uses, from serving as a "snack" for Plecos, to using as an aquascaping accent, or for a perfect functional and decorative item for a shrimp nano tank! We select them from our substantial inventory, and you'll receive a random mix of sizes, varying from chunks as small as 1" (2.54cm) to individual branches as large as 6" (15.24 cm) or more! We try to give a nice mix of sizes in each bag, so you have some different sorts of peices to work with! However, we pack by weight ( a minimum of 6 ounces/ 170 grams), so the number of pieces you receive will vary somewhat from package to package.
These pieces are derived from the dried root of the Cholla cactus, and are harvested in the Southwestern U.S. on public lands in a sustainable, legal manner by experienced, collectors who hold the permits to do this. The collectors only take "downed", dead skeletons and pay special attention not to harm or disturb any live plant or animal in the area. This ethos is an important, often overlooked aspect of the acquisition of this unique product. We vetted quite a few suppliers before we became acquainted with the quality outfit that we work with.
Like other natural branches, they do leach some tannins into the water that can reduce the pH and provide a tiny bit of that brown tint in the water that we love so much here. In addition to just looking cool, the complex surfaces of our Cholla Chunks foster the development of a “biofilm”, which is great for foraging shrimp. The wood itself is soft enough to supplement the diet of rasping fishes, like Plecostomus. They are absolutely awesome to use for attaching aquatic mosses!
Our Cholla pieces are carefully hand selected for shape and size, brushed, and cleaned in fresh water. Each piece is unique in both size and shape!
To use, lightly rinse with fresh water, then soak. You can boil them for a few minutes as well, to help saturate them. Like so many aquatic woods, the biggest frustration with this one is that it floats initially. They'll need about a week or so of soaking and a good rinse to get them to sink and release some of the materials within their structure that can cloud your tank water. Of course, once you're satisfied with that they're not clouding the water, you can always weight them down with some rock to overcome this "buoyancy thing" before they become fully waterlogged!
Place in aquarium as desired.
NOTE: Every piece is different, so the photo serves as a representation of what to expect the pieces contained in a typical package could look like.
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All of our aquatic botanicals are intended for ornamental aquarium or terrarium use only. Please use common sense and take the time to boil or soak all botanicals prior to using them, to reduce the possibility of problems. Always go slow when introducing any botanicals into your systems, so you can judge the effect they have on your fishes and plants. They are not intended for human consumption. DO NOT INGEST!
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