Product Type: Marina fish accessories
Newest Review: ... large' is a bit cheeky, especially if buying online and you can't see it in the flesh. Measurements are all well and good but it can be... more
Marina can't keep her p(l)ants on!
Marina Deco Wood XL
Member Name: dawnmarywhite
Marina Deco Wood XL
Advantages: Good hidey hole, nice design, natural looking 'rock'
Disadvantages: Plants not attached at all well, don't like the yellow plants so much
This is basically a lovely item, though I personally am not keen on the orange/yellow colour of the longer plants as I would prefer they were green. I don't think they look very natural, and this is defintely an ornament aimed at helping create a natural environment.
The 'rock' itself is grey-green in colour and shaded for a natural look; it is quite roughly textured, and there are a lot of holes dotted around on it allowing for hiding places for your fish (or other aquatic inverts like shrimp and snails). It is a great size, approximately 25cm x 12cm x 37cm. It's a great size for a centre piece in a standard sized tank, but is not so good for a tall tank. For this reason I think naming it 'extra large' is a bit cheeky, especially if buying online and you can't see it in the flesh. Measurements are all well and good but it can be hard to imagine it accurately.
My biggest gripe with this is that the plants are not attached very securely at all; they all fell off after not much use (and not much interfering through cleaning either). They have been stuck on by pushing the plastic stem into a blob of glue/silicone, and it appears no extra glue was used to fill in the gaps and secure it well. Now this might not be that big a deal as can easily be fixed at home with some aquarium sealant but these aquarium decorations are rather expensive, especially the large ones. As it happens, I received this in a bundle of stuff from a fellow Freecycler so I didn't pay for it. It was however unused with tags attached when I got it, so I am confident in my opinion that the plants really aren't attached very well!
Other than that, it lasts pretty well - the rock itself can take a lot of dish brush scrubbing without losing the colour and comes up like new. It is heavy enough to need no extra weight to keep it submerged (major design flaw in a lot of things aimed at aquarium decorating!) though burying the base under your substrate is better for a natural look, and remember to keep it upside down as you put it in the water so the inside can fill up or it'll just float! Overall it does look pretty good set up in the tank.
I had it in a tank full of aquatic snails and shrimp, and the shrimp quickly adopted it as their hidey hole, which was great as shrimp can be quite shy. I also found snail eggs and snails on and inside it every time I cleaned it so I think it's apparent that they enjoyed it, as much as an invertebrate can enjoy anything! I still used it when it no longer had any plants left on it, as I used other things to decorate the tank so it didn't matter too much. However, if I had got this as a centre piece I would have been very disappointed to lose the plants.
As I said, I didn't buy this so my overall opinion is not effected by my feeling of whether I got good value; however having seen ornaments of the same brand in this size range in shops such as Pets At Home, I can make an educated guess that there would be little change out of £25, if any! I would definitely not pay that sort of money for this. It is nice but check eBay first!
Summary: A nice enough aquarium decor item