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I'm reviving this old post as I'm tired of searching posts for the night, why wouldn't coconut fiber mat work instead of Fiberglass screen ? I like to build my tanks as natural as possible and personally like the coconut mat. I've had one going for a year now in a 29 gallon tank with no problems, but I'm building a large 55 gallon tank setup this time and I don't want to have to tear it down in 2 years. Just wanting thoughts on why coconut matting wouldn't work, I'm afraid I'm gonna learn why in a few hours after seeing some replies.
Thanks,
Dan
 

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I think the biggest issue would be the cocomat disintegrating. I haven't ever tried it...sounds like a pretty cool idea. Keep in mind that the cocomats are bonded, so they aren't totally natural, probably about the same as having some screen in there.
True they are not totally natural, but if you see a spot of it on the side of the glass it does not look as unnatural as screen. I know coconut material is used in some backgrounds, my cocohut has been around for a few years and is not rotting, it is growing moss ! But yes I think that is a valid concern and is why I asked, I'm hoping someone has an old tank with coconut material in it and can verify it's longevity ?
Dan
 
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