Newb here, just got some mopani wood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Newb here, just got some mopani wood

I am working on starting my first fairly low tech planted tank. So far I have a 29 gallon with a fugeray led light and 60lbs of eco-complete. Unable to fill the dang thing till my wife decides where she would like it since it will be extremely difficult to move once filled. Found a good deal online for mopani wood so i ordered a couple medium sized pieces. I was just wondering what you guys thought of them and what might be a good placement for them in the tank. I also plan to pick up some more wood locally since driftwood is pretty abundant here in the pacific northwest. (added pics of driftwood and rocks found in reply post below)

Here are a few photos of the wood. The back side of the one on the right is dark like he other.
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Last edited by ChuckD; 03-18-2013 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Added photos of driftwood found
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 02:30 AM
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My experience is you want to soak that driftwood before you put it in your tank. Thick hair algae could grow on it especially the light colour part of the wood. Also it takes about a month to get all the colour leakage out of the wood. To save from a headache that's what I do.

So a guy walks into a Pet Store

Guy: "I have Algae on my drift wood!"

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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I have it soaking right now. I have heard that some people expedite the process by boiling the wood. I have heard that trace detergents will destroy fish tanks. Wouldn't you get trace dish soap detergents from the pot you boil in?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 12:01 AM
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I haven't boiled mopani wood and haven't had any trouble. Also, the soaking it normally goes well too. Just dump the water one a day and fill again. Should take less than a week.

For your 29 gallon tank, I would suggest placing the light colored wood upside down so that it looks like the letter Y in your tank. Then you could add moss on top and it would look like a tree. Both pieces are very cool.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 12:14 AM
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Re: Newb here, just got some mopani wood

Boil it. Several times, changing water. Your place will smell like strong tea.

Do expect to get white fuzz on the wood once its in the tank. Its harmless and will go away.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kclone View Post
For your 29 gallon tank, I would suggest placing the light colored wood upside down so that it looks like the letter Y in your tank. Then you could add moss on top and it would look like a tree. Both pieces are very cool.
I will give that a shot. Hopefully i can get it to stay, it is pretty thin. Might have to use a side wall.

Thanks
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 02:58 AM
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You could get a piece of slate and drill through it into the bottom of the driftwood. Then bury the slate. Stability and weight. (Probably don't need weight with mopani wood though. I've done it with other driftwood that was determined to float.)
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 03:59 AM
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If you put it in after a long soaking period and it still turns your water brown, add purigen to your filter and it will solve the problem almost immediately.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 12:10 PM
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I second the purigen. Or you could temporarily use carbon in your filter too.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Purigen is on the way. Amazon Prime FTW.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kclone View Post
You could get a piece of slate and drill through it into the bottom of the driftwood. Then bury the slate. Stability and weight. (Probably don't need weight with mopani wood though. I've done it with other driftwood that was determined to float.)

I'm a big fan of this method, and it helps if you want the wood to stick upright, or lean out over it's base, or something similar. Slate drills pretty easily (best if you have a masonry bit, but destroying a regular high-speed bit has worked for me previously)

I've actually tapped the hole in the wood, and just screwed a nylon bolt directly into the driftwood. most people just use a stainless woodscrew though
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Just picked up some wood and rocks at the local beach

OK... just spent 5 minutes at the beach and picked up what it seems like the LFS would charge 200 bucks for. I know there are certain types of wood and rocks that are not recommended for tanks. Looking at these pictures is there any wood or rocks here that you guys would not recommended using in a tank?

I was thinking i could use that big round piece of Mopani and have wood sticking out of it. Maybe make a little rock path with the small flat rocks i found. I really have no idea where to go with this stuff. Obviously i will treat the wood first.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Update... Sap

Ok... so i know that soft woods are not good. I took my two pieces of Mopani and 4 or so of the hardest pieces of the driftwood I found and put it in a boiling pot. After about ten minutes there was a ton of sap on the surface and side of the pot. I drained the pot and looked at the the wood and almost all the pieces of wood had little circles of sap on them. I couldn't tell if it was coming out of the wood or came one of the pieces in particular. I added only the mopani and boiled a couple more times. There still seems to be sap in the water and a few little spots of it on each piece of wood. Do people typically deal with sap in mopani? I suppose it could still be coming off the pot since it is basically impossible to clean off. I am about ready to throw in the towel on driftwood. I love the natural look of wood but the last thing i want to do is end up poisoning my fish.

Any thoughts? Should i just order some manzanita or something?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:33 PM
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what does this sap look like? have any pics? I'm sorta curious.

You could maybe try just boiling a pot full of water, no wood, and see if that helps remove the residue, if that works, then maybe try boiling the mopani alone to remove whatever got on it.

The mopani should be fine, people use that all the time
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
what does this sap look like? have any pics? I'm sorta curious.
Doesnt really look like much. Just some little circular spots maybe 1/8" wide and sticky. I will try to post a pick when I get home.
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