First post - question about driftwood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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First post - question about driftwood

Hello All,

I'm so glad to have found such a comprehensive, enlightening forum to chat on. It's true that I'm posting a question about driftwood under the 'Plants' section, but that's only because I don't see a more convenient place for it. If I've posted in the wrong section, then please, feel free to move this entry. A small introduction; I've dabbled in the aquarium hobby on and off since I was a kid. Many years - and deceased pets - later, I'm finally able to adequately care for more than just a betta. Right now, I have a 3gal planted nano that houses two white cloud minnows. Now that I have the room, I would like to eventually set up my 10gal tank, again. In it, I would like to house the two minnows, add three more for a schooling set, and purchase a pair of blue platys. This will be a cold water tank. I'm off to a good start, in that I think I've found the perfect piece of driftwood to place in the 10gal. My question is this: is all wood equal? I found the piece in question near the creek behind my complex. Of course, it had fallen off a tree, but I don't think it washed up from the creek. I've rinsed it and am currently soaking it in a diluted bleach solution. I know that it will take a couple of weeks for the wood to become completely waterlogged, and that's fine with me. In spite of the cleaning/disinfecting and waterlogging, is it safe to add to my tank, since it didn't come directly from the creek? Thanks for any answers; sorry for the naivete, but I'm still quite new at the live plants and "raw" decorations.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 01:05 AM
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Boil it and you'll see much quicker waterlogging. its also much safer than bleach. be sure you do put it in a bucket of water that has dechlor in it. i dont see why it wouldnt be safe as long as youve boiled it and its not a soft wood.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 01:08 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

You can definitely use found wood, but there are some things that you need to be wary of:

Has the wood in question been dead a long time, or is it still green? Green wood + aquariums usually = dead fish Any idea what species of tree it came from? You want to avoid soft woods, and especially woods full of resin, such as pine.

If your complex treats outside with pesticides, I wouldn't use the wood. If you aren't sure, I'd ask the complex's management.

If you do have good wood, then I'd boil it very well (at least 1/2 hour) before adding it to your tank. This will help release tannins as well as kill possible pathogens.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Thank you for the quick responses.

Good question about the type of tree. There are pine trees in the back of the complex, but I'd think I'd be able to tell if it were pine wood or not from the presence of sap holes, and there aren't any. I will check again tomorrow, though. Yes, the wood is quite hard; even scissors couldn't cut through the few twigs I tried to pull off. Also, there is a garden in the back near the creek, but I don't think the complex would use pesticides around the creek - too dangerous for the wildlife. Couldn't hurt to check, though. And thanks for the tip about boiling, I'll try that
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 02:35 AM
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best not to use pine.. they're soft woods and disintegrate faster. You can always tell pine by the smell. Use your nose.

here's a list of hard woods.
I see lots of driftwood in a nearby lake of various types of wood.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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One more question about the wood,

I purchased a piece of driftwood from eBay a little over a year ago that is currently sitting in my 3gal. It doesn't have bark on it, and I was wondering if I have to strip the bark off the current piece of driftwood I found near the creek? FYI, it's not pine; I went back and checked this morning
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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No feedback? To strip or not to strip?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 03:28 PM
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i would strip the bark to remove any paresited that woul have lived in the bark, even thought the boiling and the bleach should have killed them. plus bark will rot quite quickly
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2008, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip, I'll do that
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