Cheap, quality Manzanita, cholla, and other wood items safe for aquarium use
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
slidewithme
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Cheap, quality Manzanita, cholla, and other wood items safe for aquarium use


When I started making my fish tanks pretty, I was astounded at the prices some sites charge for a simple piece of wood or rock. I started seeking out alternative sources for what I wanted. Specifcally, I looked for untreated woods used in crafts. I found what is below.

I've bought a lot of stuff from these sites, both for aquascaping and for my own wedding decor. I love, love them. I ordered several Manzanita branches for my wedding, and one of them came badly crushed. I contacted save-on-crafts.com, and they replaced it for only the cost of shipping. Their customer service is really great.

http://www.save-on-crafts.com/branches2.html (US [all 50] shipping only)

http://www.bloomsandbranches.com/ (US and Canada shipping)


Most of the items are sanded so they're pretty, but almost none are treated with anything else unless it specifies (some are painted or lacquered, but it will say if they are).

Price examples:

24-36" tall Manzanita branch - $12

12-15" Cholla wood branch - $15.49

38" tall Cholla branch - $25

Manzanita sample pack: 2x 18" pieces, one sand blasted, one natural - $15.95

I hope this helps those of you who are on a budget, but still want a pretty tank.
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Last edited by slidewithme; 07-24-2012 at 02:58 PM.. Reason: Accidentally a word
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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thank you! I have been looking at driftwood at my lfs, but it is soooooo expensive.

What needs to be done before putting this manzanita or cholla wood into a tank?
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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I never before considered buying wood or rocks when you can get them for free outside, but this isn't so bad. I wonder if you can find cheap exotic wood at a local store like hobby lobby?
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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there's no cholla or manzanita here in Jersey. Even a relatively small piece is about the price of their large ones.

Thanks for posting this!
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for this! I've bookmarked these sites. I like the sandblasted wood the best. I'm thinking of rescaping my 29g tanks so I can pull out my crypts out of my 75g and 90g, leaving them for the plants that need the CO2 and ferts that those tanks provide. So I was looking for smaller, lesser expensive manzanita wood. This may be just what I need.

I saw some nice pieces on sale for just $9!
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOJIRADOR View Post
I never before considered buying wood or rocks when you can get them for free outside, but this isn't so bad. I wonder if you can find cheap exotic wood at a local store like hobby lobby?
Even if I could find the wood laying around outside, it would take a lot of my time looking for it, finding it, obtaining permission from the land owner to take it (otherwise it's theft), and then hauling it back to my place. Then I'd have to sterilize it, wait for it to age, and then figure out a way to get it sandblasted. That's a ton of work, not to mention the expense of the gas involved and whatever I have to pay to sterilize and sandblast the wood.

Sometimes free isn't so free.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #7
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Be careful, sometimes woods like these get dipped in chemicals while they are being cleaned/prepped.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitFUUL View Post
Be careful, sometimes woods like these get dipped in chemicals while they are being cleaned/prepped.
The site specifically states that they are completely untreated. Some are sand blasted, but that's it.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaSirena View Post

What needs to be done before putting this manzanita or cholla wood into a tank?
You can soak it for a while so (to waterlog it) it'll stay on the bottom of the tank, or you can weigh it down. If you're really paranoid, you can boil the wood to get rid of anything, but this can bring out a lot of tannins if there are any present (and cloud the water).

I've got both Manzanita and cholla in my tanks from both sites, and I simply weighted them down and filled the tanks with water. No clouding issues, nothing. They're just pretty.
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Last edited by slidewithme; 07-24-2012 at 09:21 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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If manzanita is dry then it sinks really quickly. Not so sure about cholla, but I have manzanita in my back yard and started drying it last year, and now I have a piece in my nano tank.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:16 PM   #11
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Awesome find! Thank you for sharing.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #12
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Is "badcopnofishtank" still on this website? He was able to crowd my 90g for really cheap and he ships too, even to Canada!!!! He used to create packages so you exactly know what your getting. I was and still am very, very happy with my purchase.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #13
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Thank you for making this post. you have made aquascaping more affordable and more interesting for me
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:43 PM   #14
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Cool! Thank you!!
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
Even if I could find the wood laying around outside, it would take a lot of my time looking for it, finding it, obtaining permission from the land owner to take it (otherwise it's theft), and then hauling it back to my place. Then I'd have to sterilize it, wait for it to age, and then figure out a way to get it sandblasted. That's a ton of work, not to mention the expense of the gas involved and whatever I have to pay to sterilize and sandblast the wood.

Sometimes free isn't so free.
Well nobody owns the forests around here so it isn't theft.
You dont need to sand blast (or age) it unless you must have the look. All you have to do is boil it or put it in the oven (at a low temp so it doesn't catch fire of coarse) to kill off any critters and your done. I found all the wood I needed in one trip and it was actually a lot of fun. To me it's more than free because I enjoy every step, but if you are someone who doesn't I could see why this would be the way to go. I might buy some day..
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