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Old 07-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #1
Raith
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Driftwood


Okay, I had a dilemma, either I post here or Plants, I chose here sine it's more DIY than anything. Has anyone used tree branch? I am peeling the skin and have a bucket with misc plants in it in the backyard where I am soaking the wood.

The wood has sunk into the bottom, what other things do I have to do? Has anyone done this before? What issues does it have besides rotting and shooting ammonia levels through the roof? So far I have let it soak for 2~ weeks.

Thoughts, comments, etc are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
greaser84
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Has the driftwood been dead for a long time? Or did you just pluck it off a tree?
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
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It has been dead, it was on the ground for awhile, I cannot say how long it's been dead though unfortunately.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
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Wood is something that I do often as I do a fair amount of hiking/walking. Several things come into play depending how you want to go. Wood with bark still on is not what I call really dry. Wood that is totally dry is my preference as it avoids a number of things that I want to avoid. One is tannins which color the tank water. Have you noticed the soaking water changes color? Your tank water will do the same.
That doesn't mean the wood is unusable, just an item to deal with through far more water changes or learning to like the color. It can take a few weeks of several months.
The tannins will also try to change your water tests. If you have little GH/KH, the PH may swing quite a lot.
I avoid these by choosing wood that is dry all the way through. But then when wood is totally dry it takes a long time to soak up to the point of sinking, so I do need to deal with that . I screw it to rocks or slate tile as a cheap and easy fix. Deciding which fits you best is the hard part. The wood itself does little harm but it can require tons of water changing to get what you want if you choose green wood.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:47 PM   #5
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That's really well said, PlantedRich, in terms of color, I cannot tell since the water in the bucket has a mixture of rocks, gravel, and a lot of plants. It looks more green to me than brown, but I'll take heed of what you have said.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:20 AM   #6
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Thanks. I like to give both sides of this story because we all have different ideas of what is acceptable in our tanks. It's pretty rare when we find there is only one way to play this game.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:27 PM   #7
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I don't think you should get much ammonia from a piece of wood. Wood is mostly lignin and cellulose, which are primarily made up of Carbon and Hydrogen (maybe some Oxygen?), Nitrogen is mostly found in proteins, which won't be very abundant in wood.

anyways, I'd soak things for a bit just to get some of the tannins out, help get it waterlogged, and make sure there isn't much sap/resin left in it. then give it a good scrub, mount it on a piece of slate, and put it in your tank.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #8
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Well Raith already said he has wood that is dead. I mostly use that kind as I
may not get into the woods that often, but do like finding my own.
A question though: Is there any particular reason that one couldn't leave the bark on
if he was to cut a piece off a tree/bush etc. I've been looking for 2 years for that "just so" piece of driftwood and have decided to start looking up in trees instead of on the ground. Mazanti wood might supply what I need, but haven't seen the "right one" yet.
And they don't seem to sell Mazanti wood locally so it's pay $25.99 plus shipping.
So is it actually harmful to leave the bark on or are we just concerned about it eventually falling off ?
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:47 AM   #9
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The bark and just underneath it is where much of the tannin are found so when the bark is there, the tannin is not likely to dry out. When you get around to looking for "wild" wood, there are some tricks to increase the odds of finding the dry stuff. What is on the ground is prone to being rotten or eaten by bugs. What is still in the trees is apt to have tannin. But that leaves a few other places. Most places will have at least a few places which flood in really hard rains. That will drag a lot of the dry stuff downstream and hang it up in other trees. So a walk along a creek and looking for those clumps hanging in trees may work. Those flood plains are also where they put a lot of the hiking/ biking trails so that's handy?
Another place is where there may have been construction started and they left some bull dozer piles of trees. The roots sticking out of these are sometimes real prizes if you like the gnarly old looking stuff. Don't pass up places like cemataries and allys where people stack old limbs.
One of the biggest hints I can offer is never to go for a walk without a small folding saw in the back pocket and a small length of rope is handy to tie around those prize pieces. Makes it so much easier to walk back if you don't have to hold onto the prize. The saw will help avoid trying to dry a whole tree and the other will help you out if you find more than you can hold.
And as one last ditch method, Craigslist may turn up something ?
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:55 AM   #10
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I don't have any tanin, it's weird, I just do not. My water is just clear, though I must say my branch is thin and isn't hard at all. I'm still soaking it outside, I'll continue to do so, I don't think I need to bleach or boil it. It's already waterlogged I think, otherwise it would not sink to the bottom right?
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:05 PM   #11
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Tannin will be found in differing amounts in different tree types and sizes. If your piece is thin, seems dry and shows no color, I would call it ready to use.
I often choose large pieces and do a bleach soak just to "reset" things to make sure it is safe. But I have never used boiling or bleaching as a way to remove tannin or make the wood sink. I have a vast choice of wood if I am willing to look so I go around the tannin question by getting dry wood.


My favorite wood picking spot. I figure if it is not found here, I'm just not in the right frame of mind?
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:29 PM   #12
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That's sanctuary.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:59 PM   #13
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@plantrich
I have something like that here too but I don't like any of the wood. It's the roots underground that nice but it's too heavy to dig/carry out. I can't exactly bring the car right next to the stump
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:06 PM   #14
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You can get a little cart.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:46 PM   #15
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I'd need a horse
No road or path.
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