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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to go on a hunt for driftwood yesterday. I had heard from some of you that you had found some great wood at the root systems of fallen trees. So, I went down into the woods yesterday, got bitten by bugs and scratched up by branches, but I found a nice piece. Part of it is still green though. Any idea what I need to do to make it acceptable for my tank?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 05:41 PM
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I would recommend to use only wood that has been submerged in flowing water for a long time. Fresh wood will leach out all sorts of things into the water. Plus, wood has a tendency to float. No good, I say :mrgreen:


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 05:55 PM
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I 2nd what wasser said. I've tried to use wood from a forest floor too. It was just too perfect not to try. Three weeks later my tank is brown and full of fungus :roll: . Not saying you are doomed to have the same happen to you. It's your call, of course. Just thought I would share my experience with you.

As I found out... it's not 'driftwood' unless it has 'drifted' .

Ted


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 06:10 PM
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I wouldn't use it if it hasn't been weathered. Lot of trees produce toxins. Walnuts produce jugalone which is very poisonous to plants and animals, willows produce an aspirin like substance, they get an anti-tumor drug from yews. I could go on and on. Stuff out of a river or ocean has been pretty well cleared of toxins and tanins. Even cured some woods I'd be leary of. Unless you can ID it as a tree you could eat or use safely I'd stay away.

Grape vines would make cool things but you'd still be aging it for a good while. But would you know that from poison ivy void of leaves?

I don't suppose you have a stream you could throw it into with a rope tied to it? That's what I'd do if I found the perfect peice and leave it there for a season.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 06:14 PM
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I would be weary of using fresh wood as well, but if you absolutely had to, I would boild the daylights out of it for as long as possible, and then let it sit submerged for a long time (1-2 weeks) with daily water changes. You could monitor the water during that time (test kits and visually) for parameter changes and fungus.

Once you start to get clean water after it has been sitting for a while, you may be OK.

I am not guaranteeing success, but this method has worked in the past for me.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 11:45 PM
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Grape vines would make cool things but you'd still be aging it for a good while. But would you know that from poison ivy void of leaves?
Yup ! :lol: Thankfully...
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 11:54 PM
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My LFS actually sells grape vine wood. It is pretty thick, 2-3 inches across and has both light and dark shades. It has been sandblasted to remove the surface wood and looks really cool. I don't know if the age it or not but it seems pretty dry and dense.

Tony
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. Great information. So it sounds like the consensus is...don't bother! It's too bad really, cause it's exactly the shape I've been looking for with my tank. But after all I've been through to get my tank looking this way, I don't want to risk it by putting in some crazy wood. Has anyone bought driftwood from Floridadriftwood? They say they give you exactly the piece that they show you on their web site. I'm thinking I should just go there.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 05:30 PM
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Not sure if that is an option for you... but if there are any clean rivers that you can pay a visit to, you can find awesome driftwood for free. Not too familiar with your area, San Bernardino Mtns maybe? If you ever go up to Yosemite, you can find nice pieces for example in the Merced river.
Otherwise, I would check LFS first.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-11-2004, 02:46 PM
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I got all my wood off my girl friends property... went out the back and found dead pieces of wood on the ground, I wasn't willing (able) to pay $80 for 2-3ft pieces of drift wood... and it looks just as good, and all I needed was to spray all the dirt off it.

I would recommend that as long as its been long dead, not in a national park and its good and dry (no longer rotting)... then perfect! oh and btw not poisonous, i'm using long dead eucalypt wood.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 12:54 AM
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I'd say go to the beach, but with katymay being in Cali, you'd have to soak the wood for a while to get any salt content out.

Any local rivers or streams around?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 04:22 PM
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Here is something I pulled out of a river that is close to where I live (Los Padres Mountains)...



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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 04:39 PM
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Wasser, I'll bet that if you listen very carefully, you can hear the wood talking..... javas, I need javas.

Ted


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 04:45 PM
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That's what it said!! But I had to respond: Completely redoing my 100 gal tank? Not now! Soak a little longer, and then we shall see :mrgreen:


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-12-2004, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Wasser
That may be the most beautiful piece of wood I have ever seen...okay, that sounds a little weird. But seriously, it almost looks shiny...did you treat it with anything? You are so lucky to live up in Monterey. That area is one of my favorites in the world.
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