Cooking my wood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-11-2016, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Question Cooking my wood

Good morning. I am very new to the planted tank hobby. In fact, I don't even have fish yet! I am trying to get some hardscape and found a branch that I'd like to use. I have no idea what tree it's from nor what kind of wood it is. It's heavy for it's size. So, I've read up on how to treat it. I haven't put any chemicals on it. I just scraped off all the bark, sanded it down, then started boiling it in my roaster. I've changed the water 4x now and boiled it all day yesterday. The water continues to turn yellow. It smells like boiled corn on the cob. The log continues to float, until this morning. Now it's sinking BUT, it's also not excreting a bubbly substance, that looks somewhat like bubbles but they don't pop when they get to the surface. Instead, it seems to gather and then floats just underneath the water's top. Any ideas of what this is? What type of wood this is? Should I use it or just stick with rocks for now? (I was going to go get me some slate.)

Coach D
ROOKIE in the Planted Tank Hobbie
Forney, TX
Thanks for your expert guidance!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 04:15 AM
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Try pushing your fingernail into it , if it goes in easily , don't use it , too soft of a wood .
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Leeatl View Post
Try pushing your fingernail into it , if it goes in easily , don't use it , too soft of a wood .
That's generally a good rule, but I think it has more to do/w how long
the wood is likely to last. Softer woods rot quicker.
Allowing for the fact that at any time if we "collect" wood from "outside"
as my wife likes to call it, we take a chance that it may contain something
which could hurt something in our tank(s).
Your obviously getting way into the very middle of it to draw out what I
think is the sap of whatever kind of plant it was.
I personally think you have boiled it enough.
It's my belief that the main purpose of boiling is to kill any disease/germs
or hidden larva in the wood. I'd say that you have done this.
But it wouldn't hurt to get this co-signed.
Actually I'd be more concerned about what I might introduce into
my tank from the water at a pet shop that I carried home a fish in.
My wood that I collect is usually far smaller than yours, but I usually just
put it right into the tank without any prep because of where I collect
from. Ouachita National Forest. This is a picture of the top of some of it.
I collect at the bottom where the streams/lakes are.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 11:04 PM
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There are many ways to go with finding wood. I like to go with the least time, effort, and expense that still gets me close to what I want.
CoachD? You know about drop back and punt?
It will sound harsh but that is what I would do in your situation. You can struggle on but if the wood has lots of tannin which sound likely, it may take weeks to clear so I would find it easier to go another way. When searching for wood, I have some basic ideas that others don't use so it is fully your choice. My suggestion would be to choose wood which is fully, totally dry. In doing that you avoid the trauma of cooking and waiting to clear the sap/tannins.

This is an old post that might give some ideas of where to best find some wood. Then then look for totally dry wood that has no bark. Bark and the layer just under it are where tannins hang out so letting things dry long enough for the bark to fall off is one way to let nature do the work. It has time , that we don't?

Just my spin on ways to cut the chase. Hope it helps a bit.
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