Driftwood Treatment - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Driftwood Treatment

Hope this is right place.

I've got a good deal on a 135 gallon tank that I'm thinking about picking up and I want to get big drift wood for it. I've sourced my own wood for smaller tanks and boil it to clean, but those have all been small scale.

I want to pick up something gnarly, thick, and long for a 135 gallon. Any thoughts on alternative ways to prep for a planted tank that will have both invertebrates and fish?

I'd be looking for good sized pieces. At least 3-4 feet long and 4-5 inches in diameter with some interesting stuff happening on it. So boiling in a big pot on the kitchen stove would probably not work this time...
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 03:56 PM
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Someway I missed your post. A bit late but if still looking, this is the way I do it on all wood as it is so cheap,easy, and practical for large stuff.
I do a bleach soak and it has been totally safe for a very long time. Like fifty years safe?
I add the wood to whatever container will hold it. At times that has been the tank itself as that was the largest I had that would fit. Then using cheap, no color, no scent bleach, I add an amount that looks right for how dirty the wood seems. Chlorine in bleach reacts with organics of all sorts, so if there is a lot of gunk that I've not rinsed off, I use more bleach and just make sure I have plenty to get the job done. It may eat some of the wood but I don't worry about it eating a tree trunk! A half cup in 50 gallons for a big old piece but I really don't measure.
I let it set at least 8-10 hours or more until I get back to the job. Then I take it out, rinse it to make it easier to hold and set it out to dry. Sn and heat are nice as they speed the process but when I no longer smell bleach, I have to say the chlorine has gassed off and it is safe to use. Chlorine can't soak into the wood and stay there to come out later. It either reacts with the wood or gasses off, it can't hide out.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 05:13 PM
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I wonder if a handheld steamer would do a good job.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordic View Post
I wonder if a handheld steamer would do a good job.
Depends on how long one wants to hold the steamer?
Thinking of what a good insulation wood is, I can't imagine holding the steamer long enough to let the heat soak into a piece of wood even as small as 4". If there was a boring type beetle living in the center, we might steam it for 6-8 hours to kill the beetle but then what do we do? It may seem unreasonable but I don't like putting wild cards like dead beetles in the tank!
There are many alternates for cleaning/sterilizing things but I see none easier, cheaper, or more cost/time effective than what is used by the public health folks and that is a bleach soak.
It does away with things like dead beetle bodies!
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