Buying and creating driftwood? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Buying and creating driftwood?

So I see at petsmart and petco etc they have driftwood with plants attached. But they are always such small pieces of driftwood.

Where can I find and purchase bigger pieces of driftwood and make it safe for use in my aquarium?

And what is driftwood anyways? How do I know what to buy? Because I know you can't just take any old stick off the ground, soak it, and put it in your tank. It would rot.

Will somebody please explain this all to me! Maybe even provide a link or two to places I could go and buy driftwood?

Last edited by Maxhampton; 02-06-2012 at 10:52 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 12:17 AM
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Actually, you can find driftwood and use it in your tank. Theoretically, if fully submerged, wood cannot 'rot' in a freshwater environment. Some wood will deteriorate over time in an aquarium but this is dependent mostly on its characteristics (how dense the particular piece is, what species, how it was treated, ect...)

There is plenty of good threads here on the forum including some good ones on how to treat driftwood you have collected for your tank.https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/se...archid=5441616


Many ppl here on the forum have been gathering, treating, and using driftwood in their own aquariums for years.

If you don't trust yourself to prep your own or if you want a good deal on some manzanita (a particularly popular species in the hobby), there are sellers here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sp...ller-specials/
that can help you out.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 03:38 AM
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don't buy driftwood from petsmart or petco. they're so small and cost the same as a pretty big piece. look up local fish stores in your area and they're almost guaranteed to have huge pieces of driftwood for like 10-20 each. just make sure to boil the driftwood for a couple of hours before using them to leech out some tannings.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 04:29 AM
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Check the power seller section. People sell driftwood there. You can also find them yourself.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 04:54 AM
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I'm new, so take this with a heavy pinch of salt, but I found all of my own driftwood.

I left it all dry out and then boiled it for several hours to get some excess tannins out, help it get waterlogged, and make sure nothing icky was on it.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singjai View Post
don't buy driftwood from petsmart or petco. they're so small and cost the same as a pretty big piece. look up local fish stores in your area and they're almost guaranteed to have huge pieces of driftwood for like 10-20 each. just make sure to boil the driftwood for a couple of hours before using them to leech out some tannings.
Gonna have to disagree with this.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:54 PM
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Disagree with which part?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singjai View Post
don't buy driftwood from petsmart or petco. they're so small and cost the same as a pretty big piece. look up local fish stores in your area and they're almost guaranteed to have huge pieces of driftwood for like 10-20 each. just make sure to boil the driftwood for a couple of hours before using them to leech out some tannings.
Agreed.
Power sellers on this form as well as your LFS will have MUCH more interesting pieces.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:14 PM
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I tried with a few pieces I found locally but they rotted when I submerged them in a test container for a while. Not sure what to look for.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:05 PM
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I suggest looking for completely dead branches with bark on from deciduous trees, not evergreen ones. As long as they are completely dry they are fine. If you aren't positive the wood is completely dried out see if you can find out if the wood has any poisonous qualities. Yew [evergreen] and walnut [deciduous hardwood] come to mind right off the bat. Give them a few good whacks to be sure they aren't rotted. Here nothing really rots as it is too dry and I look for insect infestation instead. Break off the small stuff, it won't last for sure. Then submerge them for a week until the bark starts coming off, scrape off the rest of the bark and arrange into a 'franken stump' or straight into the tank.

Many types of wood leach tannins which are annoying to many and most wood will grow a horrible looking slime which is delicious to otos and snails. If you haven't any otos and snails you may be grossed out by the slime and if you have otos and snails you may not see the slime at all!

So far the sycamore dead wood I collected at the park after a big wind/rain storm is fine, been in the tank for 9 months. Plecos sure like it even though it is pretty skinny stuff, only pinky to thumb thickness.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:13 AM
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I cut down a maple tree and am using various branches in a 10G tank. Make sure it's dead for a while. Most tree have toxins in it while it's alive.

Fuzzy slimy stuff will grow on the driftwood. I'm thinking it's nutrients leaching out and bacteria and slime mold will grow but luckily snails and shrimps like to eat the stuff.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 12:34 AM
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If you want some fool-proof wood pieces/branches you could go with Manzanita wood as you can find them pretty easily (both natural and sandblasted). Brides use Manzanita branches as center-pieces and displays so if you go to your local flower shop - you might be able to find a whole bunch of them. They sell large branches between $10-$40 and since some of the branches break off during shipment they will sometimes give them to you for free.

Your flower shop might also have driftwood and manzanita burls. Driftwood branches are also popular for wedding centerpieces!
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