Mold/fungus on the wood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Mold/fungus on the wood

Bought some nice pieces of wood for my paludarium but the humidity in the tank is creating a white furry fungus or mold on the wood.
So far i've left the wood in a bucket of bleach and then baked it at 300 degrees for several hours however after putting the wood features back in the tank the mold returns after a few days. anyone else have this problem? and what did you do to fix the problem?

Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 09:58 PM
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The bleach was a mistake man lol...

That fungus comes out for a few weeks once you first introduce it to the tank. Manual removal (wire brush or brush) is great, or ottos love the stuff too.

Let that wood soak good in regular old water for a bit before you add it again.

-Mikey G
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:22 PM
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The bleach soak is good to kill many of the things we might worry about. It does react easily with most anything organic so we can be sure that it can't stay in the wood. That would be like storing fire in a cardboard box!
But then as you've found it doesn't work to kill potential fungus, mold or whatever we call it. I often get it after soaking also. What I suspect happens is that there are sugars or other chemicals in the wood and when we add the right amount of water and the right temperature something comes along to grow on (eat? ) that stuff. So what I find is that it looks kind of bad, hardly ever hurts anything other than the appearance and then goes away. Fish do often eat it and some do try to clear it by scraping it off. But kind of like a common cold it bugs us for a while then goes away.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:28 PM
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The bleach soak is good to kill many of the things we might worry about. It does react easily with most anything organic so we can be sure that it can't stay in the wood. That would be like storing fire in a cardboard box!
But then as you've found it doesn't work to kill potential fungus, mold or whatever we call it. I often get it after soaking also. What I suspect happens is that there are sugars or other chemicals in the wood and when we add the right amount of water and the right temperature something comes along to grow on (eat? ) that stuff. So what I find is that it looks kind of bad, hardly ever hurts anything other than the appearance and then goes away. Fish do often eat it and some do try to clear it by scraping it off. But kind of like a common cold it bugs us for a while then goes away.
So you bleach all wood that you add to your tank?

Help me understand the part "It does react easily with most anything organic so we can be sure that it can't stay in the wood. That would be like storing fire in a cardboard box!"

-Mikey G
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 10:59 PM
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So you bleach all wood that you add to your tank?

Help me understand the part "It does react easily with most anything organic so we can be sure that it can't stay in the wood. That would be like storing fire in a cardboard box!"
Yes, I've been bleaching wood for so many years it doesn't even count. Reading about chlorine should relieve most worries about it soaking into wood.
Most of us know chlorine bleach will eat your clothing as the cloth is an organic in many cases. The chlorine reacts with organics and changes them. I don't know what comes out from cloth but something easier to follow is steel or iron. When any metal tool is left around chlorine like in the same shed, the tool rusts. The iron becomes iron oxide and is no longer much good.
The simple part is that if we believe chlorine reacts with cloth and iron which are organics we can assume it will also react with wood as it is also an organic. So when we put chlorine and wood together they will react until one or the other is used up.
We assume we will not use so much that the wood is turned to pulp but the chlorine is all used?
So when we use a bleach soak we have two things working for us that help to make it safe. One is that it is hard to keep chlorine in a liquid or solid form as it's normal state is a gas. That gas will blow away as soon as it can. We often smell it blowing around at pools or spas or when we get a drink. In a pool, you have to keep adding chlorine as it will blow away. We want it to react with the germs it kills.
Second is that it can't stay in the wood as chlorine.
What may confuse some people is that there is a tiny amount of a form of salt in bleach. Sodium hypochlorite is the official name on a jug of bleach. It is there to help keep the chlorine stable. That salt might wind up in the wood.
But of the three parts that we have in the jug, water 94%, chlorine 6% and a tiny amount of salt, what part do we worry about?
Soak the wood, let the wood dry and use the wood, works for me.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2016, 11:09 PM
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Yes, I've been bleaching wood for so many years it doesn't even count. Reading about chlorine should relieve most worries about it soaking into wood.
Most of us know chlorine bleach will eat your clothing as the cloth is an organic in many cases. The chlorine reacts with organics and changes them. I don't know what comes out from cloth but something easier to follow is steel or iron. When any metal tool is left around chlorine like in the same shed, the tool rusts. The iron becomes iron oxide and is no longer much good.
The simple part is that if we believe chlorine reacts with cloth and iron which are organics we can assume it will also react with wood as it is also an organic. So when we put chlorine and wood together they will react until one or the other is used up.
We assume we will not use so much that the wood is turned to pulp but the chlorine is all used?
So when we use a bleach soak we have two things working for us that help to make it safe. One is that it is hard to keep chlorine in a liquid or solid form as it's normal state is a gas. That gas will blow away as soon as it can. We often smell it blowing around at pools or spas or when we get a drink. In a pool, you have to keep adding chlorine as it will blow away. We want it to react with the germs it kills.
Second is that it can't stay in the wood as chlorine.
What may confuse some people is that there is a tiny amount of a form of salt in bleach. Sodium hypochlorite is the official name on a jug of bleach. It is there to help keep the chlorine stable. That salt might wind up in the wood.
But of the three parts that we have in the jug, water 94%, chlorine 6% and a tiny amount of salt, what part do we worry about?
Soak the wood, let the wood dry and use the wood, works for me.
Very interesting.. I think I understand your point a little more now. I may not be soaking my wood in bleach anytime soon (especially a porous one like Malaysian) but I do appreciate your knowledge on the subject.

-Mikey G
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 12:02 AM
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Quote;
Very interesting.. I think I understand your point a little more now. I may not be soaking my wood in bleach anytime soon (especially a porous one like Malaysian) but I do appreciate your knowledge on the subject.


I feel like I do know bleach just because I've used it so much. But then I also like to see people check things they read before believing. We all see the internet can be a minefield of bad or good info so we need to check most things, especially when it conflicts with what we've heard or read before.
The internet does make it amazingly easy to cross check what I say here. First step might be to do a short quick read of a few reliable sites that describe chlorine. Check a jug of bleach and see what is in the bottle. Then run those things I've mentioned through a few tests or think of what you may already know.
One real easy thing to think over is the smell. Most of us do know what chlorine smells like. We often hear of people not liking to drink water because it is treated with chlorine. So if it gases off and blow around the pool or the glass of water, is there any reason it won't gas off and blow away from a piece of wood if we let the wood dry. One common test to know when it is gone is when the smell is gone. Not many things will soak into an item and not dry out.
So when I hear that bleach will soak in but leave a residue that will come out later to kill your fish, I ask them to name that ingredient. That has to be one bad, bad, nasty chemical that is sneaky enough to stay hidden away and only come out when it gets near fish.

Read, check and think before believing most anything.
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