cottonwood in an aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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cottonwood in an aquarium

Well, I am getting the bug to rescape my 36 gal, but well... My wife has restricted my spending lol. There is a plethora of Cottonwood trees with sun dried and aged branches all over the area. I have had a hard time finding any information regarding the possibility of using this wood in an aquarium, is this type of wood stable enough to use submerged? It was just an idea I had while taking a bike ride with my daughter through some of the local open space.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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LOL! I figured this might not be the most highly discussed topic today. I guess I might just try to find a nice piece of the wood in one of the fields and give her a go in my kettle pond (nothing but snails captured from my 36 gal. living in it) and see what happens.

Everything I find about this wood is that it is a soft hardwood.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:04 AM
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cottonwood is soft and would easily deteriorate like compost. find a manzanita driftwood.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
cottonwood is soft and would easily deteriorate like compost. find a manzanita driftwood.
unfortunately I do not have the money at the moment to purchase a piece of driftwood in the size that I would need for my aquarium (30-60$) And as far as I know Manzanita does not grow in Colorado. Most of the literature that I have found says that Cottonwood is a soft hardwood, but I am still not sure as to its durability submerged. I find it all the time along local creeks and rivers, and the submerged portions seem to be holding up.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:18 AM
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Well I'm not exactly sure, but I don't think Populus wood works. I tried an Aspen twig and I couldn't get it to quit floating and I'm not sure if the salicylic acid would affect anything. I think I read somewhere long ago that Popular wood is actually soft and rots pretty quickly.

But I guess it doesn't hurt to try it in your pond, it would be fun to go out with your daughter to do it anyways, so even if the wood didn't work at least it is some quality time. I wish my parents would have taken me on adventuring when I was younger.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 06:50 AM
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COttonwood rots quickly. I wouldn't expect it to last long term.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 07:01 AM
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Pond water in Colorado is probably cooler than indoor tank water, so the cottonwood driftwood might do ok in a pond. But the warmer aquarium water would hasten the decay of the cottonwood driftwood. Try it anyway, keep an eye on the wood and monitor the nitrate, pH, phosphate.


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:30 PM
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try manzanita burlworks (www.manzanita.com), they have an aquarium section and I ordered two big pieces and it was only 23 dollars to ship from outside san diego to tucson, az. The owner rich is awsome and the pieces I got were top notch


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:45 PM
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i had a cotton wood branch in my tank it lasted for over a year till i broke it rearranging, i still have a broken piece of it covered in java ferns and anubias still going strong, hasn't rotted away


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:48 PM
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Re: cottonwood in an aquarium

Have you checked out the unique driftwood thread in the swap and shop here? Ds drifter has the coolest and most affordable stuff I've seen.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:53 PM
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I imagine that cottonwood wood will quickly to turn to mush underwater. It is a ver soft wood and the old stumps and limbs rot really fast out in the woods.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 04:04 PM
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Got any ceder around the place? It is common in many parts of North America on disturbed ground. If you can find an old stump of that and soak it for a while it will work well for years. Use Purigen if you are having trouble with tannins.


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 02:35 AM
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why not try something harder like crabapple or applewood or cherry. most likely someone on ur block has at least one ask when they prune then just clean em up. if u cant find any let me know im sure i could find some as they need/should be pruned every year or two.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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why not try something harder like crabapple or applewood or cherry. most likely someone on ur block has at least one ask when they prune then just clean em up. if u cant find any let me know im sure i could find some as they need/should be pruned every year or two.
Unfortunately I am in a newer sub-division, but I might be able to grab a branch off an apple tree my dad has, that is one option I did not think of.

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Got any ceder around the place? It is common in many parts of North America on disturbed ground. If you can find an old stump of that and soak it for a while it will work well for years. Use Purigen if you are having trouble with tannins.
I will have to do my research on the tree to identify one when I come across one.

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i had a cotton wood branch in my tank it lasted for over a year till i broke it rearranging, i still have a broken piece of it covered in java ferns and anubias still going strong, hasn't rotted away
I was going to ask you what wood you had in your tank. I remember you saying something about it when you came and got some of the cherry's


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Have you checked out the unique driftwood thread in the swap and shop here? Ds drifter has the coolest and most affordable stuff I've seen.


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I have seen his stuff, usually others jump on the piece I would before I have a chance lol.

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try manzanita burlworks (www.manzanita.com), they have an aquarium section and I ordered two big pieces and it was only 23 dollars to ship from outside san diego to tucson, az. The owner rich is awsome and the pieces I got were top notch
I will certainly check it out. Thanks for the link.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:28 PM
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Wood in the tank is a favorite of mine. There seems to be a great deal of misinformation (as always) floating around. Maybe it is just a different mindset. I think of my tanks as works in progress and am never too concerned with the "forever" factor. When we say wood rots quickly it is a relative term. If you plan to have it in your tank ten years, yes it rots too quick. For my game, that is plenty long. I also am willing to gamble and find out what happens. Many people state flat out that wood will raise PH, cedar will kill fish, etc. when they have not tried it. I have very large cedar and live fish. I say try the wood you find that appeals and it will be great. Monitor what it may do to the water and if it rots in a year the plants will use it. I find it last a bunch longer underwater where bugs don't eat it. It is very cheap when you pick it and you can replace it often if necessary. For crashing your PH, it depends on the buffering in your water. Just something to watch and be aware of potential trouble. I think that goes for most of our hobby.
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