getting driftwood to sink - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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getting driftwood to sink

I'm getting impatient! I have been soaking two large pieces of wood to go into my new 65 gal discus tank.

they have been soaking for two weeks and I even tried boiling it last weekend to speed up the process. Any ideas on how to get it to sink?
Ya I could tie stuff to it to hold it down but that is not practical with these pieces.
Do I just have to wait longer?

Any tips on this?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 04:05 AM
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getting driftwood to sink

I do not know much because I'm also waiting on a couple huge pieces of drift wood to sink in my 65 gallon. I'm planning on a bonfire and when I am to that stage I'm going to put the wood in a huge metal trash can and boil it. I would also like to know how long it takes? It seems like it would not take so long but I am also an optimist some times. Not much help but what I am getting at is boil the heck out of that wood.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 12:06 PM
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Here's what I do. Go pick up a piece of slate floor tile. Drill a hole in it. Screw the slate to the bottom of the driftwood.

Place in tank, with slate all the way to bottom. Cover slate with substrate.

Works great. You can either leave the slate there, or remove in a few months.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 12:17 PM
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^^ I agree. Tying the driftwood to slate's a classic idea.

What type of wood are you using? Malaysian? Mopani? Something else? Sometimes wood depending on the variety takes longer/shorter times to sink,

Boiling only helps remove tannins from what I understand. Really, the only way to let it get water logged is to make sure that the wood is constantly submerged. Yes, water at higher temperature doesn't contain as much gas, but I think this is a nonissue here.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 12:21 PM
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It is not possible to give an exact amount of time it will take for wood to sink. This depends on the type of wood, how thick the pieces are, and the method being used.

Unless your using a really dens wood, such as mopani, which sinks even when new, you usually need to add some sort of ballast to the wood in order to get it to sink.

You can use nylon string, or cable ties to attach rocks to the wood. It's really not too hard, and works well for most "branchy" types of wood.

If you have something really big that needs a lot of weight, you can get a piece of the red slate that is usually sold at your LFS, and drill it with a masonry drill. Use stainless steel screws to attach the rock to the wood. This is more work, but is almost invisible. You can use other soft rocks that can be drilled.

Another method you can use is to use a plate made of plastic sheet, and drill that. Use stainless steel screws to attach the rock to the wood. Then you can pile gravel and rocks on the plastic sheet to hold everything down. This has one disadvantage. If you remove the rocks or other material, the wood will float up.

I realize the op didn't want to attach rocks or other material to the wood, but in many cases, it's really the only good way to go.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 05:37 AM
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Some wood can take years to sink.

Best thing to do is get some fishing line and suction cups. Tie the suction cups to the wood with the fishing line and stick it to the bottom of the tank. Over time it may stay submerged.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wantsome99 View Post
Some wood can take years to sink.

Best thing to do is get some fishing line and suction cups. Tie the suction cups to the wood with the fishing line and stick it to the bottom of the tank. Over time it may stay submerged.

Not what I was hoping to hear. Wish I had found this forum before I set my tank up. I've had a piece floating for two months now. I have it submerged using a large power head on one end and rocks on the other. I have to be careful cleaning because if it's bumped too much it goes straight to the top.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:43 PM
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i had some bullet weights (it is a solid core lead wire, you can find it in amazon/walmart) lying around and i attached some of it to the bottom of the drift wood and it sank right away. The lead is not visible outside as the bottom of the wood goes in to the sand. Now if you ask me if lead is poisonous to the fish, i haven't really seen any ill effects and i had been using lead anchors for planting tanks for last few years.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:58 PM
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You can just boil it for an hour worked for me everytime, a few pieces I had to Boil for 2 hours , but if you want to keep the tannins I wouldn't boil them as it will remove them.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
^^ I agree. Tying the driftwood to slate's a classic idea.

What type of wood are you using? Malaysian? Mopani? Something else? Sometimes wood depending on the variety takes longer/shorter times to sink,

Boiling only helps remove tannins from what I understand. Really, the only way to let it get water logged is to make sure that the wood is constantly submerged. Yes, water at higher temperature doesn't contain as much gas, but I think this is a nonissue here.
Boiling opens the pores of the wood forcing water inside thus water logging it, I have a tank with several pieces (6) in my tank that floated to the top when I first got it, I boiled it for 1-2 hours (not only because I don't like tannins as I also know boiling it works to make it sink) they all sunk immidiately.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-20-2017 at 01:25 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 12:58 AM
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I agree about some wood being amazingly stubborn. I soaked a large piece of driftwood for over a month before setting up our tank, even did the boiling water in a cooler. Almost 8 months later and the wood still wants to float like a cork. The slate option would not work for the piece/placement I have. I have a one large rock holding part of it down in a semi-hidden area and I zip-tied another end to a piece of wood that will never float. Good luck.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 04:22 AM
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Since you already said you boiled it, would it fit in a pressure cooker? I would imagine that might help force water into the areas of the wood that are still buoyant.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 05:55 AM
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I have a really large piece of driftwood that I found and have incorporated in to my tank. I think it will take months to absorb enough water to stay down. I've just found cool rocks to place on it and may find even better ones. At first I was hoping to take the rocks away quickly but im realizing that it will take months and so I'm going to embrace that and find awesome rocks to weight it.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 12:02 PM
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Drill multiple small holes in the driftwood where it won't show, and drill them deep, then boil the wood.
The holes will increase water permeation.

or

Carve, drill, or dremel holes in the bottom of the driftwood. Hammer rocks into the openings.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 07:50 PM
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The slate route is a good idea but if you don't feel like using a drill use suction cups. Get some fishing line tie it to the wood and stick the suction cups to the bottom glass.

Depending on what kind of wood it is and how big it is it may never stay submerged.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 08:21 PM
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I picked up a scrap piece from Tap Plastics. 1/2" thick 4"wide and 12" long. Drilled a few holes in it and anchored the stubborn root to the plastic with Brass screws. Gravel has been holding it in place since day one. Had the screws and the gravel already and the plastic scrap cost a whole $2.00
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