Another driftwood question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Another driftwood question

So I was reading through some past posts about driftwood and would love to find some bigger pieces but buying expensive pieces isn't an option.

I thought about seeing if a friend cold go with me down to the river to look for some pieces but not really sure what to look for when selecting a piece? Don't know how i'd know what kind of wood it was.

Also I had seen where some have said they have used wood from their back yards and such. We have lots of oak trees and everytime I mow after a storm i'm picking up dead branches. So we have a huge burn pile that we haven't burnt since last winter, would any of those older pieces be ok to use?

I'm sure this has all been asked before but I just didn't want to hijack someone elses thread.

Any help would be much appreciated. Think my son and I are finally ready aside from the blue gravel to try and make the tank look more natural.

Thank you thank you!


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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 11:10 AM
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Well for future reference you can always grow archostyphalos aka manzanita, then when it gets to size cut and sun bleach the branches. ha might take a while but most of the driftwood u can buy from sellers here is manzanita harvested from the forest floor thats fallen or if someone just sees a choice piece and remembers he has a saw
Ive had no luck with wood from my yard. Maybe i cured it wrong? Who knows. It started decaying and making a white fuzz which i assumed was a type of mold

Edit, my crape mertle has a choice branch im looking to try...

Oh and i think it also has something to do with bark, remove the bark it will definitely rot

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 01:39 PM
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Driftwood

Good morning CKJ...

In Colorado, there are numerous sources for driftwood, just like in your area. This is the perfect time of year to go looking for wood and rocks. You'll need the rocks to weigh down the driftwood. The pieces you find just need to be rinsed off well with the pressure nozzle on your garden hose and let them dry in the sun. Repeat the process if you feel the need.

I put my pieces in the tank when I do a large water change with the water level lower by half, it makes "aquascaping" a lot easier. I have drilled holes in pieces of driftwood and attached Java fern and Banana plants to them with black sewing thread. Then you can plant more Java fern, Crypts and Anubias on the bottom of the tank. I'll attach a pic to give you some ideas. This is kind of an experimental tank I use to plant new plants to see if they'll work in my other tanks.

There's really no mystery to the process. Use your imagination and judgement as far as selecting the pieces.

Go for it and have some fun!

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."

Last edited by BBradbury; 08-10-2011 at 02:22 PM.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 01:54 PM
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I prefer collecting in the fall or winter, just because I don't like going out in the heat.

I go to streams or rivers and look for piles of wood that have been collected from heavy rains and floods. I look for pieces that are so old the bark has fallen off but that are not mushy and rotting. Most any type of wood will work if it has been long dead.

If you are using newer wood, hardwoods like Oak are best. All you need to do is remove all the bark and wash them off. I use a plastic or wire brush and water to scrub them down. Them as blazingwolf said let them dry in the sun.

Most wood will float and people will either solve this by soaking the wood in a tub or if it is small enough boil it. I don't like waiting weeks for the wood the water log so I usually weight the piece down with some rocks in the aquarium then later if i don't ultimately want the rocks in there take them out once the wood stays down.


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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 02:11 PM
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There was a post on APC forum a little less than a year ago about all of the useable types of wood for the aquarium. Wishing I could find it now. Before you use wood in your tank that isnt normally used, make sure to look up if it is normally poisonous or not. I was using some sticks that I found in my yard a few months ago. They were perfect for my 10 gallon. After I had put the wood in the tank my frogs slowly died, the cherries in that tank started disappearing, and my betta got very droopy and would lay on his side on the substrate and not move.

So just make sure you know what kind of wood you are using and what effect they'll have. Dont worry about if it grows fungus. This is normal. Just no mystery wood! Lol.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 01:58 AM
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I found this list in a thread about woods you can use. I think the criteria is that it is a hard wood.


1. Manzanita
2. Colophospermum mopane (AKA mopani, mopane drift wood)
3. Chola (cholla) wood
4. Rose wood roots
5. Malaysian drift wood
6. Ribbon wood
7. Cypress
8. Oak
9. Mesquite
10. Cedar - some are iffy on this one.
11. Grapevines - reported to rot quickly
12. Ironwood
13. Beefwood
14. Australian Pine
15. Azalea
16. Rhododendron
17. Madrona
18. Crepe Myrtle
19. Western Hemlock Roots
20. Contorted/Corkscrew Willow
21. Osage Orange / Bodark
22. Buttonwood
23. Baldcypress / Taxodium
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 02:30 AM
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I dont know about all of those, but cedar is not a hardwood. However, cedar can be used but to be safe cut it to make sure it doesnt smell like cedar. if it does dont use it.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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I found one good sized piece with a few pieces that branch out from it. It's a piece that my idiot neighbor damaged last fall when cutting his big tree down all by his self. Landed about 5 feet from out house.

Anyway, it's supposed to be a little cooler out tomorrow and i'll have to saw the big end off which I know i'll not like the look of but don't know what else to do.

I'll try and get all the bark off as well and try and take a pic too. Should I do any sanding on it as well to make sure it's somewhat smooth and not dangerous for the fish? Then I'll scrub it good and hose it off good and try and find a tote that it can mostly fit in and start soaking it.

Any tips on trying to make that cut end a little more natural? It's probably a good 3 1/2 in in diameter so I just won't be able to break it.

I'll have to look at the other end as well where it broke from the tree and look in the pile it's self a little more as well but it has been so dang hot here. We had a heat indes of 100 at 10:30 am. YUK


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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oh and it's oak. forgot to add that. lol


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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 02:01 PM
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depends on how you plan to scape it if you need to make the cut natural or not.
If you need to make it natural you can take a chisel to it to make it look more like a break.

once you remove the bark it should be relatively smooth. It doesn't need to be like a piece of furniture. If there are any sharp points I would just use a pocket knife to round them a little.


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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Cool thanks!


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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Having a really tough time getting the bark off. This huge oak branch that had fallen was longer than the car and it's been on the burn pile at least 5 months. Was able to breat the 2 smallest branches but had to stist them just a little to finally get them apart and then cut the other pieces with a saw.

Surely this thing is dead? Any ideas how to ber the bark off? I was using my pocket knife and keep doing that but was wondering if soaking it might help or baking it? or both UGH

Heres a pic. It's not a great one. lol my son had been making a fort on my bed.



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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:49 AM
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The bark should soften if you soak it, then it should scrape off easily
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yay! Thank you so much!!!! I'll try that in a little while and then maybe in the mornin i'll be much easier.


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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:56 AM
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I think it might pull off in strips..
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