Let's Talk About Wood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Let's Talk About Wood

Let's be honest, the wood being sold by people for the most part, is freshly cut wood, not driftwood. I have given up trying to use it, as my most recent purchase did nothing but get seriously nasty BBA, and that clear, funky slimey bacteria. It was soaked for over a week, sank properly, and I even took it out and scrubbed off the nasties twice. It scared me, I was afraid it would eventually harm my fish, rotting, letting off ammonia, etc. Yesterday I threw it out in the carport.
Have any of you really had success keeping large pieces of wood clean in a tank?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:07 PM
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Nope I have a huge stump in my 72 and I'm constantly using the gravel vac to scrape off the BBA. It sucks!!!!Though I have heard that BBA is due to lack of flow. However, I'm not sure about that, I just wish it would go away. I actually need to go shopping tonight to get a big bottle of H2O2 to help with the problem since excel seems to never work on my BBA.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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This tank has massive flow. I actually have to choke it back with a valve, or my fish wouldn't be able to swim.I just think it's organics in this case.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:54 PM
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I had that same issue with locally collected wood that I put in my 140g. It was really nasty for a while. I moved my angelfish from my other tank into this one and they went crazy for whatever was on that wood. Every single one of them was just chillin there pecking at the wood for hours. Now, about 3 days after I added the angels in, I have no issues with any algae or white slimy stuff on the wood.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:59 PM
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BBA is typically caused by high light and ferts and not enough CO2.

The white slime is what happens for the first few weeks it is in the water. If you want to get rid of it sooner, boil the driftwood and it will not only get rid of lots of the tannins, but will also make it to where that slime won't show up.

EDIT: My mind was elsewhere this morning (not too sure where it ran off to, better go find it ), and I was reminded that BBA is helped by low nitrate levels (and not enough CO2).


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:10 PM
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I think some of the wood being sold is either not very hard or is already starting to rot, maybe both. I bought 30 or so pieces 18 months ago and 3-4 still float and few others are still neutrally buoyant.

IMO boiling wood might make matters worse by breaking it down some.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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It was in the tank for over a month. There were no tannins anymore, and when there was it was slight. I rarely add ferts, and lighting is just slightly over 2 wtts per gallon,though they are HO Geisemanns. Regardless, it has always been this way for me, no matter what sized tank, no matter how much flow or what kind of lighting I had. I give up.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:33 PM
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BBA spores can be introduced. The driftwood could have been soaked in a BBA factory


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:39 PM
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I have bought wood online and locally and collected it myself. Natural driftwood of unknown species, real bog wood, manzanita, sycamore, Malaysian are the ones I can recall. Having grazers in the tank helps. Bristlenose plecos need wood for health and keep their wood nice and clean. Snails and otos polish off soft algae and biofilm. I only saw that slime this year when the tank was set up for a couple days before the otos were back in the tank. If I see BBA I use Excel carefully or scrape off the tufts. The largest piece I have ever bought, a 4" thick 3' long bit of natural driftwood of unknown species with many arches and natural holes dwindled to 2' long in about 10 years when I finally got tired of its never ending buoyancy and dumped it. The animals ate it, it never got soft past the outer 1/8" or so and rotted.

I am not concerned about the wood being clean, just not a source of algae that is going to become a pest. If some green algae decided to settle on just the wood I would be fine with that but if that wood was the staging for a mass assault, I would have to do something about that!


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:42 PM
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the wood in my 75 is manzy, very obviously NOT driftwood since it isn't really close to water....

And it is working fine.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:53 PM
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I consider Manzanita a hardwood.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:54 PM
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The stump in my 75 G is completely algae free, other than one outbreak (which was due to my CO2 tank running out while I was away) the wood has had no issues. It is oak driftwood that I collected myself (the same stuff that I used to sell in the s&s).


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 06:53 PM
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Most of my new DW's got the white fuzzy stuff at first. Shrimp took care of it when introduced.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfaller1 View Post
It was in the tank for over a month. There were no tannins anymore, and when there was it was slight. I rarely add ferts, and lighting is just slightly over 2 wtts per gallon,though they are HO Geisemanns. Regardless, it has always been this way for me, no matter what sized tank, no matter how much flow or what kind of lighting I had. I give up.
2 watts per gallon of T5HO lights, is probably 2x54 watt bulbs over a 55 gallon tank. Right? If so, that is extremely high light, so that is the cause of the BBA more than anything else.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 07:26 PM
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Actual sitting-in-the-water-for-years-driftwood is 1. extremely rare, 2. mostly unsightly, 3. probably chock full of parasites or toxins.

BBA has nothing to do with what kind of wood you have in the tank, and the fungus goes away after a week or two on its own usually.

The only 'problem' I've ever had with collected wood in my tanks is it being slighty more icky if it hasn't been cleaned properly (bark and loose rotten pieces not removed) or in the case of manzanita, the very fine branches becoming brittle.

Wabi Kusa is just an Aquascape Katamari
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