How long until driftwood is usable? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (11/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 299
How long until driftwood is usable?

I recently found a piece of driftwood I found at the beach a year or two ago in my basement. I boiled it, which made it sink, and I've been soaking it in a tub of water since then (for a day). It hasn't changed the water substantially, so I don't think it's releasing a lot of tannins. Is this piece tankworthy?
battered is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 04:26 AM
Discus freak
 
oscarsx's Avatar
 
PTrader: (14/94%)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: N/A
Posts: 928
If you been treating the piece of dw and has stopped releasing the tannis then I think it's good to go..

now the worthy part it is all up to you, do you like the piece? if so then go for it!


oscarsx is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,318
If you found it at a saltwater beach, you may want to soak it for a while using several changes of water.

I recently gathered some, and soaked mine for about a week, with water changes at least 2x a day.

I was curious about the salt in the wood, but have no way of measuring this directly, so I used a multimeter lying around, and taped the probes ~1cm apart, and recorded the readings. There was quite a big difference from the readings I got after the first soak, and the readings I got after a week (still more conductive then tapwater, but getting close).

If anyone has any ideas on how to measure salt, I'd like to hear them.
lochaber is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 04:26 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
proaudio55's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Blaine, Minnesota
Posts: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
If you found it at a saltwater beach, you may want to soak it for a while using several changes of water.

If anyone has any ideas on how to measure salt, I'd like to hear them.
you should be able to use a hydrometer, which is what the reefer's use to keep an eye on the salt content of the tank. Start with distilled water and check the density. Then let it soak for a day or two. If the results change, you know something is leaching out of your driftwood.

Here's one from amazon for 3 bucks: http://amzn.com/B00063410G
proaudio55 is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 05:18 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,318
Yeah, I considered that, but I'm not sure how well that would work for this purpose. I'm concerned it wouldn't be able to accurately detect low levels that would still be of concern to me. I know some freshwater fish and plants can be really sensitive to salt, so that was my main concern with soaking the wood. I've no clue how much salt the wood will/can absorb. I'll probably do another round of soaking, in addition to a few flushes after the tank is put together before I put anything living in it.
lochaber is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 06:21 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Sacramento,CA
Posts: 311
Some of my pieces had to soak for almost two weeks before they dropped. Give it a little more time.
Joe.1 is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 12:51 PM
Algae Grower
 
PRIMESIX's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: PA
Posts: 28
I hope you have good luck, I have a piece of drift wood that I boiled about fifty times and also had it soaking in a container of water for months. I am going crazy, everytime a go down my basement the container of water is still filled with tannis, some part of me says the heck with it and throw it away, but the other part of me says you put so much time into it dont give up now.
PRIMESIX is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:50 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
EnigmaticGuppy92's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: England
Posts: 532
i have two pieces of apple tree wood in my tank i stripped the bark bleached and soaked for a day and had hardly any tannins at all i think it all depends on the tree species

40 gallon dirt tank
5 Gallon planted bonsai dirt tank
1 Bearded Dragon ''Spyro''
Normal Leopard Gecko ''Shadow''
Super hypo tangerine baldy carrot tail leopard gecko ''Moon''
2 whites tree frogs ''Ying and Yang''
1 Royal Python ''Neptune''
1 Veiled Chameleon '' Yoshi''
EnigmaticGuppy92 is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 07:20 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
ThinkTank's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 589
If you worried about salt content and the wood has already been cleaned, boiled and soaked ...i'd be tempted to just taste the water....

I've used Purigen in my filter to remove tanins. worked well for me.
ThinkTank is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 12:12 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New york
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRIMESIX View Post
I hope you have good luck, I have a piece of drift wood that I boiled about fifty times and also had it soaking in a container of water for months. I am going crazy, everytime a go down my basement the container of water is still filled with tannis, some part of me says the heck with it and throw it away, but the other part of me says you put so much time into it dont give up now.
Im in the same boat.Almost two weeks soaking.Changing the water every other day with 15 gallons of BOILING water.My water still looks like coffee.My electric bill from the stove is as much as a new piece of wood.One more week with no change and Im DONE with it.
Jonny Rotten is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 12:24 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 44
I have the opposite "problem". I've been soaking a piece of Northern Catalpa that has lots of manzanita like fingers/interesting branchings in a big rubber storage bin for almost 2 weeks with NO tannin leaching. The wood is too big to boil or bake, otherwise I'd try that. The branch is very dry because I had to cut off the thickest part, so I know it's not green. I thought soaking in very hot water would soften the thin, hard bark, but so far...nothing. I heard you can tear off the bark with a wire cheese grater tool, but not sure if I want to do any damage or leave marks. I'm thinking of just putting it in the tank and if it does leach or start to shed bark, I could just vacuum it up during water changes! It's for a tetra tank and they like darker water...
Kurious is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 05:50 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
150EH's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Churchton, Maryland
Posts: 5,370
Maponi is good aquarium wood because it's so heavy it sinks right away but it has the most tanins of any wood, I didn't think you could use driftwood in a tank but you would definately have to attach it to slate or something, but I though it wouldn't sink do to the salt content, but I'm no wood expert.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
150EH is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 06:00 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
lochaber's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 2,318
actually, I tried tasting it. :/ but I just licked the wood after it was dry.

tasted pretty much like wood, but I don't have the world's greatest sense of taste, so...

when using the multimeter resistance setting, I did test tap water, and an approximation of sea water made with table salt. Towards the end of the week, the soak water was very close to tap water, so I feel pretty certain that much of the salt was removed.


I don't know how accurate this is, but I would think leaching compounds out of wood would have a similar progression to 1/2-lives, where a certain fraction of the difference twixt what is in the wood and what is in the water you are soaking it in will leach into the water in a given amount of time.

I imagine it's a bit more complicated, with the physical structure of wood making it more difficult for substances in the inner parts to leach out, and some things like tannins possibly also occurring as the wood decays, but...

Anyways, I think a good long soak with frequent water changes should work well. If you see the water visibly darken, change it and soak again. eventually it should slow to the point that weekly water changes will (hopefully) compensate for anything harmful leaking out.
lochaber is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 05:50 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Onalaska, WI
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
actually, I tried tasting it. :/ but I just licked the wood after it was dry.
That's awesome. Exactly what I would have done. I feel that the sense of taste as an experimenting tool is highly under-used. Good on ya!

75 gal low-tech dirt*baby stages*

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
ilovelucy is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome