Is this DW safe? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Is this DW safe?

Hi everyone,

I purchased this piece of DW a while ago at a local LFS. I loved the look wand wanted to use it. I soaked it for 2 weeks in a Rubbermaid tub of hot/boiling water. The PH kept plummeting to 6 each day even though it didn't release any visible tannins. I think after two weeks I gave up and stored it.

I just found it again and I'd love to use it. I'd have to soak it more and check the PH but now I see some dark spots on the wood and some greenish white stuff (not soft or fungusy, it's almost like the wood changed color).

I have no idea what type of wood this even is or if it's safe and the discolorations are worrisome. Any thoughts on whether this would be safe in the tank?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 02:34 PM
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That would be Malaysian Driftwood. That stuff should sink like a rock and is safe for your tank. If you're worried about the dark spots, just do a bleach dip with it to kill anything living on the wood

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I thought it might be Malaysian but wasn't sure. So the greenish stuff is nothing to be worried about? Perhaps when it air dried it formed some mold or something, I have no idea, I don't think the green was there when I purchased it. A scrub and a bleach dip is a good idea, thank you.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 04:32 PM
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I no longer give any thought to the type of wood I use. When I find really old, truly dry wood, it is often impossible to tell what tree it might have been. What I do try for is avoiding tannins. That often means the wood is beyond recognition. After that I try to make sure I have a level field to play on without any wild cards. A bleach water soak and good dry afterward will let me be sure all disease, fungus, oils or other hazards are gone. The chlorine in bleach reacts with almost all organic things, even the wood itself. This reaction leaves no doubt about the things we can't see. The idea that the chlorine might some way stick inside the wood and come out later to harm fish ignores the facts. By basic nature, chlorine reacts with wood until one or the other is expended.

After making sure the wood is safe, it is a matter of watching what changes it may make in my water and doing something to counter any changes. If the PH begins to drop, a bit of baking soda might be called on. That never happens in my hard alkaline water.
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