driftwood vs "i found it" wood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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driftwood vs "i found it" wood

Does anyone use wood that they collected in their tanks, or does everyone either use fake wood or store bought driftwood? also what about grapevine for terrariums? Just wondering about this because i want a pretty decent size peice of wood for my 55, and driftwood is pretty pricy, considering its just wood. In addition i think locally found wood would make a more interesting or realistic peice. Largely the concerns are algae, and water quality, as well as mold or fungus.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 12:58 PM
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I've used wood that I've found locally. I've picked up pieces that I've found in streams, etc. that look like they are not falling apart. I think I boiled one piece before I put it in my tank. Right now it's in my indoor fish pond, and hasn't caused problems.
Regarding the grapevine, I've read that when it's marketed for terrariums, it may be treated with antifungals, and that may be dangerous in an aquarium.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 01:23 PM
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I collect my own. If you collect it yourself start your search along a stream or river that is lined with hardwoods (remember to bring a handsaw). When you get it home scrub the wood with a stiff vegetable brush, boil the wood if possible. I like to let it soak in a heated tote for a few weeks to leach out any remaining tannins and let any critters still residing in the wood to become active. Rescrub the wood and change water as needed.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 01:45 PM
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i have never bought a single piece of it and never entend to. its too expensive and the wood i find is cooler looking anyway.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 08:50 PM
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There is aquarium grade grapevine and it looks great. Leggy and will float sometimes so you need to wedge it or use weights or rocks to hold in place. I use the regular aquarium bog wood sold at LFS. But my next change will probably use grapevine as I have some growing in our garden and I see a piece I might cut. It is a very graceful look, IMO. bob

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 08:56 PM
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Ive tried collecting driftwood I found on streams but Ive found theyre not as good as driftwood you get from stores. the pieces I found took forever to sink and it seemed like they were starting to rot (bad smell!). the driftwood I picked up at my lfs is better looking, and it sank with no problems. Im all for DIYing, but only if its as good or better than store-bought stuff. in my case of driftwood, it wasnt.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2005, 09:41 PM
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i collect my own, and sometimes buy it if it's an attractive piece that would suit my setup. i have no idea what type of tree the wood i use comes from, but it's pretty stable in the aquarium after the initial tannin release (3-4 months or so, then it seems to leach less and less every day). I actually have lots of spare wood that I'm looking to unload (see swap and shop), as there is abundant wood in a local lake. I plan on checking streams in local hardwood(oak, mostly) forests soon to see if I can find any other types of wood(read up on the ivory-billed woodpecker... i'm about 20 minutes from those woods, lots of swamps, lakes, streams, and hardwood trees; as you can imagine, soaked wood abounds).

I always recommend whatever will look best and be safest in your tank. if you have access to clean streams/lakes/rivers and have a way to properly clean the wood, and you spot a piece you like, then why buy it? however, if you can't find it, don't trust the water source where you found the wood, or just don't have a pot big enough for boiling it, then storebought is your best option. Also, you will often find that pieces in the stores are just far more attractive than you see anywhere in nature.


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