Does this wood look ok?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2003, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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First off I would like to say Hello to everyone...this is my first post on here but I have been reading for a few weeks. I am trying to set up me first "real" plant tank. I say real because I have tried it before but not long enough to really know what I was doing.

Anyway I am trying to get stuff for the decoration of the tank right now and I found this piece of wood that I have been having. I would like to know what yall think...like is it safe for a planted tank and will it work. I think its like grapevine or something like that. It has never been in water and it has some loose bark like stuff thats still on it. I do love the look of it and think it has good potential as far as looking good. They way its sitting in the pic is how I would sit it in the tank (26 gal bow front). I would go from the front left corner to the middle of the back of the tank and then I could plant something behind it and then there is a split on the right side where I could plant something.

Soooo what do yall think..safe or not...what should I do to prep it?? Sink it in a bucket of water with an air stone? If it doesn't sink after a while...could I attach some slate to the bottom to hold it down?

Thanks all
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2003, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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One more close up shot
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2003, 09:54 PM
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preping wood for an aquarium will almost always involve boiling the wood to eliminate critters, leach tannins out, make it start sinking and sterilize it of all chemicals. Softwoods like what you have there can be somewhat problamatic in the aquarium as it takes them a long time to sink often requiring slate or weights of some sort. They can also start to rot, removing any loose bark would be a must. The piece you have their looks nice but In my opinion I would go with some sort of hardwood or rootwood specificly for the aquarium as they tend to be less problamatic. The best places to find such things can be local mom and pop stores instead of big name chains.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-07-2003, 09:55 PM
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It looks like grapevine to me. Since it's not really drift wood you are probably going to have lots of tannens leaching into your water. That's not a horrible thing, but be prepared to have your tank look like tea for a few months.

I would boil that thing before putting it in, because it will help open up the cells and water log faster. I'd bet that piece floats like a cork right now. You may want to get a piece of slate or two to act as anchors for this. You can put holes in slate with a masonry drill bit. They aren't very expensive. Then tie the log to the slate with monofilament.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 12:02 AM
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All I will say is this.... good luck, soak it and test it , and then hope it aint as green a piece of grapevine as I think it is.
I have been cutting this crap out of my property for over a month and I cannot envision this stuff being anything other then trouble. It definately makes for ornate pieces but it would take 100 years to sink and the effect on water properties , well , let me know bro....

Again, Good Luck !
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 01:18 AM
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Nolacls,

I would never use a piece of dry would in my tanks. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't even use wet wood if it hasn't been submerged in running water enough to sink immediately.

There are many beautiful clean rivers in this countries that are filled up with wood that is just waiting to be discovered and put into a fish tank.

This is what I would recommend... unless you hate nature and have severe allergies :shock: in that case you might check the next pet store.
:mrgreen:


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well thanks for all the advise I think I mgiht just try and boil it and then stick it in a bucket of water throw a brick on top and see what we have....see if it turns the water like tea and all. I am not opposed to going look for more...I just saw this and it would fit just right and I think it looks prety good. But I will fool with it and let yall know the outcome is after I boil it.

Again thanks for the help!!

Im sure I will be having many more questions for you guys
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I just stuck it in a bucket to see what it would do. It does not float as bad as you would think. It is about 16" or so inches and only about 3 inches sticks out of the water...so its not as bad as I thought. So how to boil it...do 1/2 at a time if even 1/2 will fit in my pot. How long do you boil it??

Thanks again
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, it already turned the water in the bucket a light brown. So its not looking so good...is this something that will stop soon or will it take about 100 yrs. I might try to boil it still...does that help get the tannins out faster??
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 07:48 PM
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Boil it... until no more/a little bit of tannins comes out. Some people boil their driftwoods up to 8 hours.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2003, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
There are many beautiful clean rivers in this countries
Which "countries" is this ? I haven't seen a clean river since I was a kid. Even if it looks clean I'll bet a water analysis would say otherwise.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2003, 02:26 AM
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Sorry for the misspelling Doomer, I meant "country".

I have seen many clean rivers in the few years that I have been living here. I visit Californias National Parks on a regular basis... of course taking driftwood only outside the park boundaries. :P

As I said... if you don't, you still can buy it. I wouldn't take a piece of wood from my backyard, which was the point I was trying to make :roll:


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2003, 02:33 AM
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I found some really nice pieces of wood in and on the banks of the Savannah River about 20 miles from Savannah a while back and they all smelled like sewage. There was no way I would have put them in my tank no matter how long I boiled them, etc. The water appeared clean and didn't smell until you stired the mud up. Pollution is far reaching.

Then again, I bought a nice piece of wood at a lfs and foolishly believed it was safe because it came from a lfs. WRONG It killed a whole tank of fish. I learned to test all wood using feeder fish from that experience.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-10-2003, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I am down in Louisiana so I dont know. I got the mississippi but that has runoff from everyone above us. I might go looking one day and see what I can find. Like I said...I just found this wood stored with all the other stuff I have collected over the years...it was probably in a snake tank It did turn the bucket a dark brown so looks like it might not work. I will try to boil it but its so long that I will only be able to do one side at a time. Then we will see what it does....if not better...back to the drawing board. That sucks because I realy liked this one...o well
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-10-2003, 12:52 PM
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The killer piece of wood I bought at the lfs was a really nice piece too. Right now it's sitting on the back porch. Maybe sometime in the future I'll boil, bake, nuke and give it one more try.

If a piece of wood has been exposed to pesticides, I'd don't know that it can ever be made safe for an aquarium. I suspect that the problem with the piece I have.
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