Does manzanita rot? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Does manzanita rot?

I have very nice manzanita wood in my tank, at least that what I told it was from someone on this board when I bought it about a year ago. I pulled it to move into my new tank, and lots of it just flake off and some areas just fell off. Maybe this is normal, but I don't want to have to replace it in 6 months or have stuff all over my tank from it. Should I start the hunt to find new?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 09:32 PM
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Manzanita is not like cedar, it will definitely rot under water after a time.
Despite what some have said here in the past, cedar root is fine/safe, and isn't so prone
to rotting when submersed. You just want an old piece that's been exposed for some seasons - not fresh. I use western red cedar since I can collect it locally.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 11:01 PM
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I have had the same manzanita in one tank for 3 years now, no signs of rotting

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 11:28 PM
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Are you sure it's manzanita? Please post a picture if you have one.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarbee54 View Post
I have had the same manzanita in one tank for 3 years now, no signs of rotting
Yeah it can last for a while, it's just not cedar in this regard is all.
3 years isn't very long.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 11:38 PM
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Everything (natural) breaks down after time, at least most natural things do.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune_Gem View Post
Everything (natural) breaks down after time, at least most natural things do.

Rocks are natural, and yes and hundreds of thousands or millions of years they break down. We're not concerned about geologic time scales with regard to our aquariums however though are we? Well I know I'm not.

Yes all wood is natural, but that doesn't mean they all behave the same way, especially once submerged. Some woods rot fairly quickly under water, others more or less never rot if they stay submerged. (repeated wet and dry cycles are another thing altogether).
Your grand kids will use your cedar driftwood or roots, try that with manzanita. Around here we have lots of cedar stumps from the original clear cutting that was done in the 1850's. The outer few inches is rotting (but still there) but underneath the wood is still in good shape.
Most of woods would have rotted away to nothing long ago. That's not even submerged, that's from repeated wet/dry weathering cyles which is the hardest thing for a piece of wood to withstand. THAT is the difference between cedar and most other woods - so you can't lump everything that's "natural" into the same category and just say "well it all rots - same same" not the case. 5 years from now, and 90 years from now are two vastly different realities.

There are native american cedar totem poles which still stand.

There's an old cedar root bundle outside in the garden that I've been watching for 8 years (who knows how long it wast here before that) if I grab one of the thinner roots, say 3/4 of an inch, it doesn't give under pressure, I have to use some force to snap it. Fir, maple, oak, alder, it all would have very rotten by now.

In contact with the ground, a cedar post will start to rot after a time - submerged, you'd better be a vampire or you won't live to see it decay.
It's safe to boot, (so long as you use a seasoned piece) despite what gets regurgitated now and then on forums (by people who don't use it)

Last edited by James M; 04-15-2013 at 01:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:03 AM
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Cedar, redwood, mopani etc, will last a long time to be sure.

Question is, does it have the look you want etc? Manzy rots, particularly the smaller thinner branches in planted tanks. All wood rots, but the rates are different.

A larger 6" diameter branches will last for decades, whereas as 1/2" dia twig? Maybe a year.

The Cedar I have in my 180 is Western cedar it DOES rot. You can look at the older pics and compare them with the new ones, there's rot happening.

It's a few years old.

Many redo or rescape their tanks somewhat over time, typically 1-2 years time frames.

A few folks aim for longer term scapes.

The look and idea that manzy offers is well worth the trade off vs say Mopani, even though Mopani will last longer. It still last some time frame(typically a few years).

If anyone gets wood from me and it's rotted after a few months, PM me, I'll send new stuff to replace free.




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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does manzanita rot?

Thanks everyone. I cut most of the rotted parts off, bur noticed inside all rotted as well.



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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At this point do you guys think I should use this or get something else?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 02:03 PM
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If you have access to a pressure washer you could try blasting it to take off whats rotted and its just water so it should be safe. I've never personally tried that just the first thing i thought when seeing it.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 02:38 PM
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I soaked my Manzanita branches for a couple weeks then scraped off the dirt and rotted parts. Made for a nice hollow inside after I was done. Use whatever is solid, it is a nice piece of wood you have.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 06:18 PM
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That's a nice piece. The rot you have was likely there before you even put it in your tank. I would just use it. You can pressure wash it, but why bother.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 07:53 PM
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Find a wood working company locally or metal shop that has a box sandblaster you can use(I use to use the one where I worked years ago) just blast off the extra wood and clean up the rest to look "matched" then rinse well and use.

All wood rots, pick the look you want and go for it.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
I soaked my Manzanita branches for a couple weeks then scraped off the dirt and rotted parts. Made for a nice hollow inside after I was done. Use whatever is solid, it is a nice piece of wood you have.
Yeah I've aways used whatever I could find, and never worried about what it was. I've even used fairly green pieces of pine or other conifers with no problems. I do like the look of cedar root, so I made a point to seek that out for this new tank.
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