Can these be used as driftwood? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Can these be used as driftwood?

I've been trying to purchase Manzanita for a 75 gallon aquarium.

Would these bird perches work? They specify all natural but the seller said he doesn't sell wood for aquariums.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:12 PM
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I would think they would be ok but you definitely have better options than that. People buy inexpensive manzanita branches from saveoncrafts and bloomsandbranches. Personally I recommend checking with Tom Barr (username plantbrain), he sells great aquascaping wood and rocks. Even checking around the woods where you live could get you some great stuff unless you are set on having manzanita.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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I have been trying to buy pieces from Tom and Bacon5. I don't know if Tom is out of town but the last pm I received was almost a week ago. I've sent him 3-4 pms since then.

I've also sent pms and emails to Bacon5 without any response. He has the piece I really want.

Tom has several pieces that I really like also but they would have to be cut to fit my tank.

I would buy either piece if I could get in touch with them!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 07:29 PM
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check out bloomsandbranches.com
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 09:58 PM
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Most wood is okay to use as long as you get it properly weathered.

I don't know what the perches are, but I imagine with some boiling or soaking, they would be perfectly fine. I know I used to see manzanita (with the bark on) for perches pretty often a decade or so back. Not sure what they use now.

I'd strongly encourage you to take a day trip to a local lake, river, canal, whatever, and go on a hike. Keep an eye out for deadwood, and take something home if it looks interesting.

Give it a good soaking, scrub it a few times with a brush, maybe even boil it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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My hubby is disabled and won't let me go hiking alone. All the rivers here flow through people's property where I wouldn't have to hike through the woods.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 12:48 AM
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One item that I have found might/might not be a problem. I have seen on forums where people have tried bird/reptile perches and had some trouble. It looked like some of the wood might have been patched or filled before being covered. I have seen where they have used a very cheap wood filler made by mixing sawdust with glue like Elmer's or such to fill holes and defects. The trouble came up when the wood was put in the water. As the sawdust/glue got wet it began to swell and come out of the patch, leaving a mess. No way to tell if this is a problem on your wood, though.

I might suggest some other ways to find wood. Most places will have a place where people take their brush and clippings. If you can get to something like that , even some neighbors back lot, you may find some really old dry stuff that works quite well for cutting out some small stuff like your pictures. I don't know your part of the world but most everywhere has some back ally type places which collect junk and dead limbs. You do have special limits and we need to honor them but maybe do some thinking about where you might be able to pick up somebodies brush pile?
Do a cemetary cleanup and look for dead limbs?
Go for the really old dead dry stuff.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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I have been eying a large pile of dead tree limbs in a sheep pasture down the road. It's been there for years but I have no idea what kind of wood it is.

I'll have to stop and ask them tomorrow.

I have woods all around my property but was afraid to use what I find because I don't know what kind of wood it is. We have Pine, Oak, Black Walnut, Cherry, Maple and a few others around here.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 02:28 PM
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Type of wood is usually not a factor as there are very, very few that are actually poison. None that I've run across. But some wood has far more sap and takes far,far longer to dry so that it doesn't color or change the water. The wood fiber itself does nothing once dry.
To test found wood, there are a few tricks. Look for wood that has been out in the weather long enough for the bark to dry and fall off, change color to usually a light tan and it should feel lighter than a new piece of the same size. Bit of judgement on all those.
When you cut an end off a piece, the color should be close to uniform from the outside to inner layers. As the wood dries from outside, you can judge the progress of drying. If the center is still a deep rich color, it may have more sap which is what you want to avoid. Cedar and pine are two which start with lots of sap and do take a really long time to dry. Spot those when you cut them by using the smell as an indicator. Strong smell? Likely to have sap left. Sap alone may not be bad but it is an indication that you may have a bad time getting rid of the color.
For smaller stuff try looking for brush piles where it is left up off the ground. Wood on the ground is not likely to be good as bugs, fungus and rot are there when it stays damp.

Any old bulldozer piles left around after clearing land? Old tree roots sticking up in the air for ten years? They make good gnarly looking things.
That sheep pasture sounds like a good place!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 04:42 PM
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That wood is pretty boring, I'm sure you can do a lot better... the cut ends esp look bad.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

PlantedRich, thanks for the indepth instructions. I'm going to look around the woods in back of my house and see what I can find.

Thanks!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 02:42 AM
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Hope you can find something and hope my advise is helpful. I really feel like all the time I've spent running through the woods should be good for something!
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