Driftwood issues? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Driftwood issues?

I've been soaking this piece of Mopani driftwood outside in a container for about 3 weeks now and it is pretty slimy. Also smells pretty bad.

I've mostly had this problem with Mopani wood though. Never really with Malaysian driftwood. Anybody got any clues to what causes this?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 01:23 AM
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Boil it and then soak it a bit longer. Boil again before putting in the tank if it smells. I think the best bet with Mopani is to boil first, then soak. Change the water daily. Boil again to be safe. I have three pieces of Mopani in my 30g tank. It takes a long time to leach all the tannin out of it. Boiling helps. If you don't boil and soak long enough you tank water will be yellow for quite awhile.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 02:03 AM
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There was another thread earlier on about prepping driftwood. Several people observed that Mopani leached tannins for a lot longer than other woods like Malaysian, Manzanita. And took longer to sink.

Agree with Argus, boil several times and dump the water in between boilings. I did this for one foot long piece, and after about a half dozen boilings, several buckets of soaking, it still leached for the first few water changes. Still leaching but very slight now (about a couple months later).

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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I'm really not having a problem with tannins really though, just the slimy substance all over it
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 02:24 AM
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I have a "large" zoo med mopani piece in my 40 breeder I started end of July. I soaked it in a 5 gallon bucket in the basement with baking soda and prime. Changing the water every 2 days. Did this for two weeks and then ran a fishless tank with it in there for a week. Did an almost complete water change and the tannins seemed to be gone. The next few weeks though after adding fish and going through the cycle, I dealt with the white slime. Did biweekly water changes with a toothbrush to remove slime and it was finally gone. Haven't had an issue since. It didn't bother the fish.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 05:47 AM
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My bristlenose loved the white slime. He and an SAE stayed glued to it for 2 days straight and ate every scrap of it. After that it has not returned.

I have seen it several times and each time the fish ate it all and it never came back. No fish have ever gotten sick from it in my tanks either. I say leave it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 06:00 AM
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Ah, the white slime.

It's a nuisance all right, I'm still waiting for it to stop growing in one of my vases. But it does eventually go away. When it gets too much, I just brush it off in situ and let the filter take it away, or let it settle into the substrate. Sometimes I net it out.
Sometimes I take the wood piece out, scrub it and rinse with plain tap water, then replace it.

I don't know that any of these interventions really does much, but it makes me feel better. And then it goes away all on its own. So far, in three tanks, it has averaged a month. Just about the time it takes to cycle.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 06:38 AM
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To be honest, the white slime you have to deal with it (it'll go away eventually). And like others say pleco love picking on it. You can prevent it from making your tank look disgusting by vacuuming it every time you do a waterchange.

I think it's sap that they are leeching out. I read it in a thread but totally forgot. That's the first thing that popped in my mind lol. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 07:10 AM
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@Blackheart, have you been changing out the water often? Stagnant water can get to smelling bad. The white slime is common and harmless, certain fish even like to eat it, inverts like it as well. From what I hear the white slime is little organisms, not sure what kind exactly, but rest assured they are harmless and just unsightly. The livestock will dine on the little organisms in the white slime.
I remember your post of the wood, and it does seem dried out/dead long enough to be used in aquariums.

Am I the only one that doesn't get excessive tannins or white slime?
I get ZooMed Mopani and it only leeches tannins for a week, I just change the water everyday. It gets white slime very very little (I do have algae eaters, but regardless, compared to others white slime I have seen, mine is very minimal).
My Malaysian and Manzanita wood gets very little white slime as well and leech very little tannins (only need to change water in 5 gallon bucket every day for 3-5 days). And I never boil or pour boiling water over my wood, just luke warm 5 gallon bucket soaks (my pieces take up most of the 5gal bucket so they aren't small)

I'm just wondering if something in our water plays a role in the amount of tannins and slime. Tannins obviously being the sap of the wood so not so sure, does drier wood = less tannins?

I know heat plays a role in leeching more tannins, as I observed when using a heater during a salt and heat treatment, tannins leeched out.

But wondering if something in our water sources grows the white slim more or draws out more tannins for longer. Because I don't have these problems nearly as bad. Maybe it's just the source my wood comes from. I don't know.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 07:48 AM
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I had this exact same problem, it's due to the stagnant water and I would not worry about it. The smoother surface allows for a slime substance to build easier on this type of wood. I would just boil it ( because there will be growth on it from sitting outside trust me ) and if you can't fit it in a pot then boil a ton of water and dump it into a barrel or container.

I have also heard of people pre-heating oven's to max temp and soaking the wood and putting it through multiple rounds of heat application. 10-15 minutes at a time , re-soak, re cook.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 09:41 AM
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This slime is just sugars leaching from the wood. Once it covers its course, it won't come back. My amano shrimp love this stuff, So do ramshorns... Then a few assassin snails to take care of them.

The fastest way to success is patience.


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