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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a nice piece at petsmart last week that looks incredible in my 12 gallon long, I'd be hard pressed to find a more well suited piece. After a couple days in the tank I noticed sap bubbling out in places (along with the harmless white fungus). After some searching I see suggestions to boil it to try and remove the sap or bake it to try to crystallize, this morning I came across this thread with a couple very experienced members saying it will kill shrimp

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=122901

Kinda surprised no one caught the true culprit.
Be glad you didn't put it into your actual shrimp tank.
Mopani is not a SAFE aquarium wood.
Within the wood is some nasty sap.
This is what killed your shrimp.

If you want to use the mopani, boil it 5 times to help remove the sap.
Then, put it into a bucket of water for a month, change the water every day, try to boil the mopani a couple times. Either way, keep changing the water till the water is completely clear.

IMO Get rid of it, you're going to WASTE tons of time. Get manzanita or some maylasian driftwood. Don't kill more shrimps :^(
fish != shrimp

Mopani will also rot in your tank, and grow nasty fungus... The brown part of mopani is hard wood, the white part is soft wood. I've never had luck with mopani in a shrimp-only tank. This might not be the only cause of the shrimp death, but it's a likely culprit.

I baked it at 220 last night for an hour and a half, some of the sap melted out and stuck to the wood but I can't tell if it's crystallized inside, I'd really like to do all I can to get this to work but if the consensus is that Mopani is unsafe for inverts I'd consider giving up on it even though I love the piece.

I've recently moved, the tank is stocked with otos and nerites, I'm planning on stocking it with OEBT in a month.

please share your experience with Mopani.
 

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This is a complete MYTH first presented by the Germans many years ago. Is it possible to get a bad piece of aquarium décor of any type??? Sure it is possible but I have to tell you that I have used both Mopani (and Malaysian driftwood) in EVERY single tank I have (16+) for the last 7 years with shrimp. NO ILL EFFECTS! I don't even boil it! I just drop it right in and let it go. It is a good idea to boil it initially to help it sink, but be careful of residue inside your pot...ie dishwasher detergent etc.
The truth is, nobody ever wants to blame themselves when a colony collapses and often times people choose the easiest thing to blame. IMHO, at least 95% of shrimp death occurs from HUMAN ERROR. Most of the time it is overfeeding too.
Feel confident that if shrimp die, it is not from your Mopani. :icon_bigg

Good luck!

This is the same with anub plants...Germans SWEAR that the sap will kill your shrimp...FALSE! I use them in a few of my tanks with zero ill effects. Again, people are just too pompous to blame the real cause of shrimp death...themselves. Hey don't get me wrong, I have had a few colony collapses but both times I have tracked the issues directly to something I did wrong! Water changes too large...over feeding...something introduced into the tank via improper sanitary techniques are nearly ALWAYS the true culprit.
 

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If this is Zoomed wood, I'd email the company with pictures because the sap isn't something that should happen to their wood, is supposed to be inspected and guaranteed to not do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is a complete MYTH first presented by the Germans many years ago. Is it possible to get a bad piece of aquarium décor of any type??? Sure it is possible but I have to tell you that I have used both Mopani (and Malaysian driftwood) in EVERY single tank I have (16+) for the last 7 years with shrimp. NO ILL EFFECTS! I don't even boil it! I just drop it right in and let it go. It is a good idea to boil it initially to help it sink, but be careful of residue inside your pot...ie dishwasher detergent etc.
The truth is, nobody ever wants to blame themselves when a colony collapses and often times people choose the easiest thing to blame. IMHO, at least 95% of shrimp death occurs from HUMAN ERROR. Most of the time it is overfeeding too.
Feel confident that if shrimp die, it is not from your Mopani. :icon_bigg

Good luck!

This is the same with anub plants...Germans SWEAR that the sap will kill your shrimp...FALSE! I use them in a few of my tanks with zero ill effects. Again, people are just too pompous to blame the real cause of shrimp death...themselves. Hey don't get me wrong, I have had a few colony collapses but both times I have tracked the issues directly to something I did wrong! Water changes too large...over feeding...something introduced into the tank via improper sanitary techniques are nearly ALWAYS the true culprit.
Thank you! It seemed curious myself as in my searching I came across a post saying that the sap would be fine as long as there were already shrimp in the tank to eat it before "bad bacteria" get to it. So there's definitely conflicting opinions on the saps toxicity.

If this is Zoomed wood, I'd email the company with pictures because the sap isn't something that should happen to their wood, is supposed to be inspected and guaranteed to not do this.
Thanks, it is zoomed mopani, I've seen several reports of them replacing the wood and responding as if it's the first time they've ever heard of it. I wouldn't want some random piece though so if there's no way to make this piece work I'd probably just take a loss.
 

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Thank you! It seemed curious myself as in my searching I came across a post saying that the sap would be fine as long as there were already shrimp in the tank to eat it before "bad bacteria" get to it. So there's definitely conflicting opinions on the saps toxicity.



Thanks, it is zoomed mopani, I've seen several reports of them replacing the wood and responding as if it's the first time they've ever heard of it. I wouldn't want some random piece though so if there's no way to make this piece work I'd probably just take a loss.
All my pieces were zoomed pieces purchased from either Petco or Drs Foster and Smith. A few of them had sap and as stated above I simply dropped it into the tank...it usually always fungus' up and grows some colored fungus/bacteria but I still have not had any problems. I have put new pieces of Mopani in new tanks and in tanks with shrimp and have not had problems either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Came across this on a wood finishing site, I wouldn't use the acetone or heat gun but at least it gives an idea on crystallizing sap with heat if anyone facing a similar issue comes across this thread.

Kilns crystallize sap in the wood by heating it up over 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use this same effect to your advantage with a handheld heat gun. Plug in a heat gun and set it on the highest setting. Aim the gun at the oozing area. Keep the gun moving to prevent scorching. Keep the gun focused on the area for at least five minutes, moving it slowly, allowing the wood to heat thoroughly. This may cause the sap to ooze initially, then harden. Remove any sap from the surface using a chisel and remove the residue with acetone. The interior sap will crystallize and harden into a rocklike deposit. Unless temperatures reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not see oozing from this spot again.
from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/wooden-porch-steps-oozing-sap-98981.html
 

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That bit about the heat crystallizing sap is interesting.

I imagine it's driving off all the volatiles and effectively drying it out.

I've noticed a similar thing with various pieces of wood I've burned and scrubbed for a finish - if there is an oozy spot, I generally repeatedly torch it until it stops producing (extra) flames or noticeable bubbles, etc.

When I go to scrub off the char, it tends to be somewhat shiny around that area, similar to using a bit of varnish or something.

You might be able to stick it in an oven for a while, so long as anyone else who uses the same kitchen doesn't mind. Maybe try boiling it first, to actually try and remove as much as possible, instead of just drying it out. I don't think plain old acetone would be a problem, so long as it isn't the type with all the additives people use to remove nail polish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Neat, hopefully it works. I baked it for a few more hours this evening, it's now cooling on the window sill.

Decided not to boil it for now because I didn't want to potentially undo any progress made drying it out in the oven and I don't really have a sap-worthy pot big enough. There's really not that much visible sap left on it other than some sticky spots so I'll just toss it in later, maybe the otos will take care of it.
 

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ive used it a few times and never had any problem. im wondering if the ones that have had prob with sap, the wood was new cut and not ages and dried for a while before it got shipped out for sale
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys! Quick update, the wood's been in the tank four days since baking it and there's no sign of sap bubbling out anymore, the otos have been busy cleaning up any that was left on the surface.. and the white fungus growth is almost non-existent, just in small crevices.. they otos may be eating that too. :)
 
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