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Finding Driftwood

What do I look for when looking drift wood by a creek or something? I don't want to buy something like that when I could go out looking for a piece I want.
Hello Neat...

Don't blame you a bit for not wanting to buy the stuff in the store. It looks too fake for me. I get my driftwood near the local river areas. I look for pieces quite a ways from the water. These are drier and don't take much cleaning.

To clean, I just rinse them off in the sink or bathtub and scrub where needed. Don't use anything like soap to clean. I've never worried about bacteria in my area of the country.

While you're looking for the driftwood, look for some good rocks too. If you want to put the piece on the bottom of the tank, you'll need some rocks. You can float the piece too and attach floating plants to it with black sewing thread. Looks very natural.

Just a couple of thoughts.

B
 

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I like wild collecting the wood as well. I don't always find something much I like, but sometimes you do find something great looking. Plus, it's nice to just get out and poke around.

If you are collecting from salt water, soak it for a while with several changes of water to leach out as much of the salt as possible. (will also help with the initial tannins, and water logging).

I wouldn't put punkwood in the tank, but I won't pass up a piece of softwood that I like. Just realize that you may have to replace it after a year or two (or longer, depending on the size of it).
 

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I've used wood I somehow managed to catch while fishing in rivers & saltwater before. I just turned on the propane burner in the garage & filled a big pot of water to boil the wood for about half an hour. I do notice the wood I've used out of the water leeches slight tanins, but it was so little that after a few water changes it was all good
 

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What do I look for when looking drift wood by a creek or something? I don't want to buy something like that when I could go out looking for a piece I want.
I have found several nice pieces of driftwood down by the river I just took a wire grill cleaner and scrubbed any dirt/bark I could get off of it and dropped it in a tank weighted down with rocks.
some people boil theirs I would but my pieces are usually too large, I like to find driftwood that looks like roots of a tree or of course you could just go into the woods it doesn't have to be from a Lake/River. you can use pretty much anything.
Like someone mentioned earlier a good test is density if it's really light and soft then I would find something else.

good luck
 

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The benefit of finding wood that's already saturated (something that's been sitting in the stream, for example) is that you know it'll sink, and you definitely won't have to worry about weighing it down. The only thing I would be careful about is to make sure the water's fairly clean. A stream is probably good, a drainage ditch next to a road may not be.

Welcome to the "Sticks and rocks? I'm not paying for that s#$%" club.
 

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You could try letting it dry out, then sanding/sawing a bit of it (in an inconspicuous area, or where you plan on cutting it to fit in the tank, etc.), and see if you detect any sort of resin/pine/cedar smell. If it just smells vaguely woody, it's probably fine. if you smell pine/cedar, you may want to avoid using it, or soak it longer.
 
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