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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please allow me to vent.
I've been soaking/waterlogging a piece of american driftwood in my spare bathtub for the past 8 weeks. Yesterday, I finally put it in my tank. This afternoon, fish were dropping like flies. Amo. was zero....nitrates were zero......Ph was 7.0....There were no obvious issues with the water.....yet in a matter of 18 hours I've lost 11 neons, 4 threadfin rainbow fish, three angelicus loaches, one serpae tetra, and one diamond tetra. I'm baffled. My vision was an amano style natural aquarium, and it turned into a giant tank of death. I really love the look of mossy driftwood in an aquarium, but at this point I'm thinking I should skip it all together. :mad:
 

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What kind of wood was it? Did you buy it from a store or collect it yourself? It's possible that some kind of chemical residue was still stuck on the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It was given to me when my then boss was cleaning out his shed (he bred ball pythons, retics etc,and had a bunch of extra supplies,attractive driftwood included)..it didn't look treated but you're probably right about the chemical residue...... Thought I'd be safe if I soaked it for long enough, Also baked it for 12 hours before soaking. Thought it was cypress but now i have no idea. No tannins, no funky stuff, no red flags, looks completely harmless.

Any advice on where to get "safe" driftwood? Idealy I'd like to go with a rooty Amano style piece.
 

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You can find Mopani and Malaysian driftwood at most any aquarium store. Manzanita is great stuff too and there are several members of this forum that sell it. Badcopnofishtank (Jake) is the first to come to mind.
 

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Pop some activated carbon onto the tank, should remove any lingering chemical residues.

And I believe there are several members in the Swap n shop that sell driftwood packages, take a look in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just put a giant bag of carbon in the filter. I did a 50% water change earlier today, which helped for a while.......now the remaining fish are gasping for air again. I'm considering doing another water change before going to bed. If I could kick my own ass I would. stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid. :(
 

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Seriously, what you should do, is take your fish out of the tank tonight and put them in a "hospital" tank. By this I mean, if you don't have an actual spare tank running elsewhere in the house, you need to go grab a tupperware container out of the kitchen, fill it with dechlorinated water, put a powerhead or bubblewand in there, and move the fish to it.

Then tomorrow you can take the time to remove the wood, do a 100% water change, and disinfect the tank. There's no point losing your fish, and there's no point losing sleep.

Sorry about your losses. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I removed the driftwood early afternoon.... I have a slight urge to cover it in motor oil and burn it in the back yard :) . Just finished the second water change, followed your advice and set the fish up in a ten gallon. Also, disinfect the tank? how can I do so without killing my plants? I'm open to anything at this point.

ps
what kind of wood are you using in your 45, because thats exactly the look I'm going for.
 

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I removed the driftwood early afternoon.... I have a slight urge to cover it in motor oil and burn it in the back yard :) . Just finished the second water change, followed your advice and set the fish up in a ten gallon. Also, disinfect the tank? how can I do so without killing my plants? I'm open to anything at this point.

ps
what kind of wood are you using in your 45, because thats exactly the look I'm going for.
He's using Manzanita from badcopnofishtank. You can find him in the Swap and Shop. :)
 

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^ What he said.

As far as disinfecting your tank, the thing is, since you don't necessarily know what it is or was that was killing your fish, it's hard to say how much cleaning you should do. I suppose you could just start with a 100% water change and then go from there, but you might have to consider that there were some kind of residual poisonous chemicals on that wood, for whatever reason, and that's what was leeching into the water column, and into the substrate, and the filter media, etc.

So I don't know what to tell you. You could just do a 100% water change, then maybe clean your filter media, and then add some fresh carbon. See where that takes you. Add a few fish and see if they live, then add the rest and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just finished the 100% water change and rinsed the filters. The survivors are swimming normally for now....we'll see what happens throughout the course of the day....im holding my breath :X
 

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Just FYI:

Instead of purchasing drift wood or dredging something up from local water ways, I cut a limb off my tree in my own backyard and let it dry out for 3 or 4 weeks. It's in my 44 gallon tank now and my Farlowellas absolutely love it. It's not that large--about 2 1/2 inches at the widest and about 3/4 inch at the smallest. Of course, if you do this, it cannot be done with softwoods--especially not pines or such things related--these are too sappy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UUUUUUUGH. Came home from class, and the fish were swimming at the top.....looks like my tank will have to be out of comission until I can afford to replace my substrate AGAIN. Aquariumplants.com updated their driftwood section and had some interesting pieces, but It'll probably be November before I can purchase new substrate and driftwood. In the mean time, while the remaining fish are still hanging on, I guess I'll just keep doing water changes and see if I can suck out the funk that has seeped into the substrate.......


or, should I just go ahead and remove it....... put a Five dollar bag of silica sand in there just to tide me over until I can afford proper substrate?

As far as drift wood goes, This experience has converted me back to my old uptight ways......if its not made for a fish tank, I'm not using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok. I've done three 100% water changes of the past three days. phew. With each water change, The stress level of the fish improves....so, at this point, I think/hope and pray I've managed to suck all the funk out of my substrate :) yaaay!!!! Now I'm just waiting to see where my biological filter stands.
 

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Congratulations! Just keep your spirits up and keep doing what you're doing, things'll be okay soon enough. :)
 
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