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I was just wondering (hope this isn't a dumb question), but can any type of wood be used as driftwood in the aquarium as long as you prepare it properly? Is the main reason for mostly malaysian and mopani because they sink easily? Will other types of wood sink if you soak them long enough, or will they just float forever?
 

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Driftwood Question

Hello sz...

I get most of my driftwood from the local river beds. The pieces at the pet store will sink, but leach tannins into the tank water and turn it a light brown color, but a few large water changes will eventually clear the water.

The more natural pieces you find, will need to be weighed down with rocks or otherwise be attached to the tank bottom. I've had natural driftwood pieces floating in a tank for some time and I don't believe they will ever sink.

B
 

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You have to be careful what type of wood your putting in. It should be old, dry (at least not rotten) and well weathered (you don't want saps leaching into your water especially from a fir tree). And of course you should sterilize it well. Most wood will float at first - so you will likely need to weigh down or attach the wood to a stone or the bottom of the aquarium.
 

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It comes down to the type of wood... For example, balsa would will float forever, while Manzanita will sink after 2 or 3 weeks being submerged. Yet others, as you mentioned, are so dense that they will sink immediately, no matter if they have been soaked or not.

Some woods will leach stuff into the water. Whether it is just unsightly (tannins) or even poisonous (oils and other stuff) is under discussion. Some say Cypress is good, others say it is bad, some say that for grape etc.

Softer wood will decay over time, but on the upside Plecos and such like to rasp it away even faster.
 
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