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Thread: Driftwood

  1. #1

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    Anyone know where to get small pieces of driftwood that would be safe for aquarium use? Kinda cheap considering it's wood. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
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    Your back yard, local rivers, streams, and lakes.

    Just boil it if you're worried about anything. The worst I've ever had is some white fungus seep out, but in time and some scrubbing later, even that disappears.

    Collecting your own not only saves you plenty of cash, but looks much more natural, IMO. It's also easier to get those nice big pieces that can really fill a tank, where you'd be spending an arm and a leg at the LFS for such a piece--if you could even find a big enough size. Otherwise you just have a jumble of similar-sized pieces, which I think looks kind of funny.

  3. #3

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    I agree. Some of the driftwood I used were bad decision made on me. Found a spectacular drift wood. Though it was rotting and full of bugs, I shook it loose, baked it in an oven and foamed it to my background. I got an excess of mold. First white turning green. Even though its natural, it kept becoming a problem. I had to redo the tank cause of mold. So if you choose your driftwood nicely, you wont' have to go through that problem.

    Just don't pick the rottens one =D.

  4. #4

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    Has anyone used polyurethane varnish to seal the wood?

    I tried it on three rather small pieces, 2 which are in the tanks. They havent caused a problem so far. The book I read it out of said to use at least 3 coats of varnish.

    I've also heard that driftwood has a tendency to break down after a year or so if it is boiled to extensively. Any experience? I'll be in the mountains for the weekend, and perhaps find something for my 46 gallon bowfront tank.
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  5. #5

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    Varnishing the wood kinda defeats the purpose if you've got Pl*cos or something else that needs to eat wood, but other than that i don't know if that's safe or not.

    The problem with collecting your own is that some kinds of wood will rot when consistently wet. That's why commercial driftwood is usually of certain species. You can give any piece of wood (especially one found already adrift in a body of water) a try, but be watchful that it doesn't foul your water.

    It's a good idea to boil it a bit, and also soak it for a week to month before putting it in the aquarium, as a lot of wood will leach all sorts of tannins and other stuff into your water.
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    I've gotten driftwood from the beach, but you need to be very careful to get all the salt out. It's not enough to boil it or just let it soak. Need to scrub it a bit first, then soak (weighed down with a rock), rinse all the water, repeat for a week or so. Let dry, give it the salt test (i.e. lick it!). If it's ready, boil and it's ready to go. Since what washes up on the beach varies widely, you have to look carefully at it and take into consideration its size, weight, etc.
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  7. #7

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    If you get a dry peice of driftwood, you have to soak it. Take the driftwood, boil it for a few hours, then set it in a garbage can full of clean water, and leave the lid on. every week change the water, and after 6 months the wood will not float. if you want to store it after soaking, keep it in the garbage can, or you will have to repeat the process all over again! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/ghostface.gif[/img]

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