This is a discussion on Can I use this?? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
I found a super awesome piece of wood near my house. If I boil it, can I put it in my tank? Or do ...
I found a super awesome piece of wood near my house. If I boil it, can I put it in my tank? Or do I need to go pay $25 at my lfs every time I need driftwood...? It's just ordinary wood... put it's shape is neat. I don't want it to like rott in my tank or anything... So can I use it?
James, days is a bit much in my book. You are trying to do 2 things with the boiling. First is to sterilize the wood which I would expect to happen in the first hour. Second is to force most of the impurities in the wood, including the tannins, to leach out more rapidly so they don't affect your aquarium water as much. If you have clean and very dry wood, you should be OK as soon as a boiling in fresh water doesn't become discolored by the wood. I have no idea how long because it varies with the type of wood. For a piece of apple that I boiled, it took about 3 hours with a few water changes in the pot. Its been in the tank now for a year with no problems.
I've believe it's oak. It was bone dry when i found it. I've been boiling it for a couple hours now, but I can't fit the whole thing in the pot, so I can only do about half of it at a time. I've changed the water once, and flipped it so the other side is in the pot. It smells delicious and it looks like tea. Wonder what it tastes like.......
You DO boil wood for a very long time because more often than not there's stuff deep in the wood too and an hour will not do that. Ever had to soak driftwood and notice how long it takes for it to become waterlogged and sink? Boiling will help it sink too, BTW
Did you powerwash the piece first before starting to boil? Don't be afraid to cut the piece in half to boil it and then glue it back together with a fish safe glue. Better to do that and get ALL the nasties out.
Since the wood was totally dry when I found it, I think the time to sterilize it will be less than it would have been if I had found it in water. I didn't powerwash it, but I did sand it down and gave it a good scrub.
The piece of wood I found was never in water. It came off an oak tree. So I don't think that there's a huge chance that anything that was in there would be able to harm my fish. Especially after hours of bioling.