Driftwood boiling - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-22-2010, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Driftwood boiling

Well, today's finally the day my malaysian driftwood has finally arrived and I've read some conflicting reports on how long to boil the wood for......I've read boil it for fifteen minutes twice....i've read boil is for a week as much as you can....(which seems nuts)

any reccommendations? it's 1:50 eastern time now, it's going to the water @ 2pm......I'll be home until about 4pm..i can continue boiling after then....

also, is there any way to tell if it's done leeching tannins without putting it into the tank to test it?

thanks for all the help....
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-22-2010, 01:19 PM
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I always boil mine 2x. First set up I let it sit there in boiling hot water maybe 1-2 hrs and the second time a lil longer. If by the 2nd boiling attempt the water still comes back looking like coffee then I usually let it soak over night.
But really it doesn't matter THAT much....its just whatever doesn't come out while boiling will stain your water lil brownish (which some fish actually really enjoy). So that's your tank/ your tank water you gotta know for yourself how "clean" you need it to be

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-22-2010, 01:27 PM
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How big is the wood? Bigger driftwood sometimes needs more time boiling.

But for smaller pieces less than a foot long, one boiling for about 15-20 minutes and then soaking for a week in a bucket of water is enough in my experience. I change the water in the bucket and wash the wood under running water every 2 days. Also, I mix some baking soda while boiling. Someone told me this helps neutralize the tannins faster. I don't know if this is really true but it won't hurt trying.

Your fish love watching you as much as you love watching them. So please practice responsible fishkeeping.

Last edited by adiumroot; 01-22-2010 at 01:36 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-22-2010, 02:10 PM
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If the wood came from a pet store, I usually just rinse it off and stick it in the tank. A couple of times I've used wood I found in the woods. For those I've also rinsed them off real good and then stuck them in the oven for an hour or two. Water will only go to 212 degrees while the oven can go higher. But I just set the oven to 250 or so. I haven't done that in years since I've been getting the wood from petco.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-22-2010, 11:55 PM
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Are you boiling just to disinfect, or are you trying to leech out all of the tannins? I love tannins, so I never boil for more than a couple of minutes just to kill off any nasty stuff.

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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**bump**

So this single piece of driftwood has been boiling for a total of about 10 hours, off and on....changing the water every two hours.....still leeching tannins....

any advice? or just keep chuggin' along!?!
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 02:15 PM
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If you boil too much there may not be much wood left. Seriously though, I would guess that extensive boiling might affect the wood fibres? Just a thought. B.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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well, any other ideas to get rid of the tannins? i just turned the stove off....
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 02:31 PM
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I'd let it sit in a clean water bucket over night and then add it 2mrw and call it even. You'll always have * a little* come off in the tank but even my "unboiled" one's that I just washed off never stained the water enough to make it brown in my tanks.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-24-2010, 05:31 PM
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Also, activated carbon will remove the tea-like color from your tank if it really bothers you (though it won't do much as far as negating the pH drop associated with tannins). So if it's still leeching, you could just put it in your tank and run carbon (though I don't think this would be a good idea in a planted tank, especially one that's being dosed with fertilizers).

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