Driftwood, expectations vs reality - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-21-2012, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Driftwood, expectations vs reality

I picked up a nice piece of driftwood this week. Nice dark part and a "blonde" part... I thought that it would be a cool contrast within the same piece. pic 1

I plunked it in a pot to boil out some of the tannins and other crap. Pic 2

Then I dumped it, added fresh water and boiled it again. I am doing this at work as it would be hard to keep this a Christmas surprise... boiling wood, rinsing sand. They think I am nuts... nothing new. pic 3

Crap, I hope that stuff comes off of my wife's pot... more surprises fro Christmas than we bargained for perhaps.
Anyway, this is what the water looks like and I am on my fourth boiling session... no change in the water. pic 4

The wood is now a more uniform reddish colour. I wonder if that will settle down once I stop boiling the darn thing. I think I dyed the blonde part dark and lost the effect of the two colours.... I have some ideas to fix that though. pic 5

I'm going to add some more holes but drill from the back and bottom so they don't look like drilled holes... probably need to boil it once more after that to colour the little bit of freshly exposed wood the same as the rest .

One of these days you will see an actual picture that includes things like water (clear water), sand under the water and this hunk of wood looking like it is at the bottom of a riverbed... liberal application of imagination needed of course.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Driftwood sm.jpg (43.3 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg boiling sm.jpg (58.2 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg Pouring sm.jpg (66.2 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg Tannins etc sm.jpg (29.0 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg Wet wood sm.jpg (51.9 KB, 46 views)


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc

Last edited by JDM; 12-21-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 01:39 AM
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Is that Mopani wood????

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post #3 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boredomb View Post
Is that Mopani wood????
Yes. I thought that it was the Malaysian as I figured that it was better for some reason, somebody said something somewhere in the forum I think. Hefting it vs a piece of actual Malaysian driftwood determined that this was far denser so there was ZERO chance of it trying to float away on me, one of the issues when using driftwood sometimes is trying to get it to stay sunk.

That and the Malaysian was a funny colour, not that the colour matters dry apparently, and not very visually appealing. Sharp broken off, looked too "fresh".

I see some wood pieces on stands that, I guess, are to set right into the aquarium. I think that would be restricting the "look" to whatever it was setup as by whoever mounted it. I know that the fish don't care what it looks l Ike, as long as it does something for them, but I do.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 08:39 AM
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Well, that is an interesting looking piece. Can't believe all the stuff still coming out of it. While I can understand the attraction to the natural wood and the willingness to go through the preparation process, let me say this. All of my wood features are fake and, to varying degrees, they looked fake when I got them. After a very short time in the tank, they take on a patina that makes them look very natural. They have no effect on water parameters and the fish seem to take to them well. I'm just throwing this out there as an option.

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post #5 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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I'm one of those types that, if there is a natural option, I would always choose it first if prudent and not too much of a PITA.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 09:19 AM
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I'm one of those types that, if there is a natural option, I would always choose it first if prudent and not too much of a PITA.

Jeff.
Cool. I have no PITA reasons for choosing fake. It's just easier for me in the long run. If I could get natural wood that didn't involve the extra effort, I'd get it.

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post #7 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 09:24 AM
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I was so wanting natural driftwood for my tank until I saw those pictures. For one that pot would be history and probably that wood too, that is beyond gross to this newbie.
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 12:06 PM
I just soak my wood for 24 hours, I have never boiled it. Never had any problems with tannins.

Cool wood though! Looks like a big chunk.


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post #9 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. I have no PITA reasons for choosing fake. It's just easier for me in the long run. If I could get natural wood that didn't involve the extra effort, I'd get it.
You guys just have a lower PITA tolerance than me. So far I think that I have had about 10 hours of boiling. The water is looks like strong tea... It actually smells like, with a bit of cinnamon and a touch of sugar, it might not be a bad tea. There are a lot of particles coming out too, which surprised me. I attached a picture, my apologies for the focus but it gives you the idea of what is coming out of the wood.

I think I am done with the boiling though. Nuff's enuff.

Oh, I don't think the pot will be toast... I'll find out tomorrow.

Jeff.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg slivers sm.jpg (26.2 KB, 25 views)


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc

Last edited by JDM; 12-22-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-22-2012, 12:46 PM
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I have Mopani wood now (though its not whats in my current tank). It use to be all I could get locally. I too boiled it on several occasions. I never once saw tannins as bad as what yours made. Malaysian wood is much much better wood. It doesn't produce tannins at all or if it does its so little you can't tell. The one thing you really have to worry about with Mopani wood is fungus. No matter how much you boil it it can still have it and show up later on down the road. I had some that showed up weeks later after being in the tank.

Edit: This fungus may or may not be toxic to fish also. It just depends on the piece of wood and kind of fungus it is carrying.
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Last edited by Boredomb; 12-22-2012 at 12:50 PM.
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