Removing mold from driftwood & lava rock? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Removing mold from driftwood & lava rock?


So, Mindlessly after soaking several large and new pieces of Driftwood & Lava Rock a week ago (pretty much went straight from the bathtub to a large plastic container and lid on) I now' naturally' have quite the mold problem (the normal mold when things are sealed in hot & humid conditions). Is there anyway I can make these items safe for use (bleach soaking, boiling, drying and soaking, leaving in the sun, etc)??

Many thanks,
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 06:05 AM
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If the wood was sold for use in aquarium's, or you are sure that it is not soft wood,with possibly sap contained therein, then boiling and letting it dry outdoor's,or 1/2 cup of bleach to five gallon's of water and then drying it outdoor's should take care of mold.
Is another matter if this is wood collected near stream's,lake,wood's.
I have used such wood and it help's to know what type of wood,and what if any contaminates may have been used near where the wood was gathered.
With regard's to Lava rock, This pourus rock is rough on bellies,and barbel's, of fishes like loaches,pleco's, corydora's that scour over nearly every inch in the aquarium, while searching for food.
Would want smooth riverstones for these fishes if it were me.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 07:51 AM
You 'could' soak in bleach or white vinegar 1/2 - 1 cup per gallon of water. If it was me (and they'll fit), I would run through the dishwasher (high temp) with a cup or two of white vinegar.

Note 1: Some have expressed fear that using the dishwasher may be a problem as some soap residue may be in there... but my dishes rinse clean with no residue so I'm undaunted. The dishwasher uses very hot water and power spray and with vinegar (or bleach) cleans and rinses wood, rocks and decor very well.
In some extreme cases, pre-soaking may be required.

Note 2: If you do use bleach (I prefer white vinegar) make sure you treat to remove any chlorine - especially since wood may absorb some and release later. Vinegar is a safer choice.

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yes all the driftwood is Malaysian Driftwood brought from an aquarium supplier. I will try soaking in vinegar and see how that goes.

Many Thanks,

30 Gal - 7 Guppies, 12 Cherry Shrimp.

60 Gal - Not far from being set up.

180 Gal - Some time from being set up.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 07:20 PM
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I would not soak any wood in anything but water. It absorbs liquids and will absorb bleach and vinegar, and you cannot be certain of getting it all out. I speak from experience; five or six months from now when fish start dying, you will wonder what it might be.

If this is true mold, just dry it in the sun.

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 #6 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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That sounds like it could be a much safer way to go, thankyou Byron.
I've decided to play it extremely safe and they are now just going to goto the garden.


30 Gal - 7 Guppies, 12 Cherry Shrimp.

60 Gal - Not far from being set up.

180 Gal - Some time from being set up.
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