Originally Posted by Diver Down
I would like to add some driftwood to my freshwater tank. I'm considering mail order as I haven't seen samples I like in local pet stores.
Does anyone have experience with Mopani or Malaysian types?
Can you comment on:
1. effect on pH / tannic acid content
2. density / weight
3. coloration (uniform vs. variegated)
4. suitability as an attachment site for plants
I have Malaysian Driftwood in my 2.5 gallon unfiltered tank.
1. At first (I only boiled my piece for long enough for it to sink) my pH went from 8.2 to 7.2 but now, it has minimal effects on my pH, it's around 7.8-8.0 now. I've had the tank going for about 4.5 months now and did a lot of big water changes to remove the tannins. It stained my water pretty bad, but it is such a large piece it takes up most of the room in the tank.
2. I only had to boil my piece for 30 minutes for it to sink. I don't know what else to say here.
3. My piece - and all the other pieces at my LFS - were uniform in color. A nice brown and look almost mahogany red in the tank. My tank isn't lighted, though, it just gets window light.
4. I have java fern along the back side of my tank, behind the driftwood and just sitting on top of my sand. Almost all 5 of them have attached themselves to the driftwood, so I'd say it's good for attaching plants!!
5. I haven't seen any decomp, just mulm that I vacuum off but my tank is not filtered, so I expected mulm with "stagnant" water.
I personally don't like Mopani, I'd go Malaysian, every time. If you soak it and boil it properly and not like I did (I bought the tank, fish, plants, inverts, sand and driftwood the same day and needed to add the critters ASAP) you shouldn't have too many pH and tannin issues. You can see my piece out of the water in my the pics of my 2.5 gallon in my fish tanks. Hope that helps!