Selecting Driftwood - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-30-2014, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
Question Selecting Driftwood

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
5. decomposition

Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-30-2014, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Diver Down View Post
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
5. decomposition

Thanks!
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!
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-30-2014, 04:27 PM
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I have never had much tannins from Malaysian driftwood and do not boil this types of wood.

Mopani wood on the other hand is much different. It will produce lots of tannins. It also is very prone to getting fungus on it. Some of which can be toxic to fish.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-30-2014, 05:00 PM
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I have nothinh but Maylasian driftwood in both my tanks. As you can see I have a lot of it. Some of the Maylasian wood did leach longer than others but not too bad. It did not effect my Ph at all, and yes you can attach plant's to it. I've had some pieces in my tank for over 2 year's and the decomposition is very minimal. Another good thing about Maylasian driftwood is it sinks so you don't have to worry about soaking it forever or weighting it down to get it to sink
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125g Planted rainbow and SA cichlid tank.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-30-2014, 08:20 PM
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If I were you, I would buy some low cost driftwood and find my own this spring. I collect my own and you can find it in mass along any river, stream or creek after it floods in the spring. I soak mine in a ship sink or rubber made container. I weight it down with a soda bottle filled with sand. I change the water once daily-good outside project. After two -three weeks the tannis is gone and the wood sinks nicely. The other plus is it is cycled.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-31-2014, 12:45 AM
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I read what lowers tank ph are the tannins in the wood and once these completely leech out the wood no long has a value in lowering ph. Any truth to this??
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-31-2014, 07:50 AM
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No I've never had it lower my Ph at all.

125g Planted rainbow and SA cichlid tank.
20g quarantine tank.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-31-2014, 09:18 AM
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My pH has been going back up now that the tannins are stopping.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-31-2014, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boredomb View Post
I have never had much tannins from Malaysian driftwood and do not boil this types of wood.

Mopani wood on the other hand is much different. It will produce lots of tannins. It also is very prone to getting fungus on it. Some of which can be toxic to fish.
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have any evidence on the toxicity of mopani?i have it in a few of my tanks.never heard of it being toxic.perhaps the wood was contaminated by something else.

mopani is very hard wood.has a lot of tannins.very beautiful verigated coloring.good for attaching plants to.

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-31-2014, 10:23 AM
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you can find people blaming fish deaths on malaysian driftwood too. does not mean it is toxic.have hear many reports of people not letting the wood cool down enough(24 hrs) before putting it into the tank.the surface is cool to the touch,but the inside retains heat.overheats the tank quickly.or perhaps the wood was used in a chiclid tank or other hard water loving fish.there is a reason you do not see chiclid tanks decorated with wood.they usually use rocks.it can lower ph quite a bit depending on the type.
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Last edited by sandybottom; 01-31-2014 at 10:32 AM.
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