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praveentnair 05-19-2013 07:53 PM

Sealing Driftwood
Hello everyone,

I need a help in determining a driftwood that I found from the nearby stream is good for my 55g tank. The tank is new one and is in cycling process. I have few zebra danios in it. No plants yet and the water parameter readings are good also. I found this beautiful piece and want to use in the tank. I am not sure from which tree it is. It has the outer skin (bark) at some places and was easily coming off when I tried with a screw driver. This was submerged in the water for some time but not enough to make it completely water logged. The questions that I have are

1) Can I seal this piece with something and use this in the tank? If yes, what can I use? Polyurethane is good? Can I use cement (with cement color added) and soak it for a while before putting in the tank?
2) Is it harmful to apple snails and other invertebrates?
3) I read in another thread that Plecos need the bacteria that forms on the surface of the wood. How about other algea eaters?

Please help.


Bongox3 05-19-2013 08:07 PM

I asked a similar question on another sealing the wood - collectively I and those who answered worried about the possibility of adding a substance that might bleed toxicity into the tank...

Would boiling the wood for a bit be a possibility? Is it hard wood or soft? Can u post a pic????


praveentnair 05-19-2013 08:22 PM

Sealing Driftwood
3 Attachment(s)
Hi Mike,
here are the photos. First 2 are the wood in different positions. 3rd is a close up of a portion where a stone got inside the wood.

If you need more pics let me know.


jentralala 05-19-2013 08:25 PM

There can be some nasties (bacteria, insects, etc) that are in 'wild caught' driftwood, but then again there can be nasties that are in store bought driftwood (because really, they are generally harvested from rivers/streams/lakes).

I think the general consensus is to try and boil it for a few hours if you can fit it in a pot, and then if you're really cautious 'bake' it in the sun for a week or so.

To water log it again you could just chuck it in a bucket for awhile, it's what I do with sticks that I use in my tanks.

I have no idea about what other algae eaters need to munch on driftwood, it may help if you have a particular species you're curious about? :)

Good luck! :D

praveentnair 05-19-2013 08:32 PM

Loaches, Coydoras, sucker cats.. i may go with those once the tank is cycled.

Bongox3 05-19-2013 09:05 PM

That is a neat piece of wood...looks like the root system of some small tree...I think it would be best to boil it...with my larger wood that wouldn't fit in a pot, I just would place in a sink or tub with a stopper and keep dumping boiling water from large pots heated on the stove....over and over and over again...once i even did this and placed the targeted wood in the oven (was combatting a bad algea bloom)...- of course be very carful with that!!! But it perminately got rid of what had attached to my wood...... Its sometimes also helpful to attached a base to branches and roots - that sits beneath the substrate, can help with stability ...nice find!!!!

praveentnair 05-19-2013 10:04 PM

This is what I am planning to do
1. cut off a branch. The bark in this area is too difficult to peel off. Also because of this branch, a portion of the main trunk is not fitting in the biggest pot I have.
2. Once it is boiled, I will give a hydrogen Peroxide bath.
3. Sundry and boil it again
4. Finally, will do oven baking under 300F

Every time I boil, I will take a water sample to see teh coloration. I assume that if anything leaches even after the second boil, i will have to throw it away(May be I will use it as a decoration in the living room). I will keep you guys posted.


Bongox3 05-19-2013 10:27 PM

Not sure u need to cut off the branch...just boil the heck out of it...some tinting is no big deal, and as it was already submerged it should not be that big of an issue.... Especially if it was in running water ( ie a stream) ... rather than, just be careful with the oven thing or u might find grill marks or worse, ur beautiful wood could become an unsightly match! I think it's going to look great in ur tank....

Never heard of doing a hydrogen proxcide can't comment... Good luck!!!!

Bongox3 05-22-2013 12:37 AM

Hi again...just curious how ur tank with the added wood came out...if u do find time and are willing, please post a picture...

jentralala 05-22-2013 01:50 AM


Originally Posted by praveentnair (Post 2097346)
Loaches, Coydoras, sucker cats.. i may go with those once the tank is cycled.

As far as I am aware, neither loaches nor corydoras actually eat algae. There are many different species of loach and corydora, but none of the species I am familiar with actually eat algae as part of their diet. I don't think any of the commonly available species need driftwood to munch on.

If by sucker cat you mean otocinclus, I don't know if they need driftwood or not. I've never seen it mentioned, though. That species is very sensitive to water parameters and can often starve to death, just as a precaution. They are all wild-caught, and most tanks just don't have enough algae to support them long-term.

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