Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Driftwood (

playeryhm 10-27-2009 06:22 PM

Hi! Im new to these fourms and this is my first post :-)!

So i have been want to get driftwood for my fish tank, i have gotten a small piece from a store and it is very expensive i was wondering could i get it from a river or stream or pond if so what are the precautions? what kind of wood can i put in my tank? how can i tell if its a good piece?

Thank you for visiting my thread and for your replies!

Byron 10-27-2009 06:54 PM

Hi and welcome to the forum.

You can collect wood outdoors, but there are risks involved. Hardwood is best as it will not quickly rot; softwood does and fast. Conifer wood is no good as it releases sap that is poisonous (there's a name for this, can't remember it at the moment). The next issue involves insects or parasites and bacteria; boiling the wood for several minutes can handle this. However, boiling will not remove other toxins if they are present, like pesticides, chemicals, etc. that the wood may have absorbed over the years.

Wood bought in a reputable aquarium store is more reliable, though expensive.


playeryhm 10-27-2009 06:59 PM

Thank you, im not sure what i want to do lol i would like to gather my own but i dont like the risks =(

MoneyMitch 10-27-2009 08:00 PM

maybe look online for cheaper DW. maybe in bulk and then you can sell it on CL.

Mikaila31 10-27-2009 08:58 PM

I use both store bought and free wood from the woods. Store wood is generally safer, however I had a really bad run in with some thing called grape wood I got from petsmart. Put a big chunk of it in my 55gal and basically nuked the tank. Caused a nitrite spike, a bacterial bloom, and took out about 20 fish and a lot of $. Since this I tend to soak my wood in a pail and monitor the water quality for a few days before adding it to the tank.

As for as free wood goes, I've not had any incedents with it. Even without boiling. I'm not picky about what I use. I've had no problem using old pine. By old pine I mean the dead weathered branches at the bottom of 100' trees. I run planted tanks though, so slight decay doesn't seem to be a problem. For the most part though, when looking for free wood, I look for dead branches still attached to trees. Or fallen trees that have dead wood raised off the ground. Vines work good, but they float.... alot of free wood floats actually.

WisFish 10-27-2009 09:25 PM

I was just going to mention that. Long ago I found a piece of driftwood up in Canada. (It's "up" from where I live :-D ) After 10+ years of being in my tank it never did sink. I now use malaysian driftwood from Petco. Looks nice and the Java Fern loves to attach to it.

aunt kymmie 10-27-2009 10:43 PM

Craigslist is always worth looking into. I got seven huge chunks of Malaysian driftwood for $60 from a gentleman who was tearing down his tanks.

Welcome to the forum, playeryhm. Glad you have decided to join us. :)

southamericancichlidguy23 10-27-2009 11:02 PM

yea i got piece wood from tree root thing doesnt stay down to well its been the tank for 2 months i just built a cave on half of it lol it actually blends in real nice cuz its curves and my pleco loves it to death i think he would have a melt down if i took it out

playeryhm 10-28-2009 06:22 PM

Thank you very all for the posts! I am already liking these fourms seems like you all know your stuff! thank you again :)

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