Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fltcrew21 01-07-2014 07:06 PM

Grape Wood Goof
I'm new to most of this but I have been reading and trying to exercise diligence and judgement building my daughter's freshwater 36g bow front.

We decided on a South American/Amazon themed tank and wanted to add driftwood. There is tons to be had on the barrier islands around here but alas the government frowns on collecting it. Our LFS's have none really other than a few 12" sticks. Craig's List was no help and to avoid paying for shipping I looked at PetSmart for any reasonable piece to get me started and keep the Clown Pleco happy.

The best looking thing I found was in the reptile aisle. It did NOT say it was for aquariums but stupid (and optimistic) me, decided that driftwood was driftwood and to try it.

Long story LONGER. I found out that it is GRAPE WOOD and it collects fungus and rots. Not meant to be submersed.

Now I know 95% of the people reading this already know all about Grape Wood but I am adding this post for people Googling the topic in the future.

Let me add the product name here too.

Mac's Creations Grape Driftwood

It is great looking, cheap and NOT for aquariums. Don't TRY IT!!!

badxgillen 01-07-2014 08:15 PM

I don't know about Mac's but I personally use alot of grape wood. The problem is that is takes very long to cure,much longer than mopani or Malaysian drift woods, as it has much organics and sugars to decay and leach out.Some sources of grape also have pesticide that are residual from wherever they may have been harvested from.If you need some wood and cannot find any I could send you some.Flat rate a box maybe.Sorry to hear you found out the hard way.

fltcrew21 01-07-2014 08:37 PM

Thank you for the info. How long is "much longer"? I'm set to take it back but depending on how long it needs to soak, I may keep if for some future use.

Is that all it needs... to soak in freshwater for a few months?

What would be the most authentic choice for a South American tank?

badxgillen 01-07-2014 10:56 PM

For a south american tank I personally like the root look but as you probably know there are also rocky areas in the vast area of south america so nothing is written in stone so to speak.

Hmmm it is really hard to say as so many variables are at play when it comes to the leaching out of certain organics\tannins.Larger vessils that are changed more frequently will leach the wood faster but I could not give you a time frame. When the water stops becoming foul and the wood smells like wet wood should"not like rot". Some times people add feeder fish to the container that has the wood once it is cured as a sort of canary in the coal mine,this can backfire if the Local Fish Store will not take them back and you are not intending on keeping them.Sorry about the long answer.

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