Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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scottysgirl 02-19-2007 02:02 PM

Collecting driftwood
Wasn't really sure where to put this post. I want to collect some driftwood from a nearby river, I have read several articles and can't really seem to find a way to determine if wood is safe to use in the tank. I have heard boiling it several times with baking soda is a good idea, and also bleaching it and then boiling it. I really don't want to wood to change the pH of the water either. Any ideas? I have looked at treated wood over the internet, but the prices make me gasp, too much for a college student.
Thank you :D

Unrulyevil 02-19-2007 02:53 PM

Just boil it. Don't do anything else. just let it boil for 5 min or so but make sure that it is fully submerged in the boiling water.

xingumike 02-19-2007 03:00 PM

I'll pitch in with my teeny weeny brain here.... :)

There are no hard and fast rules i dont think, its all about the individual wood and where it was found etc, all but one of the pieces in my tank were bought but my favourite piece was found at a local river.

Things to bear in mind imo.

1) is it dead? if its alive still dont put it in your tank.

2) is the wood likely to have been exposed to pesticides (is it near agricultural land that could have run off into the river?) again if so i wouldn't use.

re preparing the wood method is use place the wood in my 'fish only' bucket, and completely cover with boiling water (use de-chlor if necessary). Using an my 'fish only' brush i scrub it as hard as possible to remove and loose bits and soil etc. I then leave the wood at least overnight, and dependant on how dark the water has become in that time may leave for a few days to get rid of the tannins in the wood (refreshing with boiling water regularly will speed this up).

Once i've gone through this its then just a matter of finding its spot in the tank. With the wood in my tank that didnt come from the LFS i kept an eye on it closely for a couple of weeks just to make sure that there were no strange growths/algaes on it (which there wasn't)

Maybe it might be a good idead to collect some that you think you would like then take a picture of it, its always easier giving advice on something you can see i find.


JTheFishGuyG 02-19-2007 05:37 PM

wouldn't trust the stuff in the river best to buy it from Big Al's or something never bleach it bleach can kill fish instantly or do major scale or in some case skin damage like clown loaches and what not .

mixologist 02-19-2007 06:25 PM

As far as not wanting the wood to lower pH, well...

putting driftwood in an aquarium is one of the oldest ways to naturally lower a tanks pH. As wood or any plant matter breaks down it releases acidic compounds that will lower pH in your aquarium.

scottysgirl 02-19-2007 06:40 PM

Thanks for all the replies everyone, I just collected some wood in a non-ag area, in what should be a clean stream. I am going to boil it, scrub it and then soak it for a few nights to try and rid it of the tannins. I am going to go ahead and give it a try, because as I said buying wood online is just too expensive.
Thank you very much

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