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JohnnyD44 01-22-2010 12:51 PM

Driftwood boiling
Well, today's finally the day my malaysian driftwood has finally arrived and I've read some conflicting reports on how long to boil the wood for......I've read boil it for fifteen minutes twice....i've read boil is for a week as much as you can....(which seems nuts)

any reccommendations? it's 1:50 eastern time now, it's going to the water @ 2pm......I'll be home until about 4pm..i can continue boiling after then....

also, is there any way to tell if it's done leeching tannins without putting it into the tank to test it?

thanks for all the help....

Angel079 01-22-2010 01:19 PM

I always boil mine 2x. First set up I let it sit there in boiling hot water maybe 1-2 hrs and the second time a lil longer. If by the 2nd boiling attempt the water still comes back looking like coffee then I usually let it soak over night.
But really it doesn't matter THAT much....its just whatever doesn't come out while boiling will stain your water lil brownish (which some fish actually really enjoy). So that's your tank/ your tank water you gotta know for yourself how "clean" you need it to be :-)

adiumroot 01-22-2010 01:27 PM

How big is the wood? Bigger driftwood sometimes needs more time boiling.

But for smaller pieces less than a foot long, one boiling for about 15-20 minutes and then soaking for a week in a bucket of water is enough in my experience. I change the water in the bucket and wash the wood under running water every 2 days. Also, I mix some baking soda while boiling. Someone told me this helps neutralize the tannins faster. I don't know if this is really true but it won't hurt trying.

WisFish 01-22-2010 02:10 PM

If the wood came from a pet store, I usually just rinse it off and stick it in the tank. A couple of times I've used wood I found in the woods. For those I've also rinsed them off real good and then stuck them in the oven for an hour or two. Water will only go to 212 degrees while the oven can go higher. But I just set the oven to 250 or so. I haven't done that in years since I've been getting the wood from petco.

iamntbatman 01-22-2010 11:55 PM

Are you boiling just to disinfect, or are you trying to leech out all of the tannins? I love tannins, so I never boil for more than a couple of minutes just to kill off any nasty stuff.

JohnnyD44 01-24-2010 02:12 PM


So this single piece of driftwood has been boiling for a total of about 10 hours, off and on....changing the water every two hours.....still leeching tannins....

any advice? or just keep chuggin' along!?!

Byron 01-24-2010 02:15 PM

If you boil too much there may not be much wood left:-). Seriously though, I would guess that extensive boiling might affect the wood fibres? Just a thought. B.

JohnnyD44 01-24-2010 02:27 PM

well, any other ideas to get rid of the tannins? i just turned the stove off....

Angel079 01-24-2010 02:31 PM

I'd let it sit in a clean water bucket over night and then add it 2mrw and call it even. You'll always have * a little* come off in the tank but even my "unboiled" one's that I just washed off never stained the water enough to make it brown in my tanks.

iamntbatman 01-24-2010 05:31 PM

Also, activated carbon will remove the tea-like color from your tank if it really bothers you (though it won't do much as far as negating the pH drop associated with tannins). So if it's still leeching, you could just put it in your tank and run carbon (though I don't think this would be a good idea in a planted tank, especially one that's being dosed with fertilizers).

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