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Andyandsue 03-16-2007 12:26 PM

Driftwood Question -- UGH!
I know that driftwood labeled for reptiles isn't necessarily ok to use in an aquarium.

Went to PetSmart today to get some melafix, and since the schools were closed (bad snowstorm here in NJ) my son was with me. I've been promising him an African Dwarf Frog for his tank and since his birthday is next week...

SO- I bought him the frog at PetSmart because our LFS doesn't have the dwarf variety. I wanted to get some driftwood for my pleco and though it would be a nice addition for his tank for the frog to hide under. I should've known better than to listen to the PetSmart salesperson!!! I had both kids with me and I just wanted to get home, so when he said this driftwood was ok for an aquarium, I just took it.

Now that I am home, I am doubting everything about this driftwood since it does NOT say aquarium on the package (but it doesn't say NOT for use in an aquarium either). It is Mac's Grape Driftwood, product of the US and heat treated. I could not find a website nor a phone number for this company is Oregon.

Does anyone know if I boil and scrub it it will be ok to use?

Amphitrite 03-16-2007 03:48 PM

I would think you would probably be safe. Any chance you could post a picture of it?

Andyandsue 03-16-2007 05:35 PM

Here you go! I'm interested in learning how that will help. It looks like normal driftwood, but I'm so cautious with this tank it makes me nervous to put something in that I'm not sure about.

Sorry about the wood blending in with my granite counters.

daisycutter 03-16-2007 05:46 PM

soak it in hot water for a few hours and see if it releses color

Andyandsue 03-16-2007 06:21 PM


Originally Posted by daisycutter
soak it in hot water for a few hours and see if it releses color

I read about them releasing tannins. So, what if it does or doesn't? If it doesn't do you think it's been treated chemically?

Andyandsue 03-16-2007 07:02 PM


Originally Posted by daisycutter
soak it in hot water for a few hours and see if it releses color

I am soaking it now and the water is turning a tea color but I can't say it's actually releasing color as if it was dyed, if that's what you were getting at. It looks like a natural color. It smells ok to me too, like old wood.

Amphitrite 03-16-2007 07:22 PM

That's fine, it's just tannins being released into the water. You may have to soak it for quite a while before it stops leaching, I usually soak mine for a couple of weeks.

Also, the tannins in the wood can lower the pH in your tank.

daisycutter 03-16-2007 07:33 PM

tannis are natural chemicals present in wood its alters ph levels which can effect hardwater fish but is not dangerous and the woody smell says it hasn't been treated with anything some wood products are pressure treated with chemicals so the tannis are a good thing, p.s plecos love wood :D

Andyandsue 03-16-2007 08:25 PM

Oh good, thank you. I know plecos love driftwood, which is one of the reasons I wanted some. Then with the addition of the frog in our other tank, it really seemed the thing to do. As soon as I realized I listened to the Petsmart salesperson I got nervous.

I'm boiling it for a bit to try and get some of the tannins out. I am worried it will tea-stain my water.

I'm glad about the lowering of the pH though. I could use it as my pH is super high from the tap.

myuzicman 03-17-2007 11:22 AM

It will stain your water a little. Just make sure you do regular water changes.

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