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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would really love to have some driftwood in my fish tank, but I can't find any at my pet store. There is lots of wood/driftwood in the reptile section, but I don't know if it's safe for aquaria, as it is all labled for reptile use. Some of it was mopani wood, and there were other types too. I'm worried about it decaying underwater or leeching toxins. Anybody know if it's safe?
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Mopani wood is to a point. I say to a point as sometimes its known for getting fungus. Some fungus is safe and some is not and unfortunately you don't know until its too late. So if you get some mopani wood and see it has fungus watch your fish if you see any signs of odd behaviour take the wood out and do a 75% wc but by that point it might be too late. I have mopani wood in one of my tanks and it got some fungus. I took a wire brush and scrapped it off and put it back in my tank and it didn't come back but that's not always the case. Other woods that you need to stay away from is Grape wood. and there is another that I can't remember now. Sorry.
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Boredomb, I believe your thinking of Manzanita.

I am experiencing White Fuzz issues on a large piece of Mopani that I purchased from a website and it was labeled for aquariums. I have read on another website that it's harmless but I've also been warned from a few individuals on this forum that It could be detrimental to the tank and to do a 75% W/C... You should take a look at my thread ( Verdant Grotto's Freshwater Habitat ) to see what Byron stated about driftwood.

Ultimately, I wish I would have gone with a different type of driftwood. Perhaps a branch or something that I could have attached Java Moss or some other type of plant too. But then again, If I did, I wouldn't be having all this fun removing things from the tank, scrubbing them, boiling them and racking my brain trying to decide if I want to return the 40$ piece of wood to my tank...
 

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To the original question in this thread, it is not safe to use non-aquarium wood or any other decor in a fish tank. The reptile wood may have been treated. Or it may be OK, but not worth the risk. Fungus isn't the only possible problem.
 

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I have bought Mopani wood that was in the reptile section at Petco. Was the only place I could get driftwood for awhile. It was marked safe for aquariums on the label though.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I finally found a piece! It is called Zilla Malaysian driftwood, and the label said for terrestrial andaquatic environments. It is this really cool j-shaped piece. There are lots of crevices in it that i'll put plants in. I scrubbed it, boiled it and soaked it for about an hour. I know it will probably stain my water but that's ok. I didn't have the patience to let it soak any longer! I hear fish like blackwater anyway. So, Imagine a J with the short side of the bend flat on the ground. It forms a sort of arching shape, but then it twists up again at the top.I really like the way itlooks and my fishies are having a great time swimming around their new setup! The otos especially love to chew on it.
any more input welcome, Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow...The otos REALLY REALYY REALLY like it! They are all over the wood, but the thing I really notice is now those little guys are swimming around in the middle level of the aquarium! usually they just snuffle around, hiding in the bottom corners. It's a really nice change, I love to see them so happy and active. Maybe they just like the extra obstacle and high up perching area!
Any thoughts? thanks!
 

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Wow...The otos REALLY REALYY REALLY like it! They are all over the wood, but the thing I really notice is now those little guys are swimming around in the middle level of the aquarium! usually they just snuffle around, hiding in the bottom corners. It's a really nice change, I love to see them so happy and active. Maybe they just like the extra obstacle and high up perching area!
Any thoughts? thanks!
Otos spend all their time browsing surfaces, so this is what you should expect. They have more new places to check out now.:)

There is also the possibility that the wood is releasing tannins (even though perhaps not visible to you yet) and this is invigorating the otos.

All good, whatever the reason.
 

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Aquarium wood

Following advice on this and other forums, I boiled and soaked the Mopani drift wood for the best part of a week. No color leaking and no white fuzz. I put the wood (small) in a stock pot and boiled it making up the evaporated water during the day. I turned off the heat for the night. If your stove is against the wall, check the wall for condensed tannins. :|
 
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