I got two peices of driftwood from the beach, dried them out to kill bugs and such, boiled them a few times until they sank again and they work just fine.
If you want something for plecos to chew on, malaysian driftwood seems to the wood of choice because it will release the tanins and color the water. I guess it has some kind of buffering capacity also but I don't know the science behind it. I guess it also changes the pH but I can never get a straight answer as to if it increases or decreases the pH ultimately. Mine beach wood doesn't seem to effect the pH at all. Hopefully someone with actual experience with Malaysian driftwood will tell you more about the pH effects.
I soaked Malaysian driftwood for several months and removed what I thought were all the tannins before placing it in the tank.
Joy: no yellowish tint to the water.
Approximately 3 months ago Chris (the gal I run around with from New Mexico) decided that she would occasionally enjoying seeing air bubbles in the tank.
She placed two bar and one disk air diffusers in the tank.
She also inadvertently placed a piece of driftwood on a portion of and above the disk diffuser.
We were out of town for several days and left the air on for tank water oxygenation in the event of a pump failure.
When I returned home a yellow tint was evident in the water in the sump.
The aeration of the wood had caused the release of tannins which were not removed via the original soaking or the subsequent submergence in the tank water for six months.
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