driftwood

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Necromancer4 created the topic: driftwood

Making your own driftwood is a time consuming endeavor, but which can save you lots of money in the long run. We have all seen small pieces at the lfs which cost in the $20 range which work well with smaller tanks but for the bigger tanks the cost involved in creating a centerpiece can easily run into the hundreds of dollars.

The first thing you need to do is understand what driftwood is. Driftwood is a piece of wood that has been weathered, looks unique and is not rotten. It can be found anywhere, not necessarily from the water. The piece I finally decided on using came from a maple stand in the woods not far from my house. If you use wood that was not found in water I would suggest using only hardwood since softwood has a tendency to rot even after treatment.

After finding the piece you want you have to clean it. Make sure to remove all the debris and bark to avoid having these fall off in your tank. Since the piece I found had no bard on it I simply scoured it with a plastic scrubbie used for scrubbing pots. Do not use any cleaning agents or soap when cleaning to avoid leaving any poisonous residue on the wood.

The next step is to remove any organisms which might be living in the wood. The easiest way to do this is to boil the wood for about an hour or two depending on how big it is. if you can only fit half in a pot at one time you have to boil the other half as well(aquarium salt can be used to help in the sterilization I use one tablespoon per gallon of water). If your driftwood is too big to boil there are ways to prepare them as well. One method I used was to pour boiling water over the wood. I used a child’s wading pool, placed my wood into it, weighted it down with rocks, and poured boiling water over it until it was completely covered. I repeated this procedure once a day for four days just to be sure.

After the third step is completed simply soak the driftwood underwater until all the tannins are released. Tannins are what leach from the wood and turn your water a tea colour. They are not harmful to your fish but can be a little unsightly to some. I soaked my wood for 2 weeks doing daily water changes and found that most of the tannins had leached out in this time. If you have tannins leaching into your tank they will eventually stop. Only by doing water changes can you remove them however I have read that carbon in your filter will also help in removing tannins.

If your wood still has buoyancy you can keep it on the bottom a few ways. The way I did it was to put an acrylic plate under the driftwood. This I had leftover from my sump construction. Simply drill a hole in the acrylic sheet and secure it to your wood with a stainless steel screw. I you don’t have a piece of acrylic you can also a piece of slate. I buried the acrylic under my substrate and voila done.

Even though it took me about a month to complete my driftwood project I found it an enjoyable and inexpensive way to aquascape my tank.

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OFL replied the topic: Re:driftwood

Bog Wood, Curio Wood and Mopani Wood are the most common wood that people have in their aquarium. you are correct, it is vitally important that you remember that using any old wood and aquarium it is an absolute no-no. If it starts rotting in your aquarium, it will kill your fish. I would actually advise anyone wanting wood to purchase some that is meant for aquariums. It has been prepared properly and will be perfectly safe to put in your aquarium. On the downside, large pieces do not come cheap, however, you do have peace of mind.

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ricky1987 replied the topic: Re:driftwood

i might have to give this ago...i want some big pieces for my tank and dont really wanna pay what the shops are asking

thanks for the advise

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Necromancer4 replied the topic: Re:driftwood

let us know how it turns out for you

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OFL replied the topic: Re:driftwood

I would strongly advise you to go to a reputable dealer who is selling would especially for aquariums. I paid something like £150 for my two big pieces of bog wood. But I know this was perfectly safe to put straight in the tank. Some people think you can just take a piece of tree and plonk it in your tank. If you were to do that, it would just start rotting and you would end up with a tank full of dead fish. A lot of the wood that we buy it for our aquarium's has actually been submerged in water for thousands of years which results in it being preserved so is perfectly safe.

Personally, I think it's worth paying that little bit extra for peace of mind, and you'll get some beautiful woods if you pay a little bit more

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