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Can I Use This Driftwood!?!?!?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by AnthonyMarchese, Sep 10, 2015.

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  1. AnthonyMarchese

    AnthonyMarchese Mostly New Member

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    so i found a really nice piece of drift wood but i found it by this peninsula and the water is really muddy and ty. idk where it leads but theres jelly fish and stuff in the water so im guessing a river or something. the peice was on a tree that fell down and was submerged in the mud and was constantly underwater when it rose. i really want to use it but its kinda soft but if i peel all the rotted layers off is it usable and how long should i soak it for? heres some pictures of it.
    http://imgur.com/ZvgzExs
    http://imgur.com/mLnBRbm
    http://imgur.com/ZvgzExs,mLnBRbm,NBkjEVV#2
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The real danger with wood removed from watercourses is that it likely contains pathogens, parasites, and/or protozoan that could be harmful to fish in the aquarium.  Aside from possible parasites, fish from tropical waters are not immune to diseases to which temperate water fish might be, and vice versa.
     
    The second danger is that wood will absorb any substance in the water.  This may not matter in the wild, as the water volume is large and flowing water would in any case carry away substances that might leech out.  But in the confines of an aquarium, this can be deadly.  I've had this occur with wood bought from a fish store, so it does happen.
     
    "Soft" probably means rotting, and this can pollute an aquarium quite rapidly.
     
    "Safe" wood, or at least safer than this, would be completely dry and dead wood collected in a forest well away from any chance of industrial, chemical, etc contamination.  I have used branches like this with, so far, no issue.
     
    Byron.
     
  3. RobRocksFishTank

    RobRocksFishTank Moved On

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    I've always been way too cautious with wood because of its absorbent ability. Thanks for sharing your experience about dead wood in a forest. I need some and don't want to pay LFS prices for a limited selection. It's time for a hike, which I haven't done in a long time.
     
  4. AnthonyMarchese

    AnthonyMarchese Mostly New Member

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    i definatly get what your saying and i am in no rush to put this in my aquarium. With that said if i let the wood dry out and soak for about a month do you think i could kill all of the substances? I was also planning on baking it a few times, and plus its for a turtle tank and turtles are a lot hardier than fish.
     
  5. Goggy

    Goggy Member

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    If you bake the driftwood, it would probably be safe
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I think I understand what you are getting at about turtles being hardier, but the truth is that they could easily pick up diseases this way too.  Drying wood (completely) may kill some parasites, etc, but bacteria and fungi might well survive.  Soaking willnot kill everything, nor will it necessarily leech out during soaking.  And soaking with any sort of substance intended to kill this or that (like bleach) means the wood is then useless as it absorbs such substances.
     
  7. Alasse

    Alasse Fish Herder

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    There is a wood supplier here that collects wood (he is licensed to do so) and soaks it in pools filled with bleach and water. It is a fairly long process though, as it then needs to go through a number of clean water soaks before it is ready for sale. I have some of his wood in my tanks.
     
    If i collect wood from a water source, as its already generally waterlogged, i put in a container and pour boiling water over it and then add vinegar, leaving it til the water cools. I then pull it out and give it a scrub with a brush, then rinse it off. Then a final pour over of clean boiled water.
     
  8. AnthonyMarchese

    AnthonyMarchese Mostly New Member

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    since some of the rotting layer is still on should i sand it down a little or is that bad for the wood
     
  9. Alasse

    Alasse Fish Herder

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    I personally would scrape off the soft layer....i remove any loose stuff when i give it a scrub :)
     
  10. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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  11. RobRocksFishTank

    RobRocksFishTank Moved On

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    Ooo, another use for my pressure washer. Ar, ar, ar.
     

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