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Driftwood

Discussion in 'Equipment & DIY Ideas' started by marya, Oct 27, 2003.

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  1. marya

    marya Members

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    Hello,

    I was talking with some of you on the looooooooooooooooong car ride to the last meeting :lol: about driftwood for tanks. I live on the bay and driftwood washes up on a daily basis, especially after storms. I have a pretty good size pile of interesting pieces. I would be more than happy to share the bounty of my driftwood with any and all of you who are interested, but I'd like to know what you all do to make found driftwood safe for use in an aquarium. I searched around online and found about 50% advising that the wood should be either baked, boiled, or cloroxed and the other 50% saying that no found driftwood should ever be used in aquariums, period.
    What say you all?
     
  2. mscichlid

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    It depends on the aquarist really. Some are more ballsy than others. I use 'found' pieces all the time. Boiling and soaking in bleach or peroxide works good. But the problem that most people will have is making sure the wood is not of cedar or pine. Therefore, most won't bother. Too much of a hassle and easier to buy it from somewhere.
     
  3. okimavich

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    I would imagine that peroxide wouldn't work too well unless you're trying to get rid of anaerobic organisms (such as gangrene). Peroxide breaks down to become H2O + O2. But boiling or bleaching will do the job in my own experience.

    I have never heard of the cedar or pine thing before. Is it something leached out from the wood?
     
  4. flyfisher

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    If you happen to work in science you could always use the departmental autoclave and that would take care of any little beasties that are trying to grow.
     
  5. okimavich

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    Are you volunteering services? ;)
     
  6. Steve

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    Just submerge it in water for a few days (well, say a week), and then see what happens . . . i.e., does the water smell? change color (something leeching out)? If so, keep repeating the cycle (just like "Lather. Rinse. Repeat.") until the water stays clear. If it's a cool piece of wood, and a striking piece is a great find (not to mention that a piece that can sit along the bottom of the tank provides great nooks and crannies for fry), I'd keep at it until you feel confident that nothing could be alive.

    Dump in some bleach, if you so desire, but then follow it up with a few more "rinse" cycles.

    Steve
     
  7. Thinkfaster

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    is there a way to tell if it's pine or cedar? my guess is that if it washed up on shore, a lot of what was in there (coloration) will be gone. i think microbes and toxins will be worst. boiling is probably the best (apart from autoclaving, but no one at my work would be happy if I used it for a piece of wood), but personally I would do a combo of boiling, bleaching, etc., maybe even adding a little salt to the water so it boils at a higher temp.

    If we knew how to tell the type of wood, I would definately be taking some :D
     
  8. marya

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    ya definately, if anyone can determine the type of wood and knows it's okay, I have literally tons of it and more washing up every day. i haven't been brave enough to use any in my tanks yet tho. i wanted to find out how to sterilize some and take it to one of the pvas big auctions, but of course there is always plenty gratis for cca members. ;)
     
  9. mscichlid

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    If it is cedar which is a pine, the wood will be soft on the inside. Cedar will be reddish/pinkish in the inside. Depending how long it has been in the water, it may still have that piney smell. Anything that is soft on the inside or squishy shouldn't be used.
     
  10. flyfisher

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    So I was searching the internet to figure out wether to use collected driftwood or not and have come to the conclusion that Im going to use it. The water we drink and use in our tanks is from the surrounding water so it cant be all that bad. As far as treatment prior to use I read that larger pieces (ie like the one Im going to collect for my 55gallon) can be run through the dishwasher. Good thing I dont have roomates to complain.
     
  11. mscichlid

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    I was going through old topics and I think I like this one. I've got two huge pieces that just may fit in the dishwasher. What the hell, I'll try it. The appliance isn't anything but a big sterilizer anyway.
    I'll keep you posted...
     
  12. Steve

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    Francine,

    Why not just dump 'em in the bath tub for a few days?

    (And, yes, you'd have to add water, too.)

    Steve
     
  13. mscichlid

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    'Cos I only have one tub. I kinda need it. :lol:
     

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