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ActiasAmy

Driftwood- What works, what doesn't, and what makes a huge mess?

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Hello KoKos!

I absolutely LOVE the look of driftwood! I am trying to fill out my aquascaping, currently have one piece and would like more. I was wondering if anyone knew any links with a large list of appropriate driftwoods, and what to stay away from. Or a site with tips and tricks for driftwood care/use/selection.

Things I know;

Goldfish shouldn't have pokey driftwood or driftwood with holes for stagant water, air or goldies getting trapped in. Graceful animals to look at but not always in practice.

Driftwoods, depending on type and piece can take 2 weeks, 2 months, 1 year or will never soak enough to submerge

Each piece should be boiled to remove bacteria, help submerge faster, and remove tannins (tannis? the dye stuff)

Some woods like bogwoods are denser than water and sink without all the huffing puffing and extra work (and for goldfish i've seen these preferred, Lis had some beautiful pieces she posted to instagram that made me google it lol).

My questions are;

Some woods like Mopan i've been told turn your water red no matter how much work you do to remove the tannins, are used for tropical fish like rams, and alter your water parameters. What other woods are similar and should be avoided? What are their effects?

Are some woods better for growing mosses on, like christmas, java, willow etc?

What are some driftwood dangers to watch for besides what i've mentioned? I do keep Ranchu exclusively and don't have worries about large celestial eyes etc.

What are some woods known to sink faster/submerge quickly? Whatever I have now took 2 weeks (plus the square slate screwed to the bottom that it came with) in order to be waterlogged enough to be held down by sand. I liked that timeframe but was looking for a wood darker than that with more character.

What natural woods are okay to salvage? I live in eastern Ontario, Canada and have a MASSIVE river by me with large smooth stones, beaches, mosses and DRIFTWOOD! Rocks I have taken, boiled and bleach dipped some rocks but haven't been brave enough for driftwood since I know so little.

What are some good driftwood sterilization procedures? Ive used boiling, but not a bleach dip since the wood was so porous I worried i'd have to submerge it in pure prime to remove the bleach, if even possible. Vinegar maybe?

Here is my driftwood:

uquha7a5.jpg

Sorry I was being longwinded, thank you for looking. Excited to learn! :)

-Amy

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Boiling and/or soaking is fine for driftwood. I was told it should have a "warm wood" smell when boiling. Mine smelled like decay and had lots of dead barnacles on it, so I decided against putting it in my tank. I got it from a beach near my house.

I do agree that sharp driftwood is not really appropriate for fish, due to the possibility of injury. I would also caution against getting something that is very large/bulky, as it would limit swimming room.

There are many online sellers that carry unique pieces of driftwood. I like the look of manzanita and Malaysian driftwoods.

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I don't really know much about bogwood, but the stuff I use is called horn wood. It doesn't leach any tannins, and sinks like a rock without need for prior soaking :) it's hard to come by in the UK, so I'm not sure how easily you'll find it, but if you can it's definitely worth it :)

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I've purchased 6 pieces of Malaysian driftwood and have been very happy with it. I wanted to lower my 8.3-8.6 pH in my tanks and pond.

It is beautiful!

10GallonJan2014web.JPG

Disclaimer: I had one torn fin in the tank with the driftwood and one in the tank without any, both fins healed fine. Water turned only VERY slightly yellow, not even noticeable until I would do water changes.

Edited by mysterygirl

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What were the names of the suppliers you used for ordering? I'm in Canada so we have a limited number of places who will ship Aquaria to us, even if it isn't live fish. So far I haven't found any websites with good driftwood willing to do so

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Tannins aren't inherently bad, just unsightly if you want clear water. Not all wood leaches tannins, nor does all wood alter pH. In fact choosing wood to soften water is pointless. After a while it loses its softening qualities and you would be better off using peat moss or RO water; however, softening is a non issue for goldfish. Sorry for the tangent. Boiling certainly helps kill off any nasties and helps weigh floaty woods down. That said, depending on where your wood has come from, boiling is not always necessary.

Do you know if there are any ADA or planted tank galleries/specialty stores where you are? They should carry an extensive range of hardscaping materials. :)

Edited by dan in aus

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Tannins aren't inherently bad, just unsightly if you want clear water. Not all wood leaches tannins, nor does all wood alter pH. In fact choosing wood to soften water is pointless. After a while it loses its softening qualities and you would be better off using peat moss or RO water; however, softening is a non issue for goldfish. Sorry for the tangent. Boiling certainly helps kill off any nasties and helps weigh floaty woods down. That said, depending on where your wood has come from, boiling is not always necessary.

Do you know if there are any ADA or planted tank galleries/specialty stores where you are? They should carry an extensive range of hardscaping materials. :)

There is a great LFS who carry many different shapes of my current type of wood, some moan and some fake driftwood. I've also seen silk plants and some unique fake plants. I'll look into it but my best bet besides online is probably Toronto about 3 hours away. Thanks for the tips about tannins, I was kind of concerned since I'm looking into darker woods

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