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Old 06-23-2011, 07:36 AM   #1
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Free driftwood?

Ok, so since im apparently "old enough to go to the fish store by myself," i am on a tight budget. Most of the time my family "borrows" my money, and i figured " well, if its just wood, theres plenty of it for free." What are some good trees to get it from? Should i got and get it from a river? How do i make it sink? How long before it rots?
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
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Hardwood trees like oak and maple is a start. I'm sure plenty of members have gone to a local (CLEAN!) river/stream and found plenty of branches etc. If it's waterlogged then it should sink.

The question is how to make it aquarium safe? Naturally after scrubbing it down, a few trips in an empty dishwasher will help, followed by a dip in a large enough bucket of water for a few days. This (and dishwasher) will help release tannins and let you see how well it floats. If it still floats, you can tie it down to a rock or ornament ... eventually it will water-log and sink.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
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Id give it more than a few days. Took a month of soaking to do our driftwood piece. Even now it still discolourates the water.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:33 AM   #4
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Most hardwoods, including fruit woods will work fine as drift wood. Wood that has been in the water for a long time will not likely release any tannins. If you start with dry wood, that has been dead for a while it can sink quickly or slowly depending on the type. The nicest pieces generally come from the roots, and a piece that won't sink can be attached to apiece of slate with a brass or bronze screw and the slate buried in the substrate.
Wood should have any bark removed, and can be soaked in a bleach solution if it came from the water, or it can be boiled to sterilize. I power wash it sometimes.
Recently i prepare a couple of dead chunks of weeping mulberry, by power washing to remove the bark and than soaking in a tank with a few more power washes when it got scumming looking. It has been in a tank with fish for about 5 months now and hasn't leached any tannins. It took about a month to sink.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:48 AM   #5
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I found a method to get the driftwood clean and get it to sink faster alternate boiling and low heat ~ 150į in the oven it dries the outside and it pulls in water into the core faster 3 hrs boiling and 3 hrs baking do it a couple times
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