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Old 08-14-2018, 01:41 PM   #1
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Hardscape Coming Today

OK, so, this is a silly thing to make a thread about, but I'm excited anyway.

My hardscape is coming today! After the ridiculous amount of research that went into what to get and why, I'm stoked to have it finally come in.

I live in Texas. We have very hard water. While I carefully went for fish who either like semi-hard water or don't mind it, I'd still like to bring it down some or at least not raise it. Enter dragon stone! It's lightweight, doesn't affect the parameters, and provides great nooks and crannies for both my plants and my shrimp.

Then, I snagged some mopani. I like the gnarled, twisted shapes and the dark wood. Bonus; it lowers pH and softens water. We tend to be on the upper end of pH down here.

I grabbed some black diamond blasting sand earlier this week. I got the medium grit so it'll stay put better. I have heard some people have a couple of issues with it, but it seems tons of people use it without issue. And at 7 bucks per 50 lbs, it's worth taking a chance.

Today I'm going to rise rocks and boil the hell out of wood. By week's end I'll be planning the layout. ALL the pictures will be taken. Much excitement!
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:25 PM   #2
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I wouldn't boil rocks, they can explode.

Always exciting setting up a new tank, make sure to start a build journal!
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:25 PM   #3
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Oh, yea, I'm not boiling the rocks! Just the driftwood. Edited for clarity.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:37 PM   #4
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If you boil wood it will break down faster.
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:42 PM   #5
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Everything I've seen says to boil driftwood prior to adding it to the tank. Simply soaking is "insufficient". I had assumed that boiling for a few hours and then soaking for a few days would be the best course of action.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:47 PM   #6
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I've never tried boiling mopani wood as the pieces I have are too big to boil in my kitchen. So I soaked them but it took a good three months to clear up.
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlederer View Post
three months
Yikes! I'm not worried about some tannins because it will be good for my tank, but I'm definitely going to shorten that with a quick boil. I'll start with 15 mins and see from there.

Everything arrived and my stones are gorgeous. I even received a piece that will work as an archway! They got their first rinsing and are currently soaking.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:52 PM   #8
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Wood got a 15 minute boil on both sides, then scrubbed with a tooth brush. It's currently soaking in a lidded tub on the back porch. It gets so hot here that I'm sure it'll speed up the process. It's lidded because we have quite the mosquito problem down here and I don't want to make any more of 'em. Even with the water changes I'm gonna do, I don't want skeeters hangin' round.

I'll take the stones out of their soak tomorrow and go over them with a bottle brush and skewers. Then they'll get another 24 hour soak.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:47 PM   #9
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IMO, Mopani is one of the most tannin laden driftwood in the hobby. Malaysian DW might have it beat by a little. Manzanita barely stains the water at all. Boiling probably will have little effect on the tea colored water the mopani is likely to make.
My Malaysian DW still stains tank water after 6 yrs.
Might as well just rinse it off and put it in the tank. You'll get used to the dark water.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #10
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If you want the tannins and the pH buffering affect then you don't want to boil it. Plus it breaks down the wood and causes premature deteriorating. IMO there's no point in boiling wood. Just rinse and scrub it good. If you are worried about something on the wood that may enter your tank and you really want to use boiling water then put the wood in a bucket and pour a pot of boiling water over both sides.....for future reference. Also soaking is for removing tannins or getting wood to sink.
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