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Old 04-24-2006, 03:42 PM   #1
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How to tell if drifwood is rotting?

I'm having trouble keeping nitrates as low as I'd like them to be and am wondering if this could be caused by rotting driftwood. The tank has been fully cycled for over a month and my tap water contains about 5ppm of nitrates. I have a really hard time determining the exact level of nitrates in the tank if they're 40 or above because the reds on the card are so similar in color, so unfortunately I can't be too exact here. At first, I thought this was a nitrate spike and was doing like a 50% water change every other day, but have cut down on that in the past two weeks and am doing only one or two 50% changes a week. The last one was on Wednesday and by Saturday the nitrates were still up to 40 or above again.

I've had the piece of driftwood that's in the tank for over 3 years now. It's that dark Malaysian wood that sinks instantly. I occassionally see small, clearish particles floating around in the tank that seem to be concentrated especially around the wood. Could this be rotting pieces of the wood coming off into my tank? What's a sure way to tell if the wood is rotting? It feels slimy and kind of squishy but I'm thinking that's normal? And if it's not the wood, does anyone have any other ideas for why nitrates won't stay below 20ppm eventhough I'm so persistent about water changes?

Also, has anyone here purchased one of these driftwood trees?
I'm considering splurging on one (although I really shouldn't) because I want new driftwood (even if my old piece isn't rotting; it's too small) and am having a hard time finding pieces I like that would be safe for the tank (read: not cedar.) I also have a black thumb with plants and can't seem to get them established, so am thinking it may be worth it to get a nice piece of driftwood with plants already established. I won't be putting any plants into the substrate of the tank because it's to thin and also because I suck at it, but would like some nice plants on driftwood and also maybe some floating ones, so any ideas on this would be appreciated as well.


My first vision of earth was water veiled. I am of the race of men and women who see all things through this curtain of the sea. And my eyes are the color of water.
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:25 PM   #2
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The floating watersprite is nice. I just got some.
I just let some java moss sit in my betta tanks. Hornwort and anacharis can float, same with java fern.
No I do not know anyone who has this type of plant tree, sorry.
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