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Old 01-03-2009, 12:02 AM   #1
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Preparing Driftwood

Ok, I've read a few different suggestions online, and now I'd like ya'lls input on preparing real driftwood for a fresh water tank.

I'm setting up an Eclipse 5 gallon corner tank, and the center piece is going to be a piece of real driftwood I got at the LFS. However, I got the piece of wood from their pile of wood usually sold for reptiles. So I might as well consider it raw.

I've already chipped away the pieces that were crumbling. It actually turned out pretty well. It caused it to be a little more hollow on the back/under side and caused some of the knot holes to be enlarged giving it a lot more character.

It's ruffly triangular in shape and plenty small enough for a old stock pot I've got. I've already boiled the thing for 15 minutes twice (of course is take almost half an hour to get that pot boiling).

So other than continuing to boil and soak, and specific suggestions?
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
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This is my step by step thing too do.

1. Boil it to get tannis out.
2. Soak it with a rock on it until it cannot float.
3. Boil it again to make sure everything is out.
4. Scrape the sides to make sure there are no little chips that will float off of it.
5. Put in tank.


That's what I do personally, oh and the water I soak it in I make sure it has that dechlor in it so it's safe water getting soaked in it.
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:33 AM   #3
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Yeah, usually the boiling will get the tannins out and speed the process of making it saturated so it sinks. This is what I do too.

Do you know what kind of wood it is?
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:39 AM   #4
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...Do you know what kind of wood it is?
No Clue!

All I can say is that it's boiling right now, it's been boiling for 30 minutes, it's the 3rd time I've boiled it, and wife is in the next room NOT complaining about the smell. Actually, it hasn't smelled bad at all during any of the boiling sessions. It does have a very distinct smell, but it's not that bad.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:07 AM   #5
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post a pic of the wood!

the smell is kinda earthy, like a big ole piece of dirt!

i soaked mine for about 2 weeks, and boiled for 1 hour before i added it to the aquarium
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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i had a very large piece once that I boiled to get all of the tannins out and get it to sink. I did a few hours a day for several days. I accumulated 26 hours of boil time on it. lmao

those were the good ol' days.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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Here's a picture of the wood that doesn't do it justice.


The part that dips on the left will likely go under the substraite to anchor the wood to the bottom of the tank. What you can't see in the picture is how the back side is hollowed and almost has a chimney-like setup. I'm hoping to effectively hide the intake tube from the Eclipse by placing the intake in this chimney. The the part you do see sticking up in the air should hid most the tube.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:05 PM   #8
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Sweet. That eye is just asking for some Anubias roots to be threaded through it to eventually attach, too.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:58 PM   #9
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Sweet. That eye is just asking for some Anubias roots to be threaded through it to eventually attach, too.
Interesting thought. There is a small knot hole that is way to small for anything but a fry. Perhaps having a stalk of westeria growing THROUGH the knot hole.

BTW, not including that sharp little tip on the left, the wood is about 10" tall and 9" wide (just to give some scale).
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:19 AM   #10
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A nice java fern would look good in that hole, but I'd also go the Anubias. And since its a 5G, I suggest the Anubias nana.

If that's the driftwood I think it is, it'll show up a rich chocolate colour with just a hint of deep red wine-ish colour though it. Very nice!
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:09 AM   #11
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A nice java fern would look good in that hole, but I'd also go the Anubias. And since its a 5G, I suggest the Anubias nana.

If that's the driftwood I think it is, it'll show up a rich chocolate colour with just a hint of deep red wine-ish colour though it. Very nice!
First, where to get any "nice" java ferns? Every place around town that I've seen them for sale have always had brown spots on them... not looking in the best of health.

Second, the wood does have a chocolate colour when seen underwater (the picture was of the wood pulled out of the soaking pot to place it on a white background).


Still working on trying to figure out how I'm going to layout this 5 gallon tank. I want to do something to hide the filter intake tube (I had hoped the drift wood could do that). But I also decided I wanted some floating plant life as this is going to be a betta tank, and from what I've seen and heard, they like "sitting" in plants floating near the top. I picked up some water sprite yesterday. The good news is that as long as I keep it trimmed, it won't take over the tank. The filter output on the right tends to push the water sprite to the left side of the tank. Since most of the light shines on the right side, that means I'll need to try to plant the underwater plants more on the right side. I guess the thing that can work out is to still allow the drift wood to hide the intake tube, and only place some plants on the right side of the drift wood.

For now, the tank is still cycling... but the biggest issue is still trying to "cycle" this driftwood. After about 5 evenings of boiling, it's still leaching out the tannis. It's getting better because the smell isn't as strong. But it's still staining water after soaking in it for 24 hours.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
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this is going to be a betta tank, and from what I've seen and heard, they like "sitting" in plants floating near the top.
Apprently if you attach a soap dish a few inches from the surface with java moss on it, they will curl up on it like a cat. Bettas love a moss bed. Check out An t-iasg's betta tanks. That's where I first saw it.

With the java fern, find out what day the LFS gets their deliveries and go on that day. You'll get the best on offer.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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Driftwood is getting closer...

I've taken to boiling it each night and then soaking it in fresh hot tap water over night.

At this point, only the thickest corner still attempts to float, and I can see AND smell a difference when I boil it (the tree-tea brew isn't as dark now as it was when I started).

I'm going to have the new tank cycled before this wood is ready.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:19 PM   #14
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I bought "pre" driftwood, if that's what you call it. I bought it from a dealer's tank, already in and cleaned, and a plant on it. Couldn't boil the plant, ha, so i just scrubbed the wood and stuck it in.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:27 PM   #15
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Well, despite the the boiling I've done, I've had the wood in the tank for about a month now, and the water is still turning a brown. It's not real bad. You can't even tell looking at the water while its in the tank. But during PWC where the old water gets dumped into a white bucket, the color change is quite apparent.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:33 PM   #16
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I add un boiled wood to my tank hoping for the tannins to brown the water. Blackwater thing. It doesn't hurt anything but if you don't like it use carbon in your filter. If you already do increase the carbon and or change it as it gets used up and just send back out what it absorbed in the first place.
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