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Old 07-16-2014, 09:58 PM   #1
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Help! Driftwood from the sea.

So I live in Florida ( Gulf Coast actually) and see beautiful driftwood on the beach all the time. Do you guys think I can safely clean salt off the wood to use in a fresh water tank? Or do you think the salt is soaked in too much? Anyone ever done this? Thanks.

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Old 07-17-2014, 12:46 AM   #2
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Texas Gulf Coast, I've done it with no ill effects but I've soaked the wood in freshwater for a long time. I'm sure there will be people who will say different and they could be right, I'm just telling you that it's worked for me.

Not much compares to the quantity and beauty of beach driftwood
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:06 AM   #3
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I've successfully used beach driftwood, and select pieces look stunning. But there's always a risk associated.

If the driftwood is well aged then the salt water is waterlogged through to just about the middle of the wood. Even if its dense hardwood.

This then takes a lot of boiling, bone drying and leaving to soak in fresh water to get the worst of the salt water, tannins and sealife and microbes out. Weeks to months are not uncommon.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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So how did you know when it was safe?

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Old 07-17-2014, 09:27 AM   #5
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So how did you know when it was safe?

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When I kept it in boiling water and kept changing the water every 30mins until it remained clear and didn't discolour at all after hours of boiling. This process can take many hours, even days on large pieces.

Then I left it in the sun for a week till it was bone dry. Then put it in a tub of water dosed with prime until it sank and stayed down. Changed the tub water daily.

If it gets past all that, I consider it inert enough to consider using.

Some driftwood I'd never use even if you did all this. If it's a softwood, pine, etc its not suitable from the outset. That's the risk. Unless you can identify the driftwood you've collected, you don't know what you're introducing
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:31 AM   #6
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Did you test for salt in the water it soaked in?

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Old 07-17-2014, 09:35 AM   #7
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Did you test for salt in the water it soaked in?

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Yes, plus pH shift. I took a water sample to my local pool store and they can measure salt concentration.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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Cool. Next weekend I am going to go drift wood hunting.

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Old 07-17-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Using Driftwood

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Originally Posted by joejeff View Post
So I live in Florida ( Gulf Coast actually) and see beautiful driftwood on the beach all the time. Do you guys think I can safely clean salt off the wood to use in a fresh water tank? Or do you think the salt is soaked in too much? Anyone ever done this? Thanks.

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Hello joe...

Rinse the piece well and leave it out in the sun for a day or two and it should be tank ready. The bit of salt left in the piece will dilute in the tank water and won't hurt anything.

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Old 07-17-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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So how did you know when it was safe?
I threw it in an old cow trough, threw in a hose with a sprinkler head and let her rip for 2-3 days (water well), I emptied it and did it again then I tasted the water and there was no salt taste at all. Put in the aquarium and never looked back

I know, I know, all the guppy guhrus will make fun of my methods but I've owned large successful aquariums for 40+ years.

Hank Williams Jr. - A Country Boy Will Survive
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