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Old 09-02-2022, 10:35 PM   #1
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How Long To Boil Spider Wood?

I'm building an aquascape and investing in spiderwood to shape a jungle-style forest.

In the past I've tried driftwood from the river and oak branches from my tree, boiling both for hours, then soaking for days. Nothing ever stayed down; they all floated and required rocks, glue, etc. Fortunately I never got as far as adding live fish, as the experiments were disasters involving insects, mold, and stinky biohazards.

This time I'm going with spiderwood from the fish store and I'm wading through advice ranging from "boil for 20 minutes and it'll sink" to "boil for 12 hours then soak for 2 weeks and then you still may need to tie it down to rocks". Even my LFS gives conflicting advice.

So I turn to you for the real story, from your experience. What did you do - and how long did you do it - to make spider wood sink and stay sunk? It will be in sand. Thanks for your help.

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Old 09-03-2022, 04:42 AM   #2
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Ive never boiled wood. The piece of spiderwood in my new Flex i just weighed down with a bag of sand for a couple of weeks and it stayed down after that. It leached a lot of tannins for the same period, too much for carbon to remove, but after those couple of weeks it was all leached out.

Ive had other pieces of wood that are bigger more robust types that took much longer to weigh down, 3 or 4 months, and it took much longer for the tannins to leach, it came out in smaller quantities but over a longer period of time.
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Old 09-04-2022, 01:23 PM   #3
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I just added some pieces I bought online to a new tank and instructions I got were to boil for 1 hr - 3 times was also recommended to add generous amount of salt to water but I only did that during the 2nd boil. Iíve seen other say they donít soak or boil but I figured better safe than sorry.
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Old 09-05-2022, 12:06 PM   #4
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It went in with no boiling. Wedged in such a way that there's no place to float to and the base is under sand and a rock or two. Easy-in, like the plantings and decor. I'm very pleased! Thanks for your advice
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Old 09-05-2022, 01:28 PM   #5
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Nice! Just fyi I have seen reports after week or two of white stuff forming and just needing to take wood out and give it a good scrub down. Iím sure will be fine but just thought would mention
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Old 09-24-2022, 10:22 AM   #6
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I didn't boil the spider wood and soaked for a couple of hours. Seated in the substrait and has stayed down. Now, couple weeks later it is constantly growing the white gook all over it. I read it would go away on its own but I started removing a little at a time because was starting to take over. Looks beautiful but would not be my virst choice again due to this white stuff
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhtexas View Post
I didn't boil the spider wood and soaked for a couple of hours. Seated in the substrait and has stayed down. Now, couple weeks later it is constantly growing the white gook all over it. I read it would go away on its own but I started removing a little at a time because was starting to take over. Looks beautiful but would not be my virst choice again due to this white stuff
You don't boil driftwood because it causes the wood fibers to break down quicker.

The white stuff on the wood is fungus. Some is toxic to aquatic organisms but other fungus isn't. If you have fish and shrimp in the tank and they are fine, then the fungus is safe. If fish or shrimp start dying for no apparent cause, the fungus is probably toxic and the wood should be removed.

You can take the wood outside and hose it off. That usually helps get rid of the fungus. You might have to do it a couple of times but it eventually stops.
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Old 10-02-2022, 12:20 PM   #8
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Right, the white fungus lasted for the first two weeks during which I removed it with a toothbrush periodically. I'm reading that the fungus feeds on sugars in the wood. It kept producing for a couple of weeks but now it's completely done. No one died.

Now the mosquitoes have begun (I live in the sub-tropics). I'm headed to the LFS for super-eater guppies. Formerly my old man betta controlled mosquitos in this tank, but he died over the summer >sniff< and I'm not ready for another major relationship yet. I completely gutted the tank and turned it into an aqua scape with community fish and nerites. I thought tetras and danios would go for mosquitos (gee, says so right there on the websites) but, no. Instead I'm swatting a swarm of what could be someone's dream meal. So, guppies ahoy!
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:35 AM   #9
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All smallish aquarium fish should eat mozzie larvae.

You can catch the mozzie larvae and freeze them in ice cube trays for use later on.
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