View Full Version : Driftwood Question...

12-04-2006, 12:06 AM
Today I took my kids to the park and there is a lake there. I found a piece of driftwood that I would really like to put in my tank. Will it be okay? I rinsed it pretty good. then soaked it, and rinsed it. I was going to repeat the process. Will this piece of wood hurt anything. It's a freshwater lake.

12-04-2006, 12:42 AM
Wild collected stuff needs to be baked to kill off all the bacteria, fungi, and parasites that could wipe out your tank. I'm not sure of temps and time because I have never used stuff from outside. I have heard 150F for about an hour. You should supervise it the whole to make sure it does not catch on fire.

12-04-2006, 01:53 AM
You can also boil it if you can fit it into a pan. This will also take the tannis out of the wood to a great extent and keep it from changing your water to something that looks like weak coffee.

When I bake rocks (which isn't every day) I usually go for 200 for about 2 hours. This will kill most of the bacteria but will not help in removing the tannis from the wood.

12-04-2006, 02:47 AM
WIll it stink up the house or smell up the oven?
My wife would kill me if I put something bad in our oven. She may not let me do this.
Its big. It prob wont fit in the oven. I planned on cutting, But not small enough to fit in a pot to boil it.
Or are the any other methods that do not involve the kitchen applaineces?

12-04-2006, 03:03 AM
No other methods I know of that will effectively make the wood safe for aquariums.

12-04-2006, 03:12 AM
There is always the tried and true 19:1 Water Bleach mix. You will have to be very careful afterwords to rinse and rinse and then rinse again. The wood will soak up the bleach and it may change the color of the wood too. A few hours in a bleach bath will kill everything but the bleach left in the wood will be really bad for your fish if it's not totally rinsed out.

12-04-2006, 03:27 AM
Airing it out (on a hot sunny day if possible) as well as soaking it in a strong dechlorinator will help remove the chlorine.

12-04-2006, 04:35 AM
The one piece of driftwood I had that was too large to boil I put into a bucket big enough for it and spent a few days boiling enough water to pour over it, let it soak and kept repeating until I didn't see much tannins released. The boiling water should take care of parasites etc, the hotness of water will help release tannins, and bleach, as suggested works too. Just make sure, as suggested, to heavily dechlorinate water to soak it in last before adding to tank.

Lady Hobbs
12-04-2006, 06:42 AM
I put mine in a large trash can and added the hottest water I had and salt to kill any bugs. Soaked it about 2 weeks and kept rinsing the water until it was clear. The tannins wouldn't hurt the water any. Makes it look brackish but it's not a bad effect. Often driftwood will never sink, however, and that's why bogwood is preferred.

12-04-2006, 02:44 PM
i boiled my bogwood for a couple hours and let it sit in the buckets for a couple days. i didn't wait a couple of weeks because i wanted the tannins to stain the water and bring the ph down naturally.

Lady Hobbs
12-04-2006, 05:56 PM
Boiling is the best method. I personally wouldn't use bleach since wood is porous but that's only my opinion.

I found a great piece of bog wood 46" long but it took 3 months to get my aquarium and by then it had dried out so now I have it anchored to the bottom of the tank by rocks as it doesn't want to sink. It will in time, I suspect, but has been in the tank over a month now.

Driftwood will often never sink so it's better to get the bog if you feel like wading to your waist, fully dressed, with shoes on like I did to get it. LOL

My other tanks all have wood I bought from ThatPetPlace.com. I bought their sinking driftwood which is a very dark wood, very nice and very reasonable.

Lady Hobbs
12-15-2006, 02:01 AM
This place has the cheapest driftwood I've found on the net.


I bought the large sinking driftwood and believe me, it sinks right now. It said to soak it for a day or two and I didn't even do that. Stained the water just a little for a week is all. I love mine and it's a real deep dark brown.

12-15-2006, 06:39 AM
You could also boil the branch over an outdoor open fire in a wash basin, metal trash can or anything metal that could hold water.

12-15-2006, 08:09 AM
Ok here I go confessing to bad behavior again, i've got it in 2 tanks, straight from the river into the tank, been there a month with no ill affects yet.
But anyone else who has done this can now admit it

12-15-2006, 06:27 PM
You could also boil the branch over an outdoor open fire in a wash basin, metal trash can or anything metal that could hold water.

wow! i guess i'm not the only one who uses this method here. cool