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Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Default Bleaching Bogwood


    0 Not allowed!
    When I brought home a tank I got from craigslist there was evidence that the tank had BGA (cyanobacteria). There were a couple pieces of bogwood that I really liked and would love to use. Not wanting to risk introducing BGA to a new tank, I researched the best way to kill the bacteria for good.

    The solution I found that instilled me with the most confidence was soaking the bogwood in 1/20th bleach solution.

    Of course I came across some thoughts that bleaching anything porous is a bad idea, but I found counterpoints stating that as long as you let the wood dry completely out the bleach will simply evaporate and it will be safe. I also read that you can soak the bogwood in highly de-chlorinated water to pull out the bleach.

    I went ahead and did both, soaking the bogwood overnight in water that was dosed with 4x the recommended dosage of prime, then letting it dry out (letting it sit in front of a heater for about 5 hours, and it's been a couple weeks since, just sitting in the garage).

    When I went to go put the pieces in last night while I was setting up my firemouth's 40 gallon, I thought I smelled bleach still. But then when I sniffed the wood, I couldn't really convince myself that I really was smelling it (paranoia?). I took those pieces out and now I'm afraid that I've done something really stupid. Is there a way I can be sure the wood is safe after bleaching it? Anyone else bleached bogwood or have any other thoughts or suggestions?

    Thank you!

    Oops... I meant to post this in the "General" section
    Last edited by stalefish83; 10-08-2013 at 04:44 PM.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I cannot say with certainty that what you read will or won't work, but I would be very skeptical. Wood will absorb any liquid, and I do know that months after wood is placed in the aquarium it can leech out whatever it may have absorbed long before. While air drying can certainly remove bleach (after thorough multiple rinses in cold water then air drying) from filter tubes and glass, I would be very leery with wood.

    As for cyanobacteria, this needs high organics and light. I would never worry about introducing it; once the tank is balanced, this should not be an issue.

    Byron.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks Byron. I've come across the idea of "baking" the wood, but it was with regards to reptile tanks. This is a really thick piece of wood and I'm concerned about it being dry inside, so I thought baking might be worth a try, do you know anything about that?

    From what I've read about BGA, the bacteria does not die simply from drying out. Common sense would say that anything aquatic would not be able to survive outside aquatic conditions, but cyanobacteria is different. I've experienced this first-hand. I had a 10 gallon tank that had succumbed to cyano, and I fought with it for 6 months and could not get it to go away. I tore down the tank and cleaned it all thoroughly.

    A year or more later I thought it would be no problem to set it back up and it wasn't 2 months before it was back. The tank was double filtered, I'm careful not to overfeed, and I'm pretty good about water changes (although I could be better, admittedly). I've never had the problem with my larger tanks, but I've fought it with two of my smaller tanks and it's been a losing battle every time.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by j250nyahweh View Post
    Thanks Byron. I've come across the idea of "baking" the wood, but it was with regards to reptile tanks. This is a really thick piece of wood and I'm concerned about it being dry inside, so I thought baking might be worth a try, do you know anything about that?

    From what I've read about BGA, the bacteria does not die simply from drying out. Common sense would say that anything aquatic would not be able to survive outside aquatic conditions, but cyanobacteria is different. I've experienced this first-hand. I had a 10 gallon tank that had succumbed to cyano, and I fought with it for 6 months and could not get it to go away. I tore down the tank and cleaned it all thoroughly.

    A year or more later I thought it would be no problem to set it back up and it wasn't 2 months before it was back. The tank was double filtered, I'm careful not to overfeed, and I'm pretty good about water changes (although I could be better, admittedly). I've never had the problem with my larger tanks, but I've fought it with two of my smaller tanks and it's been a losing battle every time.
    I can't add anything on the wood issue. I only know that I myself would never put wood in the tank if I knew it had come into contact with bleach (or any other substance apart from water). I do know from sad experience that even with a completely dry piece of wood, once it is in the tank and waterlogged, substances taken up into the wood can be leeched out.

    On the cyanobacteria, it is true this can be difficult to get rid of. But it is caused by organics, in the presence of light, and will not be around unless organics are present at levels above normal for the system. I battled this twice in my 70g tank about two years ago; I thought I had it, and it was gone completely for several weeks, then back it came. After several more weeks, it finally disappeared, suddenly. I would not do a tear down to deal with cyano, since it can still return as you noticed. Which only shows that there is more to this than we can figure out.

    Organics and nothing else cause cyano, on that all the experts agree. Light obviously has to be present too. The "blackout" treatment may rid the tank of it after a few days, but if the organics issue is not fixed, back it will come. In my case, I persisted with cleaning out what I could every week during the water change. I cut back on plant fertilizers, and vacuumed into the substrate more than I normally would. Over a period of several months, this worked, twice. I haven't seen it again. Antibiotics are sometimes suggested, but dumping antibiotics into a closed biological system is very dangerous unless there is a far more urgent need than cyano. Some plants will be killed, certain good bacteria also, and fish should not be exposed to unnecessary antibiotics any more than we should.

    Anyway, my thinking is that unless you have an organics problem, cyano is not going to take hold.

    Byron.

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Bleach oxidizes quickly. Just soak it for a couple of days and it will be fine to use in the tank. You don't even need to add dechlorinator to it.

    As for cyanobacteria, you can try increasing the water movement around the tank with a circulation pump or small powerhead. If that doesnt work, try spot treating it with hydrogen peroxide from a syringe before you do a water change.

    Antibiotics are a last resort, but if you do look for one that treats gram negative bacteria.
    Last edited by Aeonflame; 10-09-2013 at 05:08 AM.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I've finally upgraded the tank that I most recently had cyano in (the 10 gallon tank that had my firemouth) and I don't have any hints of it in any of my other tanks **knock on wood**

    I'm glad to know a little more about it and how to combat it. Thank you Byron! Most recently I was cleaning the tank every week, taking all the decor out to scrub off all the cyano, gravel vac'ing like crazy, and doing 50 to 80% weekly water changes. Did this for a few months with no change whatsoever. Since it only housed a firemouth it was easy to ensure that all the food got eaten, but I did leave his lights on a lot more than I should have (sometimes 18 hours a day) so I'm sure that didn't help matters in the least.

    Aeon, thanks for the information about the bleach. I didn't know the water didn't need to be dechlorinated and I'd been advised to soak/change water/soak/change water for two weeks. This will be easier!

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    People use the dechlorinator as a precaution. As long as you soak it in unbleached water before using in the tank its not necessary but if it gives you peace of mind, all the better.
    <-- Click for journals
    "There is no right way to do the wrong thing." - KingFisher "Only bad things happen fast in this hobby" - Cliff

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