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Thread: Driftwood...?

  1. #1

    Default Driftwood...?

    0 Not allowed!
    So, I wasn't sure if this should be in the DIY section or not. If not, so sorry!!

    I'm wanting to find some wood to use in my 55g this week. I think I'm going to go for a walk/hike in the woods behind my parents' house to see if I can find anything. I remember reading a thread about how to make sure it's okay for aquariums, but I can't find it ANYWHERE. I've looked all through this forum as well as two other forums I frequent, and I can't find the thread.

    Sooo...if I were to go in the woods to look for wood, how do I know it's okay to use? I think I read that I should try to poke my finger into it. If it's soft, then I can't use it. If it's hard, then I can use it. Correct?

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    Hard wood is best. The heavier a small piece is, the better. You will need to clean it and water log it for a bit before adding it to the tank.
    Scrap off all the bark and loose pieces before washing it down with water. Soak in a pail for a few days changing the water every so often.

    Or, buy some at your local lfs.

    Have fun on your hike.
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  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    You only want hardwood that has been dead for a long time (no more sap), and preferably found underwater. If you can make a dent or mark on it with your fingernail, it's no good.

    Make sure you clean it up really well and soak it in a strong salt brine for a few days (followed by a few days in dechlorinated FW) to kill off any nasty things that could be living in the wood
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
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  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Best to drag it out of the bottom of a river. What's underwater is already water logged and if it's underwater, you know it's hardwood. Soft wood does not sink.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks!! I'm hoping to find something this week, but it won't be going into my aquarium until February at the earliest. I finally decided to recruit my dad to build me a nice stand for my 55g, and I asked him to have it done by the middle of February, preferably sooner. Once I find something, I'll take pictures and see what everyone thinks about it. And of course, it'll be soaked quite a bit between now and February. I'll be getting a large bucket soon. lol

    Thanks, Lady!! We have a creek that runs through the woods, so I'll check that area for sure! I considered going to visit a friend in Kentucky just so I could go to a river area they have that we visited once. lol Wish I had gotten some wood while I was there!!!

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Soft wood will sink, i have used it in temporary scape tanks. Softwood decays quicker than hardwood is all. And if you arent aware of it can make mighty mess *L*

    I personally do not get any of my wood from water sources, i prefer to find wood thats been terrestrial all its life, less risk of accidently introducing a waterbourne bug into my tanks. But thats just me *L*
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  7. #7


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    Its important to avoid resinous wood like pine.
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  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Most woods are fine as long as they have been dead long enough.I do avoid cedar and vines.
    I have both soft and hard wood pieces in my tanks with no problems.
    The softer woods do decay faster but that still takes a looooong time.
    I find driftwood sitting on shore in most cases.That way its much easier to clean before trying to get it water logged again.
    For cleaning a good steel bristle brush gets rid of lots of nastys on wet or dry pieces.A power washer really does a fine job.
    If the wood is dry you can sand off all the age,I like that look most.

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  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Well, my dad and I went out into the woods this afternoon to look for wood.

    Here's what we found...

    And the other side...

    What do you think? I have no clue what type of wood it is. When I push my fingernail into it really really hard, it leaves a mark. It was partly under some leaves, so that's why part of it is lighter than the other part.

    My dad also gave me an empty 5g bucket he had. I'm going to start soaking it soon. It fits almost perfectly inside the bucket.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Niece piece....give it a good scrub before you soak it, and make sure there is no bark on it :)
    Lots of tanks
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