Using Outdoor Decor

Using Outdoor Decor

  • Author ayeayeron
  • Creation date
Are you too broke to spend $50 on driftwood from the LFS? Do you have rocks near your house that would look perfect in your aquarium? Do you want me to shut up and get to the point? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, this article is for you.

The first step to taking things from the outdoors is making sure you’re ALLOWED to. Just make sure that the plant you want to take isnt an endangered species, or you’re not taking something from an area where it’s not allowed.

Now that you have that out of the way, make sure that whatever you’re taking is going to be safe for your fishies. For driftwood, it’s really important that you get a HARD wood, like oak. Soft or sappy woods ie pine and cedar are no bueno. As for rocks, they need to be inert, which means they won’t altar your water. Some good rocks are basalt, slate, *natural* lava rock, obsidian, and hard minerals like quartz. As for plants, it will probably be safe after being sterilized, but just make sure it’s not poisonous or anything.

So now if your plant/rock/wood is definitely safe, and you’re allowed to take it, go ahead and grab it! But don’t put it in your tank yet- we still need to sterilize it. You have no idea what kinds of bacteria, dirt, germs, and creepy crawlies that could be living on it!

For your inanimate decor like rock and driftwood, you should start by boiling it. 10 minutes should be safe to kill anything on it. But hold it cowboy- there could still be toxins and chemicals on that decor. What I do is soak the rock/wood for a few days to a week. And every day, I scrub them real good to help get off anything that might still be stuck on it. I use an old toothbrush, but you can use anything as long as it doesn’t have any soaps or chemicals. At the end of the week, give it one final rinse with warm water and you should be good to go!

For plants, I suppose you can just sterilize them like you would plants from the store. Some use alum powder to dip, some use bleach, some use peroxide. All are good methods, use what works for you. After dipping your plants, rinse them really well and they should be ready too! Here is a bleach dip you can use for your plants: Bleach Dip

I hope this article was helpful to you. Remember- you have no idea what could be on what you take from the outdoors. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you have a feeling something isn’t safe, don’t put it in your tank!

*I am not an expert. It’s important to do your own research and I am not responsible for any mishaps that may come from using nature’s resources.


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Very good info!
Thanks for the info! I love to find stuff outside to use in my fish tanks so this article was very helpful. Thanks again!
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