Adding Driftwood, do's and don'ts?

Hbln
Member
Morning all!

I am hoping to add a large piece of driftwood to my established tank within the next couple of weeks, I will be buying from my LFS. My tank has been running with tropical fish for over a year and before that was Coldwater fish for 5 years.
I was wondering if anyone had any tips/tricks for this to avoid any disasters?
My 225L tank inhabitants are 7 three spot Gourami's, 3 pearl Gourami's, 1 moonlight Gourami, 6 Angelfish and 6 Nerite snails.
(Hoping to add a rainbow shark in the future)?!

I have spent a little bit of time researching adding driftwood to the tank and I understand the basics of soaking/boiling to remove tannins (although I think some tannins would be good in my tank) My water parameters are all stable and the fish all appear to be thriving, it took me a little while to iron out the creases of moving from cold water to tropical fish and everything has been great now for 7 months, I don't want to affect the PH or risk any deaths.

I will be removing some décor in the process to place the driftwood and rearranging the plastic plants I have in the tank.

Thanks in advance :)
 
MacZ
Member
Hbln said:
I don't want to affect the PH
When soaking (boiling is not really necessary with storebought wood) you will see how much tannins are released. But it should only have measurable effect on the pH when the KH is low enough. You should know the KH of your water before adding the wood anyway. If it's over 3-4°KH you are in absolutely safe range.
Also, when bacteria colonise new plant material (leaves, seedpods, driftwood) the oxygen levels drop for a few days, starting between a few hours and a day after adding. Also a biofilm may form on the surface. To prevent that just let an airstone run for the first week or two after adding the wood.

Hbln said:
(Hoping to add a rainbow shark in the future)?!
Just don't. Your tank is already at stocking limit provided the fish in it are fully grown, also rainbow and redtail sharks grow big and with age very territorial and aggressive. Ideally they should be kept in groups in tanks of 450l+ to avoid that.
 
V1K
Member
How hard is your water? If it's hard, it should buffer the pH sufficiently so you don't have to worry about it. If I added new driftwood to an established tank, I'd probably soak it for a while, and then test that soaking water to see the effect it had on pH. If it's negligible, I'd add it to the tank, if it's noticeable, I'd soak it some more.
The water can get really dark after adding drifwood, so if you had live plants, I'd say you'd need to do water changes more frequently so that the plants don't starve without sufficient light, but as I understand it you only have plastic so that's not a concern. You may want to freshen it up more often just for visibility though.
 
  • Thread Starter
Hbln
Member
Thank you so much!
I have hard water where Iive, (kh 9) and my PH is high (7.8), its all very stable and I test the water regularly.

I already have an air stone, so will adjust the output if needed once the wood is in the tank.
I only have plastic plants as well at the moment.

In regards to the rainbow shark, I appreciate your feedback on this, I'm glad I haven't bought this already and will leave the tank as is stocking wise.
 
  • Thread Starter
Hbln
Member
Update on the driftwood addition, it looks lovely in the tank. However..
Unfortunately I had 4 Angelfish die within 72 hours of putting it in the tank, it was soaking for 4 days, and was washed beforehand, I'm happy with the tannins in my water so didn't think it needed soaking for much longer, perhaps I was wrong. I also had an air stone running in the tank. I tested the water as soon as 2 of the Angelfish looked like they were struggling to breath (within 12 hours) the PH had dropped for the first time ever to 7.4 so I wonder if it was that?
Anyway, those two died within hours of each other.. a few hours later another one went. I did another water test and I had a Nitrite Spike, so did a 50% water change and tested again after 12 hours, that was back at 0, a few hours later the 4th Angelfish died as expected as he was hiding, not eating and breathing heavily.

Its now been about a week and the water parameters appear to have stabled (I have done daily testing) and everyone else appears to be very happy and healthy with no issues.

Very sad to have lost the fish that didn't make it through the transition though.
 
TClare
Member
Oh no, that was a disaster and very odd. I don’t know what your pH was initially, but I would be surprised if any change would be sudden enough to kill the angelfish. I honestly don’t know what would have caused this to happen, but very sorry about the loss of your fish.
 
StarGirl
Member
What did you do to "wash" the wood?
 
  • Thread Starter
Hbln
Member
Hosed it down with tap water
 
Pfrozen
Member
What kind of wood is it?
 
  • Thread Starter
Hbln
Member
Bogwood from LFS.
 

Random Great Thread

Latest threads

Top Bottom