does driftwood expire?

  1. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    Does driftwood last forever in your tanks? Or does it break down over time and have to be replaced? Are there some kinds that do and some kinds that don't?

    I ask because I have many different pieces of driftwood. I think most of them are Mopani.... Some of them I have had for years and years with no problems. I have a couple others that have now begun to "shed" after being in my tanks for a couple years. Not all of them though! The couple that ended up shedding I just tossed because I didn't want to deal with it anymore. They were smaller pieces and I just didn't really care to tell you the truth.

    Well now I have two pieces of wood that I purchased RECENTLY with big established plants already attached to them. They are beautiful and look very nice in my tank. But the wood they are attached to sheds like crazy! I syphon that tank every other day and every time there is so much shedded wood to suck up. Its gross. I was hoping they would stop shedding, but they are not. They have been in there for about a month or so and the plants tied to them are flourishing!! New leaves have opened up and they look great!

    Does this mean I am going to have to find a way to detach the plants from these pieces of wood and tie them to a new piece? They are attached to these pieces of wood VERY a solidly!!! I don't know how I would get them off. Why are they shedding? Is that normal? This wood is not Mopani wood like my other pieces are. I really don't know what kind it is...maybe Malaysian? .I will add a photo.....

  2. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    I'm pretty sure it's Malaysian as you said. What is it exactly that they're shedding? Mine have "shed" a whitish gunk but that was just a bacteria build-up finishing up anything on the wood prior to being in the tank. It went away quickly.

    I am always ripping my poor anubias off of wood and tying it to new ones. It will rip off the roots, but I wouldn't worry, the plants are hardy, so you can take them off if you want :)

  3. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    it's shedding pieces of wood. Like the wood is falling apart or something! So I was beginning to wonder if some driftwood just doesn't last forever or something?

    Gosh I really do not want to have to remove the anubais and have to attach it to new pieces. I really like the way these look! And the plants are SOOO established on these pieces!

    I intentionally purchased anubais that was already attached to wood and really established on there.....specifically so I would NOT have to do this!!! LOL If I was going to have to do it myself anyway, I would have done it myself and saved money!!! Its frustrating. I paid for convenience and now I have to cut the poor plants off and start over. grrr
  4. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    Yeah sorry it might just be old :(

  5. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    in other words...the answer to the question is....yes....driftwood "expires". ?

    That sucks even more considering how expensive some pieces of driftwood are!!! Why would one want to spend big bucks on a cool huge piece of wood that will just start to fall apart after a couple years? booo
  6. hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

    All wood rots in water, it just takes a long time (different for different species). Bogwood has been preserved by the acidic conditions of a peat bog, but taken out and put in water it starts to rot. It should last a few years though. As it rots, the surface will start to feel soft in places, and little bits will come off.
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    All wood breaks down in an aquarium; the speed differs between tree species and how long it's been in the water, etc. Some take months, others take years.

    Boiling wood causes it to break down faster.

  8. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    well then....this wood that was brand new to me is apparently very old and most definitely rotting. UGGGGGHHHH They were $25 each!!! What a waste of money!!!

    Does rotting wood have bad effects on fish health and water quality? Is the health of my baby angels in jeopardy? Do I need to get that wood out asap? or is it just a cosmetic issue?
  9. hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

    It won't do any harm at all. :)
  10. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    I have been hoping that it was just the top layer or two and then it would stop shedding. LOL but that isn't happening. This wood is clearly rotting.

    I am glad to hear it isn't hurting my fish because for a second there I was really concerned about them!

    This definitely makes me think twice about spending big bucks on driftwood! Or buying used driftwood!!! I want my $50 back!

    Do you know if Malaysian driftwood rots faster than Mopani? Because some of my Mopani pieces are 3-4 years old at least....and they are not rotting one bit. And they were boiled for quite a while before going in my tanks as well! (the malasian wood wasn't boiled obviously....since it had plants attached to it)

  11. aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    Yes Malaysian driftwood is softer than Mopani which is very dense and hard. My Mopani looks like the day I bought it and I have had it for two years. My Malaysian with the anubias on it of which I have 2 also shed like that but I never gave it any thought because it is a softer wood. I never boiled my chunck of Mopani just soaked it in water a couple of days with water changes. Alison;)
  12. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    well as long as the shedding is only a cosmetic issue, then I will just tolerate it. Right now that tank gets syphoned daily.....or every other day at the least. So it isn't getting out of control or anything. But if it were in one of my tanks that gets only a weekly vacuum, that could get icky!!!

    not to be a broken record....but I hate that I spent so much money on these! It is so unfair!! lol Now I hesitate to even tie the plants to another piece of wood! I don't want to have to move them again when the next piece of wood starts to rot! I might as well tie them to a fake wood ornament or something!
  13. aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    I bought both of my two pieces of Malaysian driftwood from the tanks at Pet Supermarket with the anubias already planted. Not as big as yours but they are $14.98 and still are. The good thing is it is even better for the Plecos because it is softer than the Mopani so I just figure they get more fiber. Every Cloud has a sliver lining...:;snAlison