Driftwood is extremely dirty

UnknownUser

Member
Tl;dr my driftwood is falling apart or something because my water and substrate are nasty with brown chunks, brown water and now I’m trying to clean the tank. And fix the wood somehow.

So I was doing my weekly water change, unplugged my filter and siphoned the water out like normal. Turned the filter on... nothing. Broken filter. Great. So I plugged in my backup which came with the tank but it’s too small. Whatever. Turn it on and there’s a ton of white film floating around all of a sudden.. looks like the normal driftwood film. I assume it’s coming from under the driftwood, even though this piece had been in my 10 and 20 gallons previously and is now in my betta tank. I lift up the driftwood and it’s not white film under there (so where did it come from????) but a TON of brown dirt stuff came out from under it!!! Like it turned the whole tank nasty brown! And this was my second water change because it looked nasty after the first. Well I found the source of the constant weird nastiness. Why is the bottom of my driftwood getting so extremely filthy? It almost looks like the wood is rotting and all the brown is the bits of wood coming off the bottom of this thing. I think I’m going to take it out and scrub it and hopefully get it all off, but now it’s in my sand substrate underneath as well. It’s hard to see in this picture but it’s much worse in person. The filter is currently taking care of it. I might just spend some time shaking up the substrate and then letting the filter clean it over and over and over again til it’s gone. Is this something normal that happens underneath driftwood pieces? Is it dangerous to my betta boy?

Also yes it’s cycled and 0,0,<20 are my stable parameters.

This piece of driftwood has my java fern attached so I can’t remove it and I don’t want to throw away the plant with the driftwood so I’d like to fix this problem rather than just completely removing the wood.

Okay this is getting really long so I’ll add a tl;dr at the top but update: I took out the driftwood and scrubbed it, and it turned my hand, the water, and my tub BLACK. It’s so gross. So I took my chance on the java fern and tried to break as few roots as possible when I removed it from the wood. Now I’m just stirring up my substrate hoping this little filter can clear up the tank so I don’t have to take the whole thing down, wash the substrate out, and rebuild it
 

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ystrout

Member
My huge piece of driftwood is slowly breaking apart too. Lots of gunk under it. But it's a massive piece of wood and in a 75 gallon tank so it doesn't cause much of an issue.

Try cleaning around the wood during every water change. If the wood is just too soggy and gross, you might have to replace it. Harder woods also last longer and don't run into this issue much.
 

erinw347

Member
What type of wood and how long have you had it?
 

Fisch

Member
You could just cut out the area where the Java Fern grew into the wood, toss the rest and attach the Java Fern with wood attachment to the new driftwood.
 
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UnknownUser

Member
erinw347 said:
What type of wood and how long have you had it?
I don’t remember. It was my first piece, so maybe a year I’ve had it now, and it was marked for aquariums.
Fisch said:
You could just cut out the area where the Java Fern grew into the wood, toss the rest and attach the Java Fern with wood attachment to the new driftwood.
I ended up pulling the java fern off with minimal root breakage, hopefully it does alright. I just couldn’t put that thing back in the tank.

I ended up heading to petsmart for a small siphon (I’d been using airline tubing but it sucks up the sand) and some mesh to put over the siphon opening, I didn’t end up needing the mesh the siphon did really well. But it’s such a small tank that I’d sucked up 3/4 of the Water with less than half the sand cleaned, so this is going to be a looooong process. I’m going to be siphoning as much sand as possible during my weekly water changes I guess....
 

Fisch

Member
UnknownUser said:
I don’t remember. It was my first piece, so maybe a year I’ve had it now, and it was marked for aquariums.

I ended up pulling the java fern off with minimal root breakage, hopefully it does alright. I just couldn’t put that thing back in the tank.

I ended up heading to petsmart for a small siphon (I’d been using airline tubing but it sucks up the sand) and some mesh to put over the siphon opening, I didn’t end up needing the mesh the siphon did really well. But it’s such a small tank that I’d sucked up 3/4 of the Water with less than half the sand cleaned, so this is going to be a looooong process. I’m going to be siphoning as much sand as possible during my weekly water changes I guess....
If kink the hose until the sand falls out again, it works a nit more water saving
aquarium co-op has a nice lityle video how to do it.
 
  • Thread Starter

UnknownUser

Member
Fisch said:
If kink the hose until the sand falls out again, it works a nit more water saving
aquarium co-op has a nice lityle video how to do it.
I am using that method :) my old siphon was for a 10+ gal not a betta tank, so it was too strong. So I was using the airline tubing but it sucked up the sand so fast and dropped it all together. This siphon made for a 5 gal works much better... but it was so dirty there was no way to get it all in one water change. I’ve done 3 changes already and felt like leaving Rainbow alone for the day. I’m just mad that the driftwood caused such a huge mess. I really prefer all natural, but jeez.

Hopefully it doesn’t take too many more gravel vacs to clean cuz it’s quite annoying to do.
 

Fisch

Member
Fisch said:
If kink the hose until the sand falls out again, it works a nit more water saving
aquarium co-op has a nice lityle video how to do it.
I should read before I post....sorry for the spelling:banghead:
 
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