I found this. Can I use it?

Discussion in 'Driftwood' started by Heather M, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. Heather MWell Known MemberMember

    I found this in the woods. I think the top part would look incredible in an aquarium, if I cut the bottom off. If I pour boiling water over it, will it be ok to use? I worry about it rotting in the aquarium, since it has not been floating in water for the softer parts of the wood to disintegrate. A section of the wood appears to have an ant colony living in it, but that section of wood would be cut off.
    If it is not ok to use, I think I may be able to find something when I go kayaking next week. Are their any guidelines I should follow when choosing something out of a river? Of course besides not choosing soft wood.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  2. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    It looks gorgeous! I love the way it looks.

    I've never tried drift wood from land, but I would suggest finding a container large enough to completely soak it in. Use the boiling water and possibly a bleach solution just to kill any bacteria or germs or bugs. You won't want those in the tank. Then soak it longer until it becomes water logged. You can change out the water daily which will help keep any nasties from developing.

    That would be my suggestion. Again, there might be better ones from those who have actually brought in wood from the woods.
  3. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Heather, not knowing the history of the wood would concern me. You never know if any pesticides, herbicides, disease or pest that could have affected the tree the wood came from. Personally, I wouldn't recommend using it, but others may disagree as I tend to be overly cautious. Best of luck.
  4. k9z3boysValued MemberMember

    I have heard of baking it and then boiling water and soaking it.
    it is a nice piece of wood,.... im too chicken to try it - im sure others have (theres a driftwood thread that might give the instructions on how to prepare it)
  5. endlercollectorFishlore VIPMember

    2 rules for my kid: don't put random objects of questionable history in mouth or tanks. Sorry to say that you cannot sterilize driftwood ;)
  6. aHumanBeingWell Known MemberMember

    I would avoid that wood, you never know what is lurking in it. Even if you boil it over and over some chemicals don't dissipate when boiled, they concentrate and become more harmful. It is a very nice piece but i'm sure you can order something safe and just as beautiful if not more.
  7. Heather MWell Known MemberMember

    Would it change anything if I told you that it came from my land, and I know what killed the tree? My goats killed the tree by eating the bark away. No chemicals have been used either. We are very particular about that. Goats are horridly destructive critters! We pushed some dead stumps and branches from trees the goats killed into a pile. I forgot about it until I was walking along yesterday and noticed how nice that would look in a tank.

    Edit: Does anyone have an idea why I am not receiving email notifications when someone replies, even though I have subscribed to this thread? I have it set to send me instant email notifications, but I am getting nothing.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  8. endlercollectorFishlore VIPMember

    While you do know a lot about the tree and what is happening there, none of us humans has total control of our homes and properties as any goat or Endler will tell us :0

    So many weird things have happened at my house over the years that I have come to the conclusion that I do not know what is going on at a bacterial level ;)
  9. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    I use locally collected wood all the time... If you can be reasonably sure that the wood has not been sprayed with anything, there should be no issue using it in the aquarium. I can be reasonably sure of the wood collected around me as I live on a piece of property in the national forest. So wood I find outside has not been sprayed with chemicals as long as I collect from areas that haven't been bombed with fire retardant.

    I've even occasionally used manzanita and oak that still has soft spots on it. I put it in a tank with a fish that munches wood, like a pleco, or shrimp that will clean it, wait until the soft spots are gone, and then use it wherever I want to put it. You can also sandblast wood, or go at it with coarse grain sandpaper, to remove bits that have already begun to rot.

    I get being cautious, but every single piece of wood available to put in an aquarium was collected from somewhere. Even the malaysian driftwood and mopani available at your local store came from a forest. Someone picked it up off the ground or out of a river or lake, cleaned it off, and eventually it ended up on a store shelf.

    I usually provide this link when people are freaking out over the type of wood they've collected for their aquarium, but I'm gonna give it to you, hopefully it helps put your mind at ease. Keep in mind that Cedar is one of the woods people tend to think is toxic, which is how this thread came about. As long as the wood is aged and not rotting, it is generally safe for aquarium use.

      Check it out starting at post #5

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