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does any one know of a site online were I could order a good sized piece of real driftwood
Yes - Amazon.com. Type in Malaysian Driftwood and it will bring you up some options. I just got 3 pieces from there a few weeks ago. Its nice wood and not a bad price at all.
LiveAquaria (Drs Foster and Smith) has driftwood as well. I haven't bought from them personally, but I've heard of other members who have and were pleased.
kensfish is another great site to get things from, foster and smith is a good site also. Might also try big als but I don't know if he stocks any or not.
I have a good many pieces of Malaysian driftwood that I ordered from here:
I got the large pieces around 17" each and currently have 5 pieces in my 265g tank. Love 'em! Good prices too!
A local beach or forest....or dessert area may also yield some interesting pieces of wood.
I just got a 25 pound (dry) piece of DW from my local woods yesterday. It wasn't rotting or anything, I believe it was a Great find. I soaked the wood for 3 hours, then put boiling water on it. it's been in my aquarium for a day and it's not leaking tannins. Keep in mind, DW dosent have to come from a body of water, and finding your own is much more fun.
Finding your own can be very fun, however it can also be deadly to a tank, without knowing what that wood was exposed to in its life can lead to problems. any pesticides or other toxins that were in the area can be absorbed by the wood and then leached out into your tank causing quite the problem. There are quite a few on here who have found their own pieces a lot have had great luck others not so much.
I too have even bought some non traditional wood but it was from a known source with no pesticides being used. (I bought grape vine wood)
Try aquabid.com..,.....there is a lot for sale there.