Prepping new wood.

Discussion in 'Driftwood' started by soltarianknight, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    I finally decided on a theme for my Hex, which will be done in wood to accompany the frame and stand. I took my Kayak(and unfortunately not my camera) out today and shimmied up onto some small island patches out in the bay to collect some wood. Ended up with the fallowing pieces. They are all black and red mangrove.

    There are 6 pieces, some need to be cut. I plan on using the leftovers for my King snake.

    The smallest of the pieces, also the one that needs the most sinking.

    This piece is really rough, i might just give it to the snake to shed on.

    My favorite piece, im cutting the long extension off.

    The best piece. Super smooth and it has a weird hallow through it that curves around the core.


    Two long pieces from a red mangrove root system. The V shaped one is very nice.

    Obviously I need to get all the salts off of them and sanitize them but i was wondering if anyone had any prefered methods for dealing with mangrove wood? I can't boil it because it is so big, but I am soaking it in a steeping hot bath right now. I am not sure if it will have tannins in it? I mean, most of it has probably been in the water for long periods of time already, though i only collected from dry areas of the beach. All of it needs to be waterlogged unfortunately, it all floats. Any tips?

    Also, i wouldn't mind some tannins in the tank, wouldn't bother me a bit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  2. John14Valued MemberMember

    I've heard hydrogen peroxide works (its apparently safe to put it in your tank afterwards, unlike bleach) and it will get rid of any small organisms or harmful bacteria just as well as boiling it would, you could also "bake" them in the oven if they fit, heard that works too. Just what I've read. Don't know much about removing tannins and water-logging process, just keep soaking the wood and dumping the water, refil, repeat? Good luck!
  3. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    I normally work with grapevine which is pretty buoyant. Apart from the boiling which helps waterlog it, I also put mine outside in a spare tank or kiddie pool and put a big rock on it. Normally within a week its sunk, I tend to leave it a few weeks, changing the water every couple of days to let it leach some more but I don't really like tannins.. If you're impatient you can drill a hole in rock and attach it with ss screws.

    I've never used wood from a saltwater environment so I can't really advise you there, since you can't boil it I imagine a hot bath is better than nothing.
  4. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    I have mostly smaller pieces of wood in my tank. I bake them in the oven for a bit and soak them overnight in a tub. I am not an overly patient person so usually just let the pieces float in the tank until they start to sink. Then, depending on how they look when they come down, I either let them lie where they fall or place them where I want.
  5. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, kinda wish i could boil it. I'm going to try to boil the smaller pieces and have them done by tomorrow, the other pieces will probably take a few days though. I have never had much patients for this kind of thing. I normally end up tying the wood to a large rock and placing it in the tank to force it to sink.

    EDIT: Dear god this will be a project. The V shapped piece and the one in the 4th picture are a piece of work. Lots of loose bark on them and it is fouling up the process. Gonna go at it with sand paper and a pressure hose tomorrow to see if i cant clean it all. The long thin piece and the 2 smaller piece are looking good. Should have them in by tomorrow night I think.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  6. JahnikarValued MemberMember

    When I made my wood (from an apple tree) I did a very mild bleach solution with the hottest water I could get out of my tap. Then I soaked it in a bucket of scalding hot treated water, changed twice daily for a week. I never had any funky smells and it never had the white gooey stuff appear on it. It's been in my tank since last summer. It did leech quite a bit of tannins, but I liked the look.