sanitizing driftwood

Austin {Aquarist}
  • #1
I just got back from my granmas lake house on Kerr lake in northern north carolina and I picked up some cool pieces of driftwood there that I think wouldlook good in my aquarium : p Soooo I wanted to ask all you fishlorians about how to clean and sanitize it and make sure it doesn't cloud up the tank

any info would be nice :]]]
 
ninilie
  • #2
You can boil them. I soaked mine for acouple weeks and then boiled. I kept changing the water until it was not brown anymore.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
darn

aghhhhh I just realized I don't have a pot big enough for it any other way I could boil it : \ ??
 
Richard
  • #4
I'm in the same bind.. found a great piece of driftwood with hollows in it on the beach.. soaked it for a week in a plastic tub but don't have a pot big enough to boil it in!.. and my 'fish guru' tells me of a friend who soaked his for six months and still ended up with water discoloration.. it helps if you can ID the type of wood, which I can't and I'm guessing you either.. having some kind of receptacle to boil it in numerous times without setting fire to the house, which I don't and neither do you from what you've said.. my solution will be to soak the wood for 6 months plus and then put it in an empty tank to see if there's any leaching before adding fish, but since I haven't gotten around to making space for yet another tank, my driftwood is posing as an ornament on a side table in my living-room!.. what a waste!
 
capekate
  • #5
I'm in the same bind.. found a great piece of driftwood with hollows in it on the beach.. soaked it for a week in a plastic tub but don't have a pot big enough to boil it in!.. and my 'fish guru' tells me of a friend who soaked his for six months and still ended up with water discoloration.. it helps if you can ID the type of wood, which I can't and I'm guessing you either.. having some kind of receptacle to boil it in numerous times without setting fire to the house, which I don't and neither do you from what you've said.. my solution will be to soak the wood for 6 months plus and then put it in an empty tank to see if there's any leaching before adding fish, but since I haven't gotten around to making space for yet another tank, my driftwood is posing as an ornament on a side table in my living-room!.. what a waste!
HI Richard
I am also in the same boat lol...
My picnic table outside and the rail of the deck are filled with all kinds of driftwoods. Most are too big for the boiling pot! Some Ive soaked and they end up too soft... others small enough, like a real neat knot of wood has been soaking and boiling and really leeching off brown tannins. I just don't have the patience to tackle this right now.It seems that it will take forever..Plus it will take forever to get the salt out of it for my fresh water tanks. May just break down and buy a piece online like at Ebay where I got my other piece... and get one all ready to go!
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
um

could I boil half of the driftwood at a time??? like just let some of it hang out boil it and then flip it around and do the same thing???
 
sirdarksol
  • #7
I would think that you could.

You don't need to boil them, however. You can soak them for several weeks, continually changing the water. This helps remove toxins from the wood.
You also want to thoroughly scrub the surface to remove extra debris that will create nitrogen in your tank.
Lastly, to sterilize, you can soak in a bleach solution, or bake to 200 degrees in the oven (do this for several hours and you don't want the oven to get hotter than 200, so you'll probably have to prop the door open with a can).
Baking has the added benefit of showing you if the wood has any sort of resin in it. If something sticky comes out of the wood, it's some kind of evergreen and not a good addition to a tank.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
thank dark

thanks darksol :] so are you saying that boiling won't really do anything?? because I don't really wanna soak the wood forever -_-
 
sirdarksol
  • #9
It will sanitize the wood and it might help remove toxins, but I wouldn't count on that, unless you are positive that you have very clean water where you found it. Around me, even if a waterway isn't polluted by industrial plants, it is polluted by runoff from peoples' yards and driveways, so I can't count on anything being free of soaps, pesticides, and other chemicals.
Soaking in fresh water will help pull some of these out.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
zdkjwlka;j

oh ok thanks :]
 
Coryd55
  • #11
I have the same problem with not enough space. What you can do is get the largest pot you have get the water to boiling. Put what you are boiling(rock, wood, etc) into the sink with a plug/stopper in the drain. Pour the boiling water over the item and let it sit. Keep adding boiling water until it is close to full. Very effective. If it is still to big just rotate it, drain some water, and pour more boiling water onto it.

The water will boil faster since the pot will be hot after the first time it boils. So it won't take forever.
 
Austin {Aquarist}
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
boiled and done

I boiled the driftwood this weekend and the water turned brown in the pot : p
I put it in my aquarium and it looks great the only problem is that it it is incredibly boyant :[
 
Coryd55
  • #13
If you weight it down some way it will eventually become water logged and will not longer need weights.
 
04_si
  • #14
I bought some at my LFS and I think they soaked it etc. for me. It didnt turn my water brown at all when I soaked it. A small amount came off, but no big deal! its about 6" long, and cost I think $10
 
capekate
  • #15
Hey Cory,
I ended up soaking and boiling ( the small pieces) and cleaning them up. I now have a new piece in each of the 55 and 29 gallon tanks. Ive added some java moss as well. I had to put some rocks on top, til they are truly water logged. Last time it took me almost a month to get that driftwood heavy enough without using a rock. I used the saltwater driftwood that I found at the beach, and really left it out in the rain...along with soaking, changing water, and boiling to get the salt out. A tiny bit won't hurt the tank in the long run. But I'm pretty sure that most of all the salt is gone. The driftwood didnt turn my water brown and the fish are unaffected by any salt residue that may be left over.
 
plecomaniac
  • #16
Cory,

I understand where your coming from, I live in Wisconsin and there are tons of lakes up there and I have seen some beautiful pieces of driftwood myself. Since you don't have a big enough pot, try taking an old metal trashbin and setting it over a fire. My grandpa found a 36 inch piece of driftwood for a 75 gallon and that's what he ended up doing. It worked perfectly but make sure you have help and its ok to do.
 
Tristen
  • #17
I boiled driftwood for half an hour then flipped it over and boiled the tiny bit that was sticking out for half an hour as well. I repeated the process the next day. Is that enough to sanitize it?
 
TWiG87
  • #18
For sure, it may still leech some tannins, but that’s not a concern. You should be good to go. If it doesn’t stay down at first you may have to weigh it down.
 
Sorg67
  • #19
I bought my driftwood at a fish store and just rinsed it. I used my wife’s old stockings with rocks in them to weigh down until they were water logged. They all developed white fuzz on them which went away in time. I was told that the white fuzz would not hurt anything. It did not seem to, but it was nasty looking for a while. I wonder if boiling would have prevented that.
 
TWiG87
  • #20
I boiled my driftwood and still got fuzz on it, but it only lasted a few days and cleared up on its own.
 
kallililly1973
  • #21
I just run mine under boiling hot tap water and plopit in my tank and when it sinks i place it where i want it.
 
Alicy
  • #22
white fungal is 100% normal in new driftwood and harmless, and tannis (brown water) is harmless, tannis is actually good in most cases. Its perfectly sanitized.
 

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