Spiderwood Getting Soft Quickly

Discussion in 'Driftwood' started by r_e_g, May 23, 2018.

  1. r_e_gValued MemberMember

    I started soaking two pieces of spiderwood last Tuesday night in a very large Sterilite container. After only about 4 days, the smaller piece had sunk. The larger piece is still floating (and is currently being held down by 2 chunks of granite). I'm changing the water in the tub every few days. The wood is releasing a lot of tannins, the larger piece of wood has some pretty slimy patches, and it smells a bit putrid. From what I've read, all of this is to be expected. What I'm worried about is the fact that the big piece of wood has multiple areas where the wood is getting pretty soft to the point that I could scratch it away with my fingernail. I'm also concerned about the fact that some areas of the wood have gotten WAY darker. Could my spiderwood be rotting significantly already? The smaller piece of wood doesn't have any of these raspy bits or splits. Also, there are a couple of pretty large cavities in the wood. I can feel that the wood is pretty soft inside of there. I'm a bit worried about what might be going on in there (maybe I need to get a bottle brush to clean it out?) and also about a fish possibly getting stuck inside. I've attached a lot of photos to help you see what I'm talking about. I've also included a photo of what the wood looked like when I first began soaking it. Many thanks! If this wood seems wonky, I'll let it dry out and return to it someday in the future. 20180515_200227.jpg20180523_175537.jpg20180523_175600.jpg20180523_175713.jpg20180523_175819.jpg20180523_175857.jpg
  2. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Go with what your senses tell you. If it's starting to go mushy, then it's degrading.

    You may be able to salvage the sound bits by cutting away the mush.
  3. r_e_gValued MemberMember

    Can you see the soft splintery bits in the photo? They're a very small percentage of the wood but I don't know if it'll spread. Maybe I should dry it out, roast it in the oven, and then try waterlogging again someday. Thanks.
  4. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    Getting darker almost always happens, and the surface does get soft enough to scratch away. However it shouldn't be extremely easy to do so.
  5. r_e_gValued MemberMember

    Thank you. It's the fact that it's almost black that concerns me; that seems really dark for spider wood (though I'm far from an expert on this!). The parts where it's super soft are almost like wounds; the grain of the wood is exposed and I could scratch away a little pile of wood shavings if I wanted to. It's been 2 days now since I last changed the water so I'm going to go see if anything has changed.
  6. r_e_gValued MemberMember

    I just finished checking the spider wood. It still wants to float and it's also pretty clear at this point that it's breaking down. In a couple of places (such as pictured below), I could actually break off pretty big chunks of the wood. Looking back at the pictures I took when the wood was still dry, I actually see that it had these splits. I am very torn on how to proceed at this point. This piece of wood would certainly look natural as parts of it fall off, but I'm worried that it might mess with my water quality to have that much decaying biomass.

    Attached Files:

  7. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    With normal regular water changes I don't believe it would be too much of a problem. However for ease of cleaning and moving, you might want something sturdier.
  8. r_e_gValued MemberMember

    Thanks. I've decided to go ahead and use this wood after all and if there are issues, I'll remove it. It was still floating yesterday when I set up the tank so I was able to use zip ties to secure it to some granite, which worked perfectly, no drilling required.

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