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How To Sterilize Driftwood

Discussion in 'Aquarium Articles' started by LemonDiscus, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Thread Starter Active Member

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    When you first get your driftwood you like home, please first be sure that it is a hardwood and NOT a softwood as softwood breaks downs and rots in the aquarium at a very fast rate. Also it can leach sap into the aquarium. Stick with a clean piece of hardwood with no rotton or bug infested parts.

    Once you have the piece you want use a clean brush to scrub the driftwood thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Do not use soap or any chemical cleansers. Any residue will poison your aquarium.

    You then have 3 ways to sterilize the driftwood:
    Boil it - The best way to go. By boiling it for a few hours it will help later getting that nice piece of wood to sink into your aquarium. If you have a pot big enough and a piece small enough, this is the way to go.

    Bake it - For those large pieces bake the driftwood for several hours (depending on size 2-12 hours) at 200-215 degrees Fahrenheit. This will dry out the wood making it later harder to sink.

    Bleach it
    - This is BY FAR the most dangerous later but in some cases that piece of driftwood is too big for anything but the aquarium. What you would need to do is take an aquarium and fill it with water. Add VERY little bleach to it (a cap-full for a 55). Let it soak in this for a day or 2. Change 30% of the water. DO NOT add more bleach. Do 30% water changes for about a week then drain the tank completely. Refill the tank and dose it with a 4x dose of de-chlorinator. Let it soak in this for a few days changing water and adding new water de-chlorinating new water like it has fish in it. I did the waterchanges myself for about 4 days and then drained the tank out again and refilled it with water for my fish. Discus and Tetras were added to this tank with no ill effects. Again YOU MUST BE CAREFUL! The ONLY reason to use this method is because the Log is TOO big for a pot AND for your oven.



    Sinking your Driftwood
    It may take weeks for your driftwood to stay down on its own in your aquarium. I personally have always been to anxious to keep it in a bucket for a month or 2. I want it right in my tank!

    There are a few ways to do this within your tank.
    Hold it down with a few large rocks - I have taken a few larger rocks and put them right on the log. It was a bit tacky but you can always find a way to "decorate" around it.

    Push it into the substrate a bit - I have also pushed it deep into the substrate so that the sand/gravel was used like the large rocks. The piece cannot be but so buoyant to use this method

    Boil it - Again boiling the driftwood is one of the best ways to saturate it fast.
     
  2. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:30 am
    I just wanted to make mention that if it still is "floating" after the sterilization process you can also mount it.

    Mounting Aquatic Driftwood
    Drill a 1/8" hole into the wood and attach to base (Ie. slate) by screwing in galvanized stainless steel screws with deep "threads" and a wide "head".

    If the base is not heavy enough to hold the piece in place and it is long/wide enough you can submerged the base beneath your substrate.
    mounted driftwood.gif
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:22 am
    I wanted to add a tip I learned about water logging driftwood. If a piece is too big to boil, you can put it in a heated cycle in your dishwasher (no soap or detergent added of course). And let it run a time or two. This will also kill any bacteria as the temperature in there gets VERY hot.

    I have not tried this method yet but I have a piece that isn't water logged yet and I will give it a try tomorrow and let you guys know how it goes. I hear it works well.
     
  4. LemonDiscus

    LemonDiscus Thread Starter Active Member

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    Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:24 am
    Thanks, I did read that too but I have not tried it and when I wrote up this piece I forgot to add that.

    Great addition!
     
  5. YellowCichlid

    YellowCichlid New Member

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    Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:10 pm
    I wouldn't do it due to the soap that's used in it
     
  6. kwheeler91

    kwheeler91 New Member

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    Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:13 am
    maybe if you run a couple dry runs with nothing in it before hand to rinse it out thoroughly... but then again thats a lot of water for a piece of wood.
    i live by lake erie and find nice pieces all the time. i boil them if i can, but if its a large piece i just scrub it really well and let it dry completely and i have never had any problems. not sure how good of an idea that is but it cant be too bad, all the wood you buy has to come from somewhere, and if you have healthy fish you shouldnt have anything to worry about. at least thats how ive come to understand it
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:56 pm
    good info here!
     
  8. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:55 am
    The forums packed with it and the members are the best and I'm not saying that just because I'm a mod either ;)
     
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:52 am
    She's saying it because if she doesn't I throw peanuts at her. [rofl]
     
  10. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:03 pm
    Hey, I told you only walnuts that are covered with walnut sauce! Men, never listen. Haha!
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:40 pm
    Very good tips:) I would also add that sometimes it may take months, years or maybe never for a piece to stay down. I personally have had a piece in a tank for nearly a year now being held down by a rock, it still floats. The rock has just become part of the scape:)
     
  12. js1218

    js1218 New Member

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:41 pm
    thank was look at some nice peices will get them now
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:41 pm
    Also wanted to add that you can use your bathtub for larger pieces and either fill it with the hottest water out of the pipes or pour boiling water over the piece.
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:42 pm
    I baked some and boiled some of mine. So far I have only one that has sunk. It's been TWO months and the other pieces are still floating in a large rubbermaid
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:42 pm
    yeah, as stated above some pieces may take years to sink!
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:43 pm
    didn't see that! just might have to find some slate to mount it to.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:43 pm
    That will probably be your best bet
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:44 pm
    yea think so. there is an ad on craigslist for 1500 pieces of roofing slate. she said would sell individual pieces for $2.00 a piece.
     
  19. Amante_di_Betta

    Amante_di_Betta New Member

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    Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:44 pm
    Ive used all of the methods for treating the wood, and never lost a soul. Great suggestions though!