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Old 05-19-2012, 10:55 PM   #1 
LittleWatty's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: In progress to California
Using Real Driftwood Decorations

I was at a local petshop today, looking at things I might put in a 5 gallon tank for my betta that I'm hoping to get in a few weeks. I saw they had a bunch of home made decorations with real driftwood and rocks, as well as some plastic plants. The friend that accompanied me nudged me and said we should comb the river to see if we could find our own driftwood. The worker (who is in the family who owned the place) gave us a link on how to make driftwood safe for aquarium use.

How to Clean Driftwood for Aquariums

I'm wondering, has anyone else used real driftwood they found themselves for their tanks? Also, does this seem like it would make the wood safe enough for a betta?
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:23 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Fremont, CA
A guy on Youtube, Dustinsfishtanks, has found numerous prices of driftwood and used them for his tanks. Some wood may get a slimey coating on them, depending on the wood. Malaysian driftwood is some of the best wood to use as it is really dense and sinks right away. The darker the wood the better, but light wood works too.

I didn't look at the link but, I have made driftwood safe for the aquarium before. Just boil them so you kill what ever may be in the wood and soak it in water so it sinks. Though if you find it sunk most likely it will sink in the tank.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:41 AM   #3 
Twilight Storm
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest, USA
I have not picked any wood out of the wild to use in aquariums. I knew people who did years ago though. I wouldn't trust any wood in bodies of water around where I live. The lakes and rivers are very polluted.

If you live in an area that is cleaner you could try making your own but there are risks involved. I don't know if I would take your favorite fish and use him as a test subject just in case. That's just my own opinion though. There aren't any real facts behind it other then I would be scared of pollution on the wood like oil, gas, pest control chemicals..... I might be overly paranoid but some scary things come out of the water by me.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:52 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Tennessee
I have some that I found at the lake last month in my sorority (Still need to get pictures of it!!) It was boiled and scrubbed and left in a 50 gallon tub to soak for 3 weeks.. and refused to sink. I got sick of it and used a zip tie to attach it to a rock and put it in the sorority a week ago. It's doing really good! All my girls love it. I did the same for some slate I got locally. The whole thing is a great effect and so far no illnesses!

A few things that link doesn't cover.

Some pieces have holes and spaces in them that a pressure washer won't clean out. Go over the whole thing with a nail and look for soft spots and cracks where gunk collects. You'll have to clean this out carefully. Not only the gunk, but any rotting wood. Basically anything soft needs to be scrubbed off.

If you find any holes that seem so small that a fish might get stuck, make it bigger with a drill or fill it in with a rock or another piece of wood. You don't want anything bad happening to your fish.

It could take 2 weeks for a piece of wood to sink.. it could take 2 months.. it could take a year. If your driftwood won't sink, you can use aquarium string (for plants), lag bolts or zip ties to attach the wood to a slag of rock, then just hide the rock under substrate. Or attach a couple of suction cups to the bottom and stick the wood to your aquarium glass. Like a lot of things in fish keeping, this is something you might have to use your imagination on.

Oh and if you use found stones, give those a good cleaning, too!
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:31 AM   #5 
Join Date: Apr 2012
oh wow, didnt know the part about driftwood for lizards
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