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Old 06-19-2012, 11:44 PM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
Wink Dumb question but...

where do I get driftwood? Can I take it from a local lake or do I have to get it from a petstore. do I have to DO anything to it to make it safe for fish?

also rocks....I have this nice rock that I found outside (I dont remember where - someplace outside in Alaska). can I use it or should I stick with petco bought stuff? I dont know what rock but I do beleive it is some kind of Sedimentary rock.

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:57 PM   #2 
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I have heard of people using driftwood from outside I believe the process is scrubbing it with salt and hot water and I have heard of boiling rocks and even baking large peices of driftwood at low temps I personally haven't done it myself but some people do do it. Sorry I couldn't give u a 100% answer or step by step.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:48 AM   #3 
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yea i have heard that to except my freind sanatized it for hermit crabs instead
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:56 AM   #4 
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Bump over to tropicalfishkeeping (our sister site). They have some *great* info on natural driftwood and rocks and how to sanitize them. They have a sticky warning against boiling rocks too. I know that both items can alter our pH and GH levels as well, so that's another consideration.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:23 AM   #5 
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can i use zoo med mopani wood that is sold for reptiles?

not sure I can find driftwood- lots of lakes around but not so much small driftwood
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:07 AM   #6 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Paris, France
Check around online, some websites sell driftwood especially for aquariums. ADA (Aqua Design Amano) has the loveliest pieces of hornwood, I have one and I love the way it looks. It sank straight away, too. No soaking needed. And I'm pretty sure that ZooMed mopani wood is safe.

As said before, rocks are a trickier business because they can alter the PH of the water. I know for sure that "Texas Holey Rock" and limestone are a no-go. Apparently, you can test a rock by pouring vinegar onto it. If it fizzes and bubbles, it's not safe.

In this day and age, I don't trust taking things from the outside - too many pollutants, chemicals and whatnot.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:45 AM   #7 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Merlin, Oregon
Check out aquabid...some really nice pieces of driftwood for sale....I like discusdaves...excellent transaction and he takes pics of each piece in this white box with measurements in ALL directions so you will know if it will fit! They are treated by boiling for hours(it says how long on item auction page) and they sink right away.

Driftwood should be boiled if taken from outside...make sure source is not saltwater. Driftwood will soften your water(it changes water chemistry, too!)
Rocks are trickier because some will really affect water shells do. Also, you can boil rocks IF they are completely wet(just removed from river/lake) or if they are completely dry(sitting in your house for a year)...the problems arise when small particles of water, etc, go into rock...rock might appear dry but these small particles of water are deep inside(sounds funny, I know). If you were to put a rock such as this in a fire or other heat source, the particles would start moving very fast, attempting to expand their space/size in a solid, non-expandable place(ie the rock)...resulting in BOOM! Sometimes it just cracks the rock, other times the pressure will make the rock explode, sending shrapnel everywhere :(
I have had no issues when I soak the rocks first and slowly bring up temp to boiling.

I freely admit to not reading tropical fishkeepings notes/stickies on this, though.
Just my personal experience :)
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #8 
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Yeah, just to reinforce these answers... you can buy driftwood but i hear it's pricey. Personally, if i try something like that again it goes thru the dishwasher. No detergent or anything just a cycle of hot water. The sister site is great but there are some shills over there you have to watch out for - lol!
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:09 PM   #9 
Join Date: Apr 2012
if you find one outside, u cant immediately use it even if it is cured. Most woods found will float and it takes time (lots of it) for it to sink. Thats the only reason why buying driftwood would be better.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #10 
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I'd try malaysian or manzanita before mopani. Mopani is fine, but there is a slightly higher chance of it getting moldy than the other two.. Avoid anything light coloured at a pet shop.
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