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Old 08-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #1 
Turtle4353
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Disaster involving soap

Ok so a while ago my little brother put 4 bars of soap in my 10 gallon aquarium. He's only 3 but still... I got my fish out and have had no deaths but I had a piece of driftwood in the tank. I have cleaned the tank thoroughly and gotten rid of the gravel but is there any way I can get the soap out of the driftwood to make it safe to use? Or is it hopeless? Its a big piece so its hard to boil but I can try if neccesary. I really love this piece so please help me save it!
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #2 
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All I can think of is boil it, maybe someone else will have a better idea.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:05 AM   #3 
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Boiling is my suggestion but I am not sure about wood and soap.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:07 AM   #4 
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Spray it down with a detachable showerhead.

A picture would be helpful.

What type of soap was in there?
Was there water in the tank when the soap was tossed in?
You should buy some sort of hood and stand where your bro can't reach it.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:12 AM   #5 
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This is a pic of the wood. There were four bars of Dove soap put inside the aquarium through the feeding slot thingy and yes the tank was full of water
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #6 
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the picture's not working.

Oh well, the brand of soap is important. Dove is one of the not so harsh varieties.

At least it's not one of those Irish Spring bars, or high end perfumed soaps.

How dissolved was the soap when you found it?

Are these the travel sized soaps or the full sized ones?


Do you have a detachable showerhead?
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #7 
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I have no idea the size of the driftwood. At least give some idea of it's size.

Grapefruit?
Football?
Mini Watermelon?




I would get a clean plastic bucket, put the wood in the water. See if it smells like Dove soap.

If it smells like soap, let it soak, after 1-6 hours, WHENEVER you have time..... hose it down with a showerhead with hot water. Soaking it will help.

You can use a garden hose but hot water breaks up the oils in the soap much better.

A cheap detachable showerhead is a key piece of equipment for cleaning aquarium decorations. A cheap multifunction showerhead can cost you as little as $8 bucks brand new.

Also I wouldn't FREAK out. It's DOVE.

Perfumed soap/lamp oil/motor oil would be a DISASTER.


For example, I picked up a used marina betta tank for $2.

http://www.petco.com/product/10367/M...in-Purple.aspx

The tank had a funny odor to it. Whatever betta was housed in here definitely died & the little package of dried but used radiation green gravel smelled like dead fish mixed with some sort of really horrible men's cologne.

I've left that package of used gravel outside for at least a month to bake in the sun, but I think the gravel still smells like cologne.

I'll go check on it once I catch some more ML for the fish.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:13 PM   #8 
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The wood is the size of a full watermelon and maybe then some. It is like roots to a small tree that were dug up and hardened and cleaned. It doesn't smell but when I came to the tank the soap looked like white soapy java moss if you can picture it. They were full size bars of soap all in a pile. All I'm worried about is if the driftwood absorbed any soap water and the soap will all come out if I put it in an aquarium
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:40 PM   #9 
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Have you tried hitting the driftwood over your brothers head to knock out all the soap?
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #10 
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Gees that sounds like a really nice piece of wood. I wouldn't want to discard it either. Like I said, Dove isn't that harsh of a soap.

  • Get one of those rubbermaid/sterilite storage containers. 20-30 gallon for $5-$7 or use one that you kept clothes in. Empty it & rinse out with water.
  • Put the driftwood inside the container and fill it up with water.
  • Agitate/stir up the water and see if you get soap bubbles.
  • If you see nothing, smell nothing, then you should be FINE.
BTW, what size tank did this soap incident occur in?
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