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Old 08-15-2012, 08:12 PM   #1 
cataze
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Question Driftwood: Mopani vs Malaysian

I am planning on putting natural driftwood in my 20G, and I went to my LFS today to see what they had. They carry 3 kinds. One is this vine type of stuff that I don't like. The other two are Malaysian and Mopani. Both look gorgeous. The Mopani seems to be part dark and part light wood, where the Malaysian is all a medium colour wood. But both are beautiful.

So to help with my decision, I thought I would ask what everyone thinks is the better kind of driftwood for a betta tank. Does one leach more than the other? Is one safer for bettas? What are your experiences?

Thanks so much!
Cate
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:20 PM   #2 
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I prefer Lava rock.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #3 
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I have 3 pieces of mopani and only 1 does not stain the water. I think eventually, after doing water changes, the yellow water will fade. Some people like the stained water as it gives a natural look to the tank. If you don't want stained water you have to soak the wood in a bucket and change the water daily until it runs clear.

I tied some baby java ferns to one and anubias to the other. Sometimes a white fuzz grows on the wood but the snail seems to eat it or you can brush it off with a toothbrush during water changes.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:55 PM   #4 
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I have all three in my tanks. Here's my opinions/experience:

Goldvine: I hate it. With a passion, except that looks so beautiful, which is the only reason I didn't turf it down the end of my backyard like a twiggy, non-returning boomerang. It took a month to sink after two week's soaking, giant PITA. But sooo pretty! Lesson learned: soak it for two months before expecting it to behave itself.


Malaysian: A remarkably well-behaved wood. I bought one piece pre-soaked, the others dry and all sank immediately. Its chocolate-y colour looks great with plants, the bristlenose loves it to bits and it comes in interesting shapes. Epiphytic plants also seem to attach to it rapidly. This is a winner among wood.

Mopani: I also adore this wood and have lots. It does leach tannins a lot, but bettas like this and it does gradually wear off. I'd recommend soaking/rinsing it for a least a week after it sinks as the tannins get quite dark and don't have the same therapeutic properties as ketapang (I do like blackwater though, so didn't mind the tannins a bit); It's gorgeous looking for the mid to front of the tank where the colours on the wood can be shown off. Very pretty, and shrimp -love- the gunk which grows on it. I'd give it a quick dip in boiling water to kill off some of the mold spores if you don't have shrimp or a herd of hungry snails as the gunk can get a bit much - I vacuum mine off until it inevitably goes away after a few weeks.

Hope that was a help.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #5 
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Yeah, mopani leeches a lot and probably the most out of the three. I boiled mine for a couple weekends nonstop and let it just soak during the weekday before the tannin output was minimal.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #6 
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I picked up Mopani because it does tint the water making it more natural for the betta...


Quote:
I prefer Lava rock.
That's great but that is not what they asked
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:48 AM   #7 
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See you answered your own question. I was looking at a almost white peace of wood I might pick it for later use.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:41 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChoclateBetta View Post
I prefer Lava rock.
Lava rock looks really nice, but it looks like it would shred his fins. I'm Leary of trying it.

So it's looking like Malaysian driftwood leaches a bit less....wondering if that's yhe way I should go. I don't mind it staining the water a bit, but not too much.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:32 AM   #9 
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I went back to my LFS to look at the driftwood again. I'm assuming they will get much softer once they've been soaked in water. Is one softer than the other?

My betta is either a HM or Rosetail (was marked as Premium Betta...still trying to determine what he is), so I don't want his fins shredded!
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:46 AM   #10 
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I'm weary of the lavarock as well, unless the rock is completely encapsulated with plants, I won't risk putting it into a tank.

I think one of my girls is plucking microbes/snails off rocks and you can see wear marks on her lips. If these were lavarocks, she would have massive cuts.

But like everyone usually says, it all depends on the personality of the fish.
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