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Old 04-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #1 
ShukiAi
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Question Driftwood Questions

Hello everyone!

I'm cycling my new 30 gallon tank right now and would LOVE to get a nice piece of driftwood to place in it for a centerpiece. However, I have some questions first...

I've been looking around online and at local pet stores and real driftwood is crazy expensive. I'd possibly be willing to invest...but is it worth it?

I've read that some driftwood can leech things into the water and turn it brown. I'm assuming over time that that will go away. I'm sure if I soak it well and let it sit in the sun that would help?

Also, I've been looking on eBay and there are some sellers that sell driftwood - however they actually go into lakes and rivers and pull the wood directly from the source. Is this safe? In fact, I even have a lake/swamp in my back yard. Could I get wood from there?

And what about reptile driftwood? Is it the same as aquarium driftwood? It sure is a lot cheaper.

Any feedback would be appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:42 PM   #2 
VJM
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I would try looking at Tom Barre's stuff. He is very good at reasonable pricing and shipping, and is kind of a wizard at picking good pieces. Large pieces have pictures. I bought a box of small manzanita (which was so big it came in two boxes) for 25 bucks and have enough for many tanks. Just google his name and "driftwood".

Don't know about reptile driftwood, but I would assume it won't hold up, or everyone and their mom would be all over it. But that is just an assumption.

I think it looks great, and it buffers my pH a bit. Whether that is worth it is in the eye of the beholder.

The brown is tannins, they are actually helpful and replicate the natural betta environment a little better. They wear off after awhile. I just soaked mine in cold water until it sank and then put it in the tank.

The only thing you have to worry about is pesticides/toxins and wood type. Some fall apart really quickly. The common ones that last are usually the ones you see online. Falling apart isn't necessarily dangerous, just messy and can lead to ammonia spikes.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:44 PM   #3 
ShukiAi
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Thank you for your feedback VJM! That helps a lot. I'll definitely google Tom and see what he has. :D
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:21 PM   #4 
emeraldsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShukiAi View Post
Hello everyone!

I'm cycling my new 30 gallon tank right now and would LOVE to get a nice piece of driftwood to place in it for a centerpiece. However, I have some questions first...

I've been looking around online and at local pet stores and real driftwood is crazy expensive. I'd possibly be willing to invest...but is it worth it?

I've read that some driftwood can leech things into the water and turn it brown. I'm assuming over time that that will go away. I'm sure if I soak it well and let it sit in the sun that would help?

Also, I've been looking on eBay and there are some sellers that sell driftwood - however they actually go into lakes and rivers and pull the wood directly from the source. Is this safe? In fact, I even have a lake/swamp in my back yard. Could I get wood from there?

And what about reptile driftwood? Is it the same as aquarium driftwood? It sure is a lot cheaper.

Any feedback would be appreciated! Thank you!


I think its worth it, but I dont live anywhere near where I could go out and get my own wood.
I buy from craigslist and people at my local aquarium club, its always incredibly cheaper than buying from chain petstores.

Driftwood will leech tannins depending on the wood. It will go away but its good for fish as the darker water makes them feel safer and tannins have anti-fungal properties. It depends on the wood how long the tannins will last.

Its safe-ish so long as you:
a) know what type of wood it is and know for sure there isnt and pesticides or junk like that on it
b) clean it properly
Only use hardwoods! You can test this by pressing your fingernail into the wood, if it goes into the wood, dont use it.
There will always be a risk when getting it since you dont know everything about the wood, but I know a lot of people have done it without any problems.

Stay away from reptile wood, its usually grape vine which commonly grows fungus underwater and can wipe out your whole tank.
Stick to malaysian, manzanita, ironwood, and possibly mopani.
Mopani and grape vine look very similar, be careful when buying.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #5 
ShukiAi
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Thanks Emeraldsky! I really appreciate the tips. I'm going to keep my eye out online and such for some nice driftwood, otherwise when the weather warms up and we get the boat in the water I may just try getting some of my own. :)
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