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Old 11-03-2010, 11:13 PM   #1 
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soaking driftwood/cycling woes

I soaked my driftwood in regular tap water for a few weeks before placing into the tank I'm trying to cycle. Was I supposed to place it in dechlorinated water? I'm trying to recycle my empty tank, but I can't get it going. Argh! I'm wondering if this is a culprit.

Also, does driftwood lower the pH? I tested my pH today, and it's super low - like 6.4.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:43 PM   #2 
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Yes, driftwood will lower the pH, but your fish will also adapt to these water conditions. No need to adjust it with chemicals.

As far as the cycle, the driftwood should provide a place for even more bacteria to grow. I'm not sure if soaking it in regular tap water would affect the cycle? What are you doing/using to start the cycle?
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:47 PM   #3 
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Boiling it (if possible) several times is the way to go. If not just scrub it with super hot water. This will help get anything icky off of it, as well as prevent your tank from looking so much like tea....over time the driftwood will release tannins. I actually like this look for my 20 gal, makes it look like a jungle, with the water, driftwood, and tons of plants :)
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:01 PM   #4 
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Yeah, you're going to want to boil it and then, if possible, put it outside in a bucket in direct sunlight. I've heard of plenty of people putting the driftwood in the dishwasher on the 'sanitize' cycle, without any soap, of course, and it turning out fine. Based on that it shouldn't matter terribly if you dechlorinated the water or not, as long as you add dechlorinator once you put the wood in the tank.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #5 
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i was about to post a thread about this, haha. so i'll add a few more questions for discussion:

1. how long should you boil it? i know you add the water and replace when it gets cold, but for how many hours/days?

2. my driftwood piece has some serious splinters, should it be sanded down?? otherwise, how should i go about making it betta-fin safe?

3. theres a small hole in one part, not big enought for my betta to get thru, but big enough for him to think he can, should it be filled in with aquarium sealant??

sorry, i don't mean to hijack, but there aren't too many driftwood threads. X|
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:07 PM   #6 
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Hee Hee - I am hijacking, too! ;)

I am by no means an expert on the subject, but here's my 'wood' experience, for what its worth...

A couple days ago, I got a piece of wood at the aquarium store to gently bring down the ph in my tank. The 'ph down' chemical wasn't really working and I didn't want to burn my Betta, Baby Blue.

I had read that all the fishes I had selected for my tank preferred a more acid (low ph) environment, and our local water is on the alkaline (high ph) side. As for the tea color of the 'wooded' water, my tank has a very natural stream bed look to it, so the tannin I felt would not 'ruining' the effect I was going for, but will enhance it.

I felt the wood over and not finding any really sharp edges, made my purchase.

I rinsed the wood well in super hot tap water then put it in a super hot bucket of tap water overnight. By the morning, the bucket water looked like strong tea, from the tannins that the wood released. I drained the bucket and did it again.

At the end of the second day (today), before I added the wood, I did my water testing.

I found that slightly lowering the water level in my five gallon tank allowed my waterfall filter to aerate the water better and after adding a bacterial booster my tank was finally cycled - after 8 weeks! My tank was at 0 ammonia with API Test one week after the last 25% water change. Awesome!

<<Start Celebration: I did it, I did it, oh yeah, yeah, yeah! (doing my Dori victory dance) /End Celebration>>

Anyway, back to the wood! In the middle of a ten percent water change (w/ Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus to dechlorinate and 'tame' the new water), I put the wood in.

No one was crushed or squashed in the process, I am happy to report. Currently, my Ghost Shrimp have taken over the wood and are infesting it! :D

So there you go... that's my wood (and tank cycling) odyssey! Good Luck to you.

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Old 11-08-2010, 08:17 PM   #7 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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Ooops, I sent a post to your fishy's name (Sam I am)!

The saga continues...

So a week has gone by. My tank got progressively tannin-stained. Soon, it was quite dark. That didn't bother me. What did bother me was the fact that my betta was having trouble seeing the pellets I was putting in the tank for her! She was missing them, and she used to follow my hand and practically grab them from me!

I noticed (though I had trouble seeing in the darkened water) the wood seemed to have a white-ish looking slime forming on it (it looked like semi-transparent glue). I knew that I hadn't seen that when I put the wood in the tank.

I determined to remove the wood. First, however, I checked the ph. It hadn't dropped AT ALL. Next, I checked the ammonia - still at 0 ppm. I pulled out the wood and examined it. Next, I pushed the stones back into place and removed 50% of the water. I then treated the same amount of fresh water and put it in.

The water is still tannin-stained but I expect that to fade over time with subsequent water and filter changes.

Everybody in the tank seem happy enough - Baby Blue could see her pellets again, and nobody was missing/crushed/dead in the process.

Moral of the story... if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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