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Making your own Driftwood

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by dirrtybirdy, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. dirrtybirdy

    dirrtybirdy New Member

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    Does anyone know if I can pick branches from certain trees and turn them into driftwood? Im looking on google and cant find a DIY process. Can anyone shed some light?

    Thanks
     
  2. caotai

    caotai New Member

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    i was fishing at the local pond today and look what i found! just drill it to a hard piece of flat rock and you got something going!

    make sure you soak it and clean it.. im probably going to bring it to the car wash to spray it then soak it in a tub..before i do anything else..

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    ... the wood probably will rot :confused:
     
  4. dirrtybirdy

    dirrtybirdy New Member

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    I know it would probably rot. But im asking if i can pick a piece off a tree, let it dry out completely and use it as driftwood?

    but id like to know if there is a faster process to drying the wood.
     
  5. caotai

    caotai New Member

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    that might take some time..
     
  6. echofish

    echofish New Member

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    The only thing that I have ever heard is to boil any wood to kill any germs and animals that may remain. Or soak in bleach solution. using small amount of bleach. But I have been wondering the same thing. I have used some large twigs(sticks) in my tank and thus far they have been fine. It's been about 6 months and nothing harmful has come from it.
     
  7. Rudi Giacomini

    Rudi Giacomini New Member

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    Don't boil the wood You'll only kill the bacteria that survive at low temperature but stimulate that ones tha prefer highest one.
    Soaking in bleach may be dangerous if you use too much bleach :(.

    Don' t waste time trying to dry it...simple soak it and keep it summerged for a long time before introducing in aquarium.

    All wood rot but if you use a hard essence the time may be years...
     
  8. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I've always boiled the driftwood that I've collected. For me it's about trying to remove some bacteria, pesticides and anything else that might have gotten onto it.

    As for where to find driftwood, it will depend on what's locally available. I really think most wood types you'll find will suffice as long as it is hard type wood and looks like it will last for at least a year in your aquarium. Trial and error will come into play here. To cure it, baking the wood at a very low heat will help dry it out faster, from there you'll have to soak it to sink it. I know you're probably thinking, why dry it out then soak it again? Well I find that a dry driftwood will absorb and sink better then a piece that is partially "alive."

    It may just be easier to head down to San Diego and "driftwood search" through the number of pieces at Manzanita Burlworks. Or purchase directly from them via telephone.

    -John N.
     
  9. ilaymir

    ilaymir New Member

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  10. Garhan

    Garhan New Member

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    I do this all the time. Aquarium work is a life long process. For myself if it takes months or years even to come up with a piece of drift wood that has been selected from a natural enviornment, then so be it. Time is relevant to what you like. I often allow it to soak in my rain barrels for most of a summer and then used it the following year. I have a few pieces of spruce root that I have used numerous times over the years. Will it rot, eventually, but it doesnt matter to me and my plecos love the wood anyways.

    What is aquarium safe wood? I am guessing anything that wont leach anything detrimental to a tank. I go from there and in my part of the world that leaves lots of softwoods and hardwoods to chosse from in this region. Thats probably why I soak it for extended periods of time, as well I always select wood that is seriously dead and has been for sometime.
     
  11. Luiz Augusto F. Costa

    Luiz Augusto F. Costa New Member

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    There are several processes to prepare your driftwood

    You don´t need to "dry" it, actually you need to prepare it biologicaly and chemically. That´s killing micro-organisms, and like John said remove chemicals like pesticides and the tanins that will be naturally released (unless you want your aquarium water black colored) from a recently cutted branch.

    For this, simple soaking it in tap water will work, but will take up to 30 days, without warranty of removing the bilogy. So boil it several times (every 2 days) till the water became clear ( it takes at maximum 30 days)

    For additional biological security we can use active chlorine at a dose of 1ml of active chlorine for every 10 l of water. (bleach usually had a concentration of 2% of active chlorine). Change the solution every 2 days, till the water became clear.

    Other method is to use salt rocks (NaCl) solution of water, with a dose of 4 tea -spoons of salt for 1 l of water. Change the water every 3 days till it became clear.

    These salt rocks are commonly used here in Brazil for barbecue, I don´t know if there´s something similar in USA.
    Isolated these methods take aproximately 30 days.

    What I do?
    I combine the three methods, so my driftwood became secure and with minimal change of the color of water. It takes around 20 days(faster than only one method) for the complete process from cutting to putting it into my tanks. It is very important to remove all the salt and chlorine before you use it, so boil it for 15 minutes as final step of the process.

    So you will have a certain work to make your own drifwood, but I think nothing better than you choose the form of what you want and a density that provides the sinking, and you will be sure of not using some poisonous wood or endangered species.

    Best regards.
     

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