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Discussion Starter #1
just wondering as to how many people here find and cure their own driftwoods?

im thinking of doing this, but wondering where i can find them? and how i know that this piece of wood is indeed driftwood and not some other wood thatll leech sap into my tank, or decompose?

im guessing i can find them at english bay or ambleside park? but would this be a bad idea since theres a lot of oil and what not in that water?
 

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If this is for a freshwater tank you shouldn't use wood that's been in the salt chuck. Also, removal of wood etc from waterways is illegal, so be prepared for Constable Bob's attention.

Any wood you collect needs to be cleaned (brush and running water) then baked (wrap in foil), boiled or soaked in something like Potassium permanganate. This will remove the possibility of introducing pathogens into your aquarium.

You can use fresh oak branches, as long as all bark is removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yes, it will be for a freshwater tank.
couldnt i just boil it in regular hot water, and bake it in the oven? do i really need potassium permanganate or any other solution?
 

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sorry, I wasn't clear. It's bake, boil or bomb (with chemicals). You only need to one of the three. For big pieces, it's simplest to soak in Potassium permanganate. Smaller bits can be boiled or baked.

But I really do want to stress that using wood that's been in salt water is not a good idea. You'd have to soak it for months (at least) to get the salts out of it.
 

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i soaked and boiled it many times until i got the water as clear as possible, then I let it sit for a few days and in to the tank it went. Been in the tank for two weeks now and no issues thus far.
 

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i grabbed 2 chunks from cultas this past weekend.

they are huge.

im puzzled how I am going to get them tank ready.
 

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since im on Vancouver island i use arbutus - looks really, really nice... its a hard wood - so it doesn't rot fast - and you get really "branchy" peices... and they shed branches if they cant support them, so no cutting!

if you ever come over to the island - pick some up!

for curing i put it in the bath tub with hot water (depending on the size)
 

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if it's wrapped in foil, abut 45 - 60 min, at 350, depending on your oven. Wrapping it keeps the wood moist and steams the interior of the wood.

keep an eye on it. if you smell wood smoke, the oven's too hot;-)
 

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Any thoughts on using Rhododendron branches in a tank? The tend to be very branchy, and i know that they dont break down in the yard, hardly at all. I still have ones in a pile by my compost from years ago.
 

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Yep my friend had goats in Langley they ate the Rhodos and dead. Lost a couple.
I do know though that spider wood is azalea root
Conditions of poisoning

All parts of the plant, but especially the foliage, contain the poison, and two or three leaves may produce severe toxicosis. Sucking flowers free of nectar may produce serious illness. Rhododendrons are more likely to retain green leaves year round than are most other plants, and therefore most toxicoses occur in the winter and early spring, when other forage is unavailable.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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With any natural wood or leaves there will be a certain tannins (that's what gives some tanks that yellowish colour) and other chemicals given off as well as they will breakdown at different rates. My guess is that local hardwood species would be less prone to leeching and adding chemicals more slowly to water - but I can remember a piece of Black cottonwood I retrieved from the Cheakamus river near Squamish that was great for the fish but I really had to watch out for the natural decomposing shooting down the pH. Local species like Vine Maple and Big Leaf maple make more sense to me, from parts of the tree like the roots that are more dense and more interesting for aqua scaping anyway. I'd certainly stay away from resin loaded softwoods like Red Cedar and Hemlock...part of the function of their sap is to protect the tree from insects and other infections.

Local hardwoods might be fine for local freshwater species of fish but I am unsure how that will affect tropical species. When it comes to exoctics like magnolias, not rhodos because there an endemic species of them, that adds another complexity. One thing also to note is that unless you are drawing well water usually our water is coming from open protected reserviours so that means local water already has a number of chemicals in it unless you are running RO which does remove many of these. It also means locally raised fish are already acclimatized to the unique chemical complex of local water. Having worked years with multiple salmonid species it always amzaed me that these species could tell one stream from another by it's unique chemical signature, it is one reason why I find anadromous really interesting.

Sorry if this confuses the issue, but there is a lot to consider in choosing un-tank seasoned wood for your aquarium. I have used local sterilzed wood as mentioned above and then given that tank at least a month to cycle and balance out chemically and then added some test fish to see if I have missed something and see how fish waste etc. reacts to the wood.

Not sure if this has helped, hopefully this might be some things to consider at least
 

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Do you use fresh? Or seasoned? I have a bunch i collected and want to know if i can just boil and throw them in.. they are from a windstorm so quite fresh.
 

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Iv tried this before and wouldn't suggest it, tried in a tropical tank and also a subtropical tank, local woods just break down way to fast, causing algae and all different problems for the aquarium, was a huge headache would never bother with it again.
 

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If this is for a freshwater tank you shouldn't use wood that's been in the salt chuck. Also, removal of wood etc from waterways is illegal, so be prepared for Constable Bob's attention.
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As far as I can tell that's not true, there are just rules for what you can and can not remove. Basically it has to be under 10 feet, must be rounded at both ends (to show it's driftwood and not lumber) and can't be from national/provincial parks, ecological reserves etc.

Here are full rules:

https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/dcr/Foreshore_files/Beachwood Handout.pdf

I just went and got some rocks from Lynn Canyon near the river... I wasn't sure it was allowed but I found that resource while trying to figure it out. Maybe it's not allowed to remove the rocks from there since it's a park... Not sure. If anyone knows, give me a shout.
 
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