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I know how to find rocks for our tanks, but I would like to know more about driftwood. What would I be looking for, how can I tell it won't leech into the water column, any types of wood to avoid (as if I would be able to tell), pest removal, etc...

LFS wood is seriously beat, I want branchy, they want big heavy pieces of root with no character... what to do?

Jeff
 

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Hey Jeff,

I know a spot on White Clay Creek where there are deposits of weathered wood they may yield some good stuff. You'll need to anchor them, but you should be able to find some attractive pieces.
 

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Some tips from past experiences....

Dig your nail into the wood, if it's soft and your nail digs into it the wood is probably no good. You are looking for hard wood, possibly one that has been under water for some time. Many that are half exposed, half submerged have started to rot inside and you really don't want to take any of those home. Weathered wood, the really light stuff, can be used but needs to be tied down and won't become waterlogged in any reasonable timeframe. Tree roots are also very good, many sink on their own. As far as knowing what the piece of wood has absorbed during it's floating days really depends on where it was found, you obviously would not look for wood around a polluted waterway, nor one that has brackish water. I used to collect enough wood to fill a large trash can and leave it outside for months to soak, this usually gets rid of everything, then I'd boil it before use. I think there was a post some time ago about the actual types of wood that were good candidates, if I find it I'll post it.

We should organize a little collecting trip one of these days

Giancarlo Podio
 

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I'd like to visit with you guys, but I live in the west coast. Pretty much went driftwood hunting yesterday found couple more pieces of decent wood. I'll try to get pictures posted ASAP.
 

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Gpodio,

Why would wood that is a little soft not be good? I have a couple such pieces in one tank now with darters. I soaked them in a bleach solution, then soaked a few times in water with lots of dechlorinator. The bleach did bleach the wood a little; I'm assuming boiling woudn't do that as much. But the bleached-out look is interesting. Anyway, the wood has nooks and crannies in it that my madtoms just adore. But I realise that such wood won't last forever. Are there other problems I'm not thinking of?

-Laura
 
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