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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to planted aquariums and to this forum. I'm making a new planted tank only half full of water. The idea is to have an aquatic area with some plants and fish and a dry area with plants and maybe some frogs later. I cut the roots of a tree that was taken down and wanted to use them in this tank. Part of them would be inside the water and part of them outside. I have read some about diy driftwood but still have some questions:

1 - Is it necessary to take off all the bark? I like the looks of it and would like to use it.

2 - The wood is very green, I think the tree was taken down only a few weeks ago. Can I use it anyway? Is there something I have to do to treat it besides boiling and soaking it?

3 - I was thinking about sealing it completly with some furniture barnish in order to keep the bark and avoid any sustances to get in the water. What do you guys think about this?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand, I wont put green wood into the aquarium just like that. I just cut two small peaces of root, cleaned them and dry them in the oven. I work at a furniture factory,so tomorrow I'm taking them with me and I'm going to apply several coats of barnish in order to completly seal them. The barnish I'm talking about is actually a type of resin, polyurethane, and once it's dry I don't think it can harm neither the fish or the plants,it becomes an stable plastic. I'm going to put them in a flower pot with aquatic plants just to make sure.

On the other side on saturday I'm taking your advice and going to a nearby river to colect some real driftwood.

Thanks a lot for your replys Seattle aquarist and davemonkey and greetings from Mexico City.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks a lot for you comments guys. Here is an update on my case:

I coated some of the roots with varnish (it's semi-gloss, didn't have any matte) and they look good. I'm going to put them in a bucket and see what happens.

On Saturday I went to a small river close to the city, collected a LOT of driftwood and took them home. I found different types of wood, some still had the bark, some didn't, a few don't float but most of them still do, some are roots, some are branches; but all of them where in the water when I picked them up. I really enjoyed the experience.

Once I got them home I laid them on the floor to select the pieces that would fit best my aquarium. I forgot to mention this, but I'm building a paludarium as well as a normal aquarium, so i need some wood for each. I ended up selecting a beautiful piece of root for the aquarium just for it's great looks and because it fits perfectly in the tank. The downsides of this one is that it still has all of the bark and it's very light, so it floats. It even seems like it wasn't in the water, maybe it only had a few days there. Anyway, I cut it to give it shape, cleaned it a little bit with a brush, filled the tank with water (it's brand new, so I still don't have anything in it) and a little bleach, then I submerged it with the help of some weights. I did this last night and this morning the water was still very clear. I'm going to wait and see what happens. I hope in a few days I can remove the bark and that it starts to sink on itself. I really want to use this piece. I might be able to get a big pot to boil it to speed up the process.

For my paludarium I selected a branch with great ramifications. This one has almost no bark left, it weighs a little more but doesn’t sink. I put it in the tank with the other one. I’m not sure about using it because I’m not really convinced it’s what I have in mind for my layout, but I’m going to treat it anyway just in case.

I might go to the LFS (see, I’m learning already ;) ) to see if they have a piece of driftwood I really like, and maybe I’ll return to the river next Saturday to look for some more wood.

What do you guys think about the piece for my aquarium, do you think I can make it work? If it helps I could upload some pictures.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi, my name is Patonzon and I'm a driftwood adict. I understand you perfectly zerOzax, I just did it once and now I can't wait to do it again the next weekend.

It's been two days of soaking the wood and the water remains very clear, I can barely notice a sutil yelowish color ¿How long it takes for the tanins to start leaching out? I just wish I had a big enough pot to boil that piece.
 
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