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milalic
28th Mar 2006, 10:08 AM
Does any of you use driftwood in your tanks?
Why you use it? What shrimp you keep in these tanks?


Cheers,
Pedro

YuccaPatrol
28th Mar 2006, 11:23 AM
I keep driftwood in all of my aquariums, both for looks and for other reasons.

First, it is just a great looking natural material and is my favorite for adding vertical interest to my aquascaping. I attach anubias and Java Fern to it and both of these grow great when their roots attach to wood.

Second, I have some plecos in most of my non-shrimp aquariums that require some wood to munch on.

Third, it helps to lower pH which is helpful for many of my fish.

Lastly, there is some evidence that anaerobic de-nitrifying bacteria may actually live inside the wood. They are capable of converting nitrate into nitrogen gas, removing it from the aquarium completely. Certainly the effect of these bacteria may not be great, but anything that could possibly detoxify nitrate can only be a good thing.

I collect all of my driftwood from local freshwater streams and lakes. A few of my pieces came from the beach in Hawaii. I've found that I can find much higher quality pieces than I ever see for sale in stores.

I cure the wood by soaking it in tubs in the basement for several months to sink it and remove any possible contaminants. Since I know the source of the wood, such contaminants are not really a worry of mine. I am a bit afraid of wood purchased from stores since I cannot ever know its origin or how it was treated/cleaned, but I am probably just a little bit paranoid.

Right now, I am only keeping Cherries, but will be getting some tigers and hopefully som CRS soon. I just have to finish growing out and selling some baby cichlids to free up some tanks for new shrimp.

A few pics of driftwood in my aquariums:

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/gallery/data/979/37GalCropSmall.JPG

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/gallery/data/979/15galPlanted_003.jpg

Herbie
29th Mar 2006, 09:56 AM
Where do you look for the wood? On the shores or along the shoreline, submerged underwater? I have some mopani that has been leaking tannins for two or three years. I don't think it will stop and am planning on a wood finding expedition of my own sometime when the snow melts. I have looked before but haven't found any pieces that look 'cured' or weathered enough to put into the aqurium. Either that or the pieces I find along the beach are all splintered...maybe too cured...by the sun and elements! That's why I ask if you are finding them underwater or on the shore.

YuccaPatrol
29th Mar 2006, 10:05 AM
My best hunting place is a small stream (about 20 feet across and 2 feet deep) that flows out of a medium sized lake. All of the trees around the stream are hardwoods, no pine trees. I find the wood in piles of wood debris that accumulated after flooding from Hurricane Katrina this fall and Ivan last fall.

My suspicion is that the best wood I find was almost certainly underwater in the lake until the flooding events caused it to be washed downstream.

This wood is very heavy for its size and black/dark grey when I find it and just looks like it has spent a long time under water. It appears to come from hardwood tree roots because of how gnarled it is. It also does not stain the water with tannins which is another reason why I think it had been submerged for a long time.

The couple pieces of wood that I found on the beach were much lighter in color and took a very long time to sink.

I must admit that the best pieces are very rare and I find only a couple pieces when I go looking. I would guess that I find 20 pieces that look good at first but end up not being suitable when I inspect them closer before I find a piece that is really perfect. If it feels lightweight or is soft and crumbly, it is most likely not going to work.

The large piece in the middle of the first photo and the two pieces in the lower photo came from the banks of this freshwater stream.

One day I hope to find a huge deposit of this kind of wood and then I will really go nuts decorating my tanks!

Herbie
29th Mar 2006, 10:21 AM
Thanks for the info. I have a stream in mind that is fed from a freshwater lake. Maybe I can find something close to the shore. No hurricanes up here though!!!

silane
2nd Apr 2006, 06:50 PM
Does any of you use driftwood in your tanks?
Why you use it? What shrimp you keep in these tanks?


Cheers,
Pedro


Use of driftwood is not a must, IMO, even though almost all Japanese CRS novice guide mention the use of driftwood tie with moss.

Driftwood provides hideout, something for algae eating shrimps to gaze on and lower PH in some cases and some water condition.

In my latest tanks, I do away with driftwood, providing a lot of plants for hidouts and food.


YuccaPatrol,
You are lucky to be able to find driftwood for free over there, over here, driftwood is one of the most expensive piece in an aquarium, costing S$10 (US$6.25) per kg.

Robert
3rd Apr 2006, 02:01 AM
YuccaPatrol,
You are lucky to be able to find driftwood for free over there, over here, driftwood is one of the most expensive piece in an aquarium, costing S$10 (US$6.25) per kg.

Hey, 10S$ per kg of driftwood is cheap. I paid up to 15€ (~30S$) per kg for some mopani wood. My large mopani wood pieces have a weight of several kilograms. But I would consider my plants as more expensive. Some plants cost more than 10€ per piece.

All in all, who cares for a few dollars or euros if he can enjoy his hobby every day? My planted show tank let me forget all the euros and time I spent to set it up.

regards
Robert

Frank
3rd Apr 2006, 05:10 AM
Bought driftwood and it donīt want to sink. I give it up now. :cry:
That is really expensive! >(

Herbie
3rd Apr 2006, 05:41 AM
Bought driftwood and it donīt want to sink. I give it up now. :cry:
That is really expensive! >(

How long have you been soaking it for? I had a piece that took about two months before it finally sank. Hasn't come up since :)

Frank
3rd Apr 2006, 06:30 AM
Normally the bigger the piece the longer the proceeding.
This piece is just about 15 cm long.
After 5 weeks throwed out. Poor quality.
Other similar pieces from the same time were sinking in 1-2 weeks.

Herbie
3rd Apr 2006, 06:58 AM
With 70 some posts, I assumed you knew what you are doing...I was right :)

Like you say, must have been bad wood...it's good that not all of the pieces were bad!!!

Jenova
3rd Apr 2006, 08:20 AM
Normally the bigger the piece the longer the proceeding.
This piece is just about 15 cm long.
After 5 weeks throwed out. Poor quality.
Other similar pieces from the same time were sinking in 1-2 weeks.

I had this same problem previously. And I come up with one crazy idea, I soak in water mixed with aquarium salt. It work after 2 weeks. Not sure if it's due to the aquarium salt added.

Try at your own risk. :D

silane
3rd Apr 2006, 10:14 AM
Bought driftwood and it donīt want to sink. I give it up now. :cry:
That is really expensive! >(

Did you use rock to press it into the water? You can boil it, and see if it sink.

betta_zoid87
3rd Apr 2006, 12:42 PM
u can also tie in some weight to the wood...

Frank
3rd Apr 2006, 01:08 PM
Great FAQ for preparing wood.

I ever boil driftwood several times before using but I donīt use salted wood.

The wood I bought has laid in water before so it should sink after a short period. From some suppliers this sort of wood is salted but Iīm afraid to use such wood in my shrimptanks. Maybe there are also other chemicals in.

Such small pieces I prepare in a bucket. While preparing several pieces there was no need to put weights above until now. (they stick together)

Many thanks for all your help but itīs just bad luck with this stupid piece of driftwood.
Like a friend of me says: Sometimes you also must be able to loose. lol

babypiggy
11th Apr 2006, 12:33 AM
I have 4 peices of driftwood in my tank and it's the heavy type....
It sank right when I put it in the tank..
Some ppl say you can sink the drift wood in a big bot of water and then let it soak for a few days. The reason is, I think boiling the wood takes the air bubbles that are trapped in wood.

hope it helps

:D