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Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: archive: Driftwood


Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 10:05 am
I was wondering if someone can tell me if I can use driftwood found on the beach in my fresh water tank? Someone told me that providing the wood is not from a salt water tree such as mangroves and that I soak the wood in fresh water for a day or so then there shouldn't be any problems. It makes sense to me but I thought I would double check.

Thank You




Monday, June 25, 2001 - 08:15 am
Hi Troy, yes you can use driftwood from the beach as long as it was not an ocean for freshwater fish. What you will need to do is "boil" the driftwood for at least 30 minutes and then let it dry completely out. This will kill any bacteria or bugs that may be hiding in it. You may experience "tainting" of your water with introducing the driftwood, but if you can remain patient, this brown coloring will eventually leave the tank and the water will clear. You also may have to secure the driftwood in the tank if it has a tendency to float.



Friday, June 29, 2001 - 12:57 pm
hey troy..yes what kick said..just don't use saltwater driftwood..and also boil the hell out of it then try putting your wood in the dishwater(no soap).. and run it through as many times as your wife or mom will let you..let me know how it goes I have lotsa different ideas with this stuff anyway..



Friday, June 29, 2001 - 05:32 pm
Hey Jeff great idea...especially for those of us that are 'moms'.



Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 10:04 am
Hey everyone. Yes Im still alive, Just working hard. Anyway on this subject I have taken to putting the pieces of driftwood in my toilet tank. If they will fit this is a good idea. It makes them soak in fresh water and the supply of water is changes frequently (when you flush the toilet) but just make sure that you dont have the additives in the toilet like the blue stuff.



Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 10:21 am
hey steve..I see you still have your sense o' humor..toilet tank huh?..the writers on the red green show could use ya!



Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 01:43 pm
I think the mom's would get mad at putting it in the toilet tank! I like the dishwater better.



Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 02:35 pm
Hey what great ideas. I love this board!!!!



Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 08:28 pm
I would actually discourage you from using privately collected driftwood. The reason for this is because much of America's waterways and beaches are polluted. The driftwood can then leach toxic substances in your tank for a very, very long time. This will kill your precious, precious fish. Soaking the driftwood for a day or a month or a year might not be sufficient to remove any toxic substances this driftwood may have absorbed. I would play it safe and not use it at all. Unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that the source of water where your driftwood is from is not polluted at all in any way, then I would use it. Treat it for salt deposits first. Boil it or soak it every day for several days and change the water every day.

Don't worry about "bugs" in the wood (if it's beach driftwood). Salt water creatures/bacteria cannot live in freshwater. Their cells are structured differently and salt water animals dry out in fresh water (and vice versa).

If you live in some of the cleaner beaches like in Florida or in the Keys, then the driftwood is probably ok. In fact, I purchase driftwood from a dealer in Florida who collects them from the beach. I have had no problem with the wood I buy from him. You can find information on his site

I would also highly discourage you from using driftwood that has been found in a body of fresh water. They can bring parasites and/or species of algae in your tank.

Unless you know what you're doing, I would recommend to most people not to put anything in their tank that wasn't bought at the fish store. Many things you can put in the tank can be toxic. Even the wrong type of rock or plastic toys can be toxic. Unless you know for certain that what you put in your tank is inert, you should err on the side of caution and leave it out.


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