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Re: Driftwood weights

Katie writes:

> I have a problem with not being able to get my driftwood to sink.  I'm in 
>  process of setting up a 55 gallon tank and I cheaply acquired a bunch of 
> nice 
>  driftwood, but even after 2 weeks of soaking, it won't sink.  I tried 
>  weighting it down with small granite stones and some fishing wire, but to 
>  avail.  I need something heavier.  I was wondering if there was some type 
>  metal I could use to hold them down.  I was wondering about using some 
>  gardening stakes...is that a really bad idea?  I'm sure some red flags 
> should 
>  be going up somewhere.  I could use lead, right?  Since they make plant 
>  weights out of lead?
>  Thanks for any help,

They do make plant weights out of lead.  They also make fishing sinkers out 
of lead, and the environmental experts are now telling us that all those lost 
sinkers are starting to make lead levels dangerous in a number of lakes.  I 
think they are going to switch to zinc or something soon.  If I wanted to use 
metal, I would use some 316 or 327 stainless.  This is kind of spendy though.

I have one piece of driftwood that looks line a small stump.  It has been 
held down by slate for four years now.  At first I needed three full pieces 
of slate floor tile, like you can buy at Home Depot.  I had these around for 
angelfish spawning, so it was an easy fix.  Now, after four years, I am down 
to one small piece, about 4"x 5".  I have another piece that looks like a 
branch (well, actually, that's what it is).  It is fairly thin, and it took 
three weeks for it to waterlog.  They sell "Chuppa wood" for lizards at the 
LFS.  This stuff looks like a small log that has been drilled through a 
hundred times.  It has a naturally occuring lattice look to it.  This stuff 
waterlogs in about three days.

My suggestion is to find some rocks that you can live with aesthetically.  
Weigh the wood down with these rocks, and over time, reduce the total weight 
on the wood, until it stays down.

Bob Dixon
Cichlid Trader List Administrator