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Re: Autoclaved Driftwood

Dwight asked:

> I'm wondering why is there so much concern about driftwood enough to
> autoclave it? IMHO, sterilization of DW is counterproductive b/c its not
> going to prevent your tank (if its unbalanced) from being invaded by
> algae.
>  All sterilizing your DW will do is provide low - competition territory
>  for
> fungal invasion!  
> Besides, doesn't autoclaving risk denaturing many of the protein bonds
> that hold the cellulose together?  Won't this reduce the lifespan of your
> DW in the aquarium causing it to fall apart sooner than it ever should?
> If that piece of wildwood you guys found is attractive enough to place in
> a tank then rinse it off and drop it in!  If its loaded w/ tannins or
> floats however, boil the thing for a few hours to get the stuff out and /
> or sink it.  But I'd reconsider the course of action calling for
> autoclaving. 

I don't know why the original poster asked about autoclaving 
driftwood. I did this once because I was hoping the steam under 
pressure would force water deep into the wood, thus reducing the 
soaking time required to make it sink. I had no concerns about 
actual sterilization or tannins. Unfortunately I still had to soak this 
large piece for several months (!) but it was worth it. And there 
doesn't seem to have been any breaking down of the cellulose. 
Thank you for your comments though. Perhaps the original poster 
will respond.
Cathy Hartland
Middletown, MD