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Autoclaving driftwood update



Hello all :)
     It has been a couple of weeks since I posted
about autoclaveing 
driftwood. First of all I would like to thank those
that responded to my 
original post again. With out your impute I would have
been lost.

My original post:

Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 17:25:36 -0700 (PDT) 
Hello everyone:) I have a large piece of driftwood
36"x16"x20" that I pulled out of a back woods fresh
water river and I was wondering about sterilizing it.
I am a foundry tech at York U and I have access to an
Autoclave which has enough room in it to put three of
this size in it. I was wondering if this sounds ok
instead of using a bleach solution on the wood. I
would still soak and boil it in water for a while, I
don't think the Autoclave would get rid of the excess
sap or tannins in the wood. Your comments would be
most appreciated. Thanks much Davis:)

     I would like to give you an update on my
experience and some 
questions. Just before I posted this I preped the
piece of DF (Cutting to 
fit and siliconing it to a piece of slate). After the
responses, I went 
ahead and autoclaved my piece of DF. I left the DF in
the autoclave for 
three hours occasionaly recharging the autoclave. I
had access to a 
large plastic vat which I could soak the DF in.
     First problem incountered, the outside layer of
the DF was burnt. 
I thought the water was hot enough in the vat to put
the DF in. First 
mistake incountered. As soon as I put the piece in the
slate cracked and 
split in two horazontaly, this was ok since it was
still 1" thick. I 
proceeded to srub the burnt layer off.      Second
problem encountered, 
while I was doing this the DF detached itself from the
slate. Continued 
to scrub the burnt layer off and remove silicon from
the DF. Silicon 
came off pretty easy. Do not know if this was due to
the dampness that 
might have been in the DF that I didn't know about, or
the high heat of 
the autoclave (didn't use high heat resistant
silicon). The water turned 
a lovely shade of black. Changed the water five times
while scrubbing 
burnt layer off. Df was showing wonderfull colors
under burn't layer. 
Due to the slate unataching itself the DF floated. Put
weight on top of 
it and proceeded to soak it in hot water to get rid of
the air.
     Soaking was going allright, changed the water
three times a day so 
as to keep the water temp. at a high. By the 20th of
July (almost three 
weeks in water) the DF was still floating a little
bit, but the soaking 
water was clear. Decided to get some stainless steel
screws, drill the 
piece of slate and mechanicaly attach the DF. Brought
it home in a bag 
(as  per a response I recieved to keep it wet) I also
wraped it in wet 
towels. Proceeded to aquascape the tank.
     Started Sat. morning finaly finished planting
Mon. night. DF was 
in full water by Sat. afternoon.
     Second problem encountered. Woke up this morning
(Tues. 25th) and 
noticed a lovely white fuzzy fungus developing all
over the DF. Dwight was right.

Dwight's post:

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!

     So my question is this: Am I just deluding myself
thinking that the fungus will eventualy go away or do
I have to pull the DF out of my tank? 
     
Thanks much for the patiance in reading this and any
help I can get. 

Davis :) 
adele_davis at yahoo_com


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