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Re: Stinky driftwood or malodorous mail orders

Rachel Sandage's driftwood had become malodorous:
> Hi all,
> I got a beautiful piece of driftwood from www.aquariumdriftwood.com
> in July 
> and pieces of it have gone into 4 different tanks. In 2 of the tanks,
> the 
> driftwood smells bad - kind of a sharp, rotten, swampy smell. In one
> of 
> those tanks, I took the driftwood out & boiled it, and the smell went
> away & 
> hasn't come back. In two of the tanks, it never started to smell. But
> the 
> problem is in the big tank, the one in the picture. The wood stinks.
> I took 
> it out & scrubbed as much of it as I could, but there's java fern
> growing on 
> it, so I couldn't get in there, and also there are holes & crevices
> that I 
> can't get into. How do I get it to stop smelling bad - is it BGA?
> I am willing to sacrifice the java fern, but boiling it is out of the
> question - it is just too big. I do have a big sink (or the bathtub)
> I can 
> put it into. Would bleaching it help? What concentration, and how
> long, and 
> how do I get the bleach out after? The driftwood has never been dried
> out, 
> so it sinks all by itself, and I'd rather not dry it out. Is there
> something 
> I could add to the tank (planted & full of fish, but no shrimps) to
> kill off 
> whatever is making it stink?
> Sorry this is long.

If you think that is long, just take a look at what I or James Purchase
sometimes post! :-)  OTOH, Tom Barr is the master of concise response.

Anyhow, I can't help much but I have some questions.

In my limited experience, this is swamp driftwood and often has small
"barnacle" critters in the crevices.  It's amazaing that they can
survive as much and for as long as they sometimes do.  When they die,
they smell of rotting seafood.  Did you find any mollusks?

Did any algae develop on the driftwood that you think might have come
with it?  On some of mine, there is an algae that never gets out of
control (doesn't leave the driftwood), never goes away, is in fact a
favorite "effect" of some viewers ("Hey, I really like that plant
growing all over that wood thing"), and which has a slightly off smell
-- not the really awful stink of BGA.  If you rub it between your
fingers, the smell stays on your finger for several hours, even if you
wash and scrub.  Its very tough stuff and grows like a dense carpet.

Is the material root wood or not?  The root wood seems to bear
prolonged submergence well but some of the aerial material, in
particular the sapwood sometimes rots.

Is the smelly stuff softer, spongier than the other?

Scott H.

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