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[APD] RE: wood

> From: "Carlos Sanchez" <tsunamicarlos at hotmail_com>
> In mid-September, I purchased two large centerpieces from
> for my 55g aquarium. By mid-October, the driftwood began to emit a
> stench from the water and several parts of both pieces (especially those
> contact with the substrate) are becoming soft to the touch. 

Some degree of decay is normal. This does not sound right though.
H2S smell is bad.

I've collected driftwood for longer than I have been into plants, I've
never used soft wood nor had a piece turn on me and stick up like that.
I do not buy driftwood for obvious reasons, I collect it myself.
I'bve not seen any bad sold by vendors really, but it's possible to get a
bad piece.

Generally something that had rot or was "air wood" are to be avoided or cut
off the soft rot yourself.

> 'Mi Oya')  showing slower than normal growth. The epiphytic narrow leaf
> ferns and Bolbitis lying on on the wood are doing even worse.

Hummm, that is not good.

> As a whole, the aquarium is getting dirty very rapidly with the canister 
> filter needing maintenance every couple of weeks. This was not happening 
> before.

So you have a lot of mulm, that's a bad sign.
Tanks with wood do produce much more mulm, mainly bits of wood.
The wood is tough to breack down further and it persist unlike plant leaves

I minimize my wood usage by using small twigs for designs rather than
blocky pieces. 
I also will take larger pieces that have been long submerged. 

Mopani wood(A tree from S Africa, it's one of the few C4 "trees") is a good
bet for long lasting, low mulm production but these peices tend to be
rather large and bulky. Sometimes you can find nice pieces though, it cost
a fair amount though.  

> Is the driftwood behind causing these symptoms in my aquarium? 

Sounds like it.

If so, is it 
> the responsibility of the seller to replace or refund such pieces?
> Sincerely,
> Carlos

Call them and ask. See what they will do or not. I think most would replace
Tom Barr

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