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RE: Sterilizing driftwood

> Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 22:54:49 EST
> From: PGagne2000 at aol_com
> Subject: Sterilizing driftwood
> Hello All,
> I have just received my driftwood centerpiece from Aquarium Driftwood 
> (www.aquariumdriftwood.pair.com).  I am impressed with the look, size, and
shape of it,
> especially for the money.  My problem is that it comes from a freshwater
lake in Alabama, and > still has traces of algae on it, along with who knows
what else.

Back in late Sept. I posted a question regarding the use of Tamarisk as
driftwood.  I had found a very interesting piece dead and dried on land.
The advice I got was to go cautiously, if at all.  I liked the piece, so I
forged ahead.  I started soaking it in a large plastic trash barrel,
changing water every day or two, as well as hosing it down to remove debris.
It sank on its own within the first week.  It also started to stink :-<  I
almost gave up, but continued soaking, changing water, etc. for about two
weeks.  Then I added a 20:1 bleach solution, which I intended to go one day,
but ended up at two days.  This really cleaned it up...now it smelled
swimming pool fresh <g>, not a good feature.  Now to get rid of the bleach.
Continued soaking in water conditioned with AquaPlus to neutralize the
chlorine, changing several times over the next ten days.  My final water
change (water only), I took initial water chemistry readings for pH,
ammonia, and KH, then let it sit for one week.  Then rechecked the water and
there was no change.  Success!  This procedure worked well for me.  The only
downside was that the bleach treatment really lightened up the wood.  I
prefer the old dark look.  Perhaps a shorter treatment period would minimize
this effect?  Anyway, it's been in my 55 gal. heavily planted tank for about
three weeks now and all is well.

I'm not sure why you're afraid of bleach.  If you think you need it more
"sterile", perhaps a short dip followed by liberal rinsing would help.

Mike Grace, enjoying record setting 77F in Minneapolis!