Diy driftwood

RemainVayne

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I recently had a lot of large tree roots dug up when a sidewalk was being replaced. These are hardwoods and no concerns of chemical contamination.

My question comes with the preparation of the wood, specifically if the outer bark layer should be removed or not. I'll do the usual cleaning, hard wire brushing, and diluted bleaching (too large to boil). I'm just not sure if this bark can stay on the wood or if I need to remove it?
 

Rollokola

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I've always heard to remove bark on all kinds of wood since it may contain sap, I guess. Can't really back it up but I would remove it just for peace of mind. Bark also comes off dead wood fairly quickly when submerged in nature, so it's better looking bark-less imo.
 

Poseidon2.0

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I've done DIY driftwood with birch and left bark on without issue. Mine was from a mountain stream in Canada though, not urban wood. What kind of hardwood is it? Some hardwoods naturally contain toxic properties. Urban wood seems more likely to have absorbed harmful chemicals and I would be cautious about putting it in a tank without soaking it for some time first.
 
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RemainVayne

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I've done DIY driftwood with birch and left bark on without issue. Mine was from a mountain stream in Canada though, not urban wood. What kind of hardwood is it? Some hardwoods naturally contain toxic properties. Urban wood seems more likely to have absorbed harmful chemicals and I would be cautious about putting it in a tank without soaking it for some time first.
It's from an ash tree. I was wondering how long to soak before putting it in the tank. And do I need to periodically change the water the wood is soaking in?
 

Rocksor

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It's from an ash tree. I was wondering how long to soak before putting it in the tank. And do I need to periodically change the water the wood is soaking in?
I would soak it in old tank water (no detritus matter), and change it out whenever you do a water change on the tank. Personally, I would wait a least 1 month of soaking and water changing.
 

SwampFins

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I would personally remove all the bark with a wire brush or maybe hit it with a pressure washer to make sure theres no unwanted debris on it.

I would not bleach it as to avoid the wood sucking it in and then leaching into the tank. But I would spray it for a day with peroxide to kill off anything unwanted it. And then, if it looks good, would soak it in tank water on a separate bin for a few day and monitor your water parameters.
 

Rocksor

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Treating bleached wood is not too bad. 4x Prime or Safe dose in old tank water in container and a few soakings of tank water, no issues.
 

RemainVayne

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Yeah I heard the bleach actually dissipates pretty quickly and won't soak into the wood...
 

Ulu

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The only times I did DIY driftwood I would strip it and char it, then finish it with a fine wire brush to deepen the grain as much as possible. Once all the char is gone it usually looks great. You won't easily get all the char, but it's not an issue if a bit remains in the crooks and nooks.

This removes any possibility of insects, insecticides, petrochemicals, chainsaw oil, etc.

You have to be artistic and carve with the grain. Any brushing across the grain stands out horribly.

And you still need to soak in genuine homemade fish water.
 
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