Burnt Wood

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Anyone tried this as decoration? I have some spider wood that is taking ages to condition and it’s got a noticeable light grey slime in places and is making the water cloudy. I’m wondering about whether it might look good and solve some problems by taking a blow torch to it! :)
 

Keith GH

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Aqua sobriquet,
I’m wondering about whether it might look good and solve some problems by taking a blow torch to it! :)
Unless I am mistaken by burning the wood you will remove a layer of the woods hardness and expose the softer layers which means it could start breaking down a lot quicker plus all the burnt surfaces could easily start to discolor the tank water.

Keith:wave::wave:
 

zozo

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Not as decoration, but a lot definitively put in in the filter named activated carbon, that is actualy charcoal from different wood types. Mainly Bamboo or Coconut shell. :) The wood chips are burned than steam activated with nitrogen and co² gass under pressure. Some people leave deactivated carbon in the filter as biomedia. I guess it can be used indefinitely, Charcoal stays Charcoal if its not under huge pressure, next step it turns into (rock) Coal, later and deeper it form Anthracite (Hard rock Coal), than Graphite and finaly Diamond.

But indeed as Keith mentions heating up wood will have the same effect as boiling it.. Than it changes on a cellular level, the Cellulose structure will be damaged and it becomes softer and will decay sooner. Some say you need to cook wood to desinfect it and get the tannins out, others say not nessecary water changes get the tannins out as well. I belong to the later, personaly i also never encountered an infected piece of wood. o_O

Anyway, back to burning it, as said it distroyes the structure and when you do not charcoal it all the way through it will water log and the damaged still wood layer under the burnmark will decay sooner and probably shed off in time. But that is a guess, i never tried..

Patience does the job as well.. Spiderwood is very light colored, initialy it turns gray with biofilm when submersed, but in time it will go darker so dark in the end it will be almost black. I actualy forgot how long it took, but in my tank it did.
 

Keith GH

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Marcel
The old brain is not as good as it used to be as I stopped teaching TimberTechnology about 45 years ago.
The good old soaking takes a bit longer to do and worth the wait. There are a few timber species that will always release tannins.

Keith:wave::wave:
 

zozo

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To be clear I was thinking of just charring the surface. Obviously if it was burnt right through it would soon fall apart. Apparently charring the surface hardens the wood. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27194289
Well the difference is in the water logging, for that heat treated wood is less durable. :) As the articly you link to also states, it hardens but also gets brittle and easily damages.. that's caused by loosing its structure in cellulose (hairline fractures between the wood cells). Thus also falls easier apart when it water logs and expands.

For tool and furniture use heat treatment on wood is common practice to flex/bend it or change its mechanical properties. But these products are intent to stay in a relative dry invironment. In the boath industry heat and steam is also used to bend wood, but this wood needs to be heavily impregnated before it sees a drop of water.. :)


But give it a try, it can't realy hurt other than the chart parts fall off rather soon or not i dunno. By then the wood beneat it might be darker. :thumbup: I know of a German aqauscaper and he recomends and uses a flame torch to burn the broken tips of small pieces of root he breaks off, to give it a more aged and worn off look. His name is <Sacha Hoyer> but i forgot in which scape he did..
 
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They were talking about spears and arrows though, which were still strong enough to do the job. I don’t think aquarium decoration needs much strength though it’s just sitting there.
 

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