Can you use any wood for hardscape?

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by aaronnorth, 6 Apr 2008.

  1. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Is there any dangers of using it?
    what procedures would i have to do to treat it before hand?

    Also does the same apply to rocks?
    Do i just test for the carbonic acids?

    sorry about all questions but i am wanting to set up a moss tank and i need these things,

    thanks, aaron
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I've got wood I collected from the local wood in my tank. I selected dry, dead wood with as little bark as possible. I soaked it overnight, stripped the bark and checked that it was quite solid. I then soaked them in the tank at warm temperatures for about a week. The water went cloudy and there was some slimy mould/fungus so I also soaked them in a solution of Milton sterilising fluid that seemed to sort it out. The wood I have in the tank is oak and beech. If you do do it soak the wood as warm as you can for as long as you can and keep a close eye on it. Also stick with Oak and Beech as they and their leaves have been used in tanks by lots of people.

    As to rocks, lots of people use rocks with carbonates in (What you would be testing for in the acid test) as you should be changing so much water that as long as you don't want soft water they should be fine. What you do really need to look for are metallic veins in the rocks. Any sparkling or shiny stripes in the rock should be viewed with scepticism.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    One of the tangents Andy Mack went off on was about collecting rock/slate and being careful where you get it from. He says that in the past he's collected slate and found it to be loaded with lead. Basically he says its probably not a good idea to use rock (slate) from near a mine (quarry should be ok). If there was something there to mine (ie metal) then its likely the rocks around the local area will have whatever that was in it.
     
  4. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    thanks, would soaking the wood in boiling water be ok or will it still be best to follow your(Ed's) instructions?

    I'm off down to the local wood now he he.
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Boiling the wood is often recommended but there are a few problems.
    First, as a one off treatment, I don't think it does much beyond killing any bugs and helping the wood to sink.
    Second, is finding a pan big enough to fit the wood in that you don't mind ruining (or your other half/mum/etc. doesn't mind!)

    If you can't keep the water warm then repeated warm water soaks might be the best bet. Once a day replace all the water with new warm water. It might be easier to put an aquarium heater in the container you're using to soak the wood though?
     
  6. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    Thanks - any more tips welcome.
     

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