Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

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Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:26 pm

So I've had this piece forever and would like to work it into a future project tank, but am worried about it's ability to lower pH/affect kH. It is by no means ready for a tank, and still needs to treated. It's about 24" in length and has some good depth to it. My kH is through the roof out of the tap. pH is 7.4 but raises to 8.4 overnight/24 hours. I'm pretty positive that my next large tank(probably another 6' but no smaller than 75) will be a Tang setup. I've seen a lot of setups using wood and fish from the Rift Lakes. Should I be concerned? Any tips? I'd hate for this to sit in the yard...

Image

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby prov356 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:16 am

That's a beautiful piece. I can see why you want to use it. I think treating it properly is the answer. Contrary to popular belief, there is occasionally a piece of driftwood in the rift lakes that fish take advantage of.

Image

It looks well seasoned, but I'd take my time with it. I doubt there's anything living in it, but I'd bleach it all the same to be sure. You don't need much, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Drain and rinse, then refill and double dose the dechlor. Repeat the double dose of dechlor if needed. Let it soak in that for another day or two. Then let it dry in the sun completely. I'd then test it by letting it soak in the tub while taking daily KH readings. Keep that up for a while. Keep it covered to reduce evaporation because topping off will only re-add buffers. If the change in KH is negligible after a couple of weeks, then I'd say it's good to go. If it doesn't leach tannins, that's a good sign also. After setup, I'd be tempted to test with some danio's or something. I know fmueller had a negative experience one time with driftwood in his tropheus tank. That's the reason for all the caution. If you can get it to work out, I can see calvus and juli's and others really liking that piece and spawning in it.

And, btw, the rise in pH after 24 hours is normal and is probably CO2 related.
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:59 am

Thanks Tim. I'll buy a new plastic drum with a lid. Testing for kH makes sense, after you treat it. I assume you advise adding dechlorinator if your tap water has chlorine/chloramine present? I have well water. Or does the dechlorinator help remove bleach somehow? I do have a bottle of Prime.

That picture you posted is great. I think it makes perfect sense. I do a lot of fishing in the spring and fall. Structure is key, and certain species prefer certain cover. But fish use what's available to them. For instance, smallmouth bass prefer boulders/rocks to take cover and ambush prey. In areas with a muddy/clay bottom they'll utilize weeds or timber, when rocks are not present. The picture with a pair of fish(no idea what those are) guarding their brood are on a large sunken log, where other cover seems to be non existent. Pretty cool.

Thanks again.
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby prov356 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:05 am

The dechlor is used to remove the chlorine bleach, yes.
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:41 pm

Sounds good Tim. Thanks again.
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:10 pm

Saw another post talking about driftwood and have another question regarding the piece pictured above.

Soaking the piece in a bleach solution is to kill off anything living in it. Does it also remove possible fertilizers/pesticides? I found this wood in the Boundary Waters(Minnesota/Canada) 13 years ago. It's just about the most pristine water and environment around. I used it with aquatic turtles for a short time and then it sat in a basement for over 8 years. I recently put it in the yard.

Use bleach just to be sure? I don't have plans for it for at least 3 months.

Thanks
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby DJRansome » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:11 pm

I don't think bleach removes fertilizers or pesticides. But it sounds like a safe source and it did not kill your turtles. :thumb:
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Re: Driftwood lowers pH- how much?

Postby Iggy Newcastle » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:40 pm

Cool. Thanks DJ
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