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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 75 gal tank and I'm wanting to get Malawi Cichlids. I have 3 other freshwater tanks but this will be my first experience with Cichlids. When I bought the tank the store gave me a bunch of raffle tickets for an event they were doing. I ended up winning a light for the tank and a Bonsai Driftwood tree. The bonsai is fairly large and had a price tag of $90 on it. But I'm a little concerned about it going into a cichlid tank. I've done some research and I know driftwood can raise the ph and release tannis. I plan on boiling the tree and soaking it for a couple of weeks before I put it in the tank. Another concern is that the tops of the branches or little fake canopies are pretty sharp. Will tying moss down to them be a good idea? Will the cichlids eat the moss? The tree is too big for my other tanks so I'd hate to not use it. It's pretty cool looking, but I don't want to put any fish in danger. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Just an FYI, tannins released from driftwood lowers the pH not raises it.

That's why it's not always a good idea to use it in an African tank....many do though.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My mistake. That's what I meant. We have pretty hard water here so I'm hoping that won't be an issue.
 

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It won't alter the pH of hard water, and as long as the water changes stop it using up all the KH (you'd need to not do many for that) it'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any thoughts on the bonsai being a little sharp? Will tying down a little moss help? I know cichlids will eat live plants or can dig them up but what about moss?
 

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Driftwood is not a feature of Lake Malawi, FYI.

Also bonsai can be many types of trees...which type do you have. White pine is a common one.

That aside...yes sharp things can harm the fish as they dart around the tanks. Skin injuries heal fairly easily but eye injuries may or may not heal. They will eat the moss and it may not grow well in the high pH and light levels ideal for Malawi.

Maybe you could attach fake moss that is branchy enough to hold the fish away from the limbs when they bounce off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not sure what kind of driftwood it is. I won it in a raffle and it just had a price tag on it. I might go back to the aquarium store and talk to them. They're pretty knowledgeable. I was thinking fake moss might be a better idea. Any idea where I can find any? I've been searching the internet and haven't had any luck so far.

Maybe this thing isn't the best idea but it's kind of a shame since this is a really cool piece. And it was priced at 90 bucks.
 

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I have a couple pieces of drift wood in mbuna to tank with no I'll effects. Not sure if bonsai or not. My wood has been conditioned through, boil, soak, gently scrub, and repeat. You'll be able to tell the extent of/if it's bleeding tannins when you soak in bucket. I've filed down any sharp corners and edges. Scraping on concrete works okay too.
 

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I have a large section of driftwood as the center piece in my 450gal, but I treated it and coated it with Pond Armor so it's inert.
 

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DJRansome said:
Driftwood is not a feature of Lake Malawi, FYI.
I should have said it is not all that common in Lake Malawi. Thanks wryan!
 
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