I soak them in bleach water to kill any fungus, snails, dogs or other wildlife hanging around, rinse them and then set them out in the sun to dry. Tannins are alway a possibility but that is just a risk we take if the wood is not totally dry. Go for it and enjoy. Have you got a few rocks on hand to hold it down?
yeah that looks awsome but I was thinking more like a round base tree stump with maybe some roots, trim them up a bit of course and cut some holes throughout the stump for the fish, can't find a pic of anything like what I am talking about......what about if there is some moss on it? Is that ok?
you can use it sick, just make sure you clean it up. the moss will have to come off. the only thing I have read is dont use soft wood trees as they tend to root to fast or something else horrible happens to the chemistry of the water.
Any way you want to turn it or cut it is fine. The choice of wood is a prime factor though. If there is any sap (moisture left in the wood, there is a vary good chance you will have trouble with the wood coloring the water, possibly for a very long time. Months or more. Most don't want to deal with the tea colored water. Get the driest wood that you can. The stumps *** used were garden decor for several years by a former homeowner. Other wise look for wood that is totally dry but solid. No bark or soft wood as it will come apart and make a mess of the tank. The question of wood changing PH is often brought up as a problem. How much will depend on your water. If your water is high PH, high KH and GH, I would expect little change. The PH is hard to change when your water has good buffering(KH,GH). I should think you might have good water in Kentucky?? Moss is one reason I bleach. Bleaching kills all those wildcards and then when they dry they come off much easier. I like to start with a known clean item and then if I want moss or plants add them rather than deal with unknown items in the tank.
Before we say he will have PH problems, don't we need to know what his water has to offer in buffering? If he has high buffering, there will be no change in his PH. Water varies so much that saying wood will change the PH is just passing on bad information if we don't consider why it might change the PH.
i know this is an old thread but im about to use a stump and i had a few questions. how much bleach should i use? should i dilute it? i think id have to dilute it.. if so how much? how long do i let it soak in bleach for and then how long do i let it sit out and dry for? oh and if i wanna boil it.. how long do i do that for? oh and the type of wood stump i have is cedar idk if thats a hard or soft wood
I have used cedar and it is one that may be more prone to causing trouble than others. It has oils that are very slow to leach out in normal weather. That makes it ideal for fences and decks but may cause trouble in the tank depending on how old and dry it might be. My water has very high GH/KH and does not change PH easy. Your water and results may differ so just be aware and watch for PH changes. The oils may also be more prone to release the tannin which may color water. Mine did not but it is a point to be aware of when adding wood. For bleach, I just add a cup or so in 20 gallons or near. Depends on how large an item and how much dirt and grime there for the chlorine to react with. I go for 24 hours soaking and then a day or more of drying for large items. The only reason for drying is to let the chlorine disipate out fully. Rinsing first helps dilute the bleach but I never boil as it is really hard and serves the same purpose as the bleach when it comes to disifecting things. When I have a large stump that just fits a 75, getting that much water to a true boil and holding it takes more work and equipment then I want. How much fuel and how long does it take to raise 50 gallons of water to a true rolling boil? Does it remove tannins? Maybe, but I've never tried it as I find dry wood works better for me.
I would not give up on it if it is something that I wanted. Many things that we are told in this hobby turn out to not be true. I mentioned the problems just so that you could be aware of them and know what to do in case there was trouble. I would suggest laying it out in water to soak and see how much problem it might be. A plastic tub setting outside will give you a pretty good idea of what tannins might be and the PH shift can be dealt with with a little work.
Wood is great in tanks and I have had zero problems from simply pulling it out of ponds and marshes and plopping it into a tank. I have never had wood not turn the water yellow but generally speaking its worse the newer it is. There is some in my parent's tank at their house that has been in there for years and it still leaches. Does not affect PH as far as we notice, we have fairly high ph hard water from the aquafer. i say go for it as it will look great.
So many of the things we hear about our hobby are just things have have been passed around for so long that they are believed to fit all situations. When you are dealing with things that vary as much as water and wood, the rules just can't be simple for all cases. I think we can all agree that the water in areas with lots of limestone will be different than water where the rocks are granite or other rocks that are less alkaline. The wood you are likely to find in the piney woods of North Carolina will be different that what you find in a hardwood forest. If we want the truth about what to expect from wood in the tank, we have to dig a little deeper. For some good info that is easy to understand, I like this site: http://www.freshwater-aquarium-fish.com ... mistry.htm
While no single source of information should be totally trusted, the more we understand, the more we can sort out what is true and what is fiction. Be a skeptic and then read and understand so you can make better decisions about your tank. I think you will then find there are lots of myths passed around.