GWAPA – January 2009 – Driftwood Collecting

January 26th, 2009

On Saturday, GWAPA had its first meeting of the year at Viktor’s house. Viktor keeps a number of tanks, all of which I believe use a soil-based substrate. This was not the topic of the meeting, however, as Viktor also collects and prepares his own driftwood, which he described his process in detail.

Viktor's 125G

In general, Viktor looks for roots of fallen trees because they’re usually more interesting than many of the upper portions of the tree. Bosemani RainbowfishThen, he soaks the wood outdoors in a friend’s pond for several months to allow it to because waterlogged, and to release some of the tannins. He has used a dishwasher to subsequently sterilize the driftwood, but has more recently shyed away from this practice because he’s wary of the drying chemicals that are often required for newer dishwasher’s drying cycle. So, if it’s a small enough piece, boiling is a good option, and he’s heard that some people even bake their wood. If neither of these is an option, scrubbing it down with hot water is usually the best you can do before putting it in the aquarium. Once in the aquarium, it’s fairly common for a white fungus to appear on the wood. This is nothing to worry about, as it will usually go away on its own, or with the help of a number of algae-eaters, which love the stuff. At this point, the wood should be usuable for years in the aquarium.

Viktor's 75G

After the talk, we continued to mill around, looking at Viktor’s aquariums. He has some gorgeous rainbowfish, including the Melanotaenia boesemani seen above. We conducted our regular monthly auction, which consisted of over a hundred bags of plants and items. I think everyone walked away with something new to try in their tanks. Another great meeting!