Small Aquarium Driftwood (3-6 Inches)
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Though most driftwood will remain submerged underwater, some driftwood remains slightly buoyant until it is fully saturated and “waterlogged.” Soak the driftwood in a large bucket as long as possible making sure the entire piece is completely underwater. A minimum period of 1 to 2 weeks is recommended to allow total saturation. Soaking also allows excess tannins that can darken and discolor the water, to leach out. The discoloration caused by the tannins will not harm your aquarium inhabitants but it will lower the pH slightly over time. Some hobbyists take advantage of this feature and utilize the tannins to achieve soft water conditions preferred by many tropical fish. Bleeding Heart Tetras Monitor the soaking driftwood regularly to see if the water needs to be changed. As the water darkens, empty all of the water and gently rinse the driftwood. Fill the bucket with clean dechlorinated or RO water and continue soaking the driftwood. As you repeat this process, you will notice that the water will be less “tea-stained.” When you no longer notice any significant discoloration for several days in a row, the driftwood is ready for placement. Boiling Driftwood: Boiling driftwood has several benefits. Just like steeping a tea bag in hot water, boiling driftwood in a large stockpot encourages more tannins to leech out faster, thereby shortening the curing process. More importantly, boiling sterilizes the driftwood, killing algal or fungal spores that can take hold once introduced into the aquarium with the driftwood. Boiling the driftwood for 1-2 hours will sterilize the driftwood.