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Fake wood vs. Real wood?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by asincero, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. asincero

    asincero AC Members

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    Are there any pros and cons to using fake (plastic) driftwood that you can find in stores like Pets Mart as opposed to using real driftwood that you can usually find in dedicated pet fish stores?
     
  2. YuccaPatrol

    YuccaPatrol Over-filtered

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    Real wood looks much better since it is a natural material. It can help keep pH lower, and some of my pleco species need real wood to munch on.

    There is some likelihood that real wood can also harbor actual de-nitrifying bacteria in an anaerobic zone deep inside the wood. These would be bacteria that actually convert nitrates into atmospheric nitrogen, actually removing nitrogenous wastes from the tank.

    It is also fun to go hunting for driftwood out in nature too.

    But wood does require more work since we often collect it ourselves and have to boil it to kill any weird stuff that might be living on it. It can also take some time to fully sink, and it can stain the water yellow due to leaching of tannins.

    I also use the wood as a substrate for growing Java Fern and Anubias. I don't know if the roots would cling onto plastic quite so well.

    Fake wood just looks too fake to me. I work hard to create a natural environment for my fish, so I just can't see ruining that by adding fake stuff. However, it would be guaranteed clean, easy to sink, and easy to clean. It would never rot. So I guess there are good things about it.
     
  3. TDWagner

    TDWagner AC Members

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    This is an important point. Be super careful when collecting something from nature and putting it in your tank.

    I bought real Malaysian Driftwood off the internet since I have no way to boil a piece that was as big as I wanted.

    This is where I shopped, but there are other places as well:
    http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/11370/cid/2928
     
  4. JoeRags3

    JoeRags3 AC Members

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    I remember when I had Iguanas I used my bathtub to sterilize natural wood, 1:10 part bleach to water, let it dry out in the sun, then stuck it in the oven to bake I forget for how long tho... I would be careful when putting any heat around wood though.
     
  5. stingray4540

    stingray4540 Hello, Hello, Helloooo!

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    If a piece of wood is too big to boil, I like to just bake it. If you use bleach, make sure you use a lot of water conditioner to get rid of the chlorine.
     
  6. joephys

    joephys AC Members

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    It depends on what you want. If you want a totally real look, gotta go with real wood. If you don't want to maintain a "real" tank. Fake doesn't look that bad, espically if you can get some algae growth on it.
     
  7. fishpoor

    fishpoor AC Members

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    If you find fake wood you like. The only reason to get real is if you have or plan to have a pleco that needs it. And a lot of the smaller plecos do.
     
  8. Rosemary

    Rosemary AC Members

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    I have found that some of my resin ornaments had their paint chip off when I scrubbed them (with an algae scrubber that was supposed to be safe for acrylic aquariums).

    In future I will be sticking to natural materials which I expect would age more gracefully.
     

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