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Aquatic Branches- Real or Fake

Discussion in 'Cage Furniture - Accessories' started by gpolkin, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. gpolkin

    gpolkin Well-Known Member

    I built a water dragon enclosure that has a 55 gallon aquarium in the bottom area. I originally placed numerous pieces of Pacific Madrona in the aquatic and dry sections of the enclosure. Things seemed fine but then my plecastamus died, and a week later my water dragon quit eating and died.(This happened about six months ago and obviously was a sad chapter in my home) When I cleaned out the aquarium I noticed that a few of the wood pieces had a 1/8 inch thick white slime on them. I recently drained the aquarium and then cleaned everything with a 10% bleach solution. I threw out the piece of wood that was nastiest. After filling and draining the aquarium multiple times I put some of the branches back in and tossed in a couple of gold fish to see if things seemed OK. The fish are fine but I noticed a bit of slime on the wood and am concerned that something nasty is growing again.

    So my question is should I just get some sort of artificial branches for my next WD to use to exit the water? I am pretty risk averse and it just seems like all real branches are going to rot and breakdown at some point. Alternatively is well worn drift wood a good option.

    I have a Fluval 305 filtering the aquarium so there is some decent circulation.


  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Any natural wood, unless it has been submerged for some time, contains material which will leach into the water. This is the slime layer you are feeling. The only way around this is to use wood that as already had the tannins leached out, such as driftwood.
    There is a process we used as aquarium keepers that will do it but it takes time. Sinking the wood in water containing a heavy salt solution will draw the tannins out. But you have to keep scrubbing the wood and changing the water out and it can take weeks in some instance. When the wood no longer generates the slime coating its ready to use.
  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I have a 90 gal tank in the bottom of my cwd enclosure and I use fake things for him to get in and out of the water. His main ramp is pvc pipe wrapped in rope and then he also has a plastic cutting board I melted into an angle to form a ramp. These have worked well for me and all the fish and cwd are healthy.

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