AQUARIUM WOODS AND ROOTS: Types and treatment, Jati, Mopani, Java, Mangrovia, Driftwood, Bamboo

AQUARIUM WOODS AND ROOTS: Types and treatment, Jati, Mopani, Java, Mangrovia, Driftwood, Bamboo

gallery_25364_1701_2320965In aquariums, woods are very used as a decorative element of a tank, and with the advancement of Aquascaping, the demand for the most varied forms and qualities has increased. Usually when we want to set up an aquarium, especially if we want a layout in “Ryoboku” or “Driftwood” style, mainly composed of woodsd and vegetation, we need a lot of material. Before constructing the so-called “Hardscape” structural part, you will need to know the aesthetic and chemical effect of any wood that you want to put in the biosystem. In this article, we will know all the most famous and common varieties of woods that we find on the market such as Jati, Manila, Java, Spider wood, Mangrove, Mopani, Drifwood, Sumatra and Bamboo wood, and those we can find independently as Cypress, Alder, Beech and Oak.

Before explane the details, it is essential to know the treatment that will have to do in all cases before being placed in the tank, this will help to reduce or cancel the possible float, sterilize and disinfect the woods, reduce or cancel potentially releasing of toxic substances in water:

1 – Remove the bark or fragments that may detach, with the help of brushes, wash the surface and remove insects and dirt.

2 – Submerge the wood in a basin for about 1 week with a weight that keeps it completely submerged, this will help to reduce the floating.

3 – Boiling in the water for about 1 hour for about 3/4 times, this will help eliminate any pathogenic elements such as small insects or bacteria and it will reduce the releasing of all potentially harmful or undesirable humic acids, tannins and amber yellow color.

4 – Submerge the wood again in a basin for another 1 week, this passage will allow it to drain all the acids that will slowly dilute in the water of the basin.

5 – Before using the wood as decoration or structure for your aquarium, check that the basin water is clear and transparent, otherwise repeat the steps 3 and 4 until the desired result is reached.

legno-jati-per-acquario-254JATI or MANILA WOOD: This variety of reddish brown color is one of the most popular and commercially available, it is very famous for its size in relation to the purchase price (cheap). It has the characteristic to be heavy and therefore no float but the release of humic acids or tannins is very consistent and prolonged, it is advisable for this reason to perform well the explaned treatments otherwise it could affect water values such as PH. The shape thaht we find is not aesthetically the best, it is composed of large pieces, so it can be used for the structural parts of the tank or you can make holes for the attachment of epiphytic plants such as Anubias and others.

il_fullxfull.1119769074_86b2MOPANI or NAMIBIA WOOD: This variety of wood has the characteristic of having a fantastic color, light brown and dark brown, and being a root is rich in knots and very special shapes. Mopani wood has a high density and weight, so there will be no floating problems, but it is accompanied by a large presence of humic acids and tannins inside it that will tend to dilute for a long time in the aquarium water altering the PH values. Therefore it will be essential to perform the mentioned treatment very well. This wood can be used for the structural part because is very solid or even just as a decoration, and will offer large surfaces for the attachment of epiphytic plants.

Legno-Acquario-Java-Ryoboku-7068JAVA ROOTS or SUMATRA WOOD: Java wood is originally a root, characterized by very small elongated branches of a dark brown color, sometimes interwoven with each other and forming very suggestive designs. They are usually not used for the structural part but for the aesthetic part and are suitable for any aquarium. Among the roots woods are the cheapest ones and have the good feature of not releasing many humic acids that will affect the water values like PH, unfortunately because of their low density, will tend to float then the explaned treatment is very important.

ASW0113_11SPYDER WOOD or DRIFTWOOD: This kind of wood is originally a root, characterized by very small and elongated branches of light brown color, sometimes interwoven and form a very suggestive design. They are not used for the structural part but for the aesthetic part and are suitable for any aquarium. Among the roots woods are the most expensive ones and because of their low density they will float, therefore the explaned treatment is very important. They have the good feature of not releasing many humic acids and therefore will not influence water values such as PH, so they can be used in a large quantity in the composition of a layout.

Bamboo-canesBAMBOO WOOD: This type of wood, which we can find already treated, or in nature and then dried and covered by us with particular resins to avoid the release of harmful substances in water, can represent a very  characteristic aesthetic element in your layout. It is certainly used as an aesthetic element and not to create structures olso if is very slim and smooth.

downloadCYPRESS, ALDER, BEECH,OAK: For the so-called DIY or home-made category, Cypress, Alder, Beech and Oak or those founded on the banks of the rivers, you must to be careful on the obligatory treatments before entering the water. Very probably they will have a large amount of hypothetically harmful substances for fishes, is very different by the classic woods sold online or in the store that otherwise will be pretreated. The main feature of this genus is the total economic viability, perhaps at the expense of the aesthetics and the safety of the chemical values of the biosystem. Last tip, avoid the woods found on the beach or near salt water courses.

foto muffa legni, fonte forumIn the very common case of white mold appearance (hair follicles that forms on the edges) after a few weeks, do not worry, it is a infestation of non-harmful bacteria for plants and animals; Remove them manually with brushes or enter fishes that will eat them, such as Ancistrus, Otocinclus, Syamensis, Japonic Caridine or Amano Shrimps. For our experiences is not appropriate to use antibiotics or antibacterials for these reasons, they will damage and pollute the biosystem.

10888574735_e79132ab9f_k-1080x705 copiaIn conclusion, the choice of woods to be inserted into the aquarium will be made according to aesthetic reason, according to functional reasons  in relation to plants and fishes, but also based on the chemistry and values thet we would like to have in the future. We olso should also must consider the sum of other elements that will fit into the tank like stones and substrates and creating a balance that suits our needs. For example, if we have difficulty to raising the kh, gh and ph we can use woods that do not release humic acids, quartz bottoms, and insert some limestone. If, in the majority of cases, we have difficulty in keeping ph, gh and kh low, or creating biotopes with acidic environments where specific features, including water colors (usually amber yellow), we can use denser woods thath after treatments, release a bit of humic acids or tannins, helping with allophonic or fertilized soil and non-limestone stones.