March 19, 2018
How to Treat Bonsai Driftwood ?
*** Curing Bonsai Driftwood
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.
*** Boiling Bonsai 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 20-30 minutes will sterilize the driftwood.