Sunday, 16 February 2014

Bogwood (A complete guide)

What is a bogwood?
A bogwood is a broken piece of wood, branch or root of a tree that has been immersed in water for a prolonged period of time. A bogwood can be from a tea plant, guava plant, or any other hardwood tree.

Choosing a bogwood?
Firstly, not just any broken branch or piece of wood can be started off to make a bogwood. The wood needs to be completely dried or petrified, that is there must not be any biological being inside the wood. Secondly, the wood must be of a desirable shape and size to fit the tank and its visual requirements. And lastly but most importantly, be use of its cleanliness, both internally and externally. A bogwood can be a source of parasitic infestation or diseases of plants that can be fatally harmful to your floras and faunas.

How to process a bogwood to be aquarium safe?
You can simply not add the raw wood to your tank and expect an achievement. The wood needs to go through a long and thorough process before it can be called a bogwood. It needs to be properly cleaned by washing it with water and please be sure not to use any type of detergent or soap when doing so. Remember it needs to be aquarium safe. When you are satisfied enough, the wood needs to be waterlogged. Sink the wood completely under water in a bucket big enough to hold the wood. This soaking process takes at minimum 2 weeks time considering the wood is completely dead from inside to out. The process may also be needed to continue for up to 2 months to be complete. It is highly suggested to sterilize the wood before adding to the main tank. Boil the wood for 20 minutes and the water will turn brown. It is due to the leaching of tannin from the wood. It will continue even after the whole process has been completely conducted and the wood is added to the tank. Water changing frequently and filters with activated carbon media can easily remove the brown tint in the tank water. The boiling process is recommended to be done for a multiple times as more the boiling is done, more the wood is being sterilized reducing the chances of any harmfulness significantly. The process of making the bogwood aquarium safe is completely when the bogwood sinks into the water itself and the browning of water is less.

What a bogwood adds to the tank?
The bogwood when added to a tank provides a direct sense of nature and beauty to the ordinary eyes. But for an aquarist and his/her fishes, it adds a natural sanctuary to safely hide in, a place for microbes to grow on which can be devoured by the faunas, a hard-scape structure to complete the sense of a nature aquarium or simply a planted layout tank. Moreover, as it still leaches tannins in the water, it helps lower the pH which is a blessing to the type of fishes and plants that requires acidic waters.