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Beach decorations?

This is a discussion on Beach decorations? within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I found some drift wood, shells & a small rock at the beach. The drift wood was actually found at ...

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Old 28th December 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Beach decorations?

I found some drift wood, shells & a small rock at the beach. The drift wood was actually found at an after-beach car wash. There aren't any soaps used there, just a lot of water. But if it came from the beach, should i wash it down before putting it in my tank? And same with the shells and rock?
Should i soak them all in clean water? Should i dechlorinate the water before soaking the items in the water?
And should i put the items in the tank while i cycle it, so it doesn't mess up the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels after it's been cycled?
Also, what do ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tests look like? Im going to a pet shop tomorrow & need to pick one up. Do they have an expiry date? Can they be reused? Im still trying to figure out the cycling bit.

I get my tank early January too & once the cycling is done, I'll get my axolotl & soon after, I start school (It's my last year!!!!!!)

So, if i get answers to those questions - any are good - that would be fantastic :]

-emerald.



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Old 28th December 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

Suitability and preparation of driftwood, rocks, substrate and shells can be found here.

Caudata Culture Articles - Wood in Vivaria
Caudata Culture Articles - Aquarium Substrates
Axolotl Sanctuary

Also note that driftwood can lower water pH whereas shells can increase water pH.

A good test kit is one that uses a solution type colourimetric test. They do have an expiry date but have a relatively long shelf life and can be kept for years if stored appropriately. They cannot be reused.

Here is a link about cycling. Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling



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Old 4th January 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

Thank you :]

I read about soaking the items in water for a while & boiling them, but does that mean do both or either? I'd say boiling the items would be more effective.

I bought an ammonia tester & nitrate tester & tried them out using water from my siamese fighting fish's tank. I did it wrong :/ So i read the instructions. I havent found a test for nitrite though..



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Old 4th January 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

You don't have to do them both. Soaking is mainly to remove the tannins from the wood and is a lengthy process where as boiling kills pathogens and helps speed up the tanning removal.



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Old 4th January 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

Your diftwood floating in the ocean has probally absorbed plenty of sea salt. I would try to cover the entire piece of wood with water and soak it for a week. I would personally change the water and soak it for second week. Just to make sure all the salt is gone.



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Old 5th January 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

I might change it out a little more frequently than that; I've also found that soaking in hot, rather than cold water, helps tanins leech more quickly. I'd do the boil/bake first, though.



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Old 5th January 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

Hi jclee,

Please don't boil any stones though. Sometimes they explode.

-Eva



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Old 8th January 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

I've boiled the shells for about 15 minutes & Im just letting them cool down now. I had a rock boiling in the pot too & only just read your comment about them exploding & quickly turned off the stove
I'll probably start soaking the wood today, even though Im starting to cycle my tank today. I'll have to watch the levels when I've put it in though



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Old 10th January 2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueberlin View Post
Hi jclee,

Please don't boil any stones though. Sometimes they explode.

-Eva
Depends on the rock, Sedimentary (limestone, sandstone, etc) and Metamorphic (marble, Slate, etc) are friable and have a tendacy to shatter under either rapid temperature shifts, or high temperature changes. those two types are formed from accretion of minerals and long periods of geological pressure, Metamorphic are Sedimentaries exposed to high temperature due to subduction into the crust lower and closer to the mantle magma and then exposed again by upthrusting of the crust.

Igneous rocks (Basalt etc) on the other hand are hardened magma and were created by molten rock cooling.

You can safely cook an igneous rock to the point of glowing bright red/orange in a fire and it won't shatter unless you then dump it in water or another rapidly cooling substance such as snow Try that with Sedimentary or Metamorphic rocks and it will sounds like a bunch of hand grenades amongst the flames



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Old 15th January 2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

Kiwi303, you've just given me urges to be an idiot :] & possibly hurt myself haahaha



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Old 15th January 2010   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beach decorations?

It can get interesting when a Noobie tries a Hangi for the first time

Given the prompting of heat and rocks, if you want a good pourous rock for the tank to break up the visage of plain round beach or river rocks, try scoping out BBQ stores for the Lava Lumps they fill trays with between the flames and the grill to even out the heat.



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