Monday, August 10, 2009

Software, Spreadsheets And Other Technology

I"m starting off this article with a couple of PAID versions of software but if you read down a little, you will also see a FREE version of software as well as some Excel Spreadsheets that are FREE.

Sea Apple Aquarium Lab - $24.95 U.S.

If anyone wants to try this program for free for 30 days and then the cost for keeping it would be $24.95, they should probably go to the software creators website,

From the AquariumLab website:
Aquarium Lab is a complete aquarium tracking software package for Windows Vista and XP, that will help you maintain healthy aquarium conditions
Monitor Aquarium Readings: pH, Temperature, Calcium, Alkalinity...
Track Aquarium Livestock including fish, corals, plants and invertebrates
Track Water Changes
Track Food and additives
Project manager and Calendar
Monitor Electrical costs and power consumption
Free 30 day Trial. Buy as low as $24.95

Aquariogest - $41.00 U.S.

AquarioGest Software presentation
AtlasDiscover Fish, Plants and Invertebrates Atlas illustrated with more than 670 professional photos.Aquariums managementComplete aquarium manager : watervalues, tasks scheduler and electrical equipments.Fish managementPurchase, birth, decease, sale, breedings and cares for each fish of your aquarium.Plants and Invertebrates managementFollow the growth of your aquatic plants and manage the invertebrates population.Water tests logsLog your water tests, significant indicators, graphs and alerts.Aquarium budgetControl all your expenses and follow the electric consumption of your equipment.Tasks planningPlan all your maintenance tasks to never forget them.Aquarium logbookNote all events of your aquarium.Assistants / WizardFind easily new fish, plant or invertebrate - Aquarium volume calculator - Backup tool - Tools of aquarium calculations & conversions - Units settings...

AquaLog - FREE

If you want a free program that does some or possibly all that this Sea Apple one does, you can use Aqualog for free - Besides being available on the creators website, it is also found on reputable download sites like CNet's

From the Aqualog website:
Aqualog is a Microsoft Windows application that can be used to monitor and log any number of marine, reef, or freshwater aquariums. It is designed for both hobbyist and professional use, providing a convenient way to track water test results, maintenance items (such as water changes and chemical additions), and to keep an annotated log of observations. Click the image to the right to see a screen shot of the main AquaLog screen.

AquaLog is Open Source. You can download the fully functional version below free of charge. You do not have to register, give out your email address, or send any money to use it.

Excel Spreadsheets - FREE

These two spreadsheets have been set up by other fish keepers, including the second one that I have modified. I have uploaded these two files to my FileFront page so you can download them for free.

Below is a SNIP from my blog page on Fish Profiles And Compatibility Charts -

Here is a download chart in Excel/Spreadsheet format that has tons of information about fish, compatibility, etc.: or

Sorry.. the above two links no longer work but I did download these files a while back and I now have them hosted on my FileFront account so you can download them here.... (ODS file for Sun's Open Office) (XLS file for MS Excel)

(If you don't have MS-Excel, you can download a viewer from MS or if you want a FREE full service MS-Office type suite, go to Sun Micro's and download their full suite which will allow you to create, view and edit MS-Office documents.)

This page has a few downloadable fishkeeping related programs... mostly Freeware... and includes two programs under the Software Column of links, for Fish Compatibility named "Can I Keep It?" and "More Can I Keep It?". I haven't checked these out yet but they were recommended by an advanced member of There are also some other fish related freebie programs on the site. I'm not sure if this is Neal Monk's site but I see "nmonks" in the URL and he has been writing articles for a while about fish.

If you know of other free or paid software that will help fishkeepers do a better job, please post a comment below with the information or send me an email -

Lenny Vasbinder a/k/a GoldLenny in the forums

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sick Fish Questionnaire

We understand that if you are having a problem, especially one resulting is sick fish, you want help as soon as possible. In order to give you answers as quickly as we can, we need you to provide answers to as many of the questions below as possible, especially test readings.

It would be best if you cut and paste this entire set of questions into your first post, in one of the forums listed on the right of this page, to be sure you answer each inquiry.

Test readings (in numbers) for:

Also post your tap water baseline numbers if known. If not known, now would be a good time to start finding out what they are. See my article on this page

Tank size:
Tank inhabitants (number and type of fish or other aquatic life):
Water change amount and when the last one was done:
Filter maintenance and what exactly did you do:
How long the tank has been set up:
Water or filter additives or pH adjusters used:
Recent (within 2 weeks) changes or additions to the tank:

Full description of the problem you have been having, including any odd behavior of the inhabitants or appearance of the tank or inhabitants…some common examples are:
Fish behavior-
separating from school
breathing rapidly
hanging at surface
sitting on bottom
having difficulty swimming
scraping body on ornaments/plants/gravel

Fish appearance-
pale or different in color (describe)
raised spots/tufts of cottony material/cloudy patches on skin
fins fraying
chunks missing from fins
open sores
bent spine

Tank appearance-
whitish cloudy water
greenish cloudy water
excessive algae (specify color)

We'll try to help as best we can.

Lenny Vasbinder aka GoldLenny

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

H.R. 669 Hearing Update - from newsletter

EDITOR'S NOTE (From Editor)

Well, HR669, the now-infamous bill that would pretty much end the pet hobby as we know it, appears to be entering possible limbo-land as of the time we're sending this newsletter. (Read all about it here.) Some believe it has pretty much been killed. Others, and I would put myself in this category, are cautiously optimistic and waiting to see what happens next. Even if this bill is defeated, expect the animal rights and environmentalist groups who are traditionally responsible for bills of this sort to cull another one together sooner rather than later.

By all accounts pet owners came together in astounding numbers to battle this flawed bill that was based on questionable science. Those who would have been most affected by it are hobbyists who keep reptiles, tropical fish and birds. The majority of the popular pet species of these types of animals are not native to the United States , and the bill would have made it illegal to keep everything from bettas to bearded dragons to budgies. Advocates of the bill would say that species that are judged “safe” to keep (e.g., don't stand to establish wild populations should they escape) would be put on a list of approved species, but to get them on that list would be far from a cakewalk, requiring applications and fees, as well as USFWS personnel time and money that are reportedly nonexistent. Further studies could also be requested by USFWS before adding a species to the approved list, stalling the process even longer. It could take years, if ever, to get popular pets such as those mentioned above added to the list, and in the meantime they would be illegal.

Hopefully this bill is dead. If so, kudos to everyone who flooded the subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife with tens of thousands of letters and phone calls. Also kudos to PIJAC and USARK for keeping everyone informed. Everybody's efforts were not just impressive, but also vital.

Russ Case Editor
(reprinted below)
H.R. 669 Hearing Update
What's the status of H.R. 669 after the hearing?
By Benjamin Weiner
On Thursday, April 23, 2009, the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife met to deliberate, investigate and revise H.R. 669, the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act, and decide if it should go to general debate and move forward in the legislative process. The hearing record is being held open for 10 days for responses and to decide whether to proceed.
Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) Marshall Meyers testified before the Congressional Subcommittee regarding H.R. 669 as a representative of pet owners and the pet industry.
In written testimony submitted to the Subcommittee Meyers stated, "We support the development of a strategic, risk-based process to prevent the introduction of invasive species (harmful nonnative species) into the United States." However, the current draft of H.R. 669 "fails to be strategic in that it does not adequately take socio-economic issues and risk management options into account," and would "require funds and staffing not currently
available, nor likely to be available, to the US Fish and Wildlife Service."
Meyers said that they are willing to work with the authors of the bill to craft more realistic legislation that serves the public and affected industries alike.
Congresswoman and Subcommittee Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo of Guam (who authored this bill) said, "We recognize the bill is by no means perfect and that changes will be needed to address various concerns before any legislation moves forward."
"As it stands, PIJAC still has issues with points of this bill's impracticality or lack of clarity," Meyers said.
Andrew Wyatt President of the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) said that the hearing was a "smashing success."
"Two weeks leading up to the hearing, USARK mounted a grassroots campaign of letter writing and phone calls," he said. "We swamped Capitol Hill with almost 50,000 letters that were delivered to Subcommittee members."
Wyatt added that on top of that were thousands upon thousands of phone calls, e-mail and letters directly to Subcommittee members.
During the hearing, Congressman and Subcommittee member Henry E. Brown of South Carolina said, "Like members of this Subcommittee, during the past few weeks I have received thousands of calls, e-mails and letters written by constituents in strong opposition of this bill."
Later, Wyatt quoted Harry Burroughs of the Subcommittee staff as saying, "I haven't seen a letter writing campaign like this in 30 years! You should be proud of yourselves."
Subcommittee member Eni F.H. Faleomavaega of American Samoa, a co-sponsor of the bill, congratulated Meyers, PIJAC and the pet industry for the tremendous grassroots response that has been generated, noting that it is important to have input from constituents on these issues.
Wyatt added that Faleomavaega said that the letters and phone calls hit them like a "buzz saw."
"We're so proud of all the people out there that did what they were supposed to do and sent letters and e-mails and phone calls," he said.
Russ Case, Editor of Aquarium Fish International and, expressed relief at the outcome. "I'm happy that the bill may be in trouble in its current form, but as we all know, the groups who are against the keeping of exotic pets will return with another. For now I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'll be waiting to see what they cook up next."
Both PIJAC and USARK expressed that no current action is required by the public and that more updates are to come.
PIJAC Website -
USARK Website -

Monday, April 20, 2009

OPPOSE HR 669 - Fish and other non-native animals importation ban

EDIT ADDED 4/22/2009 -

To watch this actual Committee hearing live, go to and under:

Thursday, April 23, 2009:Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Legislative Hearing on H.R. 669, choose the LIVE VIDEO or LIVE AUDIO webcast.


This seems to be one of those pieces of legislation that crosses the political spectrum. As a conservative and businessperson, I am against government interference with the business industry... especially at a time like this when jobs and businesses do NOT need another hurdle to jump. In reading the many forum posts, blogs, etc., I also see that many of my liberal e-Friends also oppose this legislation as many of these folks are also pet owners and see the damage that will be done to the pet industry. It seems the ONLY people in favor of this kind of legislation are the PeTA and HSUS types that believe that animals actually have Constitutional rights. Of course, these two groups raise tens of millions of dollars... probably hundreds of millions... and actually DO NOTHING to help the animals they claim to want to save. PeTA has been caught killing over 90% of the animals it "saves" and then illegally dumping their carcasses into the dumpsters of other businesses. HSUS dose NOT have a single shelter and just rakes in unsuspecting donor's money and then spends it all on lobbying, jet-setting and eating nice expensive Washington, D.C. meals... probably including the various and delicious meats they want all of us to give up. Speaking of meat... now, it's on to the meat and potatoes of this blog... (nice segue.. huh! lol)

PIJAC and NAIA, both pet industry trade groups, have been working hard against the passage of this bill, House Resolution 669, a/k/a HR669, a/k/a H.R. 669. NAIA Trust (the political action end of NAIA) has set up a CAPWIZ webpage so you can easily fax an opposition letter to your politicians so you can let them know to opposed and vote NO to this bill which will severely and adversely affect the fish keeping industry, including hobbyists. We've been discussing this A LOT in the AquaticLife Yahoo Group and many other forums have very active threads going on about this proposed bill.

If you've never been involved in grass-roots politics and/or are not familiar with CAPWIZ, let me know if you have trouble migrating through the process and I'll help out. It's really simple once you do it.

There are many other websites with online petitions, etc., but CAPWIZ will put a faxed letter into every one of YOUR politicians hands so you won't have to worry whether or not they see the online petitions.

This message on AquaticLife has a YouTube video and another website set up specifically to oppose HR 669.
Most of the fish we keep in our aquariums could soon become illegal to transport or breed. This proposed bill would very soon destroy our hobby entirely. Please check out this very good video concerning HR 669 and then go to the easy to use web site to tell your congressman what you think. (and other follow-up YouTube's) (added to this blog but not on original post)

And this post - which has a form letter that clubs/associations can type out on their letter head and fax or email to PIJAC representative who will be at the 4/23 hearing.

And this post - has an article showing where the New England Aquarium has come out against HR 669.

And this PIJAC document which has all of the committee members and their phone numbers, email addresses, website contact forms, etc.

Lenny Vasbinder
Fish Blog - (Links to any articles referenced in above reply are listed on the right side, alphabetically under Labels and also under Archives by Year, Month)

-----Original Message-----
From: Summerfun
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 12:16 AM
To: Lenny V. aka GoldLenny
Subject: RE: Fish importation ban. H.R.669 and other non-native animals as well.

Aquaticlife. I would mind join possible other groups you have. I don't have the connections you have about to H.R.669 bill. So if you have any thing please send it our way and I will pass it on to the big guys of Michiana Aquarium society. We just had a fish auction sat. and they gave us a hand out and talked to every one at the auction. Hope you knew I was tring to help and not step on toes. Thanks again. Kelley

"A True Friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out"

--- On Mon, 4/20/09, Lenny V. aka GoldLenny wrote:

From: Lenny V. aka GoldLenny
Subject: RE: Fish importation ban. H.R.669 and other non-native animals as well.
To: "'Summerfun'"
Date: Monday, April 20, 2009, 12:39 AM

Which group? I belong to several Yahoo Groups and other forums and we've been talking about it like crazy the past couple of months in nearly every forum I'm in.

Let me know which group as I have a good post with the best website to go to which is one of the trade industry group websites where they have a CAPWIZ website set up to fax Congressmen directly and it's free and easy. And another trade industry group that have the email addresses to the Congressmen on the committee hearing the resolution.

Lenny Vasbinder
Fish Blog -
(Links to any articles referenced in above reply are listed on the right side, alphabetically under Labels and also under Archives by Year, Month)

-----Original Message-----
From: Summerfun []
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2009 11:30 PM
To: Lenny V. aka GoldLenny
Subject: Fish importation ban. H.R.669 and other non-native animals as well.

Hello again Since you are well know in the group I thought I would see why no one has been advertising to ban non-native fish. Unless fish are listed on an approved list, the fish couldn't be imported , moved from state to state. You couldn't breed them, export them. Trade in a species would come to a halt possession would be limited.

The best way to learn about the details is at

You need to act now, on April 23rd 2009 The Natural Resourses Committee of the U.S. Congress will hold a hearing on H.R. 669, a resolution that will in effect ban importation., interstate transport and the private ownership of most birds, mammals, reptiles and fish as pets. If H.R. 669 is adopted as written only these non-native animals would be allowed. Any cat, cattle or oxen, chicken, dogs, donkey or ass, goat, duck, domesticated members of the family Anatidae (geese), goldfish, horse, llama, mule or hinny, pig or hog, domesticated varieties of rabbit, and sheep.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fish Jokes & Cartoons - Some May be PG or R Rated

I've been wanting to start up a "Fish Jokes" page for a while but kept putting it off. The other day, an esteemed member (who will remain nameless) of the AquaticLife Yahoo Group sent me an email with a list of some that he thought might be too raunchy to send out to the group and after I got his permission, I am posting them here as the start of my new "Fish Jokes" page. They are now further down since I've added several new jokes/pics since then.

Added 05/23/2010 -

What is a nitrate?

Cheaper than a day rate.

(Thanks to \\Steve// again!)

And this next cartoon is thanks to Enid R.

Added 04/30/2010 -

Two Goldfish are in a tank, one says to the other, "You man the guns - I'll drive"

(Thanks to \\Steve// from the AquaticLife Yahoo Group)

Added 01/13/2010 -

Larry the Lobster and Sam the Clam were old fish-buddies. But one day a terrible tragedy befell them. CLAMBAKE! And they were delicious.

So Larry the Lobster and Sam the Clam went swimming up to fish-heaven where fish-St Peter met them at the gate. "Larry the Lobster," he said. "You've been a good lobster all your life. Welcome to fish-heaven." And fish-St Peter gave him his harp, and his halo, and his wings.

"But Sam the Clam," he said, "Tsk, tsk, tsk. I'm sorry, you have to go to fish-hell."

So the two old friends said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.

Half an eternity later, Larry the Lobster began to miss his old pal Sam the Clam so he asked fish-St Peter for a pass. Fish-St Peter thought about it for a few moments and suddenly a digital watch appeared on Larry the Lobster's arm. "OK, you have six hours. But you must keep your harp with you. It's the only thing that will protect you."

Larry the Lobster thanked him excitedly and went swimming down to fish-hell.

Turned out that Sam the Clam had opened up a club. There was music, there was drinking, there were half-naked lady fishes dancing on the counters! YEE-HA! PARTY TIME!!!

But time passed quickly and soon Larry the Lobster's alarm rang. The two old friends said their goodbyes and Larry the Lobster went swimming back up to fish-heaven. But he wasn't making such good time because he'd had a few too many (wink, wink) Shrimp Cocktails...

Larry the Lobster slipped through the gates just as fish-St Peter was closing them.

"Larry the Lobster!" fish-St Peter exclaimed. "Where have you been? You almost didn't make it back in time. Is that lipstick on your collar? Is that liquor on your breath? And WHERE'S YOUR HARP???"

Larry the Lobster, unsteady on his feet, looked at one claw. Nope. Not there.

He turned and looked at the other. Nope, not there either.

So he shrugged and he sang,

"I left my haaaaaaaarp in Sam Clam's discoooooooo..."

I can hear you groaning from here...

(Thanks to Kai from the AquaticLife Yahoo Group for this one)

Added 10/03/2009 -

Added 09/16/2009 -

Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis) can be dangerous. Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes.

Here's why.

A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze.

It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa.

She let out a very loud scream.

The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa.

He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor.

His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance.

The attendants rushed in, would not listen to his protests, loaded him on the stretcher, and started carrying him out.

About that time, the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor who volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief.

But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa.

The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her.

The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that the snake had bitten him. She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat.

By now, the police had arrived.

Breathe here...

They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little garden snake!

The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.

Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the sofa and one of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over, the lamp on it shattered and, as the bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car.

Meanwhile, neighbors saw the burning drapes and called in the fire department. The firemen had started raising the fire ladder when they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires, put out the power, and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area (but they did get the house fire out).

Time passed!

Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car and all was right with their world.

A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night.

The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night. And that's when he shot her.

"Kids On The Ocean"

This may be a tad too raunchy for general publication, but I thought I would share it with you guys, the moderators, so you can have a chuckle tonight.

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. ( Wayne , age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson. She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)

6) - My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6)

7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)

8) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age 6)

10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher, age 7)

11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin, age 6)

12) - Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)

13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast. She says she won't do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass. (Julie, age 7)

14) - The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

15) - My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom.
(James, age 7)





Turtle Joke??? Yeah, I know, it's not a fish... but it is an aquatic turtle... a Red Ear Slider. ;-)
This has been around for a while, but now is even more relevant to the times...


While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his being our president.

The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Obama is a 'Post Turtle''.

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was? The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.

The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. 'You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, and he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with'.


I think this next one is self explanatory... thanks to Gwydryn/Enid for emailing it to me.


If you have any fish jokes or cartoons, please email them to me or post your jokes in the "Comments" below.

Lenny V. a/k/a GoldLenny

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Driftwood Cleaning & Curing.... Now, why didn't I think of this???

Updated - May 02, 2010 -

I was just reading my most recent edition of TFH (Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine), the February 2009 edition (why do magazines come out one to two months early anyhow?) and in the Q & A section, someone asked about the difference between store bought driftwood and the kind we might find in the wild. While reading the answer, mainly being that the store bought has already been cleaned and cured, the answer went on further to explain how one might cure/clean their own wild found driftwood... and now to the "Why didn't I think of this?" question.

Of course, the answer mentions scrubbing each piece with a scrub brush to remove dirt/debris from the surface. Do not use soaps or detergents. Then boiling each piece for about an hour. I've used a large crawfish boiling pot for this but I know most folks do not have crawfish boilers.. so here's the BIG answer... "...Larger pieces may need to be placed in your dishwasher on the hot cycle (using no detergent). Boiling will not only kill microbes, algae spores and other undesirable organisms, but it will also help to leach out the tannins and open the pores of the wood, allowing it to become saturated faster so that it will sink more readily in your aquarium..." and Lenny's additional tip... remove any water spot remover stuff and run it on the full cycle... not that pansy energy saving cycle. LOL

WOW... I never thought about putting the big pieces in the dishwasher for the boiling/sterilization process. While boiling for an hour would be better, since the wood would be soaking in the water which would help it to sink easier, running it through your dishwasher is a more readily available "tool" in most households. Just make sure you remove it before the missus gets home as she might not appreciate a big hunk of wood being in the dishwasher when she starts putting all your dirty dishes in the dishwasher... you know.. the ones that you left sitting in the sink while you sterilized the driftwood.

Heck.. the dishwasher can also be used for sterilizing our nets and other aquarium tools as well as any used stuff you might buy. Beats the heck out of watching that pot boiling on the stove.
Please contact the law firm of Dewey, Skruem and Howe for any pending divorce advice as a result of following any advice in this post. LOL

Here's a few more articles on preparing driftwood for your tank but none of them mention the above "Dishwasher" method.

And some other good links...

And a couple of low-cost places to buy driftwood...

Lenny Vasbinder
Fish Blog -
(Links to any articles referenced in above reply are listed on the right side, alphabetically under Labels and also under Archives by Year, Month)

Here's another long reply of mine to a recent post on AquaticLife Yahoo Group with some more information and tips...

-----Original Message-----
From: Lenny V. aka GoldLenny
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2010 10:45 PM
To: ''
Subject: RE: [AquaticLife] Drift Wood

I wrote an article on my blog a while back about "Driftwood Cleaning And Curing" but I also have several other links and references.


Your best place to find it is along the shorelines, banks and shallows of waterways in your area... preferably the least polluted waterways. It's probably illegal to collect it from the wild but you know what they say about breaking the law... it's only illegal if you get caught. :-O If you're not doing any mass collecting, I doubt that anyone would care. If you don't want to break the law... but I'm like that little devil on your left shoulder saying "Do it... get the driftwood!"... you can listen to the little angel on your right shoulder and buy it and I included a couple of links below to lower cost places of buying driftwood online. The eBayer collects it from their own land so it's legal. If you have your own land with a waterway running through it, you should be able to find some yourself.

Oh... that little devil just thought of something else. If you do decide to go scavenging for your own, bring a couple of bags and act like you're picking up litter along the waterway and just throw your wood in the bag like you thought it would be considered litter. Then head home and get rid of the actual trash and then follow the cleaning process mentioned in my article above.

Here's some more links from my Favorites folder, that I probably should just add to my article. Some of these may be duplicates of what I already have in the article.

Some inexpensive places to buy it...

A type of driftwood that is becoming popular is Mopani Driftwood, which is often talked about as being so dense and heavy that it sinks immediately and doesn't leach tannins but much of this may be misinformation... unless you are buying it from a source that has already cured the driftwood by boiling/soaking it many times to fully clean out all of the tannins.  Otherwise, it is a good type of driftwood once it is properly cleaned and cured.    Here's TheKrib's and AquariaCentral's take on Mopani and other driftwoods.

Lenny Vasbinder
Fish Blog -  (Links to any articles referenced in above reply are listed on the right side, alphabetically under Labels and also under Archives by Year, Month)

-----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of melindas
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2010 9:52 PM
Subject: [AquaticLife] Drift Wood

I want to find some drift wood for my Aquarium and Fire-belly toad tank, and I don't want to go out and buy it. So my question is, Where would be the best place to find some, does it matter the type of wood, and how would I treat it if I went to a lake or a river and brought some home?
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World Flag Counter added April 14, 2010 and U.S. State's Flag Counter added April 22, 2010

World Flag Counter added April 14, 2010 so the numbers are artificially low by over 10,000 hits (pageviews) based on Google's Adsense numbers. I'm only showing the top 60 countries but if you want to see the full list, open the FlagCounter in a new tab/window and you can then navigate around to see a Map, List, etc. The "Visitors" number is based on unique visitors so this counter does not re-count the same person who visits again. free counters Free counters!