Cork bark question...

Xafron

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I finally got my hands on some at a local pet store. I know with aquarium wood, if it is small enough people often boil it before placing it in the tank... do you do the same with cork bark or is it not necessary? If I should clean it, would it be better to boil it or some other cleaning method?
 

EulersK

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I personally do clean my cork bark when bought from stores. Random inverts love the stuff and often set up shop deep in the cracks of the bark.

For cleaning, I soak it in water for ten minutes or so, just enough to get it saturated. Then it goes into the oven for about 15-20 minutes. The water is so the darn thing doesn't go up in flames, but I'd still suggest keeping an eye on it. Remember - if there's a fire, leave the oven closed! It'll extinguish itself. However, I've never had a flare up, so I wouldn't worry.
 

Xafron

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I personally do clean my cork bark when bought from stores. Random inverts love the stuff and often set up shop deep in the cracks of the bark.

For cleaning, I soak it in water for ten minutes or so, just enough to get it saturated. Then it goes into the oven for about 15-20 minutes. The water is so the darn thing doesn't go up in flames, but I'd still suggest keeping an eye on it. Remember - if there's a fire, leave the oven closed! It'll extinguish itself. However, I've never had a flare up, so I wouldn't worry.
The oven was suggested to me once for cleaning wood for my aquarium that was too large to boil...I've always been nervous to do that though, because of the "warning: fire may occur" that always accompanies the suggestion lol.
 

EulersK

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The oven was suggested to me once for cleaning wood for my aquarium that was too large to boil...I've always been nervous to do that though, because of the "warning: fire may occur" that always accompanies the suggestion lol.
Agreed, but like I said, I've never had a flare up. And again, a fire wouldn't be all that bad - just let it burn itself out in the oven. It's made to withstand more heat than a simple cork fire ;) As long as you soak it down, I really wouldn't worry about the fire.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with boiling. I just like to go a bit overboard when it comes to stuff like this.
 

Xafron

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Agreed, but like I said, I've never had a flare up. And again, a fire wouldn't be all that bad - just let it burn itself out in the oven. It's made to withstand more heat than a simple cork fire ;) As long as you soak it down, I really wouldn't worry about the fire.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with boiling. I just like to go a bit overboard when it comes to stuff like this.
If boiling it is ok I might do that. I wasn't sure what that might do to the cork bark though, it's very different from the woods you boil for aquarium use.
 

EulersK

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If boiling it is ok I might do that. I wasn't sure what that might do to the cork bark though, it's very different from the woods you boil for aquarium use.
And that's why I don't do it - I feel like it'd fall apart unless it was a beefy hunk of it. Even soaking it like I suggested makes it flimsy, let alone boiling.
 

Icculus

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I might not be doing enough but I always just rinse everything with hot water before setup and haven't had any problems. Enclosure, plants,water dish, hide,and bark.
 

Vermis

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I give cork bark a scrub in hot water, then usually bung it in the microwave for a few minutes. If there's too much I'll use the oven. Haven't had any ignite on me so far.
 

Grimmdreadly

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I finally got my hands on some at a local pet store. I know with aquarium wood, if it is small enough people often boil it before placing it in the tank... do you do the same with cork bark or is it not necessary? If I should clean it, would it be better to boil it or some other cleaning method?
I boil the cork bark and then pop it in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes. I've also heard of people popping it in the microwave but I doubt that's the best way to do it.
 

mconnachan

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Boiling the cork bark then zapping it or popping it in the oven will have the desired affect, no nasties, so either way would be fine....I've used both methods and have never had any mould or critters in the bark.
 

Xafron

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Used the oven after soaking it. Just checked on it...constantly, to make sure it didn't catch fire lol.
 

Vermis

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I've also heard of people popping it in the microwave but I doubt that's the best way to do it.
Well okay, but why?

Not hot enough?
Not thorough enough?
Residual microwave radiation accidentally bestows spider with the proportional strength and speed of a human? :angelic:
 

Grimmdreadly

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Well okay, but why?

Not hot enough?
Not thorough enough?
Residual microwave radiation accidentally bestows spider with the proportional strength and speed of a human? :angelic:
That would be to the detriment of the spider haha. But no, in my opinion it just doesn't do the job as well as I like. I prefer not to rush things. Sometimes old school and slow is the best
 

Xafron

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That would be to the detriment of the spider haha. But no, in my opinion it just doesn't do the job as well as I like. I prefer not to rush things. Sometimes old school and slow is the best
I would have to agree on that one. I don't think the microwave would be quite as efficient as boiling water or an oven.
 

basin79

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I just check for spiders. Rub any loose bits off then put it in the enclosure.
 

Xafron

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I do both. A boil and then a bake
I actually bought a very large piece of wood for my aquarium at a local fish shop. They have lots of large pieces and sell it by the pound, and I managed to find a large one that was so bone dry it weighed very little and I got it for a really cheap price.

One of the employees there told me to just stick it in the oven to sterilize it and help it sink since it is too large to boil...apparently he thinks the heat is what makes it sink, not being waterlogged...it would sterilize it but I never tried it. It was so dry I think it would've caught fire quite easily. So I've been soaking it outside for probably almost a year at this point? Still not waterlogged.
 

chanda

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I usually just soak the wood and pop it into the microwave for a few minutes if it's a smallish piece. Larger pieces (or batches of substrate that I'm trying to dry quickly) go into the oven. So far I've never had a fire or even scorch marks. The wood coming out of the microwave seems plenty hot - and most of the water has boiled off - so it seems to be doing an adequate job. I doubt anything could survive it!
 

The Grym Reaper

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If there's mould or other nasty crap on it then I give it a quick scrub with a 10% bleach solution, rinse thoroughly and then bake it in the oven on a low heat (125°C-150°C or 250°F-300°F) until dry.

Otherwise I just brush off any loose crap, hot glue some moss to it and then plonk it in the enclosure.
 

Trenor

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I just give it a good tap against a wall/deck rail/something to knock the loose stuff off. Cut it to size and put it in. I've not boiled or backed any of my cork and I've not noticed any issues.

I bought all mine from a harvester in bulk and it's kept in a plastic tote. So maybe that has something to do with it.
 
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