How to prepare driftwood + stones for enclosure?

J4ckdaw-

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Leo
How do I make sure the driftwood + stones I’ve collected are safe for Leo’s enclosure? How should I go about washing/disinfecting them? They were sourced from a beach.
 

ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
I use a lot of driftwood and stones, and some of them come from a beach (we live right at the coast, literally 5 minutes to the ocean).
In fact, everything inside my dragon's enclosure other than his food dishes and the live plants comes from the nature.

What I do for stones and driftwood:
First, I soak them half a day in water, starting with hot water (make sure the bucket can handle the temperature). After doing so, I use a heavy-duty brush. The salt is gone after that. (Might sound funny, but when I started doing this procedure, I licked on a few pieces and I can't taste anything left :D)
Then I let it dry very well, I'd give it a week (but here the sun is very strong). Afterwards, the items go into the oven.
(I also use sand, which I get from the desert here, in my dragon's enclosure. Not sand from the beach!
Btw.: I'm also using a lot of stones and driftwood from the beach in various planters on the balcony or otherwise outside of his enclosure, regular house plants. For those I also use the method described as plants generally can't handle salt well. Salt is gone and the plants thrive!)
 
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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I agree, if the wood fits in your oven preheat it to 225 and bake the pieces for an hour, being careful to not let the wood touch the heat coils.
Best to not bake stones though, they can explode or crack in the oven. For rocks you just soak them in very hot water with some dish liquid and scrub them with a scrub brush. Then rinse them with very hot water and they are good to go.
 

ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
Best to not bake stones though, they can explode or crack in the oven. For rocks you just soak them in very hot water with some dish liquid and scrub them with a scrub brush. Then rinse them with very hot water and they are good to go.
When dried well enough and knowing the kind of stone (this might be my advantage), they won't crack or explode.
Otherwise, if in doubt (I know many people aren't really into stones and such), leave that step out and only go with the scrubbing. Baking the items is more critical for wood, as there might be insect eggs hidden inside, under bark.

I rather use boiling hot water (only) instead of adding the dish soap, however. That's why I mentioned make sure the bucket can handle that.
 

xp29

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Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
With wood there is also the option of using a sealer on it, but be sure it's cured to zero fumes before adding to his habitat. I guess you could seal the stone as well but I always bake everything. Moisture is the key to backing stone. Moisture equals exploding stone, especially sandstone.
 
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ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
@xp29
One could, but I'm not sure how much that helps (also, as I'm doing a lot of crafts including woodwork):
- What we want to get rid of for the enclosure is basically the salt from the driftwood (if it's driftwood found on the ocean shore which I assume), and possible eggs from invertebrates. Both should be gone with scrubbing and baking. (I wouldn't assume such as molt on the driftwood.)
- If not baked but only sealed, insects that are inside or develop from eggs will eat through the sealer. Happened to me with some crafts even sealed with "triple thick" varnish: suddenly holes and a bit of sawdust on the floor...
- I don't know how well this really holds under the strong UV in the enclosure. If, I would use something made for "outdoor use".

So I think the only thing that would be a reason for applying a sealer would be to be able to clean it more easily in case of the dragon having parasites. (I hadn't used any and personally, I would not. Also in tanks/enclosures for other species I did not.)

Moisture equals exploding stone, especially sandstone.
Exactly. Baking is not for drying something!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
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Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It's not insects that your sealing in, it's bacteria and parasites. Some driftwood is simply to big to put in the oven so you have to use different methods to make it safe.
Also driftwood can come from lakes and streams sobthere isn't salt to worry about. (But i have to admit, all of mine is from the beach, i prefer the look of wood naturally tumbled in the surf).
The pic is some I've collected, no way most will fit the oven, so im drying it naturally and will seal it before I use or sale it.
 

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