August 18, 2019, 08:51:37 pm

Magic Cholla Wood

Started by TheProfessoR, January 09, 2019, 03:34:22 am

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January 09, 2019, 03:34:22 am Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 03:49:06 am by TheProfessoR
Cholla Wood In Your Tank.

If you have kept shrimp for a little, then it's likely you will have come across it given it's all the rage with shrimp keepers right now.

So what is this strange sounding stuff, what are its benefits and why should you use it in your own tank?

What's Cholla Wood?

Cholla wood does NOT come from trees but rather is a by-product of the Cholla cactus, when the cacti die and dry out, Cholla wood remains.

Benefits And Uses.

While this wood is certainly a very visually interesting addition to your aquarium, most aquarists do not employ it for the decorative value alone but rather it is added to an aquarium because the shrimp absolutely love it!

Unlike other types of wood used in an aquarium, Cholla is relatively soft and breaks down over a period of time but during the breaking down process all kinds of very beneficial processes begin to happen.

Just like alder cones and Indian almond leaves, tannins are slowly released into the water which may have the effect of staining it a slight yellow colour many consider to be unsightly, but this actually helps to imitate the natural habitat of many of the shrimp species you keep. More importantly though, these tannins have significant antifungal and antibacterial properties which help keep your shrimp protected from disease.

Additionally, as the Cholla wood breaks down, a layer of bio-film forms on it, making it a perfect place for your shrimp to forage, with a Cholla wood section likely have a number of shrimp enjoying it at any given time.

Lastly, because this wood is both holey and hollow, it will make an excellent hiding place for your shrimp, meaning you can use it as a natural looking alternative to commercially available hiding places.

Your shrimp will particularly appreciate it when molting, when they at the most vulnerable and are seeking a convenient, safe retreat.

Using It

Cholla wood is not terribly difficult to use in your shrimp tank. simply obtain your Cholla wood pieces and if required, saw them into smaller lengths, which will be quite easy as it's a very soft wood and not that difficult to cut through.

Like most other types of wood, Cholla will not immediately sink when placed into your aquarium with the water logging process taking a number of days to occur. If you're not happy with looking at a piece of wood floating about your aquarium, then you may waterlog your Cholla prior to placing it in the tank. You can do this simply by placing it into a bucket of water until it submerges.

There are those that recommend boiling your Cholla wood in order to both sterilize and waterlog it, but you should bear in mind that doing so will have the effect of causing the wood to break down much more quickly.

Ok, now that you have placed your Cholla wood in the tank you can simply leave it there until it's completely gone which may take years with larger pieces, it's as simple as that.

And remember, just like leaf litter, the decaying process involved is in no way harmful to your aquatic livestock.

Obtaining Some.

If you're lucky enough to in an area where this cacti grows naturally, you might consider collecting your own.

It's best to acquire pieces already dead and dried out because you don't want to wrangle the live Cholla spines and besides, the drying process takes an extremely long time anyway.

If you don't live in such an area, there are many places where it may be obtained for a relatively cheap price, type 'Buy Cholla Wood' into a search engine and find a convenient place near you.

Get some soon and enjoy your wood.  :D


Your preaching to the choir with this one. I have at least two small pieces in every shrimp tank.  ;)


Dibb Dibb, Dobb Dobb.......Yes indeed this is one of the most important and super tasty treat for your shrimp. Must have for every tank my shrimps whittle this stuff down like good little Scouts.
><((((º>` • . ¸¸ . • ´` • . . . ¸><((((º>¸ . • ´` • . ><((((º> ` • .
¸¸¸¸¸¸¸I'm Just here for the Beer and Shrimp!` ¸¸¸¸¸¸¸
><((((º>` • . ¸¸ . • ´` • . . . ¸><((((º>¸ . • ´` • . ><((((º> ` • .


I am a big fan of this also but am concerned there may be import restrictions now, anyone know anything about that?


January 26, 2019, 03:27:33 am #4 Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 03:35:26 am by tva351
Rubbish. I have never had any problems getting it. Another post said something about Seaview Aquarium not being able to get any more because of import restrictions. Well, I get mine from two different online sellers, one in Queensland and the other in Victoria. Don't walk in to a shop that is going to charge you 4 times what the item is worth, buy it online and save. ;)


Quote from: TeX on January 25, 2019, 10:23:39 pmI am a big fan of this also but am concerned there may be import restrictions now, anyone know anything about that?

I love this stuff and so do my shrimp, looks like a moonscape and I like the yellowy tint it can give the water. I have been doing some searching online about import restrictions and cannot find anything definite on the subject but it would be a great pity if that were the case.
I'm not always right, but I'm NEVER wrong!