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Old 08-22-2006, 05:57 PM   #1
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woods other than "drift"...

Are these items "tank safe"?

assume all items are "dry", not green, with bark intact

Logs of:

Bamboo reeds

Non logs:

Pine Cones
Dry cat-tail (stem only in water for biotope)
Other dry reeds

I am considering some ideas for a planted tank in the near future. Some ideas include the use of especially dried birch logs, a everglades biotope or a st. johns river biotope, and a bamboo themed planted tank.

Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:01 PM   #2
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Mmm, I think alot of those items are no-nos, fishy... I know pine is no good cause it has sap and will cloud the water and the pine cones are the same. Dead/cut bamboo is a definate no-no because it begins to rot almost immediately and boy, does it stink (ever smell an entire bag of rotten Idaho potatoes? How about a rotten palm tree trunk?) but live bamboo has been tried as a plant, but not submerged. As far as I know, most driftwood has been immersed for a long time, or has even been growing underwater before it died or was harvested (I am beginning to wonder about all this driftwood we buy for our tanks and if it has any bearing on de-forestation) and many dry branches will just proceed to rot quickly. The wood must be "petrified" almost... I know that Oak is a hardwood, so maybe that will last a while, but someone else may provide a definate answer on that one.

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Old 08-22-2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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I just used any kind of branches I found and liked, I just boiled them and soaked them, no problems yet
I love my clown loaches and red tail shark!!! lol
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:45 PM   #4
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whats the wood for, you really dont need to go so far for a pleco if thats who your doing it for.

if its for otos why not just keep them on veggies, cucumbers are only like 25 cents
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Old 08-22-2006, 09:03 PM   #5
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I assume the wood is for looks, and not for fish to eat.

I am fairly sure that oak, cherry, and beech are good. Pine and bamboo are out. The others I am not quite sure, but I wouldn't.

I am not sure what acorn is. If it is a tree with acorns (oak), then yes. If it is an acorn, no.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:27 PM   #6
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The hardwoods (birch, oak, cherry, peach, apple, maple, etc) won't harm the water if you clean them first. The big problem I foresee is getting them to sink - they're nowhere as dense as the Malaysian driftwood sold in the lfs. You'd probably have to attach the wood to slate using stainless steel screws.

Longevity would be another issue. Based on my experience with these woods in carpentry, I'd guess that the birch would start to decompose first (within a few months), followed by the fruitwoods - the maple and oak would probably last the longest underwater.

Pine and pinecones have sap as previously mentioned. I have no idea how their oils would affect the fish - I'd avoid them.

Dry bamboo and reeds would rot pretty quickly.
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:45 PM   #7
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bummer. thanks for the advice folks.

I'd like to do an aquascape on a birch log. perhaps I can find something man-made
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Old 08-23-2006, 04:35 PM   #8
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I don't know what type of cherry you are refering to but I know that wild cherry/black cherry has hydrocyanic acid, or cyanide in it's leaves and twigs, I don't know about the larger portions of the plant or if it can be treated and removed but I probably would avoid using it in an aquarium where it could leach into the water. My dad would never let us use branches from the cherry trees to roast our marshmellows when I was little which is why I remember.


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