Originally Posted by driftwoodhunter
Is there a list somewhere that tells what wood is ok for a tank and what isn't? I shake my head at the generic term "driftwood" when I see it applied to branches that have never been near water - lol, but I often see very cool branches in the woods. I assume the cutting have to be dead & dry & not breaking down (pithy, soft, or crumbling)?
PS, I'm pretty impressed you knew they were crape myrtle. I can only recognize it when it's blooming - lol
I think I saw a list like this being put together on another forum, but it had no real standards, and as such, I wouldn't quite trust it. It was pretty much: "hey, I knew a guy who put fresh oleander in his tank", and then they would add oleander on the list, and claim it was safe...
I think in general most wood will be safe as long as it's fairly well aged so that little to no sap/resin remains. If it's dead wood that has been weathering for years, or driftwood that's been soaking for a while, then it's probably good. I'd soak it a bit anyways.
I think the main reason they warn people away from softwood is that it may decay quicker. I don't worry about it too much, everything will decay eventually, and I think an aquarium that changes as it grows is more interesting.
If there are any rivers/streams that you happen to wander across, it may be worth checking them, especially if there are areas where a logjam forms.