Could I use branches from these trees? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Could I use branches from these trees?

I am finding these trees all over and they have some cool branches on them, could I use these? Also what type of trees are these?




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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 05:21 PM
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Those are crepe myrtles... The bottom with the red bark is a Natchez crepe...I wouldnt use them
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 05:33 PM
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Crepe Myrtle is safe in the aquarium, I have had these branches in there for many years, many species of fish, including Loricariads that eat them.

I got them when they had been pruned off for a few months, lying in a horse pasture. I IDed it by the distinctive bark.

I soaked the branches in water, no chlorine or anything else until they sank, and changed the water every few days. (No choice- the container leaked). There were almost no tannins even from the start.

I got these branches at least 5 years ago, more like 6-8 years?
Ultimately these (like all wood) will rot in the tank. All the little pieces are gone (1" and smaller diameter). I still have some of the larger pieces (2-3" diameter)This happens so slowly that I find these very good choices to use in the tank. I would sure use them again. I am eyeballing my own Crepe Myrtle... asking myself, "If I pruned it right there..."
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 05:44 PM
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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

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm. I know to stay away from pine, Cyprus and cedar.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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So if I were to use some branches, how would I go about preparing them? Never used actual branches found locally, and I am tired of waiting and purchasing manzanita branches online (Just too much for shipping).

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3 GBR, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Juvenile Super Red BN Plecos, 9 Oto Catfish, 9 Bloodfin Tetras
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:10 PM
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Where are you finding them? Unless they are on your property, it is illegal in many places to remove anything from the wild/forest. That includes animals, rocks, plants, decaying wood, ect.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ha! You know, just around. And I am in Raleigh, NC.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secuono View Post
Where are you finding them? Unless they are on your property, it is illegal in many places to remove anything from the wild/forest. That includes animals, rocks, plants, decaying wood, ect.
Shoot! I take rocks all the time. Uh oh....

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:24 PM
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cedar, whats wrong with cedar, I know many people who have used it when it is old and weathered.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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That is simply what I have been told. I could have very well been told wrong. Never used it before, but I have never used anything found locally before, other than rocks.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 07:15 PM
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I have heard the same thing too about all softwoods - true or not I don't know. Cedar has some of the coolest looks, too. I have a cedar piece I used in a 55 (long since taken down). In a year, it never stopped producing the white slimy bacterial bloom for more than a few weeks at a time. Also, much to my surprise, after 4 months some leftover deep residue started to work it's way out. I assume a resin? It looked just like resin, following the cracks that formed along the cedar's growth pattern. The piece was bone dry for well over a year before I used it too - so who knows? Maybe what happened was typical & normal, perhaps I had a fluke piece...but I am leery of pine & cedar now.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Now I just need to find out how to prepare it. I will be using it more for hanging branches, as if it was dipping down into the water. Not totally submersed.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwoodhunter View Post
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.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
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.
Logjam? I am assuming where a bunch of wood pile up? And how do I know what is safe then?

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3 GBR, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Juvenile Super Red BN Plecos, 9 Oto Catfish, 9 Bloodfin Tetras
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