Can someone help me ID this drift wood? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Can someone help me ID this drift wood?

I found this about ten miles out in the Gulf of Mexico washed up on a bar. I’m trying to ID it and determine if it’s safe for my aquarium. I’m worried it may be cedar
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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No wood experts tonight? Lol
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:06 AM
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No way to be certain. It is pretty wave worn. Looking at the cut end, it does not look like cedar, but I cannot be sure.

If I were to guess, I would say that it is not cedar. Again, no way I can be certain.

A little experimenting by rubbing it against different hardness woods will give you more information. Keep in mind, that it may be harder or softer than the original wood due to being so long in water.

Even if it is cedar, extended time in salt water will remove almost all of the tannic acids.

I am not a fan of softwoods in an aquarium but most any drift wood that is that worn should not affect your parameters too much.

I would do a pH test on tap water and soak it for a week or so and then re-test pH of the soak water. The soaking will serve three purposes.

  • It will tell you if the wood is going to affect your pH.
  • It will leach out the salt that has absorbed in the wood over time.
  • It will help to saturate the wood with water so that it can be placed easily without floating.

BTW, that is a beautiful piece of wood and I am sure that the story behind it will make it extra special.

I may come across as a know-it-all. In reality, I have no idea.

Last edited by AguaScape; 04-12-2019 at 03:17 AM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much. That was a perfect response. Great info I will definitely follow your advise
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:19 PM
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I would say it is not likely to be cedar based on a couple points as well as state that it does look truly dry so that all the harmful items should be gone. Location ? I don't think of cedar as being too common in that area but more likely other species. One way to check totally dry is to cut an end off to look for uniform color from outer to inner layers. Wood dry outer to inner so uniform says it is all dry. But then sometimes we don't want to deform a really nice shape so we can go to other thoughts. If the wood is lighter, for it's size, than other wood of the same size, it says dry.
Another big point is how your water is made up. Water with low buffering, will be more prone to changes than hard alkaline water with high buffering qualities. Basic definition of buffering is that it resists change so more buffering lets you get away with more things than soft acidic water with little buffering. General "look and the rounded end in the forth picture looks like it did spend quite a lot of time bouncing around in the water to rub that end round, so I would go with that item without any worry in any water.
But if one were totally wrong, I would expect it to only be a problem with coloring the water like tea, not a real problem for killing fish, etc. as those are not very common. I have hard water and often use old, totally dry cedar.
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