Black Walnut Driftwood - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Black Walnut Driftwood

So, I did not do any research before I purchased a nice Black Walnut driftwood root. After some googling, I have seen posts saying that Walnut wood releases chemicals that act as a weed killer. Harming both the plants and fish. I have lurked this board for a while now, and I don't recall seeing this talked about. Do I really need to worry? Thanks!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 02:40 AM
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The compound is juglone. The wood is not very high in it, but it is there. Some plants (like tomatoes) are killed instantly by it, and some plants (like most ferns and hostas) could care less. The leaves and the roots have the highest levels of it. Juglone is broken down in a matter of months by active microbes. I wrote an article about it for a local garden magazine years ago, since my lot had lots of black walnuts.
I've never tried it in a planted aquarium. I've used it in a vivarium and have had mosses grow on it and broms anchor their roots on it without problems.
Because everyone is cautious, everyone will tell you not to use it. But I would guess that you would be fine using it, if you soaked it for a few weeks first, changing the water every few days. That would leach out the stuff that would readily leach out. Consider using carbon in your filter when you start out with it, as well.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 02:41 AM
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Walnut kills garden plants I would imagine the same thing for aquatic plants. Don't do it.

With so many other woods available why take a chance?

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
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Last edited by GraphicGr8s; 12-10-2013 at 02:56 AM. Reason: 002220000
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 02:46 AM
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Now I notice it is a root you have, not wood. That is not as good, but if it was driftwood then it has already soaked some.

I did look, and could not find any information on whether aquatic plants are sensitive or tolerant to it.

I still think you would be ok. No guarantees, though.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 03:27 AM
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The thing I find about wood is that it is not the wood itself but the sap/tannin/juice or whatever we want to call it that is in the wood. Once all these are gone the wood fiber is left. But then there is a lot of confusion about when wood is dry to touch, dry to burn and totally dry. I've put walnut that I felt was dry in to soak and found it really does take nearly forever to fully dry. Pine takes a long time, cedar longer and walnut nearly forever.
I recently tried to soak a 6 foot long piece that had truly drifted for a really long time that I found hung in a tree after a mini-flood. It still had tannins after being dead for years.
But I also have it in a tank now and the plants that I have are overrunning the tank. I use this tank as a test and growout tank and It has gotten totally out of control but I see no signs of the wood hurting the plants.

This is the tank with the dark wood just peeking out between the plants in a 75.

This is the part that I cut off as it would not fit the tank!

This wood in my tank and water seems to be okay. But then your results may be different.
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