Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Near Orlando, Florida
My guidelines were pretty simple.
While our water levels are low, walk through the swamp.
Pick up, dig up, yank out any piece of wood that will be big enough for an aquarium. I left many many small chunks behind.
Everything I found was either still under water, or just sticking out of the mud/muck. Grabbed the shovel and went to work.
The three larger, redish looking pieces were quite a find to me. Started out by pulling a smallish piece that was maybe 6 or 7 inches out of the muck. Realizing then that there was another much larger piece there that showed itself after yanking the first piece out. So now the shovel was needed. About 15 minutes later I have three pretty awesome looking red colored/weathered pieces.
A bit of back story....
I have a bit of property that backs up to a 12,000 acre preserve. It's become more of a recreational place but it's still a nice place to be able to go to. Palmetto flats, pine trees, and cypress heads (aka a swamp). Tons of area to go gathering for driftwood and native aquatic plants, fish, and inverts.... Grass/ghost/glass shrimp a plenty.
As for other guidelines....
I know they're certain types of wood you do not want to use in aquariums. Please don't quote this but, I believe walnut/pecan trees along with other trees have some toxin in them that is harmful to fish, possibly even the plants themselves. But it's been many years since I've seen that information. I imagine a good ole google search would be a wealth of info for both you and I lol.
10 gallon low-tech Betta bowl...for now.