oak tree - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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oak tree

I found a free oak tree at my local CL, just wondering if its safe to use in an aquarium?

CL description:These were three large oak trees that were cut to ground level. The stumps were then left to rot in place. After a few years I got impatient and pried them out of the ground. In the picture they are upside down.

They are still rather solid and look very interesting. To someone with much more imagination than I, these might make for a interesting project. The tall one is about 30".

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 03:06 AM
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I had one fall this year and have been using part of it and it's been just fine. it was dead for awhile and the parts I used were not buried though.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 03:32 AM
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With a little work they will be totally usable. The problems that might come up are more irritations if you treat them right.
First is that they are dirty and will have lots of loose stuff hanging on. You can brush them and spray them with a hose to remove what you can. There may be some still come loose once they are soaked but that means you might have to scoop some loose stuff out. Not a big thing for most.
Got a way to cut them down to size to fit your tank?
Get a container like a plastic tub to do a soak. There may be bugs and lots of things inside the old wood but a bleach water soak will let the bleach soak in and kill/sterilize most anything inside. Much like we treat plants with a dip only much longer as the wood is much thicker and takes time. Don't worry about killing this plant!!
A trash can maybe? Add 1/2 cup or so of the really plain cheap bleach that has no colors or scents added. Watch not to get the bleach on your clothes!!!! The bleach may turn the wood white but the color will come back in a week or so in the tank.
Let it soak at least overnight or longer so that it really soaks in. You may need some rocks, etc. to hold it down. When done soaking, take it out , rinse it to dilute the chlorine and then let it dry until you can smell no more chlorine. Sun will make it dry quicker. The chlorine gasses off as things dry.
Figure out a way to set it in and hold it where you want it and you are good!

Wood that dry should have no color or tannins to bother you.

Last edited by PlantedRich; 05-25-2014 at 03:33 AM. Reason: added
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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got an email from the owner, he said its not actually the tree its the roots from the tress. still usable?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 07:20 AM
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buy them as firewood, if they are not usable in your tank, then they are firewood.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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its free :-)
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 03:27 PM
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Yes. Still good. The tree itself is okay but the roots will often be more interesting . More character? The reason I use so many roots is that they do twist and turn in ways that branches don't I now have a piece with a small rock grown into the roots. Not something that we find in the branches.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 01:08 AM
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I'd guess that roots may actually be durable and better for use in an aquarium. Give it a try.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 02:32 AM
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I am not sure if this is relevant - especially if you follow the soak and dip routine - but oak is a species that has lots of acidic tannins in the wood. If the roots are aged or even beginning to rot then I doubt you need any extra effort, but if the wood is greenish or relatively fresh then give it a good l-o-n-g soak with water changes.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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ive decided not to get it, the owner is not very cooperative in giving the directions to where i can pick up the free oak tree roots,,, hes telling me" take that road then exit after five miles etc... maybe hes not aware of a navigation system ;-)

anyway thank you guys ;-)
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 04:57 AM
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I have used fallen oak in a tank.
It was Quecus douglasii. About 1 year on the ground, maybe less.
The bark was the most interesting part, so I added that to a tank while I was cycling the tank. The water turned as deep red as the darkest red wine. Could not see into it at all.
It took a month of water changes until the tank was reasonably clear.

When I wanted to use more of this I tossed it into my pond until it sank, then most of the tannins were leached out.

Loricariads loved it, shaved the bark down til it was so thin it broke when I was cleaning the tank.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinH View Post
ive decided not to get it, the owner is not very cooperative in giving the directions to where i can pick up the free oak tree roots,,, hes telling me" take that road then exit after five miles etc... maybe hes not aware of a navigation system ;-)

anyway thank you guys ;-)
Got to feel for you on this point! Too bad but I find lots of folks who seem to have never considered going out of the normal route. If you don't know where something like "that old house" is located, they seem to think you are an idiot!
The wood should have been good but not if you can't find it!
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