Guidelines for wild caught hardscape material? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Guidelines for wild caught hardscape material?

There is no LFS within driving distance which has anything like the typical ADA fare and mailordering such stuff is to me ludicrous as you have no idea what you will get in terms of look/shape/etc (and it aint cheap!).

So I'm back to looking around me for material and I'm wondering if there are any basic principals. IE, in terms of safety and suitability are we looking for certain types of woods (oak, maple, pine, cedar), are root pieces better/worse than branches, etc?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 01:31 PM
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Hard wood. Dried wood. Branches.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 01:38 PM
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Any wood is fine really, as long as it looks good and have been dead for a while. I'd stay away from redwood cedar since it's known to have anti rotting properties.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 05:07 PM
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Most ebay sellers will show pictures and dimensions of the exact piece you'll be buying. It's still not free, but you'll get high quality pieces and you can keep an eye out until a piece comes along that matches what you're looking for.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 11:22 PM
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If you can find something that's been soaking in water for a while, that's probably good. Otherwise, try to find something that's been well-weathered, repeatedly exposed to rain and sun.

If you think a piece of wood is questionable, try scratching/breaking a piece of it off and see if you can smell any odors. 'Earthy' or 'wood' smell is fine, but if it's more like resin, pine, cedar, or something else, you probably want to avoid it, or at least give it a pretty thorough soaking.

I think root pieces tend to look better then branches, but that's a personal preference, and it all depends on the specific piece of wood involved.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 01:18 AM
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Go to your local streams, rivers, lakes, ponds. Look for color washed "drift woods". Any of these woods will work in your aquarium. Just make sure to take a stiff bristled brush and remove any dirt or extras, and I always sterilize it in boiling water for a good 10 minutes to make sure all contaminants are gone, then rinse with fresh water.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 04:41 PM
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Oak and pecan work well for me. They leach tannins like mad, especially the oak, but they look neat.

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My current project, a 65 gallon aquarium stocked with vernal pool fauna.
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