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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any definite information on the effects of cedar driftwood in a planted tank? How does it effect the flora/fauna, and is it possible to neutralize harmful effects?
 

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Any idea on what type of cedar? That along with age will determine how/if toxic it is. Tom Barr uses southern swamp cedar pretty frequently with no issues. I'm guessing that the swamp cedar is a hardwood, which is great for aquariums. other cedars, like the stuff I have around me in the NW, is softer and I would imagine more toxic,

I would think that carbon and water changes would help reduce the toxicity, but thats pure speculation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know the specific type, but it's root wood that I collected from my place in northern california.

I would like to know exactly what makes it so toxic though, and how those toxins effect the water and any flora/fauna.
 

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It's probably red cedar, and red cedar has natural antifungals in the wood, which can be toxic in an aquarium. It's the reason red cedar is used so often for outdoor patios, furniture, etc- it's very pest-resistant. The qualities that make it good for an outdoor building material make it bad to be put in a fish tank.

Southern yellow cedar is OK.
 

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I don't know the specific type, but it's root wood that I collected from my place in northern california.

I would like to know exactly what makes it so toxic though, and how those toxins effect the water and any flora/fauna.
Western cedar, used it and have had some for over two years, never an issue.

Rule: old well soaked wood, really does not matter what type of wood, as long as it's old, well seasoned, not fresh etc, removed the rot/soft stuff etc.

If you have not collected any driftwood, why tell others about all the risk, without explaining the common sense behind it? Use only old long dead wood, well soaked, cut off the rot/soft stuff, brush/sand blast etc. Use AC if you have a lot of tannins(which is often good for most fish and reduces toxicity of metals etc).

As far anti fungal chemicals, Boron is one and we add that, so is Primafix, Melax etc, it does not imply that these are in anyway bad for fish.

The water also leaches these out a lot faster than damp air.
Activated carbon easily removes medications like those about, which are anti fungal plant based chemicals also from trees........., so do regular water changes.

Here's my toxic stew using western root cedar:



No issues, well soaked, still smells a little of cedar, old, I used carbon to get rid of the yellowing in the start, but have not since.

There's a lot of wood in there relative to tank size also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Western cedar, used it and have had some for over two years, never an issue.

Rule: old well soaked wood, really does not matter what type of wood, as long as it's old, well seasoned, not fresh etc, removed the rot/soft stuff etc.

If you have not collected any driftwood, why tell others about all the risk, without explaining the common sense behind it? Use only old long dead wood, well soaked, cut off the rot/soft stuff, brush/sand blast etc. Use AC if you have a lot of tannins(which is often good for most fish and reduces toxicity of metals etc).

As far anti fungal chemicals, Boron is one and we add that, so is Primafix, Melax etc, it does not imply that these are in anyway bad for fish.

The water also leaches these out a lot faster than damp air.
Activated carbon easily removes medications like those about, which are anti fungal plant based chemicals also from trees........., so do regular water changes.

Here's my toxic stew using western root cedar:



No issues, well soaked, still smells a little of cedar, old, I used carbon to get rid of the yellowing in the start, but have not since.

There's a lot of wood in there relative to tank size also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
BE-U-TE-FUL tank Tom!!!... but it looks a little cloudy. Is that just the picture? Just wondering....
 

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Awesome tank indeed. Im wondering also about the slight haze in the water. My tank has the same wood. And the water has a slightly yellowish tint to it.
the yellow tint is probably tannins leaching out of the wood. its not a problem per say but if it looks ugly use carbon to soak it up. it slows down and eventually stops in time.
 

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Getting back on topic:

Is there a certain region of the country where the "aquarium taboo" species of Cedars reside?

Can we try and put together a list of cedars that are questionable? Scientific names would be great!
 

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If I understand Tom Barr correctly, very few, if any wood species are harmful to the water, as long as the wood is well seasoned (old) and the decayed parts removed, and the wood well washed and soaked before adding to the tank. "Cedar" means different things to different people too. I grew up in the mid-west, where "cedar" was actually juniper. Here in California "cedar" can mean juniper, real cedar, and who knows what else.

I think we need to just emphasize the importance of using only well seasoned wood, wood that has turned gray from weathering, wood that has no rotten areas or fungus infested areas, and wood that has been well cleaned and soaked.
 
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