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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a wild honeysuckle in the back yard, the thing is more a tree than a vine now. It's probably about 12 feet tall. It has some really cool gnarly, twisted dead wood that my husband has cut off. All the bark has long since gone. I have searched and searched and cannot find if this wood is safe for an aquarium. It is very, very hard. I cannot mark it with my thumbnail at all.

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. Yes, very interesting on the berries and leaves. Makes me wonder if that toxicity carries through to old dead wood though? Thanks for your help.
 

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Sounds like it is the same as so many plants. Sap bad!

I didn't know that about the berries and leaves. I never had honeysuckle to pick the flowers and drink the drop of nectar as a child [did that with shrimp plant instead] but so many do. Is that dangerous?

Apple seeds contain that same cyanide precursor stuff but we eat apples and smoke with the wood. Avocado pits and peels are poisonous but the pulp is eaten. My rabbit ate dead oleander leaves, fresh ones are deadly and she never touched those. Most plants aren't completely helpless against browsing animals!

If the wood is completely dead and dry it is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I remember doing that with honeysuckle! And the trumpet flowers too. From all I have read on it it appears that only the berries and leaves are toxic to some animals. They actually make cat toys out of the wood as apparently it has something similar to a catnip-like attraction to them.

Some very good points on the apples, avocados and such, thank you.

If it were toxic how long do you think it would take to have an effect on the fish? How long would one need to watch for signs up distress? A day? Week? Month? As I work from home I could watch very closely. I might try a small branch in my hospital tank and watch for problems. Like is it going to leech and make the water color or does it cause any distress.

Thank you for the input.
 

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Seems to me that if there is going to be any toxicity, you'll see signs in the first few days. After that, I'd guess the leaching would go down, not up.

If you want to be cautious, you could soak and or boil the wood beforehand. This should leach out a good deal of whatever is in the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Seems to me that if there is going to be any toxicity, you'll see signs in the first few days. After that, I'd guess the leaching would go down, not up.

If you want to be cautious, you could soak and or boil the wood beforehand. This should leach out a good deal of whatever is in the wood.
The pieces I want in my 55 gallon would be much too large to boil. Not sure I have anything big enough to soak them in either, except the bathtub perhaps. But I could boil and/or soak a couple smaller pieces to experiment with. That was my thought on the toxicity, it should be apparent in a few days, but I wasn't entirely sure.
 

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Unfortunately, this post is over eight years old and that often means folks have moved on to other fun items and don't check the forum.
But then there is never a bad time to talk about what wood and our tanks do, so why not?
My thinking on what is and is not safe fits with what one poster said and that it is the sap or moisture in the wood, rather than the rest which is mostly just cellulose. It is quite common to read about cedar being dangerous to use but my experience is that it works fine if TOTALLY dry.
That is often a hard term to get across to folks who don't deal with wood much as totally dry doesn't mean the same as just feeling of it and not finding it wet or damp. Wood workers use the terms green or wet in a pretty different way than we do for most things, so dry means a lot different to them.
I also feel our different water is also a factor in what we can use without trouble. I have mostly lived in areas where the water is very hard and alkaline so it has tons of buffering and that keeps anything I put in my tanks from moving the PH in any real amount.
So part of my use of Cedar in tanks may depend on water which will not let any small amount of moisture change things due to the high buffering.
I treat new things in the tank very much like going swimming in a new place. I wade in carefully until I see what happens, rather than diving in head first!!
Try it and see how it goes---but carefully? Possibly why they sell feeder minnows in fish shops?
 

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Try it and see how it goes---but carefully? Possibly why they sell feeder minnows in fish shops?
Not related to the subject title, but I once had someone return fish to my store that they didn't know what were. They were clearly a cyprinid but almost looked like African mbuna cichlids in build and body structure. I had to study them then Google for a while for a while to finally determine that they were grown out rosy red feeder minnows!

As for the honeysuckle, I have it all over my property and it's never anything but a thin vine. I had no idea it could grow into a branchy structure, let alone a tree-like one. But this is likely because I usually pull it long before it could ever get that way I suppose. I agree with testing a small batch in a tank with pest snails and perhaps a cheap fish.
 
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