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So I am wondering what kind of branches I can put into my planted tank. I have access to a Fig tree, an Ash tree, and a Palo Verde. I also have access to some sort of willow tree and then anything growing behind my parent's house in Phoenix, Arizona. Does anyone have any idea on what types of wood will work? Anything I need to be worried about? Which type of plants leech toxins into the water and which ones just kind of fall apart over time? I have searched the net a bit but couldn't find much. Thanks guys.
 

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Felix - by "alive" do you mean still growing on the tree?

I am not being a smartass - I am really curious because I had a stump removed from my property and the service pulled up some great branching root structures that would make great tank decorations.

It is technically "dead" (i.e. no longer growing). Can I boil these and put them in?
 

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hmmm, maybe you can get a poison control pamphlet to see if any of the plants you are considering are toxic?

I'd worry about the Willow since willow bark was used before aspirin:

"Willow bark's most important medicinal qualities are its ability to ease pain and reduce inflammation. In fact, it was from salicylic acid, one of the ingredients in willow bark, that aspirin was originally synthesized. Studies have identified several other components of willow bark which have antioxidant, fever-reducing, antiseptic, and immune-boosting effects."

I believe grape vine has been used, and I have a cedar stump that I got on ebay in my tank (I like it since it doesn't leach colors like the stuff from the LFS, only thing it is taking forever to waterlog!).

Figs have sap too, I don't know what that'll do to your tank.

Found this article:

Using Wood in Aquarium with Tropical Fish

Also found this on plants toxic to fish:

CNYKOI - Plants poisonous to fish

Also found this on what types of wood a dealer uses:

Old River Rat Driftwood, Tennessee Freshwater Driftwood

Tina
 

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Im happy i stumbled onto this post. I have found a great spot in a stream/ creek that has very very old downed Cedar and White Pine trees. There is a particular spot where three creeks come together and the driftwood I have found there is absolutley amazing. The shapes are curling and windy and pointed. I have put peices in my tank and my brother has also put some of the peices in his. Everything seems to be fine. Should I be in any way worried about Cedar?
 

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Cedar and redwood are good, so is oak.
Bald Cypress, southern cedar is very nice.
Most hardwoods work, desert woods are particularly good, mopani is a little tree from southern Africa that's basically a desert plant.

Air wood, green trees, rot, that's the bad stuff.
In general, the denser and older hard wood, the better.

I've collected wood going on 25 years and have not had any issues, I think many are just playing it safe in their advice, but common sense will get you a long long way here.

Do weekly water changes and you will also reduce any potential issue.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I have locally collected driftwood in literally all my tanks and hav'nt had problems yet.
 

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Then go up in the mountains and see if you can find so old downed Juniper, or various other harder conifers or hardwoods
Got plenty of Rocks there too.

Desert Almond will work also.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I have palm fronds and coconut shells in my tank. my fish actually ate through the coconut shell wall. the livebearers and gouramis love it, the tetras and barbs dont touch it.
 

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never put "green wood" in the tank. this is wood that if you were to cut or break it open is still green in the middle. this is wood that was only very recently cut off a tree and is technically still alive. the wood should be long dead and dry, like dead for a couple years. if you put green wood in a tank it will just rot. boiling will not "kill" it. wood is not like a daisy where it will wilt and die in a few days, or instantly if you boil it. because of woods rigid structure, it has to be allowed to just sit for several months/years to become properly "dead" and no longer green inside before it is safe to prepare for an aquarium
 
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