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I have used plant trimmings that I think are Crape Myrtle. Very hard wood, no tannins. I do know plant material rather well, and am 90% sure it is Lagerstroemia indica or Lagerstoremia hybrid. Both species are grown around here a lot, and it is entirely possible for someone to prune then dump in the neighbor's field.
 

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In my new set up I am using Western Hemlock roots. The tree was blown down about 15 years ago and roots never touched water, except rain. I soaked them for two month and then boiled for 4-5 hours in metal trash can in the back yard fire pit. The water in the aquarium is clear from day one, no tannins or toxins.
So, from my experience, soaking and boiling Western Hemlock roots, they are very good wood for the aquascape.
 

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One that I know has not been mentioned is corkscrew willow or contorted willow branches. I've used them in my aquariums and have collected them from my back yard. They have a skin on them that you'll want to clean off. They will sink over time. I like to use the smaller end branches. They have a nice curly shape that resembles root structures, or use them for bare hardscape accents.

 

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Hi. I am new to this forum and relatively new to planted aquariums. I set up my 45 gal last September. I have been trying to determine if a branch from one of my parents trees would be acceptable. The tree is a Gimlet which is a kind of Eucalyptus. The wood is very dense, sinking immediately, and very smooth after is drops its bark each year. I added a small twig to one of my betta tanks about a month ago. He is doing fine but I thought I would ask the experts before I add this when I rescape my tank next month.
 

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[snip]I have been trying to determine if a branch from one of my parents trees would be acceptable. The tree is a Gimlet which is a kind of Eucalyptus.[snip]
At this point, it looks like you've got more experience with Eucalyptus than the rest of us! I just searched the thread for "eucalyptus," and this is the first mention of that tree. Your experiment with the Betta suggests that it may be safe, but, if it was me, I'd want to try another experiment, this time with more wood in the water, before deciding that it is OK. Please, let us know your results, if you do go ahead with this.
 

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I used pine that had floated around a reservoir for some time- I know it goes against common convention but it sank readily and behaved itself. Possibly proving that most things which have floated around for a while are probably safe and realistically, who wants to look at the same tank set up for the entire life of the wood? I guess it's no good if it literally melts in your tank but you get what I'm saying.
 

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A possible addition to the list: glossy ligustrum, Ligustrum lucidum. Three months ago I set up an El Natural 10 gallon with a large (relative to the tank) piece of this species.

No problems so far. The wood was well weathered, and needed work with a Dremel and power washer to remove the soft parts. It sank without soaking.

This species is a common landscape plant and exotic weed in the southern USA as far west as Texas. Volunteer plants often need to be removed from landscapes and natural areas, and the plant develops a fairly gnarled base at a young age.
 

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This has been very informative. I was going to buy wood for my tank at a LFS and was shocked at most of the prices and most of the piece just weren't the right shape I was looking for...I plan on adding a few pieces of oak to my 10 gallon.:D
 

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Three comments:

• Sage (even large trunks) rot very fast.

• What is "Malaysian Driftwood"? If a specific wood is being referred to, someone should find the latin name for it.

• A lot of conjecture in this thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Three comments:

• Sage (even large trunks) rot very fast.

• What is "Malaysian Driftwood"? If a specific wood is being referred to, someone should find the latin name for it.

• A lot of conjecture in this thread!
I don't see sage listed.

This isn't intended to be a scientific exercise in woods. This is a list of woods that many people have kept in their tanks with no adverse affects on fauna. The Malaysian D/W I have purchased at LFS say only that. I don't know what type wood it was. I know it was very heavy and did not float. Maybe someone else can comment.
 

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Howdy all! I use and have used Cypress wood in tanks for quite some time with no issues or problems. I think if there was problems with Cypress in the water then 2 of the best fishing lakes in Texas would be lost. I love Cypress simply cause it will outlast any other wood in water and moss attaches readily to it.
 

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Bring on some more. So far here is the list. I'll leave cedar off until we have a concensus. What are the trees that grow in the swaps of Louisiana? Aren't those cedar - with the knees? Also somewhere I read crepe myrtle; is that ok?

1. Manzanita
2. Colophospermum mopane (AKA mopani, mopane drift wood)
3. Chola wood,
4. Rose wood roots,
5. Malaysian drift wood,
6. Ribbon wood
Nope those trees with knees are Cypress!
 

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Can anybody tell me if the Rose Wood Root referred to in the first post is referring to the root of rosewood or the woody root of a rose? I am just asking because I have a large root from an old rose bush and I am trying to figure out if I can use it.
 

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Bruce, I am not completely certain, but I think in this case "rose wood" refers to a tropical hardwood used in cabinet and furniture work, and so named for its red color. This is a different species from ornamental roses.

But you still might be able to use your rose stump. Have you boiled or pressure washed it? Has the bark come off? Does the wood seem hard and durable? I doubt that it would be toxic. It would be a risk, but you could try it, and let us know if we can add it to the list or not.

--Michael
 

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Thanks Michael.
I was just checking to see if anybody had used this root before. I dug it up last spring. (It was attacking the mailman.) I’ve started to remove the bark and shape it a bit. I figured I would leave it dry for the winter.
 
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