Anyone know about Drake Elm?
Not sure if your saying you use pine in your tanks but turpentine used to be made by boiling the pine wood which is certainly not something you want in your tank. Cedar works great though I can think of 100's of other uses besides aquarium decor but others love it and use it and I agree it looks great. Even though conifers and evergreens have high concentrations of phenols and turpenines like plicatic acid, abietic acid and taxol and can cause many detrimental health effects over time, including death.The exception being Taxodium distichum which I said earlier is perfectly safe. Birch can be used safely providing it is cured wood and not taken from the local tree and dropped in. Birch in particular has 30-60 subgenus Betulenta and is full of resinous oils which is what could potentially cause damage over time to your closed system. You have to take into account that woods that fall into rivers and streams are not going to do the same damage as a closed in tank which will become much more toxic than a free flowing waterway.I appologize in advance if I come off as being abrasive but all the misinformation spread around by people who have no real information and are making suggestions based on "hunches" about certain wood is really staring to get under my skin. Cedar,pine, birch and my other woods that people don't "think" you should use have been PROVEN to be usable and unharmful in aquaria. But they make turpentine from pine... yea they distill the wood pulp of fresh trees. You'd be suprised the products that trees are involved in the production of. Does that mean they are unsafe to use? NO. Virtualy any piece of aged wood you find you can take home for your aquarium. If your worried about it, boil and soak it before you use it, just make sure to clean it. It amazes me how scared people are of wood when they are so quick to OD their tanks with a chemical closly realted to formaldehyde... In short if you don't know what your talking about please do the hobby a favor and keep your lips sealed and fingers off the keyboard until you have enough experience and credable information to say something beyond hearsay and speculation.
Soak it in a large trash can and do water changes for a few weeks. That should help leach out anything unwanted. If they are small enough you can boil them.Is there some way to clean or treat driftwood found in a freshwater lake? I found several nice pieces on recent trip to Arkansas don't want to just put in tank without making sure its safe for fish.