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Rhododendron and Kalmia (forget the common name) and two poisonous shrubs but make excellent (and safe) wood after you remove the bark and boil.. and boil and boil and boil. Saprolegnia grows at first.

Looks similar to redmoor root wood/ "branch wood" by ADA.
I live in the Pacific Northwest, and was excited to see I could use Rhoddy for decorations, but I am confused about the Saprolegnia comment (and worried, now). Are you saying this protozoa (mold/fungi) is a normal inhabitant of Rhoddy wood? Or is that true of any wood you introduce into an aquarium? Can you clarify and provide more discussion on this?
 

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Any wood has the possibility of growing fungi.

As a very rough concept:
Fungi live by growing on dead matter such as fallen leaves, dead trees and bushes (still standing or fallen). It is their job in the circle of life to begin breaking down dead plants and start the recirculation of the nutrients in the leaves, branches, flowers, fruit and so on.

When we place (dead) wood in our aquariums one of the most common organisms that grows on it is a cloudy white gooey stuff. Occasionally referred to as 'wood snot'.
Some fish will eat it, especially Loricariads, and shrimp.

If you add such wood to your tank before the tank is cycled, then take a few weeks doing the fishless cycle, the fungi may grow too massive. If this happens, I would remove the wood and hose it off, brush it off with a soft brush, or other method of removal. Even leaving it in the tank and brushing it off with a siphon running nearby. Do not waste a lot of time trying to get 100%, though. It will come back. You are just trying to de-bulk it so it does not fill the tank.

In the end, it is not harmful to the fish (as I said, they can eat it) but it can be a bit too much.

I have heard several reports of grape wood being especially bad for this, but IME grape wood seems not to grow this material in my tanks.

Good to know about Rhody and Kalmia. I would sure be suspicious of fresh wood, though. Make sure it is well seasoned to break down the toxins.
 

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I put some Ash wood in a tank last year. Mushrooms grow where the wood is above at at the water line. They don't seem to bother anything. Under the water no fungus seems to grow at all. From this I guess that the fungus really has some relation to the actual wood.
 

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This thread scares me, because of my lack of knowledge. For example, I see Rhododendron listed as a wood here, for aquariums. Rhododendrons have the toxin Grayanotoxin. As little as .2% of body weight ingested can be toxic. It is in the leaves, stems, branches, and roots.

How can this be safe in an aquarium with loaches, pleco's, and any other fish that may rasp on the wood or 'swallow' toxins released in the water.

Very confused whether verifiable research, vetted by professionals, is used in these discussions.
 

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Thanks! I am concerned about the toxins in Rhododendrons more than the fungus. They are lethal in small doses. I wish I could find a fish scientist that actually has studied whether toxins poisonous to land animals were toxic to fish (naturally occurring, not man made pollution stuff).
 

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so I cut down a bunch of trees in my yard over a year ago and I have and Idea for a new tank I want to do. I was thinking of using persimmon trees in it. I have searched the web and cant find anything that says they are not aquarium safe. Has anyone else here used them or know if they are or not???
 

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I have persimmons in my yard(s). In AR there is a lot of them. Good to eat to.
As for aquarium use im no help, its a hardwood I believe so mental checkmark there (good thing, wont decompose quickly)
I say Boil it, and get the tannins out, inspect it really good, then try it out and tell us how it goes for you.
 

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I just took out a Mexican Lime tree that was maybe 20 years old. I saved some of the roots from the root ball because I thought they might look really good in a tank. I also harvest and dry local wood in a solar kiln, so I'm one step ahead on the drying. I've never seen anybody mention using a citrus tree in an aquarium. My plan at this point in to remove the bark, kiln dry the wood for at least 6 months, and then start the process of water logging the wood. I also want to keep an eye on the PH of the water. Currently I think that just because the roots came from a citrus tree doesn't necessarily mean the wood will have a greater tendency to affect PH. Roots are normally responsible for uptake of water and nutrients, but I want to monitor to get some actual data. There hasn't been a recent post to this thread, but if anyone has a comment, I would be interested.
 
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