Forum > Aquarium Decor, DIY and Equipment.

'Safe' Woods and ones to avoid

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clownman:
Well I thought I should do a bit of digging and see if I could try and build a list of what wood's safe and what's not. After hours of trawling Ive found a lot of differing species of wood from various sources.  *fool*
I have not yet tried any of these, so please don't think because theyre on the safe list they're totally safe.

So the concensus on the info on safe wood is:
Sycamore...
Apple, bark on ok
Pear
Cherry
Fruit wood should be dried thoroughly because of the sugary sap

Heather wood, the twiggy bits great for nano tanks
Oak, ok with bark
Beech
Hawthorn
Birch must be totally dry (no sap) and free of bark because it contains pitch
eucalyptus check this as some leach oil for a long time
cork bark

Maybe's - probably avoid
Maple is contentious… some say yes, some say no, so probably avoid it
Hazel - mixed opinions on this one,

Definate no's are:
PINE (that's where turps comes from)
YEW, totally toxic.
lilac, seeds are poisonous,
ivy poisonous
Grape rots very quickly
Cedar
Cypress
Spruce
(Avoid anything with a cone on it!)
Sumac
Walnut (has been known to kill cattle so a few tetra's aint gonna last long)
Horse chestnut - conkers are poisonous when young and fresh

There are a huge amount of documented ways to prep it too. The safest is the old favourite… boil it for a few hours or more.
What about bigger pieces that are impossible to boil…Some bake them in the oven, some strip the bark and give it a pour over with boiling water.
Nothing definative really, so I would suggest, be safe where possible and boil it.

No mention of willow yet  *crazy*

I'll keep looking, or if anyone has any experience with any of the ones mentioned please add to the list

Catzilla:
I know it's not technically a wood, but I have seen coconut shells used before. Lovely ones with mosses growing on them!

What thoughts do people have on those? Do they need to be boiled too?

clownman:
I use them, hair on… apisto's love them with an 'eye' knocked out of the top.
yes I would recommend boiling them, you never know what could have got on them before they reach us.

Adam:
Nice one Cman!

Catzilla - Coconut shells are perfectly fine, they're quite often used as spawning caves for kribensis. The bare minimum you should do to prepare is make sure its totally free of flesh and give it a quick boil. They will release tannins though and if you don't want them boil them until the waters clear.

Adam:
Just thought I'll add, bamboo shoots are safe and you can get them in loads of sizes.

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