11-01-2011, 02:26 PM
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I would avoid ocean wood, it will have absorbed salt and this may or may not easily come out with boiling/baking. Freshwater wood would be better.
There is still the issue of parasites, chemicals and other toxins. But many, including me, have used wood from freshwater lakes and rivers. Make sure it is hard and firm; wood like oak and beech is best, and you should always avoid softwoods and all conifer wood. Boiling will usually deal with parasites. And if the collection site does not show evidence of chemical spills (oil, pesticides, etc) it may be safe. Keeping it in a tank of water (at normal tropical fish temp) for a couple weeks before placing it in the fish display is recommended.
When all is said and done, wood purchased from a fish store is usually more reliably safe. I also use the Malaysian driftwood and have had no issues to date, and I have a lot of it in my 7 tanks.