07-25-2012, 12:11 PM
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The initial question on cedar has been answered, but I just came upon this thread and would like to offer some comments on cedar.
All conifers (cedar, pine, spruce, etc) are soft woods and contain toxic substances that will leech into the water. Beig soft they also rot much quicker than hard woods. These soft woods should never be used in aquaria.
Hard woods like oak, popular, and others are safer. Of course, all wood collected outside carries the risk of introducing pathogens, insect larvae, parasites, toxins that have seeped into the wood (oil, pesticides, fertilizers,...).