Wood from backyard for NPT? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Wood from backyard for NPT?

Hi, all. I found this piece of wood in the woods behind my house, and I'd like to use it for an NPT I'm building. I need to cut it to size, and I know I need to soak it at least a few days. Is there anything else I need to do? Should I scrub the moss off, for instance? Or should I not use it at all?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 01:54 PM
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Do you know what kind of tree it's from? Is it 'soft'? (Do pieces fall off if you scratch/rub it?)

I used sticks from my backyard from a hardwood tree, and to 'prepare' them I boiled the heck out of them (if they fit, if not I threw them in a bucket to soak for a few weeks and poured boiling water on them) then I used a wire brush to scrub them down. Then I soaked them for another few days/weeks, scrubbed them periodically, and kept an eye out for any mold/discoloration etc.

Sometimes there's worms and bugs and things in the wood, just to warn you.
Are there any fish going into the NPT?
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it's for a betta sorority. The wood is a bit rotten, and I can't tell what tree it's from.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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From the scent as I cut into it, my guess is that it's cedar.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 08:01 PM
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If it is a bit rotten, skip it. You don't want rot in the tank.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 08:45 PM
Just a quick add on question....I often go hiking near my home and find awesome pieces of wood....always been hesitant to use these though, as I'm unsure of the type, toxins in the area, etc....after boiling, drying, boiling again and sun drying...is there a non-toxic sealant one can use to avoid rot or release of whatever's in the wood into the water? Not so concern with the normal color tinting issues commonly assoc with added wood - but the more harmful stuff.....
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 09:03 PM
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Hmm...good question. Maybe an aquarium safe silicone, done in several layers? I've heard of people using an epoxy resin on diy backgrounds, you could look into that.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-13-2013, 10:19 PM
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Ceder is a soft wood. It would definitely not be good in a tank. Jen is right. A hard wood seems to be what would be called for. I would think you would want to watch out for woods that have heavy tannins like oak. I would be very reluctant to pick up just any piece of wood despite its appearance. By the same token, I personally can't get too excited about putting poly-coated things in either, I almost bought something last week but got twitchy wondering if it would be safe. Questions. Questions.
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