04-03-2010, 06:17 PM
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Thought I should share this with you, on this topic. I was in one of my local fish stores earlier today, and I happened to overhear a question from another customer. He had bought a piece of manzania [spelling?] wood (which I think is mopani wood under another name, it looks the same to me) last week, saw this fungus develop, cloudy water, and two of his three Corydoras keeled over and died within a couple days; the third is still "sitting" on the bottom. I mentioned to him of my experience last week that I've already recounted in this thread, and suggested he pull the wood out and do a major water change to save the cory. He said he had already done this, fearing something on the wood.
This is too much of a coincidence. It only serves to remind all of us that wood, even purchased from reputable stores, can have substances and vigilance is needed. Proper soaking, boiling, scrubbing, or whatever may be the best for the particular wood is a sensible precaution.
Another personal experience: back around 1997 I had a situation where fish were slowly but daily dying in my 115g, and I spent weeks testing and trying to figure out what was doing it; the corys again were the first to develop symptoms--laboured respiration, lethargy for days, then rolling over dead. Finally with the help of the Curator of Freshwater Fish at the Vancouver Aquarium I found the origin of the problem to be a large piece of wood that had leeched something toxic (still don't know what it was). Removing all the wood, scrubbing the tank, replacing the filter, cleaning the gravel, washing the plants--had to remove every trace of it, as it obviously had permeated everything slowly over time. That was also a piece of wood from an aquarium store. We don't know where this stuff comes from, or what may have sometimes been in contact with it, or what species of wood it may be. Caution is prudent.