Cypress Stump

Justin Healy wrote:

>I've been lurking for two months now and have really learned a lot from
>all of you. thanks! I am about to help a friend of mine set up a 125
>gal. tank as a plant tank. We were wondering if we could use a section
>of a cypress stump that had been soaked for a week in a ten-percent
>solution of bleached and then thoroughly dechlorinated? Any opinions?

I once placed a cedar stump that I found near Austin, TX in one of my
tanks.  I went through several months of bleaching/rinsing/drying to try to
rid the wood of any unwanted bugs, and I must say that it looked awesome in
my 20 gallon tank.  However, I found that just about any type of catfish
that I put in this tank eventually died.  This included corys, otos, and
farlowellas (ouch!).  I had never had any trouble keeping these types of
fish before, and I haven't had any trouble with them since I removed the
stump from the tank.

I also noticed that the otos and farlowellas, which normally love to rasp
on wood, went nowhere near the cedar stump.

My conclusion is that there is some sort of toxin in the cedar wood that
leaches into the water and is poisonous to various types of catfish.  I
would suspect the same might be true for your cypress stump, and I would
definitely test it in a quarantine tank with some "stunt" fish to see if
anyone is affected.  Note that in general, I have had good success with
putting wood in my tanks after bleaching and rinsing/dechlorinating.  Most
of the time it works quite well, but only with hard woods such as oak, etc.

Steve in Ann Arbor, were it is as nice as it could possibly be today.