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Re: Cedar in aquaria
I know the cedar thread has been pretty much worn out by now, but I just
got back in town and wanted to add my $.02. I once picked out a nice
"cedar" stump from a cleared lot in the Texas hill country north of
Austin. As someone else has already pointed out, there are a lot of
trees in north america that get lumped into the "cedar" category that are
not really cedar, so I can't exactly say what kind of tree this was. At
any rate, I am pretty sure that placement of this stump in my aquarium
led to my inability to keep cory cats - I couldn't keep a cory cat alive
for more than a week. All of the rest of my fish seemed unaffected, but
the cory cats didn't make it. I also lost several farlowella catfish
around the same period.
I would definitely call this stump "seasoned" - it had been drying in the
hot texas sun for a good long while, and before I placed it in my tank it
soaked several months in water (initially with a bit of bleach, after
that just tap water, changed weekly). The stump never changed the color
of my tank water, that I could tell.
There's not a lot of conclusive evidence here, but, in summary, I would
be suspicious of any type of cedar or juniper wood in your tanks - some
fish might not be affected at all, but others might die in a very short
time period. The concerns with toxic aromatics are, in my view, valid,
but the effects will vary widely depending on your livestock.
in Ann Arbor, MI