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Re: Cedar in aquaria

Hi all,

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