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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently using maple branches in a tank to recreate the amazon habitat of scalare, cardinal tetras, and apisto's. I'm using branches instead of the usual mopani/malayan driftwood for a more authentic sunken branch look. Now my question is, is this safe to use? It's been in the tank for around 4 or 5 weeks and I've not seen any problem with the fish or the water quality. Initially my research led me to believe that maple end branches from a dormant tree in the winter were safe. But now I'm not so sure and would just like to put my mind at ease. Since it's been around 5 weeks and everything has been fine can I assume that I'm out of the woods?(pardon the pun)

Another potential concern is that I'm still not showing any nitrates. Initially it was a planted tank so I could understand the lack of nitrate but now there are no plants. Is it possible that even after 5 weeks the branches are still alive and consuming the nitrates? Only to eventually die and cause a huge ammonia spike? Ammonia and Nitrite are zero aswell. Thanks for any replies.
 

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Maple is a hardwood and is generally considered ok if thoroughly dried out. Avoid soft woods with sap like pine, etc.

Dead wood doesn't consume nitrates or anything else. Depends on the number of fish and gallonage, but typically you should be reading some nitrates. What test kit are you using? More history on the tank would be helpful like how long set up, etc. Did yoiu ever get ammonia/nitrite readings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't do anything specifically to dry it out. However it was dry in the sense that it was dormant in the Canadian winter and not green on the inside and fresh. Leaves were long gone, etc.

Tank has been up for around 2 months. Used established filter media to from my other tank to cycle as I have done in the past. Also wanted to give the bottled bacteria's a try. Figured couldn't hurt. Couldn't find tetra safestart or Dr.Tim's so gave Superbac a try. Don't know if it did anything or not. Tested almost daily for the first 6 weeks or so. Once or twice saw .25 ammonia but other then that zero's across the board the whole time. LIke I said it was planted in the first 4 months, but no plants now. Stocking is 2 medium sized scalare, 25 medium sized cardinal tetra's, a young l200 green phantom pleco. Just added a pair of 1.5" apisto double reds. Tanks is 38 gallons filtered by a single aquaclear70 and water changes are once a week at 50%. I would think this level of stocking is not so light as to night see any nitrates? I'm using api test kits which not faulty because they do show readings on my other tank. But I don't have liquid for nitrates only strips, so maybe there is a very small level of nitrate that the less accurate strip is not showing.
 

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But I don't have liquid for nitrates only strips, so maybe there is a very small level of nitrate that the less accurate strip is not showing.
That's possible. Do the strips show nitrate levels in your other tanks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"Dead wood doesn't consume nitrates or anything else."

That is kinda what I'm wondering. Is it really even dead? Is it somehow possible that in there underwater state in the tank, they are still somehow alive despite not being attached to the tree and it's root system? Is that even possible? Could it be like Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers?

Strips do show nitrates in my other tank. Even the color for 10 on the strips is pretty different than zero. it goes 0-10,20,40, etc. I guess it could just be under 10 but the strip shows a colour just as pale as a strip that hasn't even been used. I guess I can't be sure unless i get a liquid kit.
 

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Is it somehow possible that in there underwater state in the tank, they are still somehow alive despite not being attached to the tree and it's root system? Is that even possible?
No

As long as you're sure of the ammonia/nitrite tests, I wouldn't worry too much about it. They'll eventually show up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not seen any ammonia or nitrite since the wood has been in, around 5 weeks. Tested with both the strips and liquid and nothing. Thanks!
 

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Well it seems as though that you really pay attention to what is going on continue to do that and any problems you will probably catch before anything catastrosphic can happen
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. I guess when it rots it'll be obvious? It'll just start falling apart? If I don't notice it right away, is the rotting wood going to cause damage to water chemistry beyond aesthetics? Any signs of rotting that I can look for? I suppose that will take a very long time to happen though?

Thanks Smitty. Looking at your signature, you must pay very close attention also....that's some serious filtration you got going for your pets!
 
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