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Are backyard woods OK in a viv?
#1
I took a walk out in the woods in my back yard and found a few nice pieces of old wood that have lots of great character to them. Not 100% sure what they are but most likely either oak or pine. would they be ok if dried, cleaned and boiled?
Jon
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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#2
I would stay away from pine. The saps in the wood will cause problems. The oak...i see people use the stuff, I personally dont recommend it. The breakdown point of it is nothing like the good mopani woods etc that you buy. But if you do decide to use it, make sure its boiled or at least baked thoroughly to kill off any parasites and bacteria on it. Hopefully some more people will respond here.
Thanks, TJ
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#3
yeah...stay away from sappy woods. I'd boil it.....give it a 5% bleach splash and heavy water rinse.

Most North American woods do not do well in a high humidity vivarium and decompose quickly...that's the reason for the desirability of Mopani.
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#4
with the pine, even if it's old, and rotten it won't be good still? not sure how much sap would be left in this thing i guess i could bake it and see if i get any sap out of it. i have it drying out in the sun right now. if the pine isn't good, then i guess i won't use any as i'm not 100% sure what kind kind of tree any of the pieces came from as they're all old and rotted.
Jon
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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#5
also, you guys mention using oak leaves in your vivs. i'm guessing the north american oaks aren't good to use?
Jon
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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#6
fishguyturnedfrog Wrote:also, you guys mention using oak leaves in your vivs. i'm guessing the north american oaks aren't good to use?
Are you talking about the leaves or the wood? I use plenty of native oak leaves (scarlet, pin, white, red, willow) as a mid-layer of leaf litter. Cork bark is from cork oaks and that is widely used. Oak wood will degrade more quickly in the viv, but it should be suitable. I have a cool oak stump that I am thinking about using in my next build, of course I will sanitize it first. Quercus is a predominately temperate genus, so most oak products used will come from similar climates (there are some exceptions). Essentially, you should be fine using oak wood or leaves, but don't expect the wood to last as long as tropical hardwoods.
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
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#7
field,
my first question was the wood then i went on the the leaves also. i found 5 or 6 really nice pieces of old rotted wood i found out in the woods behind my house. one is a really nice, big piece with a nice rotted out knot i was going to use as a planter but since they're so far gone, they're pretty much unidentifiable so i'm thinking of nixing the whole idea.

as far as the oak leaves, it really doesn't matter how fast they decompose as i've got an endless supply in my yard. i also have a couple elm trees and some red tip bushes. how do you think these leaves will fair in the viv?
Jon
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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#8
Same thing....those leaves will only last a couple weeks or so as opposed to magnolia leaves which should be double that.

Otherwise, as long as they are clean and chemical free....and free of insect hitchikers....they can be used if you desire.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#9
That is actually ideal, just keep replacing the oak leaves and you will get a nice humus which your plants will love. Plus invert production will be boosted by adding fresh leaves. Maybe get a few mag leaves to mix in as well. If the stumps are already pretty decomposed it may not be worth your time to use them. They elm should be fine, but I'm not sure about the red-tip photinia.
-Field Smith
Some frogs...
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#10
I've had good success with found wood from the wooded areas here in PA. I don't know what the type of woods are though. I did bleach them first, in a kiddie pool, and leave them in the sun for a while to dry out. I haven't had any issues to date, and there's a nice moss growth starting on the exposed areas of the wood.
There was no sap on these pieces I found though.
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#11
bleach is not the best way to go with wood. It does not always get all the bleach out.
I usually wild collect it. Soak it overnight then, boil or bake it at 250 degrees for about 2 hours (watching to make sure I dont burn my house down)
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#12
Well, took a ride today to 2 different places to see if I could get some answers on the wood that I've found. 1 was a pet shop that deals mostly in snakes and lizards. The other was a tree nursery and the owner is supposed to be an expert on trees. The tree expert said that all but one piece is hard wood the and the 1 that's not is pine but completely out of sap being so old. The hard wood, the big piece which is my favorite is supposed to be elm. 2 pieces are oak and 2 are the crappy swamp maples. So now, I feel much better about this. Not really concerned about how fast they deteriorate since I've got about 60 acres of woods in my back yard and can find more.

The owner of the pet shop first tried to trade me a $250 snake for all of the pieces. Told him no thanks, I hate snakes. He then tried giving me a used/cracked 62 gallon bow front tank that would hold enough water for what I'm going to need for a viv for all of the pieces. Told him I have no place for it and without a stand, I really didn't know what to do with it. He then offered me a 20 gallon long tank with a wood stand. hmmmmmmm....well, the 20 long isn't going to be high enough for what I need. Then it was $125 cash. Finally told him to bring me a couple bags of the Zilla Jungle Mix Fir & Sphagnum Peat Moss and he can come up anytime he wants and find all he wants. So, he'll be here this sunday. He was also interested in the PDF and wondered how good of a hobby it was and if he should get into selling them. I told him to come to this site as it's where I'm getting all my info.

Here's some pics of what I found that got him all excited.
Jon
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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#13
Nice wood. Be sure to be nice to the LFS peeps. They will be a source and a value to the hobby. You can trade and sell them stuff too - surplus frogs, feeder insects ect.

Good stuff.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#14
Philsuma Wrote:Nice wood. Be sure to be nice to the LFS peeps. They will be a source and a value to the hobby. You can trade and sell them stuff too - surplus frogs, feeder insects ect.

Good stuff.


Thanks Phil,

That's why I offered to have him come to my house and he can look around himself for it. I don't get down to his place often since he's an hour and a half away and his fish are very BLAH!!! I hate doing it but I buy what few fish I have from petsmart and petco. I hate snakes as I said and if I want lizards in a tank, I'll go out my back door and can catch anoles all day long but he does have some other stuff I wanted like the substrate. But I love the big piece which I'm going to cut the sides some and hallow out that knot more and make it into a planter. I have a vision for it in my tank that's not here already and who knows what else I'll find out there. I'll make him do the hard work for $20 worth of substrate.
Jon
1.0.6 D. Leucomelas
0.0.2 D. Azureus
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