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General Freshwater Discussion For all topics relating to freshwater fish to the in's and out's of maintaining a freshwater tank.

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Old 05-26-2019, 06:30 PM   #1
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Question Lilac wood experiment

My neighbour ripped out an old lilac bush and the bottom of the trunk/root system was too interesting to pass up. It's too big to boil (unless I go to Tap Phong and get a pot big enough to put a person in!) and I'm not sure if it will even fit in my oven, though it would definitely fit in my 45-gallon tank. Also, it is not completely dry because the bush was still hanging onto life.

Anyway, I blasted it with the hose and now I've submerged it in a rain barrel. Maybe it will rot a bit over the summer and be in a better shape to bake by fall.

Does this sound like a crazy idea? Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:47 PM   #2
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its sure looks good … but would u not let it dry out in the sun first , I have never done it so just curious as to why u are soaking it … interested to see what others think or say … following
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:50 PM   #3
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I'm not really sure what I'm doing with it!

I thought it might be worth soaking it to help get the bark off. If I get a bunch of people saying that soaking it before letting it dry completely is a dumb idea, I will take it out of the rain barrel and let it dry out instead.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:10 PM   #4
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not saying its a bad idea , just honestly don't know …
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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You’re best bet would be to let it completely dry out first then sanitize it

Most can be used as long as all it’s sap/juices are dried
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice, tom g and Jackson. I have removed the wood from the rain barrel and it's going to sit in a dry place outside (porch) until it dries out thoroughly.
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:27 AM   #7
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Roots look beauty but are they even 'wood'? I suspect they're simply too soft to begin with. Will be interesting to watch.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:42 AM   #8
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Technically, they are wood, though roots are a little different anatomically from trunks and branches. They're all made of lignin, though -- that's the polymer that makes wood hard, but roots have less of it than the above-ground parts because they're not subject to the same structural stress.

In other words, the roots behave like softer wood than the trunk, but they're still wood.

. . . anyway, it should still be good for around a decade, based on my prior experience with other hardwood roots in the aquarium (though I don't currently have any wood-eating fish that might destroy it, e.g. plecos). Lilac is a particularly hard kind of wood. It used to be used a lot for walking sticks because of its durability.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:53 AM   #9
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I have a piece of lilac I grabbed off the ground a few years ago. it was dry and had sat out for a while, perhaps over winter. I threw it into the pond created by my winter pool cover, and it sunk over night. Mind, it was a small piece. I was surprised how quickly it sank, which led me to believe it was rather soft. I have a chunk of dead lilac (still attached) I have been looking at for possible use. Probably will try it out.
With that piece, I would trim off all the parts you don't want, such as the rootlets, and either soak some more or dry it out. I would also score the bark lengthwise to help it come off more easily down the road. Other than sitting it in the sun, I see no reason to "sanitize" it.

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