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Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Yes, but you might want to boil and soak them first. I have used a lot of different woods in my tank: cedar (I don't recommend it unless it is old, weathered & you do water changes at least once per week), bamboo, cottonwood, and even sage brush.


5 Year Member
As of now the only problem I've had with birch wood is on some sizable branches (about 1.d"). After about 2 months I noticed something whitish around the branch rings. Took them out. I will leave them out until next year and try again.

Another question...can birch tree leaves be used in a dwarf fish tank safely and have similar benefits as oak or almond leaves? I read on one site it was safe, with no benefits and on an other the leaves actual raised pH.



Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
My experience is with river birch (Betula nigra) - old dead wood and shed leaves should be fish safe. I dont think birchhas as much "blackwater" tannins and lignins as oaks, and the leaves will decay quicker (good food for amphipods, blackworms, snails, etc). The white stuff you saw was probably fungus/mold growing on residual sap in the wood. I suppose the minerals in leaves might raise pH slightly if you're starting with extremely mineral-poor and acidic water, but I doubt the effect would be very strong.