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Melissa

Poisoned Aquarium Wood

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Hi everyone, 

I keep a number of fishtanks and have 12 years experience keeping & breeding tropical fish.  About two weeks ago, over a 5 day period I lost several plecos, tetras and kuli loaches and a very large old yoyo loach and I suspect poisoning from pet store supplied aquarium wood. 
 
All the parameters of the tank were fine and my other tanks are all fine as well so I can only point to the new piece of aquarium wood I had recently added to the tank.  
The other fish who do not eat or live on/around the wood do not seem to have been as seriously affected but I had three baby angel fish that were unwell and perked up as soon as I moved them to another tank. 
 
I am looking for someone who can help me confirm whether or not this particular piece of aquarium wood is toxic - I have never had this happen before but this was a particularly large piece of wood and the staff at the chain store I bought the wood said that it was imported and so fumigated during the import process(!?!)
I always soak the wood and boil it if possible but this piece was too large to boil.  Additionally most of the fish that have been affected are wood eaters. The others are the smaller members of the tank - and so maybe less robust. 
 
I have saved some of the dead fish and they are in the freezer, and obviously have removed the wood from the tank, added carbon and done multiple water changes in an effort to mitigate whatever poison is remaining in the tank. The Australian Rainbow fish today seem fine.  I have a handful of more robust plecos still in the tank but will move as many as possible as they don't seem to be recovering as quickly as I would like. 
 
I would like to get to the bottom of this as if it is the wood I need to make the fishkeeping community as well as the petstores aware so that other fishkeepers do not have such an upsetting experience. 
I've talked to someone in the biology department at Victoria too, in case there is someone there that can help with toxicology, or perhaps necropsy. 
 
Since removing the wood, doing multiple water changes and adding fresh carbon, the remaining fish have all recovered and are doing fine. 
Any ideas? 
Melissa

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