Hee Hee - I am hijacking, too! ;)
I am by no means an expert on the subject, but here's my 'wood' experience, for what its worth...
A couple days ago, I got a piece of wood at the aquarium store to gently bring down the ph in my tank. The 'ph down' chemical wasn't really working and I didn't want to burn my Betta, Baby Blue.
I had read that all the fishes I had selected for my tank preferred a more acid (low ph) environment, and our local water is on the alkaline (high ph) side. As for the tea color of the 'wooded' water, my tank has a very natural stream bed look to it, so the tannin I felt would not 'ruining' the effect I was going for, but will enhance it.
I felt the wood over and not finding any really sharp edges, made my purchase.
I rinsed the wood well in super hot tap water then put it in a super hot bucket of tap water overnight. By the morning, the bucket water looked like strong tea, from the tannins that the wood released. I drained the bucket and did it again.
At the end of the second day (today), before I added the wood, I did my water testing.
I found that slightly lowering the water level in my five gallon tank allowed my waterfall filter to aerate the water better and after adding a bacterial booster my tank was finally cycled - after 8 weeks! My tank was at 0 ammonia with API Test one week after the last 25% water change. Awesome!
<<Start Celebration: I did it, I did it, oh yeah, yeah, yeah! (doing my Dori victory dance) /End Celebration>>
Anyway, back to the wood! In the middle of a ten percent water change (w/ Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus to dechlorinate and 'tame' the new water), I put the wood in.
No one was crushed or squashed in the process, I am happy to report. Currently, my Ghost Shrimp have taken over the wood and are infesting it! :D
So there you go... that's my wood (and tank cycling) odyssey! Good Luck to you.