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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently added some new driftwood to my tank, and the tannins coming from the wood made my water tea colored. I have read that it isn't harmful to fish but can lower my ph levels. So I will check those from time to time. I've also read about some products to take the color out of the water, like purigen or activated carbon...
My question is has any of you tried the purigen? Or know of other ways to clear the water?

The wood was too big to boil, and I would like to not have to remove the wood to soak for a long time while my water clears.
Thanks
 

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I've used activated carbon in the past with success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So yea, the wood has to be removed. My water is now brown. The wood is far to big to boil, but I was thinking of putting it in a trash can and fill it with water. Would addng salt to the trash can help?
Thanks!
 

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lol clearly ur doing a blackwater biotope.... congrats on the success? no salt would help. if anything boil a bunch of water and add it to the garbage can. repeat multiple times and let sit over night. whenever it isnt cola colored u should be good. (it will always leach some)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Blackwater would be a sweet setup, but not in this tank lol. When you say it'll always leech tannins do you mean it'll be really bad always or what? Because my other wood never discolored my tank, and thanks for the suggestions. I shall give it a try, my tank is still really dark, I changed the water and it lightened it up a little but still super dark.
 

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Eventually there will be no more tannins left in the wood. Water changes and activated carbon will speed up the process. I typically use the garbage can method and it works well. You can get a large amount of water to wood ratio as well which helps. Get a black can, set it out in the sun, not as good as boiling but also helps the process along.

If you purchased a piece of driftwood that had already been "cultured" or "prepared" the soaking process must have already been done. That is why no tannins were leeched into the tank.

Good luck, Post some pics of the setup. I love to get new aquascaping ideas.

Rich
 

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I fought tannins with a huge piece of driftwood (4') for a year after soaking it for around 6 months in regularly changed water.

I gave up. Weekly water changes and 18 months didn't stop my tank from turning cola brown.

But dealing with that changed my focus from CA to mbuna and I think I enjoy them much more so it's not all bad. :thumb:
 

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My driftwood leaches. But, frequent water changes helps a lot. Most 'remove tannins from water' is just as temporary a sollution as a water change. Eventually (and it takes a long time) they stop.

Lookie at my mbuna tank, two days after a water change. The water is just starting to go slightly yellow (water change tomorrow again):


I'm just so proud of it. Sorry. Can't help myself.

Anyway, if you hate the tannins, leave off the driftwood. Or, dump the driftwood in a pond/ water thingy and keep changing water for the next year or more. That will do it too.
If, however, like me, you love the driftwood, up your water changes (the fish are happier for it anyway). The tannins will stay low-ish. Very weak tea at the worst :)
 

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I had to soak my driftwood for well over a year to make it stop leaching tannins...and these are small pieces. I've heard good things about Purigen but never used it.
 

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The real issue is not how long it takes for the tannins to clear. It takes a long time. The problem is really down to poor choice of wood. The tannin is from the sap left in the wood. The less dry the wood, the longer the tannins take to clear. In nature a large pice of wood may stand out in the weather for 15 years before it is totally dry. Sorry, little late for choosing different wood.
 

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PfunMo, that doesn't make sense in my experience. Tannins are like tea (well, exactly like tea). They're a kind of molecule that exists in plant matter. They leach because wood has them - in dry or in wet form. Like with tea leaves, though, eventually there are less of them. This also explains why boiling/ soaking for long times helps.
Of course, we are dealing with super dense tea in this case - so it takes years.

I think the presence of sap would cause all sorts of other troubles - which is why all fishtank wood is already dried. This, however, has little to no impact on tannins.
 

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I think the presence of sap would cause all sorts of other troubles - which is why all fishtank wood is already dried. This, however, has little to no impact on tannins.
You're correct. Sap and tannins are two different things.
 

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I will admit that I was only guessing that the tannin was from the sap. In all the wood I've used, if it gave me color, I also found it was not dry and had sap left in the wood. Perhaps that is wrong. Sometimes 2+2 does not equal 4. So are you saying that wood of a particular type that has tannins will always color water whether it is dry or green wood? Doesn't seem to match what I've found in using wood but then maybe I've just been lucky. Of the common woods we find in this country, what would be some that would have tannins?
 

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I am fairly certain all plant matter has tannins. I think, in certain "wet" forms, it cannot leach into the water, since it is trapped in plant juices.

Wait, I checked myself, and there are indeed woods without tannins:
"Presence in water and wood
Tannins leaching from an unprepared driftwood decoration in an aquarium can cause pH lowering and coloring of the water to a tea-like tinge. A remedy is to boil the wood in water several times (which will also darken and waterlog the wood, i.e., make it sink), discarding the water each time. Using peat as an aquarium substrate can lead to the same problem.

Many hours of boiling the driftwood may need to be followed by many weeks or months of constant soaking and many water changes before the water will stay clear. Adding baking soda to the water to raise its pH level will accelerate the process of leaching, as the more alkaline solution can draw out tannic acid from the wood faster than the pH-neutral water.

Softwoods, while generally much lower in tannins than hardwoods, are usually not recommended for use in an aquarium so using a hardwood with a very light color, indicating a low tannin content, can be an easy way to avoid tannins. Tannic acid is brown in color, so generally white woods have a low tannin content. Woods with a lot of yellow, red or brown coloration to them (like southern yellow pine, cedar, redwood, red oak, etc.) tend to contain a lot of tannin. Finnish hardwoods, like birch and aspen, do not contain tannins.
"

This from wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin

Also, this seems a sensible post, although scepticism is always necessary on the 'nets - http://www.sydneycichlid.com/aquarium-driftwood.htm

Off topic, Prov356, every time I see your signature fish, I thing "gosh, that's a striking photograph".

Edit: fixed some crazy symbols. - alrighty, that failed. The swearword symbols are hiding b.i.r.c.h - the tree. How odd :-?
 

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same here, I have two large pieces and while they don't leach right away they still do even after 6 months and this is after i even boiled them and let them sit for awhile.. It takes about a week before the water starts to get a yellowish color but by then a water change is due so it doesn't matter.. They will more than likely always leak some, good luck :thumb:
 

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If one uses Wikipedia as a source he might as well just state what he thinks rather than quoting what somebody else thinks. Since we can all go in and "correct" articles, it really is a minefield of bad information. It's free but not of much more value than what you find on forums.
While I may likely be confused as to sap and tannins, I will stand by my basic idea that choosing the correct wood is much more important than how long one has to wait or how to treat the wood. Choose correctly and the other two are irrelivant.
 

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I keep wood in all of my tanks and I use purigen to keep the water from discoloring. The purigen lasts quite a bit longer than activated carbon and as mentioned before it can be regenerated easily.
 
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