Brown Water From Wood? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
F4A
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Brown Water From Wood?

I've had some wood soaking in water for about 2 weeks now and it still turns the water brown. Is there anything I can do which will speed up the soaking process? If I place this into my tank with a bag of carbon, will the carbon remove all the brown colour?
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 11:59 AM
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The carbon will remove the tannins, but more will leach out until they are all gone.

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 11:59 AM
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I've had some wood soaking in water for about 2 weeks now and it still turns the water brown. Is there anything I can do which will speed up the soaking process? If I place this into my tank with a bag of carbon, will the carbon remove all the brown colour?
Yes the carbon pad will remove the color from the he water. But if you have plants it will also remove the nutrients they need Soo I would not run it for long.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 12:01 PM
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Most woods will always leech a certain amount of tannins into your aquarium water. The tannins are not harmful in any way and I've even heard claims that it works towards creating a better environment for certain species of fish.

That being said, I've upped my water changes to approximately 40% twice a week because my water was getting too dark for my liking, and it seems to have done the job. I don't think you can ever have crystal clear water with any woods in your aquarium though, so don't expect the water clarity of a Rift Valley setup.

I think activated carbon can help in removing tannins from the water, but keep in mind that it will only remain effective for around 3 weeks or so, after which it must be removed. Also, activated carbon will absorb nutrients which are necessary for plant growth, so I strongly suggest against using it if you've got live plants in your current setup.

I've heard a few people say that boiling the wood helps greatly in removing most tannins, but I haven't tried this method myself so I'm only saying this based on what I've heard.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 12:26 PM
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I boiled my wood, and that does work. It took many pots of boiling water, and I would dump the "brown" water add more and continue boiling, until the water was relatively clear. To this day (3 months later) when I do a water change, I can see the water taken out is still a bit brown, but you don't notice it in the tank, it looks clear. It is not harmful for the fish, and likely has some benefit for them, but not nice looking when the tank gets too brown. Without boiling, you're probably looking at brownish water for a very long time.

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-10-2011, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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I boiled the wood and placed it in the tank. So far there is a little brown water but I guess that will be removed with the water change. I will add some carbon next time I clean my filter.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-10-2011, 03:16 PM
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I boiled the wood and placed it in the tank. So far there is a little brown water but I guess that will be removed with the water change. I will add some carbon next time I clean my filter.
Yes, you will see it diminish with each water change. Boiling really does speed up the process.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-11-2011, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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I added a bag of carbon this afternoon, it looks clear already :D
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-14-2011, 09:39 AM
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The tannins really do help the fish so it is not a horrible thing to have and eventually it would subside. The easiest method I found was to put the wood in a small soaking tub, like the kind they give you at the hospital you never use but you take home because that item was charged to you insurance at a cost of $700.. yeah, that tub. I run it under hot water from the sink for a couple of minutes then let it soak in that water overnight. Next morning I dump out the water and repeat the process. I do this for three or four days and the water is mostly if not almost clear by then.

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post #10 of 10 Old 04-14-2011, 12:03 PM
Tannins can be taken out by pre-soaking and boiling. However, it is good for your water, the acids are good for fish like most tetras who enjoy the blackwater conditions. If your water is soft, it will help lower your PH, and the tannins also discourage some algae growth.
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