Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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naamahbengals 06-13-2008 10:42 PM

Problem with Aquarium/Vivarium Water Turning Brown
Hi all - I have an aquarium/vivarium that has a concrete 'wall' seperating the aquarium from the coconut fiber dirt of the vivarium island. Because the concrete is porous, it lets nice fish-water into the vivarium area and keeps my plants well watered and healthy - but the side effect is that the coconut fiber 'tea' can pass back through the concrete, and is staining my water a murky/cloudy brown. My fish do just fine in it, but it makes my aquarium look forever dirty, and doesn't show off my fish well. Is there anything I can do that will clear up the water, and not kill the fish or vivarium plants?

On another note - I would like to make another aquarium/terrarium soon. Is there anything I can do in advance of building to fix this problem? I don't really want to section off my vivarium with plastic sheeting inside the concrete, since the ever-moving fish water is doing wonders for the plants, but I will if I have to.


blueblue48 06-13-2008 11:13 PM

you could try buying a small submersible filter?? i think after awhile with that on and lotsa filter pad changes the coco fiber wills top making tea?? got a pic (not for anything scientific i just want to see your vivarium!)

iamntbatman 07-16-2008 12:25 AM

As long as the coconut fiber comes in contact with the water, it's going to be a long time before it stops leeching tannins into the water. Tannin-stained water should have a golden brown color to it but should still be clear enough to easily see through. If it's dirty, that's a different story. You might want to increase your mechanical filtration to remove the particulates. If the blackwater (that's what hobbyists call water stained by tannins) bothers you, you can add activated carbon to your filtration which should help keep it from turning that golden color. Blackwater itself isn't harmful to your fish and can actually help certain softwater fish (like the Amazonian and South East Asian species) thrive.

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