Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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kzcountry 12-30-2006 11:35 PM

Orange Water
I have a 75 gallon fresh water tank. I just put 2 large pieces of driftwood in my tank a couple of weeks ago. The water is now orange, I have done a 40% water change and helped a lot but is getting oranger as the days go by. Will the color hurt my fish?? Is there something I can do to stop the wood from changing my water color, except for time?? thanks

Lupin 12-31-2006 02:13 AM

Hi and welcome aboard.:wave:

I doubt it was orange. More like amber due to tannins leached by driftwood.:) Don't worry too much about it. What are your fish? If your fish originated from the area where the water is particularly soft and acidic, there's nothing to worry about.:)

There's nothing you can do to stop the wood from leaching tannins. Boiling can reduce the amount leached though or you can run activated carbon for about 3-4 weeks and remove it.

sazzy 12-31-2006 06:05 AM

my wood has been in for aprox a year and the water still has a tinge of brown it does fade over time and with boiling as blue said, but i dont think it'll ever go compleatly! anyway i quite like the colour and it works with whats in the tank :D

jones57742 12-31-2006 06:36 AM

Re: Orange Water

Originally Posted by kzcountry
Is there something I can do to stop the wood from changing my water color, except for time?? thanks

Blue and Saz have this one covered.
Remove the wood and boil it
except that
you did not indicate what type of driftwood you placed in your tank.
If you are not experienced with wood in a tank and it is not one of the species common to fish keepers then
I would take it out of the tank and chunk it

Originally Posted by kzcountry
Will the color hurt my fish??

The color will not but the Ph associated with the "orange color" will.
If you test for Ph I believe that you will find it to be 5.5 or less.
Your fishies are probably not "happy campers" for two reasons:
1) stress due to the low Ph and
2) the abrupt change in Ph due to the fairly rapid "leaching" of the wood.


sazzy 12-31-2006 06:47 AM

IMA forgot to add i have been having alot of difficulties myself raising ph due to wood!

caferacermike 12-31-2006 06:50 AM

If it's enough wood to instantly change the water color I'd first check that your species are of S American heritage and prefer 6.0 PH. I'd also be leery of the wood you chose. Tannins won't really effect the fish. If you don't like the look you can either do lots of water changes, weekly, or you can add a lot of crabon to a canister filter. Only problem with that is the carbon will quickly load up and you'll be forever paying money for carbon.

kzcountry 12-31-2006 12:20 PM

orange water
Thanks for all your help. The driftwood came from West Virginia, The ph in the tank is approx. 6.5. All the fish seem to be doing well, I will try to name a few of the fish. Silver Dollars, Cardinals, Sailfin Catfish, other Tetras, an eel, Marble Hatchets, Ghost Fish, Red Glow fish, Plecos. There may be a few other fish I missed. I have not lost any fish in over a year, I would take out the wood except they are huge and are the majority part of my tank. The (2) drifftwoods are small hollow tree stumps. I will try a few more water changes and charcoal to see if it help.

Lupin 01-01-2007 01:49 AM

Most of your fish are from the origin where the water is soft and acidic. They will benefit from the tannins leached by your woods although you have a choice of whether you like the tannins or not.:) Tannins won't harm your fish except the fish that will never thrive well on long-term basis like the platies, other livebearers that we commonly see and many others.:)

bettababy 01-01-2007 04:07 AM

It doesn't sound like you have fish that would be sensitive to the lower pH levels, but if you really want the color out, there IS one way I know of to do it, and it won't hurt anything, but it will cost you a few $'s.
Here's a link telling about it, it's called Polyfilter:

You can order it from Dr's Foster & Smith online at:

I know it works... and I will only disagree with one point made in the info page about it... it does not replace carbon. If used long term, Polyfilter will further drop your pH level, so this is a temp fix, which is what you need. I have done a lot of product testing over the years, and Polyfilter was one of my favorites for a "quick fix" such as yours. If you do daily water changes, that will help to keep your pH stable, if not bring it back up just a bit... but do SMALL changes, no more than 5% - 10% each day, so as not to shock the fish.
I have used Polyfilter in the past for removing tannin staining in my water, and it works pretty fast. Even though it will change color right away, don't change it for 48 hrs... do this for about a week, then leave it out for a week... if you need more removed, repeat for another week. It may not remove ALL of the staining in that amount of time, but it will take out most of it. Remember to put it into the filter, so water flows THROUGH it at all times, and remember to use as big of a piece as will fit into your filter. If you have more than one filter, you can run it in both. This will not bother your biological cycle in any way, so everything else you do can remain as normal.

Carbon would also take it out, but you would use a lot more carbon than Polyfilter to do it, and it would in general be a pain in the butt! (not to mention more expensive and taking longer)

I hope this helps!
Happy New Year!

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