Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Qeldroma 12-08-2013 06:02 AM

Water Changes and Wood Tannin
Hi Folks,

First off thanks for all the great advice on this forum. I have been lurking for 2 months now learning as much as possible to get my first tank set up.

So I have now had my tank 2 months, a 70l Jewel Rekord 700. I managed to complete a fishless cycle in about 4 weeks and have been adding fish over the last 4 weeks. I first put in 7 Neon tetra and 2 cory catfish. I waited 2 weeks and then added 4 guppies.

I have been using the api master test kit to check my levels and so far everything is going well; PH 7.6, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates 20 (I think!!).

My question is; how often should I be doing water changes (so much conflicting advise). I have put in a relatively large piece of bog wood and my water looks like tea. I did soak it for a month but it is still leaching tannin. I understand that it can help with PH and soften the water however I had hoped the water would now be clearing up. So should I take to wood out or just wait and let the filter do its thing?



fish monger 12-08-2013 09:09 AM

As long as your parameters are within the desired ranges, 30-50 % water changes once a week should be fine. If you don't like the tea colored appearance, you could do more frequent water changes just to keep the water brighter until the tannin seepage levels off.

luke77 12-09-2013 10:24 AM

Adding carbon to the filter media will help remove tannins also.

beaslbob 12-09-2013 10:29 AM

Sorry I can't help you.

I don't do water changes.

I did have that "yellow" water in one new tank. but it cleared up in a couple of months.

my .02

Hallyx 12-09-2013 11:14 AM

Tannins are thought to have antibacterial, anti-fungal properties. Your Tetra's ancestors lived in tea-colored water like that. The Cory, too, I believe.

henningc 12-11-2013 12:38 AM

I always suggest doing weekly water changes of 5%-30% depending on tanks size, bioload from fish-Amount of waste-and water test readings. Also, during the firsh 6 months you should take regular and bottom level water samples for testing. Use a piece of airline like a siphon to pull from the bottom. Also, test your tap water and write down the readings. Tap water can change from time to time and it is better to check immediately if a problem occurs. To get rid of the tannis, just use carbon. I suggest always having carbon and a cheap corner filter handy just in case.

You did not say what type of filter you are using. I always have a sponge filter in each tank regardless of other filtration devices. Besides filtering the water biologically, the sponge provides a breeding ground for small organisms that keep things in a natural balance. I use a sponge rated for 80gal in all of my tanks 30gal and under.

Hallyx 12-11-2013 09:34 AM


Originally Posted by henningc (Post 3570898)
... Besides filtering the water biologically, the sponge provides a breeding ground for small organisms that keep things in a natural balance.,,,

Besides the bacteria that oxidize ammonia and nitrite, what other beneficial organisms might one expect to find flourishing in a sponge filter?

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