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I know that when you buy new driftwood you should soak it for a few days to make sure it will sink and to get the tannins out of it. We did this with the driftwood in my old tank and it was fine. However, I added the driftwood to my new tank the first week in November and it is STILL leaching tannins into the water. Every week I do a water change and add fresh water and it clears up a bit and the next day it is cedary again. This was been going on for 7 water changes now and the tank is still having a brown tint. It isn't as dark as when I first added the wood, and it hasn't seemed to affect the fish whatsoever but it looks bad. Any advice?
I don't like to use chemicals in the tank. My mom used a lot of acurrel or whatever the product is that is supposed to clear the water for her old tank and I don't want to use that. I think it is better to correct whatever the problem is than to treat the symptoms. The only products I use in my tank are Prime conditioner and pH Neutral Regulator in the new water because my pH fluctuates at home. I have been doing this since before the wood was added and it never had an affect on the clarity...
Dep on the fish you have in there, they'll actually LOVE this (eg tetra's).
But obviously you don't like it - Pull it out and toss it in a big pot with boiling water, boil it with new water like 3-4 times. If its too big toss it in a plastic tub and poor hot water over it. Also scrubbing it down real well with a hard bristle brush helps it come out some more
No using chem's to battle this matter would be totally pointless, just boil it ;-)
FYI on the pH sounds like you have little to no hardness in your water which makes it go bouncy, am I right? If you add (dep on tank size) 1/2-1 cup crushed coral or dolomite to the filter it'll eliminate the swings and its cheaper in the long run then the bottled stuff ;-)
Some types of wood are worse than other types for tannin leeching. One trick I use is to only buy wood that is in a tank in the store, and the water is clear; I know it has leeched out the bulk of tannins. I reset my tanks last year with all new wood, and only once did I ever have tannin-stained water, and that was in a 33g with a fairly small piece of wood that I had bought dry. As Angel said, the tannin will not hurt any fish, and for many of the acidic water forest fish it is totally natural. The "blackwater" rivers of South America are the colour of strong tea and solely due to the dissolved organics from wood and plants.
Agree on not using the clearing chemicals. Most of these work by binding the minute particulate matter in the water so it can more easily be caught in the filter media (especially the floss and pads). Unfortunately, the "binding" also occurs in the fish's gills and while this may only stress them and not kill them outright, unnecessary stress should always be avoided. Stress is definitely known to cause other issues with diesease, parasites, the fish's immune system, etc. Frequently when these clarifiers are added, the fish swim to the opposite end of the tank; that in itself is a sign they don't like it, and increased respiration and reddened gills are also common.
Thank you all! When I first got it I did soak it and then put it in the shower and blasted it with hot water but I'll see what I can do. I may live with it until it gets warmer outside as it did stain the tub a little bit temporarily and my parents don't like me dumping fish water in there anyway, also, there is about 2 feet of snow out there right now so I try to avoid going out at all costs.
Thanks so much, I'm glad that it isn't something I necessarily did wrong. My fish seem just fine but I am reluctant to show off my tank because of it.
Like I said before, some fish actually heavily appreciate this, thou it may not look "perfect" to you, its a little perfect world to them cause its natural :-)
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