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Should settle

Thanks for all your responses. I'm actually draining it and boiling the wood. Cheers!
Always a good idea to boil any rocks/driftwood for bacteria or to leech out any excess tannins (especially moreso for bogwood).

I placed a large piece of driftwood in my 55 gall. Never bothered to boil (to large to boil anyways). I rinsed it in warm water then dropped it in. My tank has been clear, but turns yellowish after about a week, at which point I do a 20% water change and the water starts to look more clear again. I do not mind the yellowish color, I actually enjoy how it makes the tank look more natural with the live plants.

Tannins are not a threat to your aquarium, they are a natural way to lower the pH of the tank. No harm at all, except if the color bothers you. The cloudiness is not caused by tannins leeching out of the wood. If I had to guess, it would be from the substrate or rocks added. To minimize this, rinse substrates before adding to tank.

Or, and very likely, it could just be bacterial blooms beginning the Nitrogen cycle. This is a natural process as you may already be aware. Because you are using the old sponge, chances are your cycle started sooner than it would in a new aquarium, which would explain why so much cloudiness at one time. As soon as the nitrites become Nitrates and ammonia and nitrite levels reach 0, the blooms should never return. I would recommend adding fish once you have achieved these parameters with the Nitrates as low as 10ppm, before adding fish to your aquarium.

Everyone has different luck with water changes, I do 20% a week and that seems to work best for me and keeps my fish very happy.

Good luck with your upgraded tank, the hardscape looks wonderful!
 
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