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  L# Help please - first time with Mopani Driftwood
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SubscribeHelp please - first time with Mopani Driftwood
Tom O.
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Small Fry
Feisty Flume
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Registered: 29-Nov-2007
male australia au-queensland
Hi all,

I recently purchased a small piece of Mopani driftwood for my Beta tank (from a pet store). The volume of the tank is 5.5 litres.

I've tried every technique I know to stop tannis from leaching - boiling, sunsoaking, soaking in plain water, etc.

But it still leaches tannins quite heavily (turns the tank water brown) ... I'm aware that it takes time for the tannins to stop but in total but I've been treatng the driftwood for over a week or more now constantly.

Does anybody have any advice please?

Thanks!!

Tom O.
Post InfoPosted 09-Nov-2009 01:20Profile Homepage MSN PM Edit Report 
keithgh
 
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Tom O.

The problem with boiling is, sure it will kill any external nasties and that is about all BUT what boiling does it breaks down the external layers of the wood and actually makes it softer.
If it is a timber that leaches tannins it will leach out more because of the breaking down of the timber.

I would remove it scrub it with a very clean hard scrubbing brush plus using a hose to remove what you have scrubbed off.

Then soak it and change the water as soon as it darkens up this at the start could be 2-3 days. Keep doing this until the leaching stops it might take several weeks or months it totally depends on the actual wood its self.

To remove the tannins from the tank do several 30-40% water changes every 4-5 days.

It can be helped along with a litle Carbon in the filter (one week only) or use a product called GEO liquid this will collect all the fine particles and dump them into the filter (only use as per instructions) It will make the tank look a place muddy colour for about one hour or so it will depend totally on your filtration system.


Have a look in [link=My Profile] http://www.fishprofiles.com/forums/member.aspx?id=1935[/link] for my tank info
Look here for my
Betta 11Gal Desktop & Placidity 5ft Community Tank Photos

Keith


Near enough is not good enough, therefore good enough is not near enough, and only your best will do.
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Post InfoPosted 09-Nov-2009 02:42Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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EditedEdited 09-Nov-2009 15:16
Hi Tom,
Hows the driftwood problem going?
The wood leaches tannins into the water where it forms
tannic acid.
It's a tea color and can turn the tank anything from
a faint yellow to a darkish tea color. It is harmless
to the fish, but can cause distress to their owners as
they, and others, might think the tank is "dirty."

As the tannins leak into the tank water, they form an
area of depletion. The tannins closest to the surface of
the wood migrate out into the water, leaving behind an area
that has way less of the chemical than wood deeper in from
the wood's surface. This "zone of depletion" acts as
a boundary and restricts the tannins deeper into the
wood from getting out to the tank.
The zone of depletion is called a weathering rind, and
if it is left untouched, eventually the leaching
process will slow to a near halt and the water will
remain clear.

If you disturb that "rind" by scrubbing it or if you have
catfish that scrape the surface of the wood with their
teeth, then the leaching process will begin all over again
and the water will turn tea colored, again. That process
would continue until a new rind is formed.

Soaking, outside of the tank is the best way. Just keep
changing the water in the bucket until it is clear or
nearly so.

Adding Carbon to the filter is another way. However, in
that small a tank, with that much wood, and that small a
filter, I seriously doubt that you can get enough Carbon
into the filter to make any appreciable difference.

Because tannins are a liquid and not particles, adding
GEO to the tank will not make any difference and would
be a waste of money.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 09-Nov-2009 15:14Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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EditedEdited 09-Nov-2009 16:23
Welcome to FP Tom

Storebought driftwood doesn't need much fuss, brush clean, rinse, drop in the tank. For tannins to leach out is a natural occurance and will not harm your fish, and for south american fish would be a benefit.

Sticking with your normal weekly water changes 25-50% it will go away in time. Either a few weeks, sometimes months (if you had a large piece of dark wood). As already mentioned carbon may help clear things up. Wood tannins are also one of the tricks to help lower ph, but as you are using a small piece this is not a worry, other then appearance, which is only temporary

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 09-Nov-2009 16:22Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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male australia au-victoria

I fully realize about tannins but my concern with the GEO was as the wood had been boiled the outer surface would be breaking down and causing very fine timber particles in the water and as they break down those particles would release more tannins. With a good filter these particles should be collected but with the aid of the GEO it would help.

I dont have any tannins but my DW is continually breaking down mainly because of the years it has been in the tank.
I use a measured amount of GEO liquid in both tanks and you would surprised at what it picks up. If I did not use the GEO I certainly see a big difference in the clarity of the water.


Have a look in [link=My Profile] http://www.fishprofiles.com/forums/member.aspx?id=1935[/link] for my tank info
Look here for my
Betta 11Gal Desktop & Placidity 5ft Community Tank Photos

Keith



Near enough is not good enough, therefore good enough is not near enough, and only your best will do.
I VOTE DO YOU if not WHY NOT?
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Post InfoPosted 10-Nov-2009 00:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
brandeeno
 
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Tom, just relax. I use only mopani wood in my tanks and honestly the tannin release has taken a few months to slow, but the wood itself is amazing! In preference i enjoy the tannic acid tint of the water (tea like) it makes the water look more natural and actually can be quite helpful in creating the proper parameters and environment for some species. If the color of the water is bothering you i suggest carbon and water changes if you dot want to do the bucket method which can take a very long time depending on your specific piece.

Usually what happens is the wood eventually forms a layer where the tannins have been leeched out which prevents the water from reacting with the internal layers. eventually these layers are worn off slowly and redevelop as the wood breaks down over years. I have found that boiling for a few hours before placing in the tank does in fact break down some of the wood integrity, but it also helps to form that initial blocking layer, quickening the time needed to block off the tannins.

just whatever yo do dont dry it out again/anymore. let the wood be and allow it to take its natural course. If its something you are impatient about or just dont like then I suggest finding a different form of tank decoration.

Good luck,
-Brandon

\\\\\\\"an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure\\\\\\\"
Post InfoPosted 12-Nov-2009 00:07Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Tom O.
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Registered: 29-Nov-2007
male australia au-queensland
EditedEdited 19-Nov-2009 23:08
Hi everyone, thank you very much for all of your replies and advice. It has really helped already.

It's going well. The water is remaining relatively clear but still a tinge of brown. After water changes it stays clear now for a few days before it goes brown again so it's getting better. The fish are healthy and happy.

Now I have a new question please.

The Australian summer is kicking in and I am finding it hard to keep the water temperature at optimum levels. I've head it's not a good idea to put bags of ice in the tank. I'm not sure why. Does anyone have any advice on this please?

The tank is 5 and 1/2 litres. It is not in a spot in direct sunlight. I'm aware small tanks are subject to rapid changes in temperature but there has to be something I can do to assist?

Thanks heaps again in advance.
Tom.
Post InfoPosted 19-Nov-2009 23:07Profile Homepage MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
hca
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A fan near the tank, going over the surface of the water should help...
Post InfoPosted 20-Nov-2009 00:18Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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Tom O

Summer is sure on the way. Qld is a huge place and the temps vary a lot depending what part of Qld you are.

I am in Vic on the coast.
My 45lt Cardinal Tetra & CRS tank is running about 29c at the moment. I have 1/2 the top off. The 5ft is about the same but I have to keep that one enclosed my large SS is a jumper.

Fans work, extra aeration also works, turning the light off during the hottest part of the day is also a help.

You can go to Bunnings and have a look at the DIY fly wire screens this will certainly keep the tank cool.

As for ice I think the jury is still out on that one besides you would require a big block of ice to keep a big tank cool
I have a small bottle of prepared water and I keep the tank topped up all the time.

The best way to a tank cool is make sure the room temp is cool.


Have a look in [link=My Profile] http://www.fishprofiles.com/forums/member.aspx?id=1935[/link] for my tank info
Look here for my
Betta 11Gal Desktop & Placidity 5ft Community Tank Photos

Keith


Near enough is not good enough, therefore good enough is not near enough, and only your best will do.
I VOTE DO YOU if not WHY NOT?
VOTE NOW VOTE NOW
Post InfoPosted 20-Nov-2009 04:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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