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Koi Kameon 01-14-2012 07:15 PM

mopani wood will not stop leaching tannins
I have one in my brackish water tank that is currently 1.0025. I followed the manufacturer's directions and it has now been in the tank for 3 weeks and is still discoloring things enough I am doing 20% water changes every few days. I had heard that if you boil them for 2-4 hours, this helps, but it stunk the house out and had to quit after 15 minutes. Lots of tannin in that boiling water still. I am concerned bc even though the tannin cloudiness doesn't supposedly bother fish, it REALLY bothers my red claw crab. He hates it and as soon as it gets cloudier within hours of water change, he starts only hovering near that wood piece (his fav place) and not venturing out to eat anywhere. (He eats stuff off the wood and seems fine that way.)

Any help? I am ready to toss it and try a manzanita stump, but don't know where to find one that will fit my 5 gall. tank.

TexasCichlid 01-14-2012 07:29 PM


kevmo911 01-14-2012 08:06 PM

I've boiled mopani wood before, and never noticed a stink. Maybe a slight earthy scent in the kitchen, though I don't have the best sense of smell. Try using a campfire stove, or a grill, and boil it outside, changing water every time it gets brown. Heck, you can make a day of it and grill up some brats and ribs next to it :)

singjai 01-15-2012 01:18 AM

I've never used mopani driftwood before, but from experience, I found that it's almost impossible to stop the tannings completely. I've had two pieces of malaysian driftwood in my 20 gal for a year after hours of boiling and they still leech tannins so I have to do water changes every 3 days to keep it looking nice. I just ordered 15 pounds of seiryu stones so this should get rid of my problem! My girlfriend also got a piece of malaysian driftwood for her 5 gal. I boiled it for probably a total of 8 hours and it still leeches within two or three days! The only solution I have for you is to do water changes every few days. Sorry if I didn't help that much..

DogFish 01-15-2012 01:30 AM


Originally Posted by TexasCichlid (Post 1675968)


Activated Carbon will work too but it will suck the Ferts out of the water
with the tannins.

Koi Kameon 01-15-2012 04:27 AM

Ordered Puregen off Amazon tonight. It got rave reviews for tannin removal. Will see how that goes. Am leaving out the mopani. Done with it. It smelled like a bog when it was in the tank (only thing that did) and it had white resins leaking and cloudy billowy stuff that was still growing after 3 weeks and I was told it would only last one or so...This and the mildew I could not stop from growing on the portion out of the water is probably why it stunk so bad when it was boiled. I was told by a Manzanita seller their tannin release is much lower...Thinking about it.

kevmo911 01-15-2012 04:51 AM

It's possible your dw hadn't dried out. Like firewood, dw needs to be seasoned before use. If you dry it off, and maybe do a bleach dip to kill anything still living on it, you can probably let it sit in a cabinet or some other out-of-the-way spot for the next several months (hopefully without any odor).

The mopani I've used has come from PetSmart in the reptile section, and has all seemed to be nice and seasoned, and needed only a few hours of boiling before use. No noticeable leeching. I really like the patterns in mopani, so make sure you don't just trash it. Either dry it out and use later, or give it to somebody.

ucantimagine 01-15-2012 09:02 AM

Purigen works for me. I have a rather big chunk of Mopani in a small 12 gallon tank.

DaveK 01-15-2012 12:46 PM

I bought several large pieces of mopani driftwood. I used a 50 gal Rubbermaid trash can to cure them and they just fit. Since they were large it took about 3 months to cure them, and initially I was making daily water changes, using hot water. Later on, I'd use rock salt, and finally bleach. Do not ever use rock salt and bleach together. It was a long haul to get it cured, but it was worth it. The mopani looks fantastic in the tank.

Give it a couple of more months, and you should be fine.


Koi Kameon 01-15-2012 05:56 PM


It's been drying for two years at my house. Nice suggestion though. Thanks.

scubasmac 01-16-2012 03:16 AM

the mopani wood in my 90 leached tannins for about 3-4 months. i had soaked it for a month while changing the water every other day before it went in the tank. hang in there
oh yeah that was with EI dosing so there was a 50% water change every week. activated carbon worked well to clear the tannins when it got too bad

Koi Kameon 01-30-2012 10:37 PM

Texas Cichlid--Thanks for the heads up. Puregen helped a lot even thought I only have a sponge filter to set it next to. Did chuck the mopani though. Have other smaller wood in there now after two hour boil each and there are far fewer tannins to begin with. Tank inhabitant and I are both much happier. To everyone who did so many water changes for so long--you're a lot tougher and more patient than I am.:fish:

Saw the other day on anothe forum where someone said they just never had much luck with real wood in brackish tanks. Could this be a factor?

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