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psych 02-17-2013 04:18 PM

Mopani Driftwood Safety
I received a piece of Mopani Driftwood a few weeks back. It was new and apparently purchased from Petsmart or the like. Stupidly I stuck it into the tank without doing any soaking. Well, it leeched tannins like mad and within a week the water was brown and some guppies had passed. I suspect the tannins from the wood had lowered the PH too rapidly (or too low).

Fast forward to today, I boiled the wood for approximately two hours and it has been soaking in a bucket for about a month, maybe more. Have enough tannins leeched out of it so that it is safe to put into the tank?

lochaber 02-17-2013 07:49 PM

It's probably going to leach tannins for some time yet, possibly the lifetime of the wood (or tank set up).

However, it will probably be pretty heavy at first, and then taper off a bit.

You mentioned that the wood has been soaking in a bucket for about a month, have you been changing the water in the bucket? When I'm soaking driftwood and such, I tend to change out the water when there is a noticeable color change (I don't bother doing it more than 2x a day).

I've never bothered to boil anything myself, but I've heard people claim that it accelerates the leaching process.

I don't think the tannins are necessarily harmful, and that they are often beneficial for many critters. If it caused a rapid pH (or possibly lowered the hardness of the water) swing like you suspect, I imagine that could be harmful.

I'd say go ahead and put it in the tank, maybe put some carbon in the filter, and just keep an eye on your tank - maybe do some water parameter tests and keep a log to see how it's affecting pH, hardness, etc. Do frequent small water changes if you have to.

psych 02-17-2013 10:46 PM

I changed the water about once a day when I remembered, once every 2 or 3 when I didn't. The water turned dark brown, near black when it boiled so I'm thinking I leeched a fair bit out then. I'll follow your advice and monitor things closely.

iCheetah 02-18-2013 09:19 AM

I had the same problem. I took it out, boiled it then soaked it for a week in a bucket and haven't had an issue since

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stevekx500 02-18-2013 03:22 PM

Your best bet would b 2 boil it 4 a while. I boiled a piece of that wood once 4 over 3 hrs & I would change the water every time it turned to a "tea" color. Like I said I boiled it 4 over 3 hrs & once it was done & cooled 2 room temp I placed it n my aquarium & never had any problem w/ it. Hope this helps :):bounce:

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