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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yellow water

I've got a 100g tank, had it set up for about a week now. The water went really yellow, which I guessed was from tannins from my driftwood. I couldn't soak it before putting it in the tank since it was so large and the LFS assured me it would leach hardly any/no tannin at all . Nevertheless, I'm trying to reduce the tinge of the water. I had a bag of AC in there for a while (sitting in the tank at the output of the filter since my canister was already full), that didn't seem to help so I got myself some Purigen.

I've heard alot of others saying that this stuff has cleared up their tank in 24hrs, but it doesnt seem to have made any difference to mine. I checked the Purigen after 1 day and only about half of it had browned so I put it back in.
Here's a pic of just after I put the purigen in (top) and 2 days later (bottom). Notice not much difference to the water colour.. I'm planning to take the AC out, and try just the Purigen by itself. But my question is has anyone else had a problem of Purigen not working??
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 03:56 AM
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Patience, water changes, and more purigen. If youre only using the 100ml bag thatll hardly put a dent in 100 gals. WCs will be difficult with a tank that size, but itll help. Thats a big chunk of driftwood, it could be leaching tannins for a long time to come.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 06:45 AM
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Of course the LFS told you it wouldn't leak any tannins. If they did you wouldn't have bought it. Half kidding half serious.

It is hard to tell when the driftwood will stop leaching tannins.

Patience is key--just consistent water changes will eventually remove the tannins. It's actually a good reminder of when to do your water changes. If it's starting to look tea-coloured, you know it's time for a water change!

In a 100g tank, you will probably need to replace/refresh a lot of activated carbon or purigen to wick up all the tannins quickly. It will take a while before the tank stops being yellow.

If you really don't like the yellowness, you can boil the driftwood in boiling water for several hours. I don't remember why this works, something about speeding up the leaching process, it also forces air inside the driftwood to come out, letting it sink.

Consistent water changes will keep the yellowness from becoming too distracting.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:01 AM
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I forgot to mention--you can also place the driftwood in a separate bucket filled with water + airstone to let it leach out more before putting it back in your tank.

That way it doesn't leach tannins as quickly and will make it more manageable w/o wasting the expensive AC or having to recharge purigen and large water changes.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 07:07 AM
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Lets put it this way Ive had the same piece of wood leaching tannins into my tank for over 5 years now and the only way i can keep it in check is to do waterchanges. Granted its not as bad as it was but the water still sometimes looks like pee if its been a while since i did a waterchange.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 02:42 PM
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I've heard some ppl have really good results running their wood through the dishwasher with no chemicals.

I personally would do it, but I have a built-in compartment and can't remove the Rinse Aid (oh well)

FWIW My driftwood's been soaking outside in a big garbage can going for more than 3 weeks now. I change the water daily/every other day with hot water and it's still putting out killer tannins...

I'd recharge your Purigen if 1/2 is brown already- means it's already half (or less) effective than it was at first.





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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 03:49 PM
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 09:04 PM
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Everyone was spot on. Patience and water changes are key. But I have one suggestion.

Save the Purigen for when the tank becomes more stable, it's too expensive and inefficient to use on a newly setup aquarium. Use AC instead, it's cheaper and much more aggressive at removing tannins.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice everyone! Raul, yeah I was thinking that maybe using Purigen in a new tank might slow down the cycling process, not sure if this is true or not. The purigen is already all brown so I'll have to refresh it anyway, I'll replace it with AC for now. Apart from the tannin discolouration, my water parameters seemed okay so I started putting fish in yesterday

How long can you use the activated carbon for before it needs to be replaced? I think I read somewhere that if you leave it in for too long it can start to re-release the bad stuff it's adsorbed back into the water, is this true? I'm not sure if I should put the original bag of AC back in (which had been in the tank for a week prior to adding Purigen) or get a new one, since the Purigen ran out so quickly it seems to indicate there's a lot of stuff to getting adsorbed and I'm not sure if the original bag of AC is used up or not.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 04:24 AM
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How long can you use the activated carbon for before it needs to be replaced? I think I read somewhere that if you leave it in for too long it can start to re-release the bad stuff it's adsorbed back into the water, is this true? I'm not sure if I should put the original bag of AC back in (which had been in the tank for a week prior to adding Purigen) or get a new one, since the Purigen ran out so quickly it seems to indicate there's a lot of stuff to getting adsorbed and I'm not sure if the original bag of AC is used up or not.
How long it takes to become exhausted is dependent on how discolored the water is, the AC can last anywhere between 6 hours to about 4 weeks. Use the color of the water as an indicator. Every 5-7 days seems like a good start.

Regarding leaching, I believe they only leach minimal amounts of phosphate. Nothing to worry about, it's more of a concern for marine hobbyists.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 11:34 PM
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According to Seachem, Purigen can be recharged an indeterminate # of times; just takes some bleach, Prime, and (in some cases) a buffer?

I believe how long AC works to absorb impurities is debatable, since there can be so much variation between brands, etc. Most of the recommendations I've read have suggested replacing it every 1-2 mos, however.

To me it would be cheaper to just keep recharging the Purigen over buying more AC?





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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I've heard some ppl have really good results running their wood through the dishwasher with no chemicals.

I personally would do it, but I have a built-in compartment and can't remove the Rinse Aid (oh well)

FWIW My driftwood's been soaking outside in a big garbage can going for more than 3 weeks now. I change the water daily/every other day with hot water and it's still putting out killer tannins...

I'd recharge your Purigen if 1/2 is brown already- means it's already half (or less) effective than it was at first.
I don't have much experience but I soaked a piece in a 5 gal bucket for a week with daily, sometimes twice daily water changes. I put it in the tank last night. So far the water looks good but I already did a partial water change this morning. The tank was a bit cloudy from redoing it last night.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:59 AM
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I have had african root wood for almost 3 years now. It has slowed down in how much tannins it releases but it still does. The only way to get the yellow out is water changes other media designed to clear the water. You will battle the tannin issue for years with weekly water changes.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:10 AM
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It's def the driftwood. I wouldn't sweat ac/Purigen/Chemi Pure, anything for the purpose of clearing the water! It's just gonna keep on keeping on. I set up a 40 breeder just to pre-soak (for myself and customers) and it was never ending. I forget now how long this had soaked, but here's a pic of driftwood at the end of a day of soaking:

And this was with 100% water changes every morning and night. I'm pretty sure I was a week or two into it when this was taken, and it would turn tea-colored 5 hours after every water change. I also had a 1000 watt heater turned all the way up to speed the process, but I've got wood that has leached for at least two years. I'm thinking of submerging some in my outdoor pond for a year or so.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 02:44 AM
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I don't mind SOME tannins, personally, since I'm setting up an Amazonian tank ATM, but I really don't want THAT ^^^ much! LOL

Anyone else tried and had success with the dishwasher method?

I've got a "sterilze" setting on mine I really really wish I could use- I do think that the heat has a lot to do with the release...





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