River Wood & Tannins - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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River Wood & Tannins

After doing a great deal of research on this forum over the last month I am finally ready to start my tank. I'm using a 20L with eco-complete substrate. Yesterday afternoon I found some great wood on the banks of the Mississippi River to use in my tank and was hoping someone would be able to answer a couple of questions for me. I don't know what kind of wood it is but it was slightly buried in the river bank and was completely removed of bark. I have the wood soaking right now and the water has slightly changed colors. At the end of August I'm moving so the plan is to grow plants until my move and then after the move start to add fish. I'm wondering what the effects would be of just putting the wood in the tank now, with water changes will I be able to remove the discoloration of the water? And, if the wood for some reason did have any chemicals on it would that leach into my substrate and ruin it?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 11:33 PM
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i wouldnt reccomend just tossing it in the tank now... its hard becuase usually you want things to speed up lol if your like me at least... but with wood you find you want to take your time, tannins will leach into your water for quite a while, even with water changes it will take a very long time..... to speed it up, boil the wood for 12 hours then let it soak in hot water over night and see how much coloration there is, if its still leaching tannins, boil for another 12, changing the water every 30 minutes or so.... but make sure the wood was found in a clean water source, if chemicals soaked into the wood this will cause a problem for your tank and fish... try the vinegar test on it to see if it fizz's if the wood is too big to fit in any pots to boil, what i tend to do for the larger peieces i find is throw them in a bath tub, weigh it down with slate or rocks, and i using boiling water, as soon as it cools i drain and refill.... i have had wood that stopped leaching within a few days this method, but also some that looked bone dry have taken up to a month or two to soak and boil till i felt it was safe..... a good test you can do is soak for 24 hours, use a hard bristle brush and rub the crap out of it releasing the softer wood, then resoak and do over again.....

i collect lbs and lbs or driftwood and river wood every other month, soak and treat for a month to two months and then use them in my tanks or sell them, but always make sure they are safe before you put them in any tank... GOOD LUCK!!


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 11:52 PM
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oh and p.s. when you do put it in your tank, to help with any left over tannins make sure you use purigen


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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The piece is pretty big so i have been boiling multiple pots of water and soaking them in a tub. 3 hours in and the water is still pretty clear. Can I do a vinegar test on wet wood? Or does the wood need to be dry to perform the test?
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