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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted recently that I had dusted the bottom of my newly started 55 gallon temporary tank with Humic Acid black powder for plant nutrition covered by Flora Max, EcoComplete and gravel. When filled the tank water was the color of dark beer and I was advised to do 100% water changes until clear.
I have done multiple full tank water changes but cannot seem to rid the tank of this nearly opaque discoloration. More than once I have tried slowly filling the tank using my Python system while siphoning out any dark water with a gravel siphon. The last time this appeared to work but after attaching a Cascade 1000 canister filter and running it overnight the tank is once again dark! Is there a better procedure? Do I have to completely remove all substrate and rinse it? Should I try using Bio-sorp or a similar tannin removal product? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.:frown2:
 

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Activated carbon will remove tannins, but my experience showed that it will take a LOT of AC.
I had some wood in a 72 gallon tank that released so much tannin that the water looked like red wine. I did several water changes, then added about 2 cups of activated carbon. After a few days I switched that out for another 2 cups. No effect that I could see. The wood was producing it faster than the AC could remove it. I went back to water changes.
 

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I've noticed with higher temps, tannins release faster, at least with driftwood (explains why boiling removes them quicker).

Sounds like that humic acid is some potent/concentrated stuff. I am afraid it will require removing the substrate and seriously rinsing it (guess you could do that in-tank) or using new substrate material as I think all the powder has saturated the substrate.

What substrate are you using? High CEC?

I bet the pH is crazy low. Have you seen any recommended dosing guide for use humic acid powder?

I've heard Purigen absorbs tannins really well, but with as much there as it sounds, it would probably need to be recharged often. Water changes might be the cheaper option. Stirring the substrate as you drain the tank might help release more to get it out quicker.

Maybe capping the substrate with 3 inches or so compacting substrate might seal off tannins from releasing so quickly into the water column. Though the substrate pH might be really low for plants liking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to Diana and WaterLife,
I decided to tear down the tank back to an empty glass box then remove, mix up and rinse every bit of gravel and substrate as well as the heaters and filter pieces that touched the fouled water.
Hopefully that should do it. Thanks again.
 

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Rather try organic South African Rooibos tea if you want dark water, very good for your fish too. And the only tea I actually drink occasionally. :p
 
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