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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have had my system set up now for about 4 months and over the past 3 months I have had a problem with water color. Currently there is this brownish/yellow tinge to the water. I have a 20 gallon extra tall, about 15 fish, ~30 watts LED, Malaysian driftwood, Manzanita wood, (undetermined) drift wood which just recently was added. I also have a larger variety of plants about 11 or so. I have checked my water quality and according to the strips and my research everything looks good. I was doing about 30% water changes every 3 days which cleared it up because it was new water but it would just return. I trim my plants of dead material, and I searched for dead fish.

From my research the causes for these problems could be water quality, dead matter, and driftwood. So for me the most likely cause would be the driftwood, but I pre-soaked 2 of the 3 pieces so if it is the driftwood I think I know which one it is. The problem is, the piece I did not pre-soak (manzanita wood) has been in my tank for 3 months which is considerably longer than I soaked any of the other wood.

I am looking for any suggestions,
Thanks
 

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One reason for manzanita being heavy is that it has lots of moisture in the wood. Unfortunately, that moisture is often what causes color in the water. Manzanita is often spoken of as it does sink but what is often overlooked is that it does color the water and sometimes it takes nearly forever to stop.
Do some study on tannin to get a better idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like wood tannins to me. As long as your water is testing fine, its not a concern other than aesthetics. If you want to get rid of it, a bag of Seachem Purigen placed in your filter will help.
Thanks, I am going to be moving soon and I will need to re-setup my tank at the new place. Ultimately the aesthetics is a issue for me, as it does not match my vision for the tank. Have you used that product before? Should I wait for my tank to re-establish after moving before adding it?
 

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Purigen will clean that right up. I had tannins in mine from the wood and the Purigen worked wonders. Get the pre-bagged 100ml bag of it and throw it in your filter.
 

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Gotcha. I've used it quite a bit, its tried and true to remove organic compounds. I would throw it in now, or after your next water change to reduce the tannins first. It's great stuff, the reviews speak for it. One bag treats "up to" 100 gallons but I would put the whole bag in your 20gallon. Best not to cut the bag open, its very fine and can get messy out of the mesh bag it comes in. Fell free to read up on Purigen via Google or forum search. Its a pretty outstanding product
 

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Gotcha. I've used it quite a bit, its tried and true to remove organic compounds. I would throw it in now, or after your next water change to reduce the tannins first. It's great stuff, the reviews speak for it. One bag treats "up to" 100 gallons but I would put the whole bag in your 20gallon. Best not to cut the bag open, its very fine and can get messy out of the mesh bag it comes in. Fell free to read up on Purigen via Google or forum search. Its a pretty outstanding product

There are few assumptions that you can make in fishkeeping (as I am coming to discover). One of them, is that you can never test your water enough, and the other one is that Purigen is always the answer.

But seriously, that little bag of white stuff is worth every copper penny you spend on it, and then 10x its weight in gold.
 

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Haha, it's pretty awesome stuff. I've never heard, "I used Purigen and I didn't like it".
I hear all the time, "I wish I had known about this stuff sooner"
I was lucky enough to discover it relatively early, before I had even set up my tank actually, because of the marvelous purchasing algorithms on Amazon.

"We see you're purchasing a ton of crazy fish lady stuff. Other fish people have bought this product, you might like it too!"

It was love at first splash.
 

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Hello,

I have had my system set up now for about 4 months and over the past 3 months I have had a problem with water color. Currently there is this brownish/yellow tinge to the water. I have a 20 gallon extra tall, about 15 fish, ~30 watts LED, Malaysian driftwood, Manzanita wood, (undetermined) drift wood which just recently was added. I also have a larger variety of plants about 11 or so. I have checked my water quality and according to the strips and my research everything looks good. I was doing about 30% water changes every 3 days which cleared it up because it was new water but it would just return. I trim my plants of dead material, and I searched for dead fish.

From my research the causes for these problems could be water quality, dead matter, and driftwood. So for me the most likely cause would be the driftwood, but I pre-soaked 2 of the 3 pieces so if it is the driftwood I think I know which one it is. The problem is, the piece I did not pre-soak (manzanita wood) has been in my tank for 3 months which is considerably longer than I soaked any of the other wood.

I am looking for any suggestions,
Thanks
Hi Thehobbyhobbyist,

Welcome to TPT!

The likely culprit is the Malaysian driftwood, the tannins are reddish in color and it can put out tannins for many months. The water changes to resolve the issue temporarily but the tannins will return. Do a water change and add some Seachem Purigen to your HOB/canister filter - the tannins will probably not appear again until the Purigen becomes exhausted and needs to be recharged. Purigen can be recharged again and again. How do I know? I use a lot of Malaysian driftwood in my tanks and learned this lesson about 10 years ago.

75 gallon with two large pieces of Malaysian driftwood
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Thehobbyhobbyist,

Welcome to TPT!

The likely culprit is the Malaysian driftwood, the tannins are reddish in color and it can put out tannins for many months. The water changes to resolve the issue temporarily but the tannins will return. Do a water change and add some Seachem Purigen to your HOB/canister filter - the tannins will probably not appear again until the Purigen becomes exhausted and needs to be recharged. Purigen can be recharged again and again. How do I know? I use a lot of Malaysian driftwood in my tanks and learned this lesson about 10 years ago.

75 gallon with two large pieces of Malaysian driftwood
Thank you very much for your suggestion and experience. I just ordered some Seachem and it should be coming in by friday. I am excited to see it get to work. I love your tank, I am planning on setting up a 55 gallon soon, this 20 gallon I have was my learning tank, and I think I am ready to upgrade.
 

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I've never used purigen before, not saying it's a great product. But it's always better to cut the head of the snake, get to the root of the problem which is the wood as everyone has mentioned.

If you are able to place it in a big enough pot of boiling/simmering water, or big enough to get some if it in there, and rotate, replacing water and re boiling till it starts to clear up. Some people have even tried their dish washer without detergents a course, with larger peices, but I wouldn't recommend that.

This will remove most the tannis, at least enough not to effect the color of the water, and if couldn't get all of in boiling/simmering water then would go the most suggested route dealing with the aftermath rather than preventing.

Btw, soaking is so the wood doesn't float from being dried out, and doesn't deal with tannis. Even when buying from LFS, they need to be boiled.
 

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Malaysian wood offer's more tannin's for longer, and sink's faster, than many of the other wood's IMHO
Also deteriorates faster than Mopani,or Manzanita on year by year basis IME.
 

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It's tannins from your driftwood!

You have nothing to worry about because tannins are beneficial for lower ph fish and shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello everyone,

Thank you for your suggestions. I ended up picking up some Seachem Purigen online and the results are remarkable. Attached is the before, and after.
 

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That's awesome, I'm glad it worked out for you! Just curious, what was the span between pics? 24 hrs? 48?
 
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