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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently posted about a buddy who got some driftwood that colored his water. I seem to be having trouble getting the tanins to leach out, even with boiling, and I am ready to give up after a few days. My question is whether or not the tanin-colored water will have an adverse affect the light in his tank? It seems to me that the darker the water the less light it will transmit. Is this correct?
 

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Tannins have to have an effect of how much light is transmitted through the water, but whether that effect is less than 10% or more like 50% is something I haven't seen any data about. My guess is that if the water is just yellowish and not distinctly brown the effect will be less than 10%.
 

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Tannins in Tank water

Hello wet...

The tannins from the commercial driftwood don't cloud the water just turn it a clear, yellowish color, but really no more so than the color the tank water gets when you're close to time for a water change.

If you're following a sound tank maintenance schedule that includes large and frequent water changes, like 50 percent weekly, then the tannins won't be in the tank long enough to create a problem.

B
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tannins have to have an effect of how much light is transmitted through the water, but whether that effect is less than 10% or more like 50% is something I haven't seen any data about. My guess is that if the water is just yellowish and not distinctly brown the effect will be less than 10%.
Makes sense, but I was not sure. Thanks for the answer, I was hoping you would reply to this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello wet...

The tannins from the commercial driftwood don't cloud the water just turn it a clear, yellowish color, but really no more so than the color the tank water gets when you're close to time for a water change.

If you're following a sound tank maintenance schedule that includes large and frequent water changes, like 50 percent weekly, then the tannins won't be in the tank long enough to create a problem.

B
My concern was, while the wood was in the water it would turn dark tea-colored within a half hour of a 50% water change, even if it was a few days. Honestly, I don't think water changes would have helped this. The wood has been out of his tank for two days, and with water changes it has cleared 100%, but if I put the wood into a bucket, the water looks like tea in half an hour. Honestly, I am going to suggest that he use rocks for his hardscape instead of the wood. Thanks for your reply.
 

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Where the heck did he get that wood? I know when I did my driftwood, it cleaned and soaked in bleach water for around 3 weeks then another week in water with lots of dechlorinator
 

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My concern was, while the wood was in the water it would turn dark tea-colored within a half hour of a 50% water change, even if it was a few days. Honestly, I don't think water changes would have helped this. The wood has been out of his tank for two days, and with water changes it has cleared 100%, but if I put the wood into a bucket, the water looks like tea in half an hour. Honestly, I am going to suggest that he use rocks for his hardscape instead of the wood. Thanks for your reply.
Hello wet...

If you have even the slightest doubt about this wood, then the old saying is "there is not doubt". So, you pitch the piece in the trash and take a hit in the wallet. Better that, then worrying about it in the tank.

I've heard good things about Cypress Knees. Those are supposed to be excellent decor for a planted tank. Do you have them in your area? I've decorated several of my tanks with driftwood I've picked up along the river beds here and those don't leach the tannins into the tank water. Might be a good opportunity to get some early morning exercise before things heat up there. Be careful not to break any local laws.

B
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello wet...

If you have even the slightest doubt about this wood, then the old saying is "there is not doubt". So, you pitch the piece in the trash and take a hit in the wallet. Better that, then worrying about it in the tank.

I've heard good things about Cypress Knees. Those are supposed to be excellent decor for a planted tank. Do you have them in your area? I've decorated several of my tanks with driftwood I've picked up along the river beds here and those don't leach the tannins into the tank water. Might be a good opportunity to get some early morning exercise before things heat up there. Be careful not to break any local laws.

B
He got the wood from a big box retailer and put it into his tank without reading the tag- it was actually intended for a reptile habitat and not for aquarium use. I told him I would post here to see what advice people had, so I am stuck helping him. Honestly, I would just pitch it if it were mine. We have a ton of cypress trees here, that is a good suggestion. I think that the only way we could get in trouble is if we cut down a tree for the knees, which I would not do anyway. I have a friend that has some cypress on their property, I will see if there is any cypress deadwood that we can use. I have never seen this level of leaching before, it is almost like I tossed a handful of teabags in with the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where the heck did he get that wood? I know when I did my driftwood, it cleaned and soaked in bleach water for around 3 weeks then another week in water with lots of dechlorinator
It came from a big pet retailer, but he did not look at the label before purchasing it and putting it into his tank. It was not for aquarium use apparently, but was intended for a reptile terrarium. I bet he reads the tags from now on!
 
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