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Wood - Tannins driving me nuts!

4311 Views 17 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  PlantedRich
I have some Malaysian wood that can't seem to stop leeching tannins! It's been a month already....I boiled them and to no help. I"ve been soaking them and changing the water every day, but the color remains.

I don't have any sense of whether in time the leeching will stop. Can someone please let me know whether the release of tannins eventually stops, or is this impossible.

I don't necessary want to use carbon filtration for the sake of the plants, so not sure if I can live with light tea colored water.


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It will stop, but can take months. Nothing you can do about it except wait, water change and carbon.

Boiling will accelerate the leach process but also will accelerate the decomposition a little bit.
Hi Aqua07,

Water changes over several months will eventually resolve the issue or you can use Seachem Purigen to remove the tannins and any other organics. If your wood is giving off a lot of tannins, the Purigen may eventually become saturated and need to be 'recharged'. It takes 24 hours to 'recharge' and then it can be used to continue to absorb the tannins. It is an excellent product, I use it myself.

** Use Seachem Prime as your dechlor after recharging to avoid damaging the Purigen; dechlors that have slime coat enhancers may ruin the Purigen.
I would boil it a little more. boiling will accelerate tannin release. i had to boil a piece of driftwood for an hour everyday over several days to get the tannins to go away.
Same situation here. Mine has been running for around 3 months now and It still have a lot tannin in it. I did boil the wood for 2 hours and soaked it for another week. A lot of people recommend using purigen. I did not find any of this stuff so I went with activated carbon. I added carbon last 24 hours and it seems that the water got noticably clearer.
Carbon has a negligible effect on the nutrient content in an aquarium. You can use it with no worries. Alternatively, you can use purigen as someone else mentioned or just keep boiling/soaking/dealing and just doing regular water changes as other users mentioned. They're all good options imo. :)
They will go away with time. As mentioned, you can speed this process up greatly with carbon in your filter. Change the carbon every two weeks maximum for best results. Purigen works great but costs alot more!!
Thanks for all the feedback folks :) Appreciate it! Interesting, I got another piece of wood, but it's not leeching any tannins, which is great!

So Purigen actually strips the Tannins away from the wood? As opposed to Carbon, which just filters the water and makes it clear?
I think rather than keep on boiling and soaking, I'll just put the wood in the tank and then let the charcoal/purigen do the job in clearing the water. Hopefully, within a few months the wood will reach its leeching point and stop.
Hi Aqua07,

Charcoal is an organic, using both simultaneous will result in the Purigen having to remove more organics and reach saturation sooner. You can only recharge Purigen about 4-6 times so I would recommend not using both together.
Purigen is really really good at removing tannin.
Carbons pretty bad for fish though, so I would go with purigen.
Carbons pretty bad for fish though, so I would go with purigen.
Please elaborate.
Carbons pretty bad for fish though, so I would go with purigen.
How is carbon bad for fish? I have used it for well over a decade and never had a problem. I am sure that without carbon I probably would have had more issues with fish health.
You can use bamboo if you are worrieed about using activated carbon. But even Amano recommends using carbon when a tank is first set up so I am sure it is fine. Carbon uses chemical adsorpion to remove lots of chemical plus it also offers mechanical filtration. It does not realy impact your plants to a significant extend.
But like was mentioned a different stick of the same type and size but dry may not have tannins at all. It would have to be a really special stick for me to go through special steps for possibly months while tannins clear. I would go looking for a dry stick!
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