Coating driftwood to prevent tannins

CTSLAYER

So I have this giant, awesome piece of driftwood for my 75 gal tank, and it won’t stop leaching tannins. I have been soaking it in my other tub consistently for a while now, changing the water everyday with hot water, and adding a lot of boiling water to it, with not progress. I was just wondering if there was some sort of urethane coating or something that I could coat it with, that would not hurt the tank, and would prevent leaching... Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

A201

I'm sure there is some type of sealant available, but probably would be much easier to replace the offending DW with a non-leaching variety such as Manzanita.
 

Nobote

Krylon clear or marine polyurethane. You might want to test it just for look....a gloss polyurethane is going to make the wood look shiny .
It can take months to leach out a large piece.
If you want to speed things up...a very large vessel like a 50 gallon drum. You are moving concentration across a gradient, from the wood to the water. So the larger volume of water you soak it in...the more tannins will be leached out. As the water turns color and gains concentration, less tannins will be leached out so frequent water changes and boiling will expedite the process.
 

CTSLAYER

Krylon clear or marine polyurethane. You might want to test it just for look....a gloss polyurethane is going to make the wood look shiny .
It can take months to leach out a large piece.
If you want to speed things up...a very large vessel like a 50 gallon drum. You are moving concentration across a gradient, from the wood to the water. So the larger volume of water you soak it in...the more tannins will be leached out. As the water turns color and gains concentration, less tannins will be leached out so frequent water changes and boiling will expedite the process.
Yeah, I have it soaking in the spare bathtub in my house, which is plenty big enough. It just seems to keep leaching. Is this marine polyurethane you mention safe for fish and plants in an aquarium?
 

kallililly1973

The inhabitants will enjoy all the tannins and will eventually start to go away. I'd add it. I believe there is a filter media that will help remove some tannins as well. Maybe Purigen? don't quote me on that.
 

Nobote

Yes, once it is cured it is inert. But if you have ever seen a glossy wooden boat restored with it...its not exactly going to to look natural on the driftwood. If there's a Krylon Fusion matte clear...I would try that.

Personally I would get a 50 gallon drum and boil it for a week with a waterchange daily and let it sit until it eventually stopped. I can understand the impatience and frustration though. I boiled and cured 3 little pieces a few months ago. I boiled and soaked them in a 12 quart stockpot for almost a solid 2 weeks changing water twice a day during the soak before they stopped spitting out tannins.
 

CTSLAYER

The inhabitants will enjoy all the tannins and will eventually start to go away. I'd add it. I believe there is a filter media that will help remove some tannins as well. Maybe Purigen? don't quote me on that.
Purigen works for removing some tannins, but this piece of wood is huge, and the purigen can’t keep up...

Yes, once it is cured it is inert. But if you have ever seen a glossy wooden boat restored with it...its not exactly going to to look natural on the driftwood. If there's a Krylon Fusion matte clear...I would try that.

Personally I would get a 50 gallon drum and boil it for a week with a waterchange daily and let it sit until it eventually stopped. I can understand the impatience and frustration though. I boiled and cured 3 little pieces a few months ago. I boiled and soaked them in a 12 quart stockpot for almost a solid 2 weeks changing water twice a day during the soak before they stopped spitting out tannins.
Do you have what brand urethane would be preferred? I also saw a video of a guy who used clear plastidip for tank decor, just not sure how it will hold up in the long run... Any ideas?
 

Rcslade124

Poly fill also removes tannis. Just keep replacing daily or every other day and it will help
 

86 ssinit

I think you will ruin it by polyurethaning it. Also if you add plecos it could be harmful to them. They will try and chew through it to get to the wood. This is really another patience thing. Just went through it with 2 big pieces in a 30 g. Took almost 6 months till the water lost its brown color. But the shrimp and ottos had no problem. Yes the water won’t be crystal clear but in nature it’s not either .
 

saltwater60

I would not worry about the tannins. Try adding normal temp tank water and see if it still leeches tannins. It might only be leeching them because your doing hot water.
If you do the poly coating you will have to wait for the driftwood to completely dry.
 

Nobote

"If you do the poly coating you will have to wait for the driftwood to completely dry." - saltwater60

That's a good point. It might take 2-3 weeks to dry out if its been boiled and soaked
 

saltwater60

Also keep in mind it would likely never ever sink then and you’d have to drill a hole in it and reseal the hole. You’d have to screw a stainless steel screw through a rock so it held the driftwood in place.
Tannins are fine move on and worry about something else. Sorry to be so matter of fact but they truly won’t hurt anything at all. Enjoy the beautiful wood.
 

juniperlea

I don't understand driftwood. I've burnt expensive 'store bought' driftwood by boiling it for just a few minutes. I suspect that some driftwood is not actually driftwood. I saw this indoor decorative stand thing one day for $35 (USD) and immediately knew I'd tear it apart for 'driftwood'..... I didn't soak it, but plopped some of it in my 75g, bark and all..... no staining has occurred. Maybe because the bark is still attached, for the moment...... the fish continue to be active and healthy and seem to enjoy the vines. I never cleaned the wood. It takes days, weeks, months etc for some wood to water-log. In the meantime, I just let wood 'drift' around in the tanks!
 

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saltwater60

I find my driftwood by a local river, spray it off with the hose, let it sit In The sun, spray it with a bit of vinegar water mix, scrub it and rinse it again. Then into the tank it goes. Done this multiple times without issues the piece I just found would have been $125 in a local store and it took me a bit of work and that’s all.
 

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