Does Wood Really Need To Soak For A Week?

BrandedUW

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I know there are a million posts on here about preparing new wood for the tank, but I can't seem to find the exact question/answer I'm looking for. I bought a couple pieces for my aquarium on Monday (one piece of spider wood and one of grapevine wood), have boiled them, and have been soaking them continuously since. Once they are sinking and I am comfortable with the amount of tannins leaching out, is there any benefit to continuing to soak and rinse them longer (say, up to the week the LFS recommended)? I'm not worried about a little bit of tannins in my tank (my pH could use it anyway), so is there really any point in waiting longer? Thanks for any input.
 

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Annie59

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I would put them in the tank. I don't soak mine even when I first get it, never have. It turns the water brown for a bit but goes away, well always has for my tanks anyway.
 
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BrandedUW

BrandedUW

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Thanks! You guys gave me the answers I was hoping for, lol. I want to attach some java moss and at least one anubius, so I'll probably wait until I can get those, but at least I won't be waiting the full week. Think I'm gonna go create a tank build thread finally. This is not a new tank, but it's going through an overhaul. Thanks again.
 

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I only boil mine to sterilize them and to help them sink so if theyre sinking I would just add them
 

Annie59

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BrandedUW said:
Thanks! You guys gave me the answers I was hoping for, lol. I want to attach some java moss and at least one anubius, so I'll probably wait until I can get those, but at least I won't be waiting the full week. Think I'm gonna go create a tank build thread finally. This is not a new tank, but it's going through an overhaul. Thanks again.
Don't you love it when you get the answer your hoping for? LOLOL! I know I do I'll have to keep an eye out for your tank thread to follow it.
 

coralbandit

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There have been cases where wood soaked too long IMO has killed the fish in tank quickly.
Soaking allows the leaching process to start and ramp up. It is possible to install wood that leaches so quickly it will change water parameters to quickly for fishes well being ?
Adding the wood sooner rather then later allows the leaching to start slowly and the fish to acclimate to it.
I too only rinse my wood even if it floats. It will[hopefully sink ] in the tank if it is not wet enough yet.
Never lost a fish with my method due to wood.
 

DoubleDutch

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coralbandit said:
There have been cases where wood soaked too long IMO has killed the fish in tank quickly.
Soaking allows the leaching process to start and ramp up. It is possible to install wood that leaches so quickly it will change water parameters to quickly for fishes well being ?
Adding the wood sooner rather then later allows the leaching to start slowly and the fish to acclimate to it.
I too only rinse my wood even if it floats. It will[hopefully sink ] in the tank if it is not wet enough yet.
Never lost a fish with my method due to wood.
Interesting opinion.
 

coralbandit

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DoubleDutch said:
Interesting opinion.
I only know of one case where a keeper was soaking his Java wood for over a week.I paid attention because he was the only other I have ever seen with Java wood [all my tanks are java wood].
He added a large amount of wood to his 75 gallon [I think] and lost a boat load of fish the next day..He blamed the wood till a better explanation was brought by Bradburry another member .
He explained how after soaking for so long the wood was releasing tannins [and whatever ] too quickly for the fish to tolerate. I don't soak mine as stated and have never had a problem with the Java wood.To this day I still use and buy new java wood.I have a piece still floating in with my super red plecos now for over a week.It sinks a little every day and water gets darker every day ! The fish seem to be adjusting to the water change gradually like it is happening IMO.
 

DoubleDutch

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I throw in my wood onsoaked and unboiled (this will damage woodcells).
If we'd realise why tannins are there (preservation / protection of these woodcells) and that most fish love tannins I don't understand all the fuzz to be honest hahaha.

Teacolored water yesssssssss
 
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BrandedUW

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Thanks for all the info everyone. My wood pieces aren't too big, so hopefully it won't have too drastic of an effect either way. I'm gonna go kind of middle of the road in terms of soaking. Picking up some new plants at "The Wet Spot" (doesn't Portland's LFS have the best name) on Saturday, so I'll plan on attaching plants to the wood and plunking them in the tank that day/night. I just have kuhlis at the moment and I'm pretty convinced they are invincible at this point, given their survival of my past neglect (which I am currently trying to make up for). Hoping for the best.
 

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coralbandit said:
Soaking allows the leaching process to start and ramp up. It is possible to install wood that leaches so quickly it will change water parameters to quickly for fishes well being ?
This idea is somewhat testable, and I'm genuinely curious as to how folks think this would play out.
Imagine soaking new driftwood, and changing 100% of the water every single day. The size of the wood doesn't change, and the amount of water doesn't change, so those are constants, as is the soaking window (24hrs). The staining of the water at the end of each 24hr period will only be a function of the amount of tannins released during that 24hr window. If coralbandit's scenario is correct (I'm calling it The Coralbandit Effect, until someone comes up with something better), the staining at the end of the first 24hr period (darkness of the 'tea') will be less than another 24hr period, say 1-2 weeks in. One could take photos of the tea at different intervals, filling drinking glasses with the tea set against a white backdrop with constant lighting, and compare printouts of the tea colour (sort of like parameter test colour charts ), and see what/when it's darker.
Next, will The Coralbandit Effect [effect... effect...] be different for different-sized pieces of wood of the same type? Or different among different types of wood?

No, I'm not going to be doing this myself.
 
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BrandedUW

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bitseriously said:
This idea is somewhat testable, and I'm genuinely curious as to how folks think this would play out.
Imagine soaking new driftwood, and changing 100% of the water every single day. The size of the wood doesn't change, and the amount of water doesn't change, so those are constants, as is the soaking window (24hrs). The staining of the water at the end of each 24hr period will only be a function of the amount of tannins released during that 24hr window. If coralbandit's scenario is correct (I'm calling it The Coralbandit Effect, until someone comes up with something better), the staining at the end of the first 24hr period (darkness of the 'tea') will be less than another 24hr period, say 1-2 weeks in. One could take photos of the tea at different intervals, filling drinking glasses with the tea set against a white backdrop with constant lighting, and compare printouts of the tea colour (sort of like parameter test colour charts ), and see what/when it's darker.
Next, will The Coralbandit Effect [effect... effect...] be different for different-sized pieces of wood of the same type? Or different among different types of wood?

No, I'm not going to be doing this myself.
You are clearly a scientist at heart. I'm a little skeptical of The Coralbandit Effect myself, as I believe the water is gradually becoming less and less stained each day for my wood sample, but without retaining samples for comparison (and perhaps using a blind experimental design for said comparison), I don't have the empirical data to say with any certainly that it's not just my experimenter bias talking.
 

Guanchy

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if you don't mind the brownish water add it straight into the tank. I boiled mine and the water was crystal clear. If you add the wood straight into the tank as the weeks go and you do water changes the brownish water would clear up.

Some people don't mind that look in their tank. I personally don't like it
 

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I think the issue may have stemmed more from things happening to the wood while it soaked. Unless that water is changed frequently, the wood can become exposed to all the problems that stagnant water can bring and then introduce it to your tank.
 

georgelee1000

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I boil them for 30 mins. Soak them overnight. That’s it. I don’t mind the tannin. They are good for most fish, why not lolll. And in fact unless you soak and boil multiple times and days, you can’t avoid tannin loll.
 
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BrandedUW

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I don't mind a little coloration of the water, but when I boiled it, the water turned almost as dark as wine, so I'm kind of glad I got some of it out. I'm sure my kuhlis would appreciate the darkness, but I want to be able to see them at least a little lol.
 

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Boiling really should be good enough. They will still leach tannins but will be sterile. If you bought them they should be safe to use even without boiling but they might float for a while longer and may have nasty bacteria or fungI on them. Carbon pulls out tannins pretty effectively but some wood will release more than it can handle. Put some tank water "not gravel vac water it will be brown anyway" in a white container. If it's darker than you would like then change the carbon and tank water more frequently for a few weeks.
I've had a wild piece of walnut to large to boil and even to large to submerge in a 55 gallon drum that is soaking with a pump and an air stone for 2 months to remove the bleach. The water is still turning tea colored within a week but the parameters are fine so I'm still soaking just to remove the tannins and oils. Obviously, every scenario is different and soaking gives you the opportunity to find that out before its exposed to your fish.
 

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