Mopani Wood

  • #1
Has anyone had experience in using MopanI wood in their tanks? It's a beautiful African hardwood that has unique and textured detail.Very dense sI it sinks immediately in aquariums. Problem with it is it needs to be soaked for a couple weeks before putting in tank because it leaches tannins which will greatly discolor water. I had a piece in my tank , it developed this whitish hairlike fungus so I removed it and boiled it but the fungus like stuff came back. I threw that piece out....the others are fine.
  • #2
We never had a problem with mopanI wood developing fungus, but it is pretty tough wood, and excellent for aquariums. Hope the next piece works out well for ya.
  • #3
I bought a medium piece for my new 56g, and just ordered a large piece from DFS. It is really nice looking wood, and I'm looking forward to using it to decorate the tank. I'll probably start soaking it when I get home tomorrow, since the current 'schedule' has me getting the new tank going in about 2-3 weeks.
  • #4
I recently bought a peice of this wood at Petco. I soaked it for about 2 days and did notice a bit of color change in the sink....I changed the water about 3 or 4 times.....It finally was fairly clear on the last I went ahead and placed it in my tank.....but have noticed a slight discoloration to my water.....ack! My Ph is still fine, and I went ahead and did a full water test and all my levels are still fine. I thought about doing a partial water change to see if it gets better. I am now having second thoughts about it, maybe I should let it soak in the tank for a few more days and see if the water gets any darker......since my levels are ok should I be worried?

The wood does look great in there. I would love to plant it with live plants, but I'm scared my Oscar will tear them up as he gets bigger....
  • #5
The color in the water should clear somewhat over time as you do water changes. It doesn't offend me, I have several pieces in my big tank.
  • #6
I put some in my 30 gallon recently, I didnt soak it first, and it only discolored the water for a few days, and didnt affect the ph at all.
  • #7
If you want to clear it up quicker, run activated carbon in your filter -- that does the trick in a day or so.
  • #8
Activated Carbon?

I have never heard of activate carbon. Can you buy a activated carbon filter inserts for a HOB filter? or how about Undergravel filter systems? do explain. please.
  • #9
I have never heard of activate carbon. Can you buy a activated carbon filter inserts for a HOB filter? or how about Undergravel filter systems? do explain. please.

You can buy small nylon woven bags, and a container of charcoal. Just rinse the bag after you fill it in some tank water, before you put it in the HOB. I thinks most LFS and LPS have these items. After you use it you can throw away the carbon,and clean the bag, and have it for the next time
  • #10
Great! Thank you! do you know if they sell the little cartridges for a undergravel system?
  • #11
No, undergravel systems don't use any type of cartridge. You'd have to add an internal, HOB or cannister filter to take advantage of activated carbon.

As for what it is, it's a modern improvement on the old charcoal used in filters many moons ago (and maybe in some cheaper filters today ). It's more pure than charcoal, so its better at removing contaminants quickly. This is among the better of the AC products out there:

There's also a host of carbon-substitutes available, that remove contaminants without removing the stuff that plants need to thrive. Seachem's has been spoken of well here.
  • #12
I beg to differ. at the top of each bubbler stack there is a carbon cartridge that all the air and water passes through.....
  • #13
Hmm, never seen one of those for a UGF. But then again, I don't like UG filters, so I never paid much attention to them either. In any case, I found them here, buried deep on the DFS site: . They're refillable, according to the description in the print catalog.
  • #14
Well, Come to find out the cartridges that I already had in my bubbler stacks were activated carbon. They did however have some sludge built up and I was planning on replacing them anyways.....but I did go to petco yesterday and bought two new ones and replaced the gunky ones. I also did a 25% water change.....water looks better. I Also found that I had gunk and algae built up on my glass (beneath the light) cleaned it up and I got much more light to pass through....soo its looking better.
  • #15
What is the difference between MopanI Wood and driftwood? Can MopanI Wood be used in freshwater fish tanks, will it leak tannis like driftwood?

Thanks much
  • #16
MopanI wood is a very dense hardwood from Africa that sinks w/out soaking. Any wood is liable to leak tannins unless they've already been soaked out of it, MopanI wood will too. I use it in several tanks, it doesn't seem to be as bad as malaysian wood for tannins.
  • #17
How long would you have to soak it, does it require boiling also? Thanks much
  • #18
How long just depends on how much it satins the water; boiling will speed up the process a little, but personally I'm not a fan of wood soup. The tannins may also permanently stain the pot the wood is boiled in. If you don't mind the brown tint in the water the tannins won't do any harm.
  • #19
Some people like the tinted water, and say it is more natural.

When I did mine, I let it soak for a day, then put it in the tank. It tinted the water for awhile ( which I didn't mind ) then with each water change got less and less.

It won't hurt the fish any.
  • #20
If you run charcoal for a bit it will remove the tannins faster. But the fish won't mind and it will eventually go away on it's own with water changes.
  • #21
HI all, I have not been here for a while so here is my current set up.
I have a 40 gallon planted with easy plants like wisteria and java ferns.
My centerpiece is a piece of mopanI wood. I boiled mine and put it in the same day I bought it and other than the tint everything was fine and the fish were healthy. However after at least 6 months the tint (while not as bad as it was) will not go away. Did I make a huge mistake and can I fix it? Thanks.
  • #22
It's just a minor mistake.

You should have soaked the wood in a tote of water for 6-8 months to leach the tannins out and then boil it.

Since you only boiled it, it got little to no tannins out.

The tint (Caused by tannins) will go away soon and is not a problem (the tannins in the water are actually healthy for the fish).
  • #23
Thanks, I knew the tannins would occur when I put it in but not for how long. My PH is kinda high so the tannins are good for another reason. Thanks!
  • #24
Your welcome!
  • #25
I had mopanI and I just put it in a bucket and boiled water then poured the boiled water in the bucket and then the next day I poured out the tannin water and added new boiled water. I did this for a week and had no tannins in my 29 gallon. carbon will also take the tannins away but you'll have to replace it alot.
  • #26
Yeah, nothing to be hugely worried about as mentioned above. But I beg to differ with the 6-8 months to leach tannins. Here's what I did with mine...
1. Let wood sit in bucket of hot water for 2 weeks.
2. Take wood out of bucket and boil repeatedly for about 2 days.(The wood's pores should be soft and open by now)
3. Place it in a bucket for another 2-4 days.
4. Then place it in your tank.
5. Add activated carbon to your filter as it clarifies the water.

That's pretty much all I did with mine, you can shorten the amount of days to let it soak.

You will always have tannins but activated carbon usually gets rid of it.

Good luck!
  • #27
pshhh I say boil it for a week and you won't have problems.
  • #28
pshhh I say boil it for a week and you won't have problems.

  • #29
just started boiling my driftwood any advice on tannin removal? it's about an 18 inch piece and I was wondering how many times do you think I might have to boil it to get all of the tannins out.
Matt B
  • #30
I'd boil it for an hour, discard the water and boil it again for an hour. Repeat until the water you're dumping out is more or less clear compared to when you started.

I then let it sit for a week or two in a bucket of water that I change periodically but this step is kind of optional imo.
  • #31
thank you for your reply Matt at the moment I am just boiling the water gets brown and changing it. I've already changed it like 3 times and its still the same. I feel that this is going to be a long process, but I'm up for it. Thanks again
  • #32
I have mopanI driftwood, and I soaked in hot water and refreshed and soaked and refreshed for 2 weeks waiting for the water to come out clear! it never did! finally I just put it in my tank expecting tanin-stained water, but it's been crystal clear from day 1. one thing I think it did do, though, is lower the pH. all my tanks run at about 8.0, but that tank is now 7.4-ish. the only thing different is the wood, so that's what I'm attributing
it to.
  • #33
Where did you get the driftwood and how much did it cost you?
  • #34
pet supplies plus, medium-sized piece, clearance for $4.
  • #35
Wow, very nice!! What kind of tank are you going to put it in and with what fish?
  • #36
One common thread I've noticed in reviews and posts about driftwood is that people boiling it have this long week(s) long fight with tannins, whereas folks just tossing it in the tank after a cleaning have none. I personally have never boiled any of my 3 pieces of driftwood, and never had a bit of tannins. Maybe the heat brings it out
  • #37
it's in a 29 gal with 3 small-ish comets. they're just inside for the winter, and in the spring, we're going to build them a ~1500 gal pond. our 150 gal we started out with this past summer/fall did really well, so we're inspired to go huge. they should be able to overwinter in it. long story short, their 29 gal is temporary.
  • #38
Yeah, I fought with my driftwood yesterday.... 12 hrs non stop boiling and no change what so ever except to the pan lol. the wood looks a little better but the pan took me 2 hrs to scrub and still isn't as clean as it was before. I did soak it for about a week before I put it into my tank but it still turned my water that tannin brown color within three days and its a 75 gal. So after some WC and boiling for 12 hrs I'm going to put it back into my tank and see what happens. As for where I bought it I got it at petco for around 12 bucks... its not too bad about an 18 in long piece and about 8 ins tall.
  • #39
Welcome to Fishlore!

I didn't boil mine. I soaked it a few days to get most of the tannins out. This was in January 2012. I still get water discoloration. But if I keep up with water changes, you don't see it for the most part.

In my 20Gal I have several medium and 1 or 2 larger pieces. I would just do water changes on the tank as needed.

Do you have any pictures of it?

  • #40
Good morning,

I'm also one that doesn't mind the tannins/tea color in my tank. I think adds to the more natural look of the environment.

I have 5 XL pieces (store bought) in my 265g tank and 5 pieces in my 33g tank. (all Malaysian) I simply rinsed them in warm water and add them to the tank.

Adding Activated Carbon may help to a small degree, to remove some of the tea color, but it will not remove it completely. It just takes time and water changes.

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