root wood

Deano_

Member
I bought a piece of the root wood for the tank, as advised I soaked it out of the tank for a few days to remove the 'brown colour'... its in the tank now, but is making the water go a brownish hue, is this dangerous to the fish, I did a partial water change yesterday, do I need to keep doing this, or are the fish ok?
 

mcurtissdsu

Member
From what I understand it is not harmful to your fish, just a little unsightly. I would just keep up with the partial water changes every day or every couple of days and it will probably go away.
 

catsma_97504

Member
Welcome to Fishlore Deano!

As you soaked your root wood only a couple of days, your root wood is still releasing its tannins into your tank. This does not harm your fish. It does lower your pH and I believe even your GH.

If you have fresh carbon in your filter and do small water changes the tank will not start to look like it is holding brown swamp water. It is unsightly is all. Usually after a couple of weeks, the tannins start to lessen and in 4-8 weeks your water will start to clear up again.

If you would go to the top of this page a click "My Settings" and then "Edit Aquarium Information" it would help when asking questions.

Hope you enjoy the forum!!
 

used2bN2horsesLOL

Member
Deano_ said:
I bought a piece of the root wood for the tank, as advised I soaked it out of the tank for a few days to remove the 'brown colour'... its in the tank now, but is making the water go a brownish hue, is this dangerous to the fish, I did a partial water change yesterday, do I need to keep doing this, or are the fish ok?
It's not harmful, it's tannin, just keep an eye on your pH. Tannin will lower it depending on the buffering capacity of your water. The tea color the tannin stains the water with isn't going to hurt anything.

If you want to stop it though, pull it out and boil it in tap water for twenty to thirty minutes if you have a large enough pot. This will release most of the tannin from the wood. Then rinse it thoroughly and let it cool before putting it back in the tank.
 

mcurtissdsu

Member
used2bN2horsesLOL said:
If you want to stop it though, pull it out and boil it in tap water for twenty to thirty minutes if you have a large enough pot. This will release most of the tannin from the wood. Then rinse it thoroughly and let it cool before putting it back in the tank.
That is exactly what I did with my root wood and I didn't have any discoloration in my water. If I were you, I would take it out, do a large water change and then boil it for 20 minutes, let it soak in cold water for another 20 minutes and then put it back in the tank. That will probably help a lot.
 

claudicles

Member
I must be alone in looking at tannin stained water and thinking it looks natural. Water runoff from rainforests is tannin stained. I posted a link to this awesome shot in another thread but I'll repost it here.



Look at the third and fifth thumbnail. They look incredible. You do need to watch your pH though.
 

catsma_97504

Member
claudicles said:
I must be alone in looking at tannin stained water and thinking it looks natural. Water runoff from rainforests is tannin stained.
There is a fine line between tannin stained water and a tank that just looks dirty from the brown water. I recently picked up a piece of driftwood that was too big to boil, so I put it into the bath tub and soaked it for several days. And, when I added it to my tank, the water became so dark I couldn't see through the tank. I normally do not mind having the tannins in the water but when it clouds the tank to the point you cannot view it, that's too much IMO.
 

claudicles

Member
Wow, I've never had it happen that badly.
 

Alasse

Member
I don't mind a slight tannin tinge. I recently added 6 bits of wood to my BN tank, within days I could not see one thing within the tank *L* But then nothing a big water change couldnt fix
 

sanjin

Member
catsma_97504 said:
...As you soaked your root wood only a couple of days, your root wood is still releasing its tannins into your tank. This does not harm your fish. It does lower your pH and I believe even your GH....
How much does it affect your pH? I got three pieces today, and had them boiling tonight. Maybe I shouldn't add them all to my tank at once though, since I have fish in there already.
 

claudicles

Member
I think different woods do different things. I have a large piece in my discus tank atm. My tap water is 7.4- 7.8. The pH in the tank is down to 5. I have to do a lot of water changes on that tank anyway and that is keeping it up to a safe level. I have pieces in other tanks and the pH has dropped less than 1.
 

maxima423

Member
no it is not harmful to the fish:

"Soaking also allows excess tannins that can darken and discolor the water, to leach out. The discoloration caused by the tannins will not harm your aquarium inhabitants, but it will lower the pH slightly over time. Some hobbyists take advantage of this feature and utilize the tannins to achieve soft water conditions preferred by many tropical fish."
 

catsma_97504

Member
sanjin said:
How much does it affect your pH? I got three pieces today, and had them boiling tonight. Maybe I shouldn't add them all to my tank at once though, since I have fish in there already.
There are many variables that make it difficult to answer your question directly. You pH will go down, but depending on how much of a buffer your water contains (KH, PO3 for example), this change could be very slight to drastic. If you have soaked your driftwood (or if you choose not to soak it), you can add all your driftwood at once. Just monitor your pH to ensure it does not drop too quickly - your fish will help you with this.

Personally I have a high PO3 in my tap water, so my tanks that have much driftwood still holds steady in the 6.5 - 6.8 range.
 

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