Water changes for a super tanniny shrimp tank

redmare

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I have a 5.5 gallon with 6+babies red cherry shrimp. I have a piece of driftwood in there that makes the water SO stained. I know shrimp don't like or need big/frequent water changes, but I can barely see my shrimp! I was so peeved by it I did a 60% water change a few days ago, and added the new water over the whole day to avoid shock (everyone seems to be doing fine) and the tank looked so good after! It was so clear! But it's already stained like crazy again. So what should I do? I really like the stick and so do the shrimp, plus a bunch of my plants are growing on it, so I'd rather not remove it. I don't mind frequent water changes but of course I don't want to stress or harm my little friends.
 

MrBryan723

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Depending on the type of water you are using, something like 1/2 or 1 gallon a day should be a real simple and harmless task. You could have boiled the driftwood for a while before adding it to the tank(for future reference) to leech out the tannis. Active carbon will also help remove it. Aside from that, time is about your only option. The daily water changes will keep it a light urine color for a while until it goes away to clear water finally. Fun stuff. Just tell people you keep your fish in pee because they need to live in pee if they ask. Also fun stuff.
 
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redmare

redmare

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MrBryan723 said:
Depending on the type of water you are using, something like 1/2 or 1 gallon a day should be a real simple and harmless task. You could have boiled the driftwood for a while before adding it to the tank(for future reference) to leech out the tannis. Active carbon will also help remove it. Aside from that, time is about your only option. The daily water changes will keep it a light urine color for a while until it goes away to clear water finally. Fun stuff. Just tell people you keep your fish in pee because they need to live in pee if they ask. Also fun stuff.
I actually boiled it 3 times, 3 hours boil and then a full rinse in between! This stick is just insane. It's been in the tank since the beginning of March, too! I'll try the activated carbon
 

Renaissanista

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My mopani wood is like that. I boiled it then set it outside in a bucket for a month to leech out the tannins. Rinsed it often.
It still gives the water a tinge after 8 months.
 

CrimsonMoon

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I second the water changes and carbon. I heard this on another site: Instead of constantly boiling your wood for hours on end, periodically boil it. Boil it for 15 minutes, then change the water, boil it for 15 minutes, change the water, etc. Until the boiled water is not as brown. It decreases tannins output somehow.

Having a tank with wood can be labour intensive :rolleyes:
 

MrBryan723

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Pretty much this.
Renaissanista said:
My mopani wood is like that. I boiled it then set it outside in a bucket for a month to leech out the tannins. Rinsed it often.
It still gives the water a tinge after 8 months.
 

tjander

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Daily water. changes are not good. Nor are large ones. Once a week 10-15% is the max I do. More often than this is risking failing molts which is death. If you dont like the tannis color in your tank take out the Drift wood. Tannis is not harmful in anyway.
 

MrBryan723

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There is nothing at all ever wrong with small daily water changes. Many hundreds of species of shrimp and other animals come from environments where the water is being constantly changed all the time. Depending on an individual's set up, a 10-15% water change would always have an increase of nitrates since you would never be removing close to half of them at any given time. Someone have you bad advice.
 

tjander

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Nope my advise on weekly water changes is based on 20 years experience. Daily water changes increase your risk of shocking shrimps. And provides no benefit in most cases.
 

Renaissanista

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I'd take it out and rinse in often soaking in a bucket for about a month. It did help me a lot.
Don't do water change right after taking it out since the shrimp are used to the tannins just wait and do it gradually to acclimate them to less tanniny water.
If you don't care much and shrimp are fine just leave it and proceed as you normally would.
Daily partial water changes would take forever to clear the tannins.

Imo anyway
 

MrBryan723

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Let's do some math real quick. I'll keep it simple.
Lets say you have a 10 gallon tank. It has a bioload that produces 10ppm nitrates a week. You started with 0 nitrates.
So week 1, you're at 10ppm nitrates, you change out 10% of the water. That leaves you with 9ppm nitrates starting for week 2. So after week 2, you're up to 19ppm nitrates. Do another 10% water change and you're down to(10% × 19=1.9) so 19-1.9=17.1 week 3, another 10ppm nitrates gets you up to 27.1ppm within 3 weeks doing a 10% water change every week. That's an unsustainable process. While there are definitely mitigating factors: plants, pleniums or other sources that provide anoxic environments; it isn't safe to assume everyone has these things in place to retard nitrate accumulation.
 

tjander

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First off @OP it’s your tank do what you think is best for you. Good luck either way.

Now IRT the water changes. First off, Good point... if was only that simple... btw it’s not but I will spare point out the flaws in the “simple math”.

However, let me lay out this scenario. New shrimp keeper, adds Shrimp and driftwood to tank driftwood release tannis that is undesired. New shrimp keeper unknowingly does a large water change only to have tannis return. Then is advised to do smaller daily water changes. All to get ride of tannis in the water.

This is what I see as a POTENTIAL out come. You decided which out come is easiest, requires less work, and maximize enjoyment.

Outcome 1. Dead shrimp in three to four weeks from failed molts Due to shock from water that is not matched correctly to the tank parameters, PH, GH, KH swings on a daily basis as well as temperature swings. Oh and the driftwood still leaches tannis into the tank.
Outcome two. Take the driftwood out clean it do what ever is needed to remove the tannis do small weekly water changes of 10-15 % of volume, put the wood back in the tank new shrimp keeper is happy, tannis is gone, shrimp are still alive and well, and maybe the new shrimp keeper biggest problem is having to many shrimp to put the driftwood back in.
 

barbiespoodle

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May we see a pic of the tank to better judge how brown the water is?

In my shrimp tank, I have a dark background because what's behind the tank isn't pretty and with the overhead light, I don't even notice how brown my water is until I do a water change. And I think that's only because I put the water in a white bucket so I can check for shrimp babies.

Here is another suggestion. The driftwood in my tank isn't very big, it's just a pretty twisted center piece. Maybe you just need a smaller piece of driftwood. Or maybe my emersed houseplant roots soak up the extra tannin? Just a thought.
 

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