Newbie Driftwood Mistake..

AundieRae

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So I bought this new gorgeous bowfront 26 gallon tank in january I believe, and I was so excited about it, that I made the newbie mistake of just submerging the night peice of driftwood that I bought, in the tank after only about an hour of leeching in a bucket.
Needless to say, I will never make such a mistake again, and as much as I'm enjoying my tank with my fish, I am getting very sick of this dark look of it. I have a dark look anyways with maroon colored gravel and red-green leafed plants (Given to me by a fellow aquariest, can't remember the name of the plant)and a black backround, but I can barely see my black phantom tetra's sometimes, they almost blend in, and my platties colors aren't as lively. And I know that none of the bulbs are burnt out.
How do I get rid of this? (I believe it's the tannins? I think?)
I've been looking it up and I don't really understand what people are saying about using charcol, if someone could please break it down to be in simple terms that would be great! And also if there is an easier method instead of having to go and buy things, I live an hour and a half from the nearest pet store.
I'm sorry if this is the wrong area to post this in, I'm not really sure.
Thank you for your help! :(

Also, I have a fluval filter and I am pretty sure that it already uses carbon.
 

onidrase

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water changes would be the easiest way. High grade carbon will remove it as well. I personally don't even soak driftwood before adding it to the tank. I just scrub it to get the bacteria out and throw it right in. tannins are totally harmless to fish.

The tannins will eventually stop leeching into your water after a few weeks to a few months depending on the type of wood you have. Softer wood means more tannins.

carbon is that black stuff you find inside of the filter pads of most hang on back filters. It doesn't have a very long lifespan IME.
 
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AundieRae

AundieRae

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water changes would be the easiest way. High grade carbon will remove it as well. I personally don't even soak driftwood before adding it to the tank. I just scrub it to get the bacteria out and throw it right in. tannins are totally harmless to fish.

The tannins will eventually stop leeching into your water after a few weeks to a few months depending on the type of wood you have. Softer wood means more tannins.

Yeah, I bought it right from the pet store, I have had it since january and even after my water changes and whatnot it still is pretty dark looking, perhaps I'll just increase the percentage I change and the frequency. I know it wont hurt the fish which is good, and my PH is already pretty high so it won't hurt to lower it a bit, but I just don't like the look of it very much.
 

evansimp

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water changes would be the easiest way. High grade carbon will remove it as well. I personally don't even soak driftwood before adding it to the tank. I just scrub it to get the bacteria out and throw it right in. tannins are totally harmless to fish.

The tannins will eventually stop leeching into your water after a few weeks to a few months depending on the type of wood you have. Softer wood means more tannins.

Yeah, I bought it right from the pet store, I have had it since january and even after my water changes and whatnot it still is pretty dark looking, perhaps I'll just increase the percentage I change and the frequency. I know it wont hurt the fish which is good, and my PH is already pretty high so it won't hurt to lower it a bit, but I just don't like the look of it very much.


Try boiling the wood for a few hours. Get the biggest pot you have, and boil some water. Submerge as much of the wood as you can, (rotate it to get both sides of the driftwood) and change the water every 15- 20 minutes. Do this for 2 hours, and soak it over night, it should be pretty good. That is from my personal experience with Malasyian Drfitwood.
 

faildeadly

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Try boiling the wood for a few hours. Get the biggest pot you have, and boil some water. Submerge as much of the wood as you can, (rotate it to get both sides of the driftwood) and change the water every 15- 20 minutes. Do this for 2 hours, and soak it over night, it should be pretty good. That is from my personal experience with Malasyian Drfitwood.

The anecdotal of evidence of boiling wood is mixed. Some say it's perfectly fine, others say it rots down the wood quicker. Sadly, there's no hard evidence to back either statement up so it comes down to what you think is right. I have tannins in my tank too, although it doesn't bother me quite so much as it complements my particular scape.
 

Tizer

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It breaks up the wood fibres, how do you think we make paper out of wood?
 

willowstwin

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I spent a week sorting my wood out... I got tubs (1 for each piece I had), and covered the wood with boiling water and left it over night, fresh water change in the morning and see what colour the water is the next night. If loads of tannins, water change for boiling water, and repeat until the water colour in the morning was resonable. Took me a week in total as one piece was really bad. But the first piece to goo into my tank took 2 lots of boiling water.

With my coconut shells, I put them in a pan and boiled them up, changing the water after so long (so I could see how much was leeching out).

But, after having a piece that did leech into the tank (giving it that soft warm glow) I, personally, would leave it alone, and just do regular water changes. It will go eventually, wont harm your fish, and some fish even like tannins :)

If it seriously bothers you, either take it out and soak it elsewhere (either boiling, or just leaving it to soak in normal water, but that would take longer), or as said above, get some high quality active carbon for your filter.

Try a big (like 90%) water change, and then see how long it takes to get golden again.
 

onidrase

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I wouldn't boil the wood. IME it makes the wood crack and soften.
 

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