View Full Version : Tannins

02-24-2003, 09:29 PM
I have a huge amount of driftwood in my new show tank. At first the water turned dark brown so bad I could barely see the back of the tank. I put in some carbon bags to try to help get rid of it. Now it is down to a dingy yellow but I want to do what I can to get rid of it all and have a crystal clear tank. Anyone know how to speed up the process and get this tank clear?

02-24-2003, 09:37 PM
Keep the carbon filter running, that's about the only way. As long as the water's not saturated with humates and tannins from the water it'll keep coming out. You may also try raising the temp above 90 if you don't have any fish in there yet.

02-25-2003, 02:51 PM
Definitely keep filtering with carbon. After awhile, the tannins will still leach out into the water, but not as much nor as fast (plus with frequent water changes, that will help get the water in the tank clear).

02-25-2003, 07:56 PM
I think that tea color is kinda pretty. I'm probably the only one. :)

02-25-2003, 08:17 PM
I know, I'm trying to add tannins to my tanks. Dale, lend me your driftwood for a couple weeks.

02-26-2003, 08:31 AM
I gladly would Ralph but it wouldnt fit in your tank. It almost hits front to back in my 125. You can use Blackwater extract or simmilar to get the Tannin look Ralph.

02-26-2003, 10:46 AM
...and filtering through peat. That gives a nice soft brown color to the water.

I like that look a lot ::) (as long as I know it's coming from driftwood, blackwater extr. or peat!!)

02-27-2003, 01:31 AM
*laugh* I'm going for the opposite effect, I like the blackwater effect.

If your piece is small enough to do it reasonably (I did some in a toss away turkey pan on a bbq) boil the driftwood, it will quickly release all the tannins. Usually it takes hours of boiling though. My process usually goes for a week or so boiling 2-3 hours a night with water changes every 30 mins, for the rest of the day I'd let it soak in a bucket of water.

My next tank I'm looking for a way to clean/sterilize the wood without loosing all the tannins (I don't live in the best area to be collecting driftwood, waters pretty poluted, so I have to be REALLY careful with sterilizing procedures)


02-27-2003, 02:39 AM
Canada is poluted too? What is the world coming to?

A 10% bleach solution will kill anything living on the wood without removing tannins. I don't know about the polution part though, there is stuff that boiling won't even help. We have a post about treating driftwood, I'll look for the link tomorrow.

02-27-2003, 10:27 AM
I have done just the plain soaking method (no boiling, no bleach) but that was mainly to waterlog the wood. i never thought of bad little critters or pollutants. Something else to ponder.

Ralph--you mods are the best, especially for new people. It would take so much time to go through all the info. that's been previously posted. Let me compliment your memories!

Also on a personal note, I saw Bonnie R. about 3 years ago here (Twin Cities, MN) It was at an outdoor event from dusk into the evening. It was an earthy, bluesy deal and all the while, her red hair blew in the breeze. Pretty cool.

02-27-2003, 11:14 AM
I found the thread:


Ted Judy mentioned using a car wash pressure sprayer, that might work for you, Andy.

Thanks Jen. Bonnie is great, I used to listen to her on 8 track (an ancient form of music recording). I'm not really a big fan of ballads, but that slide guitar with her voice, just great.

02-27-2003, 01:00 PM
I remember 8 tracks only too well!! Unfortunately. :'( ;)

The power sprayer sounds interesting. Would it work with just air? My Dad has a compressor that he loves to blast things with.

I've seen LFS use the straight sun method too. That must work good.

02-27-2003, 01:11 PM
Be careful when using a pressure washer, they have a tendancy to strip the wood. They're great for getting rid of the dead outer parts, but you may lose a lot of little branches in the process. Pl*cos are better for cleaning wood anyway. As far as I know soaking/boiling/water logging are only ways to get the tannins out.

02-27-2003, 09:34 PM
I just rinsed mine off and threw it in. No problems so far.