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Old 06-04-2012, 07:33 AM   #1 
Pasqua
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Question Driftwood in a new tank setup

I have a new five gallon tank that I have just started cycling yesterday. I have usually used all plastic decorations but in this tank I have gravel, some live plants and a bit of driftwood.

I was wondering what the proper process is for preparing driftwood for a new tank? The driftwood is a small piece, and I bought it from a pet store. It is Malaysian driftwood I believe, if that makes any difference.

When I got it, I rinsed it off and brushed all the loose woody bits off it. I boiled water and soaked it in the boiling water for a couple hours, rinsed it again, soaked it in new water but just hot from the tap. More rinsing and brushing, and more soaking in fresh hot water. In total I think it was soaked in hot or boiling water for about four hours and rinsed under running water several times.

Is there anything else particular I needed to do before placing it in the tank?

Also, the tank, a day later has turned a slight brownish colour. Does this discolouration from the driftwood have any affect on the water quality?
I am not sure at this point whether to do big (maybe 50%) water changes everyday to dilute the discolouration, or whether to take the driftwood out completely and soak it for a few days (or more??) in its own bucket =S

Any help would be great!! =)

I have included a pic of my tank as it was while I was setting it up yesterday, just to help my explanation above. This pic was taken before the discolouration while I was still setting up.

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:50 AM   #2 
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The brownish water is due to tannins from the driftwood.

I have malaysian driftwood in my tanks too and I cleaned them exactly as you described and my water still turned slightly brown. The tannins won't affect your water quality.

Doing water changes and using carbon in your filter will eventually remove the tannins.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:25 AM   #3 
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The tannins from the driftwood will lower your pH buy a little bit but not by much. Other than that bettas seem to like that color of water.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #4 
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I always boil any new driftwood I get for a tank - this leaches the tannins out as well as kills any micro-organisms that may be present in the cracks of the wood so there is no contamination into my tank. Depending on the size of the wood - I'll boil for a good 2-3 hours. Mmm drift wood tea! >.> I don't recommend drinking the water...

this also helps to waterlog any dried driftwood so it sinks if it's not one of the pre-sinking types.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:10 AM   #5 
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Thanks for the info everyone =) My PH generally sits a tiny bit high so I was hoping it would lower a bit. It is now at about 7.2 or 7.3, but in my other tank has stayed steadily at 7.6 or thereabouts. So I am happy with the slight lowering in Ph =) I might get a bit of driftwood for my other tank too.

Bounce, what do you mean when you say using carbon in the filter?
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:19 AM   #6 
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Activated Carbon removes tannins by a little bit. But you will hardly see results as carbon only works for about a week and the tannins are being released continuously.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #7 
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Couple things I found with driftwood - yes, boiling it first is a good idea! It cuts down the amount of mold and gunk growing on it. Though this does come back.. but the cherry shrimp absolutely LOVE it and graze on the wood gunk every night, so I don't mind.

I have two pieces of driftwood, and even after soaking in a bucket for a week and then boiling, they still release a lot of tannins. It's not so dark now, after a couple months, a weak tea colour, and my fish seems very happy in it. Tannin water is actually part of the betta's natural environment, so it has some benefits to them.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:49 PM   #8 
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do you have a submerged filter? If so may I ask what kind it is?
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #9 
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What I meant by using carbon in the filter is using the filter cartridges with carbon inside. I don't use carbon at all unless I'm removing residual medication or like I said earlier, removing tannins if I've added a new piece of driftwood.

Using the carbon helped in removing my tannins fairly quickly. But I had boiled the two pieces of wood for several hours followed by soaking in rubermaid tubs for several weeks. After adding the driftwood to my tank, I put 4 cartridges containing carbon in both of my HOB filters (so 8 total) and in addition to that, I added a mesh bag of the loose activated carbon that comes in the carton in each of the HOB filters. I added new cartridges and put new carbon in the bags about about every 10 days and did extra water changes. This was in a 75 gallon aquarium so maybe it wasn't very concentrated to begin with anyway.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:01 PM   #10 
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I'm interested in what kind of filter that is too :) I have a Duetto 50 - that looks almost like it, or is it the zoomed one?
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