I have mostly seen people talking about how you have to soak or boil mopani driftwood before adding it to a tank, but am having trouble figuring out how long! I soaked a couple of pieces for about 2 weeks, and then put them in my tank. A few days later, the water is starting to get dark from the wood. Is this unhealthy for my fishy? It's probably pretty diluted at this point, from having soaked for so long!
The tannins are not harmful for the fish... they are actually relaxing and will reduce the pH in your water... just like IAL.
I don't know how long you would need to soak to get rid of the tannins but I'm sure it would be a while and you would need to change the water. My IALs can release a lot of tannins and for a long time.
My mopani is new and still darkening the tank so I make water changes. I don't mind it being dark but my plants need the light.
It's just tannins. It is not harmful just many people dislike the burnt color. In fact many people use Indian Almond Leaves (IAL) for making their water this color. Why, you ask? Because bettas actually like the darker waters and having tannins in your water will do just that; there are also many health benefits that come from IAL.
I actually like the way it makes the water look, it's not a dirty sort of dark but more of an earthy look :) I am glad to hear they aren't harmful for the fish. My plants are all plants that can thrive in low light, so I think that should be ok! I'll just pick up the changes a little bit to make sure it doesn't get TOO dark for my plants.
Petsmart/Petco carries driftwood in their reptile section, but it's hit or miss as to whether you get a good piece. You can also order some online, I've gotten some through amazon. the thing there is you don't choose the pieces, so you could get a really ugly one!
Yeah the problem is that I haven't liked any of the pieces... I personally haven't been to petco or petsmart in search of driftwood, but there's a local pet store that is in my opinion the best place to go, Preuss Pets, I ask them many questions and they are very knowledgable, but the driftwood there is very expensive, and I haven't liked the pieces there either. I've searched in ebay and amazon as well.. so.. I'm not having the best luck with driftwood.
sounds like your options really are to just check out local places till you find one you like. Petco/Petsmart's aren't that expensive, and unless you are going there for advice (which isn't always a good plan) it probably wouldn't be that bad to check it out.