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Old 02-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #1 
Nicci Lu
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Mopani Wood and Slime/Fuzz

I just bought some mopani wood and was curious about the slime and white fuzz phenomenon that I've read about. I've read many conflicting ideas about what it is, and even of some people who say it overruns their tanks. I decided to email Zoo Med, the company who sells the piece I bought and see what they had to say about it. This is what they replied:

Thank you for contacting us. The Mopani wood has tannins in the wood it leaks into the water sort of like tea. The tannins arenít harmful to the fish in your aquarium but it can turn the water dark until the tannins have been completely leached out. The tannins being released make a great environment for bacteria growth on the side of the Mopani that is what the white fuzzy growth is. Itís not harmful to your tank in any way and it does go away in a few weeks, it shouldnít take over your tank as long as your filter is working properly and your maintaining your water quality with regular water changes. You can soak the Mopani would in warm water before you place it in your tank to leach the tannins out to discourage this from happening. Be prepared it can take a few days to weeks to remove all the tannins depending on the piece of Mopani.

Does this make sense to anyone? If it's the tannins that cause the bacteria/fungus, then why doesn't this happen with IAL placed in the tank?

Anyone had the fuzz overrun their tank despite doing regular water changes?

Anyone boil the heck out of their piece so that there were no tannins leeching and still got the white fuzz?

Just curious because I am not looking forward to the stinky white fuzz.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #2 
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I soaked my wood in warm to hot water for a week before putting it in my tank. Never have this white fizz issue with it. You only need to soak most of the tannins out and it should be fine.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:15 PM   #3 
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I have some wood doing that. It's totally harmless, even somewhat benificial. It stops eventually.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:50 PM   #4 
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I was wondering about the tannins causing it as an explanation. Seems strange to me. I had originally been planning on leaving some of the tannins in the wood because I like it in my tank, but perhaps I will soak the heck out of it.

And I was afraid of being in the small minority of people who end up with it everywhere, but perhaps it is simply a maintenance issue.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:54 PM   #5 
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Mine has the same thing. It's not changing parameters or hurting the fish so I'm not too worried. Btw, the tannins in the wood look so pretty :3 I'm sad mine are finally gone.

I soaked mine in hot water for about 10-12 hours, changing the water out every 40-60 minutes with fresh hot water. When it stopped being dark and looked more like a weak tea I decided to stick it in my tank.

It's nowhere else in the tank, not even on the decor. I can get a few pictures of mine if you are curious.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:00 PM   #6 
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Its just the sap leeching out. It was pretty bad in my tank until I got some Red Chery Shrimp and they cleaned it up overnight. It stops after awhile. I would recommend cleaning it out when you do a water change cuz it starts to STINK after about a week
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:03 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kithy View Post
Mine has the same thing. It's not changing parameters or hurting the fish so I'm not too worried. Btw, the tannins in the wood look so pretty :3 I'm sad mine are finally gone.

I soaked mine in hot water for about 10-12 hours, changing the water out every 40-60 minutes with fresh hot water. When it stopped being dark and looked more like a weak tea I decided to stick it in my tank.

It's nowhere else in the tank, not even on the decor. I can get a few pictures of mine if you are curious.
Get some Indian Almond Leaves to tan the water. Looks good and is beneficial to the fish as well
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #8 
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Get some Indian Almond Leaves to tan the water. Looks good and is beneficial to the fish as well
:O That's a good idea!!! I think I will! I love that slightly brownish look tannins give, looks so much more natural than just plain water.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:16 PM   #9 
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Will the fuzz get sucked off with a vacuum? I'm planning on tying some java fern to it when it's ready, so I don't want to have to take it out of the tank.

Kithy, do you have any of the slimy stuff/sap? I've seen pictures of the cottony fuzz but am curious as to what the slime looks like. I heard it looks like snot.

I got 3 baby ramshorn snails as hitchhikers with another plant. I put one in the tank and have been keeping the other two in a QT tank- I was afraid of them multiplying with more than one and thought they were young enough to not have been fertilized yet. But I think I will put in the other two if I get the fuzz- I knew I was saving those snails for a reason! Snails will eat it, too, right?

I have been using rooibos tea for tannins- there is a thread around here somewhere about how it's supposed to be beneficial and it's a lot cheaper and quicker to get than IAL.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #10 
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I think so. I think my pleco has been munching on it. I haven't really tried cleaning it off so I'm not sure if a good vacuuming with get rid of it.


Click for full version. It's mostly concentrated in this area, I think. Otherwise its just here and there.
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