Tanins

Viv

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For all you people who find tanins annoying( I hope I am not the only one), is there anyway to not have tanins released into the water of your tanks? Or do I have to just do a lot of water changes for them to go away? I put a piece of wood in a tank with some water, and then I found out tanins the hard way.:eek: Does anyone know anything about how to get rid of them?

Thanks
Alex
 

Kaysie

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You can soak everything for a couple of weeks before adding it to the tank. This will leach out a lot of the tannins.
 

carsona246

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I've read boiling the driftwood speeds up the leaching process.
 

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I've heard that boiling the wood will accelerate the process, but I've never actually tried it. I tend to just "live with it" in the tanks where I have wood-stained water.
 

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I had thought about boiling some oak leaves and maybe some driftwood for a tank I am building to give it a natural look. I did wonder if the tanin load would still be too heavy or harmful. I have soaked mopani wood for weeks before and it seems to help quite a bit.
 

wickedzik

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I've heard that boiling the wood will accelerate the process, but I've never actually tried it. I tend to just "live with it" in the tanks where I have wood-stained water.
This is true based on my experience with my Pleco tank.


● 1.) Get a metal pot with size big enough for your wood to fit. (Preferably the whole piece of wood inside the pot).

● 2.a) Fill the pot with tap-water until whole piece of wood is submerged in water. Heat the pot with stove for at least 10 minutes. Make sure the fire is enough to make the water boiling hot. After 10 minutes, drain the water completely out of the pot, repeat this step for at least 2 times more(total of 3 boiling processes).

● 2.b) Put the whole piece of wood inside a pot where it fully fits. Pour boiling water until whole piece of wood is submerged in water. Leave it for at least 15 minutes. After that, drain the water completely out of the pot. Repeat this step for at least 2 times more(total of 3 boiling processes).

Step 2.a and 2.b almost has the same process, but I personally prefer and do step 2.a. I have full control to adjust the strength of heat which can make the water extremely boiling hot which gives faster process and better results. This made my driftwoods tannin-free, I'm sure it will do the same to yours.

Hope this helps, good luck Alex.
 

Viv

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Thanks for all your responses. I am gonna try the boiling method soon.
 

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● 1.) Get a metal pot with size big enough for your wood to fit.
I would advise a non-reactive pot, like enameled steel or stainless steel to avoid introducing metal toxins.

If the rate of tannin leaching is not too high, I would guess that charcoal filtration would clear tannins also, I'm not sure if it's compatible with your setup in terms of water movement, etc., Does anyone out there have experience with charcoal for this purpose?

-Steve Morse
 

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In my experience, carbon filtration doesn't get rid of the yellow color. If it has any effect, it's slight.
 

eyrops

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In my experience, carbon filtration doesn't get rid of the yellow color. If it has any effect, it's slight.
I decided to run a little trial on this. I boiled up a nice "tea" of mostly oak and cherry leaves from my yard, and water (first picture). Then after letting it cool, I saved one glass (about 350 ml) as a control, and ran a second through a Brita water filter pitcher (second picture) with a somewhat used filter canister. A third portion was mixed with about 90 g of Fluval carbon/zeolite aquarium filter media (third picture) and left for about 15 hours. Then it was strained twice through a coffee filter to remove some of the turbidity it had picked up from carbon powder in the medium.

The results (fourth picture) are consistent with Jennewt's experience. I can't see any difference between the control (1st glass) and the sample run through the Brita filter (second glass). The Fluval treated sample (third glass) looks a bit darker than the other two. I attribute this to traces of carbon powder that were not removed by the coffee filters. The Fluval does not seem to have changed the base brown color much if at all. The volume of the third glass is a little less because some of the liquid was absorbed by the media.

-Steve Morse
 

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Viv

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Nice experiment. Well, I need to get down to boiling some water...
 

eyrops

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I decided to run a little trial on this.
-Steve Morse
I ran a second trial after seeing a post on an aquarium discussion board that said that Seachem's "Purigen" filtration media would remove tannins. Unfortunately I lost my link to that post, so I can't pass it on. Once again, I boiled up a nice "tea" of (mostly oak this time) leaves from my yard, and water (first picture). Then after letting it cool, I saved one glass as a control, and mixed a second batch with about 90 g of Purigen aquarium filter media (second picture) and let it sit with an occasional shake of the jar for about 20 hours. Then it was strained through a coffee filter and put in a glass for comparison (third picture). The control is the glass on the left, and the Purigen treatment is the glass on the right. Purigen did lighten the color significantly although it did not eliminate it. It seemed to cause precipitation or flocculation of a dark colored material.

I have an interest in removing tannins because I would like to be able to crate a setup with an unconsolidated organic substrate. In my attempts so far I have had some technical success, but have not been able to see the animals as well as I would like because the water was just too stained. It seems that Purigen might be worth a try at least in an actual aquarium setup. If I do this I will report.
 

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caleb

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As tannins are (mildly) acidic, boiling in alkaline water should extract them faster than boiling in water of neutral pH. You could do this by adding sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or sodium carbonate (washing soda).

I'd recommend rinsing thoroughly afterwards, though...
 
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