Building up my first FW tank

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Building up my first FW tank

Postby Lukedt95 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:16 pm

I'm planning to get a Red Eyed puffer fish, my LFS currently has them in for £9.50 ea, I'll update this with my progress.

I've bought a nice smooth bit of bog wood:

Image

And a nice artificial Plant:

Image

I plan to get 2 Marimo moss balls (Around 3-5cm in size) and possible one or two real plants.

I'll update this tomorrow with a picture of my Tank.
Last edited by Lukedt95 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby Pufferpunk on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:13 pm

What's "aquarium shingle"?
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby Lukedt95 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:19 pm

My bad, it's actually called Aqua Gravel, the one I got is basically a very fine, soft gravel. I'll have pictures up tomorrow of what it looks like (It's murky right now as I've just been planting plants and trying to place my bog wood in there. (Which floated straight to the top - Apparently it needs time for the air bubbles to be released from inside the wood and for the water to weigh it down.)

I'll be soaking my Bog wood in a bowl of boiling water over night for several nights before putting it in the tank.
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby DGabbs on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:42 pm

Is that the drift wood that leaks tannins? If it is DON"T USE IT! It makes your water look like tea. It doesn't hurt fish, but makes your water softer and very murky.

Test it by leaving it in a bowl of water over night.

Tannins can be very hard to remove from wood and can take up to a year of soaking. :( You may have a good piece though.
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby Lukedt95 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:46 pm

DGabbs wrote:Is that the drift wood that leaks tannins? If it is DON"T USE IT! It makes your water look like tea. It doesn't hurt fish, but makes your water softer and very murky.

Test it by leaving it in a bowl of water over night.


It may well be, however that is why I'm soaking it in boiling water, possibly for 1-2 weeks. The Tannins are released and then it is fairly safe to use without tainting the colour of the water in your tank. (There will obviously be some leeching, but no where near as much)

I've also bought some Tetra SafeStart today from my LFS, cost a fair bit though.
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby DGabbs on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:44 pm

Lukedt95 wrote:
DGabbs wrote:Is that the drift wood that leaks tannins? If it is DON"T USE IT! It makes your water look like tea. It doesn't hurt fish, but makes your water softer and very murky.

Test it by leaving it in a bowl of water over night.


It may well be, however that is why I'm soaking it in boiling water, possibly for 1-2 weeks. The Tannins are released and then it is fairly safe to use without tainting the colour of the water in your tank. (There will obviously be some leeching, but no where near as much)

I've also bought some Tetra SafeStart today from my LFS, cost a fair bit though.


I've dealt with boiling drift wood, each time you dump the water it seems to leech even worse. Its very expensive to do with energy costs, and very very time consuming.

Depending on the specific piece of wood it can take a day of soaking or it can take a year of soaking.

Play around with it, but if your seeing a lot of tannins still leeching keep it away from the tank. Years back i had a bad experience where i i had a piece of that reptile type wood and i literally could not believe the amount of tannins in it. After 18 + pots of boiling water i ended up just throwing it in the garden.

But every piece is different. IME if the piece has a lot of red tones on it, likely its a big leecher.
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby Pufferpunk on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:13 pm

Driftwood will lower your pH, which is the opposite of what you want for BW. Do not use the Safestart until you add your fish or use it to seed the bacteria & add ammonia to feed it.
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby DGabbs on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:39 pm

Ya plus driftwood will likely rot faster in brackish. I would just stick to rock decorations, whether it be base rock, quartz, granite...
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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby JRC3 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:42 am

DGabbs wrote:Ya plus driftwood will likely rot faster in brackish.

I tried mopani wood once and it really started to stink, fast. That's why I use plastic mangrove roots from Petsmart...Doesn't look quite as good but will last much longer without any water problems.

Also, Luked, how do you plan to mix your BW when it comes to water changes? I would recommend a 10g plastic container with a cheap pond pump and small aquarium heater to premix at least 24hr before WC. With some hose attached to the pond pump you'll be able to pump the water right from the mixing vessel directly to your tank.

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Re: Building up my first Brackish Tank

Postby Lukedt95 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:21 am

Sadly, it leeched over night, I really like the look of Bog Wood but I don't want my water to be cloudy and brown, nor do I want the pH to be affected.

My brother uses it in his tank and the water doesn't look that bad.

I'll soak it for a couple of more nights, If it's no better, then I'll chuck it.

EDIT: I've decided to go for a Red Eyed puffer, as it is not possible for me to get hold of a F8 (No one is willing to order them in due to their aggressive nature) So could a Mod move this to the Fresh water Puffer section? -I'll do a blog of my progress on a FW tank, and don't worry, I haven't added any marine salt at all.
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Re: Building up my first FW tank - Mod Please move

Postby Iliveinazoo on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:06 am

Stick some activated carbon in your filter, that should remove the tanins. the activated carbon doesn't last for ever so will need to be replaced every now and again until the tanins leached become unnoticeable.
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Re: Building up my first FW tank - Mod Please move

Postby J-P on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:17 am

lol! I though that first pic was a ham bone. I had to look at it again to realize what it actually was ;)
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Re: Building up my first FW tank - Mod Please move

Postby RTR on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:02 am

Lots of fish love tannin-rich water and do quite well in it. Some fish (rummy-nose Tetras, cardinals, and neons) only show their best colors in such acidic, tannin-stained waters It is not on its own in any way harmful to rainforest fish, but it does reduce light penetration into the water and reduces the pH. Personally I have never had any issues with tannins from bogwood or driftwood, but I generally do pre-soak such for quite some time before it is used in a tank. More than a few rainforest fish require such acidic (low GH) water for breeding. If we ever breed SAPs it may well need such water. DPs don't mind it but do seem to require it.. Many plecos do require wood for rasping and eating. Do not pretend that all wood as harmful to all fish tanks, that is simply not true or even valid info, it is false.

Activated carbon will remove tannins, but it is not inexpensive. Water changes are cheaper and do the same job.
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Re: Building up my first FW tank - Mod Please move

Postby Lukedt95 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:22 am

How well would a red eyed puffer fair with tannins and its effects? Sorry I can't give you its scientific name yet, as I haven't been to see them, but they've just arrived at one of my LFS.
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Re: Building up my first FW tank - Mod Please move

Postby RTR on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:14 am

C. lorteti has been reported captive bred in water pH 6.0 to 6.5, so is likely to prefer soft acid conditions. But for easier maintenance and safety. pH at least 6.5 gives more margin for safety.

Please note that such water is achieved without buffers - never rely on purchased buffers to set your water requirements. That simply does not work and almost guarantees poor water conditions and quality.

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