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ok so this keeps happening since i switched my filter set up to an under gravel. i do a water change and then a week later, the water is brown. i know my 60g is a little over stocked, but all the fish are still really small except for the kissing gourami. please give advice on how to keep it crystal clear. thanks!
 
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If your water is brown, its not because of the UGF or being overstocked, Brown water comes from tannins leached from drift wood, or the use of peat as a water conditioner, or even Iron in the water you do changes with, if any of these conditions exist you will get brown water. Carbon will remove color, but you should first determine the source. :)
 

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thanks jim, im almost positive its my woods. i have 5 malaysian driftwoods in my tank. they vary in size from very large to small. but i boiled them all for hours, AND soaked them for a week or so. i must still be getting tannins from the larger ones. *#3 oh well.
 
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I know this is a problem for some folks, I personally like the tannin stained water, i feel it adds to the effect of my Native tanks, as well as anyone who keeps fish from the amazon, I also feel it is good for overall fish health, as it is what they have in nature in lots of instances. However, i know of NO quick cures, other than removing the driftwood, and soaking, out of tank until all the tannins are gone and cleaning up the brown water you have now with carbon.
 

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Several people suggested using a bag of purigen in my filter. I put one in there and it's already turned brown. Might have to take it out and regenerate it and try again. I did a 20 percent water change too... made it look a little bettr but as you said, the wood is just releasing more tannins. It has to stop at one poiint, right?
 

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It was suggested to me once to put a large piece into a tub and pour boiling water on it and add about 1/2 cup bleach. Let it soak for 24 hours. Then change it to clean water with extra dechlorinater, change out the water twice a day for about a week. Best to use a cheaper dechlorinater for this. After about a week it shouldn't release tannins and all the chlorine should be gone. Scrub the wood then put into tank.

I have tried this method and it does work.
 

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Hi just have a quick question about the wood. How long have you had it in the tank. Sounds like it has been a long time and although a large piece of wood can leach tannins for a long time eventually it will stop.
 

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Oh ok then defintily worth the time to soak it if you don't like the coloured water.
But as has been mentioned before many fish do better with tannins in the water. It is believed to have beneficial effect on the immune system and lower stress levels in some fish. Sorry for the lecture can't help myself. :)
 

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Well I'm trying to post a picture of my tank so you get an idea of what I'm dealing with but I can't upload to photobucket from work. Guess I'll do it tonight.
 

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Does it look anything like this? I soaked my DWood for 1 week and am still having tannins leech out. Using charcoal and water changes to clear the water up a bit.

Pic:

 
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