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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just set up my 50 gallon octagon tank last night. Used organic compost soil at base and planted aquarium substrate on top. Filled with water hose and added API Stress Coat +. (Accidentally doubled the amount not realizing). The filter is new. Just opened it last night. Its a Penn-plax Cascade 1000 canister filter. It has a bag of activated charcoal in one of the trays. Its for a 100 gallon tank so its well enough filtration for my 50 gallon. The filter hasn't stopped running. everything is settled but the water is still this really dark yellow color. Like the color of nicotine 馃ぎ. There is no fish or plants in it yet. Its in front of a window but the blinds stay shut most the time. No sun has touched the tank. I've read that organic compost can release Tannin or organic acid which can cause yellow/brown discoloring. I had a piece of driftwood floating at the top to get it ready to place inside. Took it out a few mins ago. How can I get my tank clear? I would rather not replace the soil if I really don"t have to. I haven't gotten a water testing kit yet so dont know the levels of anything at the moment.
 

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Welcome to APC!

The yellow color is almost certainly coming from the compost and/or driftwood. It is not harmful, just an aesthetic problem. You do not need to replace the soil for this reason. Multiple large water changes will take care of it, but that will take some time. Seachem makes a water treatment resin called Purigen that acts like activated charcoal on steroids. Others have had good results using it to remove tannins.

Good luck!
 

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Like Michael said, don't worry. You're fish would love the tannins. So you need to make a decision to either have the best possible water for your fish, or the best possible water to your liking. Activated carbon or purigen can make your water crystal clear in a few days. Depending on the source (driftwood/soil) of the tannins, you might need to use it for years.
 

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Thank you both so much. I wouldn鈥檛 mind it so much if it wasn鈥檛 SO yellow. It really looks like someone used the tank water and washed down an entire house that had nicotine stuck to the walls. I don鈥檛 have my fish yet, as I was recommended to set the tank up and lit it cycle through for a few weeks to get it established.
 

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Thank you both so much. I wouldn't mind it so much if it wasn't SO yellow. It really looks like someone used the tank water and washed down an entire house that had nicotine stuck to the walls. I don't have my fish yet, as I was recommended to set the tank up and lit it cycle through for a few weeks to get it established.
I had to soak fresh driftwood for close to 3 months outside in a Rubbermaid container changing close to 30 gallons per day to get the tannins to stop leeching into the water. It was a long process, but patience always wins out in this hobby.

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KevyG, welcome to APC! Patience is a virtue in most things. And, the hardest thing to have when you are really wanting something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you both so much. I wouldn't mind it so much if it wasn't SO yellow. It really looks like someone used the tank water and washed down an entire house that had nicotine stuck to the walls. I don't have my fish yet, as I was recommended to set the tank up and lit it cycle through for a few weeks to get it established.
I had to soak fresh driftwood for close to 3 months outside in a Rubbermaid container changing close to 30 gallons per day to get the tannins to stop leeching into the water. It was a long process, but patience always wins out in this hobby.

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That's one thing I've been working on for YEARS. Lol. My kids have taught me patience but I only seem to have it with them. Lol I boiled my piece for a few hours yesterday, changing the water about every hour. I had it soaking in a bucket over night and it barely changed the water color. There was a SLIGHT tint but nothing bad at all. I just finished setting my tank up. I placed Purigen it the filter yesterday. Didn't notice much of a difference this morning. But I had to empty out like 60% or more of the water to put my rock, plants and driftwood in it and the water is much much clearer. Here's a before and after pic
 

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If you have a pot big enough, you can boil a lot (but NOT ALL) of the tannin out of the driftwood (faster than months but still a lengthy process). I used treated tap water so no chemicals from the tap soaked into the wood.
 
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