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[APD] Tannins in a planted tank

Hello all,

I set up a planted 7g earlier this year with leonardite Onyx sand over it. I added some mulm to the leonardite and attempted the Low light - no CO2 setup as Tom Barr outlined it. I ended up taking it down because the leonardite leeched so many tannins into the water, and I really don't care for the stained brown water look. It just looks dirty to me and I prefer clear water where nothing is discolored yellow or brown by the tint of the tannins. I set it back up with just onyx sand about 5 months ago and the water is nice and clear.

One thing I wonder is if I had used a thicker layer of onyx sand would the tannins in the leonardite have been contained away from the water column? I only had about 1-1.5" Onyx sand over about 1/2" of leonardite since the tank is shallow.

Will leonardite always leech tannins into the water, or will a thicker substrate keep it out. Can it be cured like driftwood to keep it from turning the water brown?

If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. I'm thinking of setting up a little bigger low-light no CO2 tank and would like to give the plants a better root base. But would prefer the water not to be so yellow/brown.

AZ Burns

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