Colloids, tannins, etc.

Hi everyone,

Well, my Duplarit G order arrived and I now have orange fingers (from
mixing it with 100 lbs of gravel). Now, I just have another 200 lbs of
gravel to wash before I can start filling my new 120G tank.

I have been wondering what Net wisdon says about the various Water
Conditioners available on the market. Dupla, in the book The Optimum
Aquarium, advises that tannins are a bad thing (would seem to rule out
peat-based extracts and things like Tetra's Blackwater Extract), but
that natural colloids are required in the water. I am using R/O water,
so I don't need anything to remove either Chlorine or Chloramine, nor do
I suspect that heavy metal binding would be required as any that are
present in my tap water should be removed by the TFC membrane of the R/O
filter. Nor do I want to add a product which will actively seek out and
bind any of the fertilizer or trace elements which I intentionally add
to the tank.

Is there a product, other than Duplagan, that will add colloids and
humic acids but NOT color the water a shade of brown (like peat would)?
I am using peat in the substrate, but it is located in the lowest layer
and in grannular form, so I suspect that leaching into the water column
will be a minor issue.


James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario
jpp at inforamp_net