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Tannins in water

>Subject: Tannins
>Hey everybody
Matt Estep wrote:

>        I just set up a new tank(38g.) for my sirens. For you
>herpetologists (siren lacertina). They love plants and wood. I put to very
>large chunks of drift wood in the water then planted heavily with different
>vals. The water is a dark brown from the tannins released by the wood. I
>don't really want to remove the wood so I'm looking for alternative
>solutions to the problem.
>        It's not truley a problem, but I'm afraid the tannins are blocking
>light, that the vals would like to have. Plus everybody likes crystal clear
>water. any suggestions ?

_This_ is an appropriate use of carbon in a planted tank.  Yes, you will
have to supplement trace elements more heavily, but carbon will easily
remove those tannins.  You might want to run the carbon intermittently to
give your plants a better shot at their trace element supplements, and so
that you can tell whether or not you really need to use it again.  

A small amount spread thin in the water flow and replaced frequently is the
most effective anyway.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association