Tannins & Hard Alkaline Water

jameson_uk

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10 Jun 2016
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Birmingham
I quite often add alder cones, indian qlmond leaves and oak leaves to my tanks. This is mainly for the biofilm but I have always noted that I never see any noticeable staining of the water.

I have read a few articles suggesting that adding botanics to hard water won't achieve much (ie. https://tanninaquatics.com/blogs/the-tint-1/that-ph-thing-again). My original thinking was this was just talking about dropping pH (If you have high KH it is harder to adjust the pH). My water however only has KH5.

This got me thinking about whether these botanicals are actually giving off tannins / hummins and why I don't see any real staining (even if I add several leaves in a small tank)
 

Witcher

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15 Jan 2020
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London
This got me thinking about whether these botanicals are actually giving off tannins / hummins and why I don't see any real staining
Hey @jameson_uk just add 30-50 alder cones instead of let's say 5-10 - you'll quickly change your mind. If you won't see noticeably change in the color just add even more, but it simply depends on your tank volume and water hardness. For "proper-ish" black water I was adding approx 10 alder cones per 30l of water at approx 5kH in the past (not 100% sure about exact levels, it was years ago). BTW I've read some reports here and there that large amount of alder cones can make your water "milky" at high hardness, but never seen/tried that as I don't use hard water.
Ps. Now I add between 4-8 for 2-3 months and then change them to the new ones, it nearly perfectly stabilises my water below 7pH and colour is only slightly yellowish, almost unnoticeable (240l - kH at approx 1).
It's simply matter of testing the amounts you need to get proper conditions, that's all.
 

jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Bracknell
Hi @jameson_uk

I have noticed that not all Catappa leaves have the same 'staining power'. Obviously, the size of the leaves plays a big part and they vary enormously. I'm trying the ones from Dennerle currently and they are the size of a man's large hand. As leaves are likely to have a larger surface area than cones, I guess leaves would tint the water faster than cones. Probably best to have both.

JPC
 

castle

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19 Dec 2015
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Location
norfolk
Very hard water here (Cambridge) i use alder cones as follows:

Boil the kettle and soak the alder cones in a mug for about 5minutes, drain rinse with cold water and they'll stain the water quite well.

However after a few water changes I notice that my water goes quite clear, and the alder cones don't really have the same level on stain. I do relatively heavy water changes though, so that probably doesn't help.
 
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