Aquarium & Pets · Problems & Issues

Do Driftwood Tannins Hurt Fish in my Fish Tank?

Topic: I bought a piece of driftwood from my local pet store and want to put it into my fish aquarium. The employee told me that adding the wood might effect my water parameters or hurt certain fish species in my aquarium. He didn’t have specifics but only warned me of the fact. Can someone help to better assist this idea of hurting my fish?

*Awarded Answer
Posted by Charlie R:
The tannins are not harmful to fish whatsoever but what the tannins do to your aquarium water can be harmful to the fish. What tannins do to water is lower the PH level. This usually isn’t going to negatively effect your fish but in some weird instances where the specific fish species is very touchy to PH levels might be damaging. To be completely safe just check your PH levels on a routine schedule and research what your fish species need or if it’s harmful to have a low level of PH because that’s what will most likely happen.

Posted by Kevin J:

A lot of people aren’t aware of the fact that driftwood might change your water color tint some. I’ve seen some tanks turn to a nasty dirty green but then I’ve some tanks that look awesome with a yellow glow like tint. Adding natural decor like this to fish tanks can do more than what we think it does. Especially when the water is enclosed in glass. Also remember that the bigger tank you have, the less your water will be effected. Also combined with how big the wood decor piece is too.

Posted by Marlena D:
I would say one of the biggest things you should worry about is making sure that there isn’t any parasites rolling on your piece of wood just because it will get your tank and it can do some deadly justice to the fit. Tannins aren’t going to be a main thing you should worry about if you have regular freshwater fish that aren’t too difficult to take care of.

Posted by Vinny A:
Some fish will actually benefit from adding this type of wood to the tank because some of the species out there you need to have a lower pH level. So not only does it not hurt your fish but even benefits them by bettering the water quality and some catfish even need a piece of wood in the tank so that they can nibble on the wood and utilize it with their teeth.

Posted by Andrew E:
If you’re doing water testing and checking out your pH levels you should have much to worry about but tannins are going to hurt your fish. Every fish aquarium that I set up as have a piece of driftwood just because I love the way it looks and it really will add some value to the tank. You’re on the right track of picking up tank decorations because choosing real things from nature is the way to go.

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