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Thread: Help - Brown Water

  1. #1

    Question Help - Brown Water

    I have a 12x12x18 inch terrarium that I have set up. I put in Zoo Med Hydro balls - a fabric barrier and covered with Coconut Fiber. Filled with distilled water. No matter how much I rinse my fiber it still turns the water red/brown. I have a pump with a waterfall coming down the back side but it is running red/brown too. Is this going to hurt my red eyed tree frogs?

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  3. #2
    Founder John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    They will be fine. The only way to avoid this is to use larger particle coconut fibre.
    Founder of (2008) and (2001)

  4. #3

    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    Thank you so much - I was so worried and I could not get it to run clean. I was going through distilled water like crazy. I think I'll tear it apart in a couple months and put in a false bottom and just have the water pool in one area. Thank you again - I wasn't going to sleep well tonight :-)

  5. #4

    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    I wouldn't use distilled water in this situation. Its fine for misting, but not for the frog's main source of water. For that use either dechlorinated tap or spring water.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    Thank you Kurt - I was just reading up on that and will be changing immediately. I appreciate the heads up!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    You're welcome.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    It sounds like wood leaching tannins to me. Some woods, (and even corkbark) leach tannins into the water, especially in a fresh Viv. Just do frequent (twice weekly) 50% water changes until you've removed the majority of the tannins. You're water will slowly get clearer and clearer, and once the tank has properly cycled (biologically), it should run crystal clear. Good luck!

    Another trick you could use is to soak the coc-fiber and then squeeze it almost dry, before placing it in the viv. That way you wash away the majority of the fine particulate matter before the fiber even gets into the viv.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Help - Brown Water

    I had this same problem, and after reading this thread decided not to worry about it. However, the water did not get clearer no matter how many times I changed the water. It got darker, made a brown film over everything in the terrarium, and the result was a fungal infection that killed one frog and left the other very sick - she is still recovering in quarantine.

    I redid the entire terrarium, purchased an external filtration system with a carbon filter and used a thicker layer of hydroballs, and did not put any dirt or wood beneath the falling water, but again the water is brown and only growing darker. My survivor loves to bury herself in the coconut fiber, but I am opting to do away with it alltogether and put a tall foam barrier between the water area and the substrate area, with only rocks in the water area and large wood chips in the drier area.

    The instructions they give you on the Hydroballs package are not to be trusted! The natural waterfall is becoming a nightmare.

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