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What are your Blackwater tank setups???


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I've been wanting to make a blackwater tank with red lizard catfish and a couple of tetras and corydoras. Maybe even some apistos in a 29 gallon tank. I wanted to try a blackwater tank but I wanted to try doing something like tree roots going into the water. Has anyone attempted this? I was thinking of using botanicals as well. What do your blackwater tanks look like? What are your recommendations? What fish should I try?

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@Atitagain has been working hard recently with larger-sized blackwater tanks. I'm copying this photo of his from his post, but linking his thread here.


@Streetwise is a master with many things, excelling at smaller aquariums, natural designs. His tannin-tanks are fabulous studies. I also snitched a photo from his journal, which you can follow here.


Several years ago, Scott Fellman was the guest speaker at our Fish Club. His entire presentation was on tannins -- something he blogs about a fair bit! He was really inspiring. I cannot say that I've ever really taken the full plunge. But I do like to add a tint to my tanks. Here's an Apisto Breeding set up with a little tannin-tint. I use Rooibos tea bags floated for 24 hrs to add tint (though not really as much true "tannin" as botanicals add). Catalpa leaves and Alder Cones are also my go-to items.


It's barely visible, but my Discus get a touch of tint every time I change water...


Edited by Fish Folk
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I did have a 125G blackwater set up but I had to give up because the Price to keep it running was to much of my over all budget for the room. You have to replenish all the leaves, cones, caps, leaf litter, ect… and I needed to upgrade some things to keep it a true blackwater set up. So I still keep tannins in the tank but just IAL and it’s about 1 leaf per 10-15 gallons every 6-ish weeks.

but I did downsize to a 60GE9AD9A0D-3CA0-4092-81BC-F8AA6CCA3AF3.jpeg.fe6d0fc3d5b39c800e1df91ae063a582.jpeg



Good luck mate

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On 4/13/2022 at 11:01 AM, Patrick_G said:

I like a really clear blackwater tank. I was watching some youtube videos of clear black water springs in the Amazon. It's a fascinating type of ecosystem. 

This sounds cool I will have to check this out.

and I didn’t mention before but I would also highly recommend @Streetwise his journals  are a big inspiration to some of the stuff I fool around with.

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On 4/13/2022 at 8:01 AM, Patrick_G said:

I like a really clear blackwater tank

100% agreed. I love to have a slight....  haze that shows up and you can see the separation on the coloration of the water.  I usually relied on tons of wood for mine, I am planning to get some alder cones to add to mine now. I have to be careful with what I do simply because my PH starts at 6.4 or so.

I ran a bunch of stem plants, jungle val, and anubias. I didn't have success with ferns but I definitely think those would work well.

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