Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Blackwater Tank Not Working Out

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Spen2cer, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    I am doing a planted Blackwater tank, and it’s been almost a day, and it looks like this:
    upload_2018-12-22_21-30-10.jpeg
    What do I do? It’s raining this weird sand looking stuff from the top, being dispersed by the filter. I’m using Mopani wood,and it’s not turning out the way I would expect. Is this normal?

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,740
    Likes Received:
    448
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    The yellow water is from the driftwood.

    If there is white stuff snowing then that is either fine sand being blown around or something weird. Give it 24 hours and if it still looks gross then replace all the water.

    If you are doing a biotope set up, most areas that have driftwood, do not have large rocks or boulders. And most areas with a rocky substrate do not have wood. I would take out the big rocks and just have a bit of driftwood and some gravel substrate. And maybe add some plants.
     
  3. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yeah, I’m doing a Blackwater betta and shrimp. I’m using the rocks as anti floating, so this will be out soon. I’m adding swords, anubias, and java fern.
     
  4. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yeah, the tannins are intentional, however it was super cloudy in places
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,740
    Likes Received:
    448
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Blackwater will make it harder to see the shrimp and the male Betta's colours won't be as noticeable in the darker water.
     
  6. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well, I enjoy the Blackwater look, and it will help my water in the long run. I have a high ph tap water, and RODIs are too expensive at the moment. Im getting a white or red betta, so it should pop in the water. The shrimp should be perfect, and be a subtle clean up crew. The falling stuff from the water has decreased a bit, so I’ll wait that out. Do you have experience with Blackwater, so I could know some tips? There isn’t as much info about them as I thought.
     
  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,740
    Likes Received:
    448
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Blackwater tanks simply have tannins from dead plant matter (usually driftwood). The more tannins in the water the darker it gets. I have seen tanks and creeks that were so heavily stained with tannins the water looked like black coffee. The fish were nearly impossible to see in this water.

    Tannins can but don't always help to reduce the pH. They might lower it a bit but it depends on the carbonate hardness (KH) in the water. If there is a lot of dissolved minerals in the water the pH will not drop as much compared to water that has no minerals in.

    Most blackwater tanks have fish that come from soft water with an acidic pH. Common examples are tetras, gouramis, Bettas, angelfish, discus.
     
  8. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well, I know wild Bettas need similar requirements, and Mopani is said to be the best for Blackwater, since it basically never stops releasing the tannins. I agree that it doesn’t always help to have the tannins, but natural driftwood is something I have wanted to try. If it doesn’t work, I can move him to a quarantine I have, and redo it with black lava rock. I will update with progress tomorrow.
     
  9. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well, multiple betta sites say it is fine, and this is why: “It lowers the concentrations of heavy metals in the water, not good for snails and aquatic crustaceans. It reduces algae growth, brings out the color of the betta, as well as toughening up their skin, therefore growing stronger and healthier.”
     
  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,740
    Likes Received:
    448
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Tannins don't do anything to heavy metals in water. If you have heavy metals in the water supply then add Activated or Highly Activated Carbon to the filter and replace it every time you do a water change, or prefilter the water with carbon before using it. Carbon will absorb tannins too so it won't work as well in a blackwater tank because it will simply absorb the tannins and then stop absorbing anything.

    If the pH drops too much from the tannins, then snail shells will dissolve. But this can happen in any water with a pH below 7.0. This is due to the snail's shell being primarily calcium and it gets dissolved by the acids in the water.

    Tannins themselves do not stop algae growth but they do reduce the light getting into the water, so algae and plants don't do as well because there is less light for them.

    Tannins don't toughen up fish or their skin. Tannins do have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. This is why a lot of health departments recommend drinking green tea, due to the tannins it releases into the water. The anti-pathogen properties means there are fewer harmful organisms in the water that can infect the fish. However, even tho driftwood (and tannins) can reduce the number of disease organisms in the water, it does not mean the fish will never get sick, and you should still do big regular water changes to dilute the microscopic life in the tank.

    Fish living in black water (tannin stained water) usually have brighter colours so they can see each other and attract a mate. However, this is often counteracted due to the darker water making it harder to see the fish.
     
  11. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    What would be your suggestion for redoing that tank? I don’t know how to approach it.
     
  12. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    I would like to revamp it with some betta safe stone, and densely Plant it. Any suggestions?
     
  13. NickAu

    NickAu Member
    Tank of the Month Winner!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Messages:
    5,113
    Likes Received:
    1,215
    Location:
    AU
    Hi
    I love Black water tanks, with the right lighting the tanks and stock look amazing.

    That's perfectly normal for a new black water tank Diatoms plus tannin's over the next few days to a week the wood will be covered in a white fuzz, remove the white stuff during water changes, It should take about a week or 2 for the water to settle.
    Do some water changes.

    [​IMG]

    Are you going to use just wood for black water or are you also going to use Indian Almond Leaf Addler cones and Rubios Tea ( Yes the stuff you drink )?

    Leaf litter is a great food source for shrimp. All my tanks have at least 6 or 7 Indian almond leaves in them in various stages of decomposition, I never take them out, Floating an indian almond leaf on some floating plants makes a great place for your betta to build a Bubble nest.

    Having a black substrate and black water will make your red cherry shrimp super dark red this is a good thing.
    Your Betta will also love the Black water.

    I make my own black water extract with Indian almond leaf and Addler cones.

    This is black water, As I said with the right light it makes everything pop.
    [​IMG]
     
    #13 NickAu, Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,740
    Likes Received:
    448
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    I would just add plants and remove the big rocks when the driftwood no longer floats.

    Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Elodia/ Hydrilla, Hygrophila polysperma or H. ruba/ rubra, Ludwigia, common Amazon sword plant, narrow Vallis and Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).

    The water sprite is a floating plant that can also be grown in the substrate. the other plants should be planted in the gravel.
     
  15. Spen2cer

    Spen2cer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ok, I’m with ya Nick. I’m planning on using Indian almond leaves and some various other things I will try from Tannin Aquatics. Colin was kinda degarding the idea, so I was planning on taking it down. All I need is a bag of black gravel and to remove the larger rocks to make room for the plants. What plants have you found successful? I was thinking hornwort, anubias, swords, or java fern.
     

Share This Page