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Blackwater Nano (experiment)

Robbie X

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20 Mar 2014
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391
Location
South Wales
Hi all.
I originally planned to setup a blackwater tank in a 2ft cube. Unfortunately I won’t be getting my hands on it for around another month or so.
While I wait for the cube I thought I would run some experiments in a 60L Nano. I’m hoping this will help me get some experience running such a tank and fine tune my methodology.
So yesterday I picked up a plug and play 60L Aqua nano. It had been used as a dry display model so I had a nice reduction in price 😻
It has a small built in filter section with a small spray bar and room for a heater.
The lighting has a remote with multiple day/night settings.
The light is not great but as I’ll only be adding moss and floating plants I’m hoping it will do.
So far I have only added the wood and a few almond leaves (how long do they take to sink?) I used water from my aquascape tank to fill it as it was water change day. I’m hoping doing this will help kickstart the filter.
I have not started working on the layout yet as it was getting late but thought I would post a few pics from the very beginning.
The wood has already started to colour the water and I’m looking forward to seeing how much the colour will have changed by the morning.
 

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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
Looks great @Robbie X ! Can't wait to see how it progresses! Whats your plan for livestock?

(how long do they take to sink?)
For me, the almond leaves usually takes 2-3 days to saturate and sink... I prefer to use fairly small leaves though (4 cm in length and 2.5 cm in width).

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Robbie X

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20 Mar 2014
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South Wales
Looks great @Robbie X ! Can't wait to see how it progresses! Whats your plan for livestock?


For me, the almond leaves usually takes 2-3 days to saturate and sink... I prefer to use fairly small leaves though (4 cm in length and 2.5 cm in width).

Cheers,
Michael
Many thanks, Michael.
As far as livestock I’m thinking a Green Alien Hybrid Betta.
I have a 2ft Cube coming in a month or so. This will be the main blackwater tank for Liquorish Gourami.
I am hoping I will learn from this little project and have a better understanding of what I am doing when it comes to setting up the cube.
 

Robbie X

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South Wales
Alder cones are extremely good for tanning the water, they maybe small but pack a punch. How dark are you looking to go?.
Yep, Alder cones seem very popular from the post I made about adding tannins to the tank.
I want quite a dark colour but that could change depending on my thoughts as this tank develops.
I’m hoping to forage some alder twigs and cones tomorrow if the rain holds off.
I have seen a few tanks that have alder twigs with the cones attached. It’s a really nice touch so I’m planning to do the same.
 

jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Bracknell
Hi @Robbie X

While I wait for the cube I thought I would run some experiments in a 60L Nano. I’m hoping this will help me get some experience running such a tank and fine tune my methodology.

Ah, music to my ears.

As far as livestock I’m thinking a Green Alien Hybrid Betta.

Is your plan to just have the Betta? It's possibly wise as other tankmates (if any) can sometimes be a problem, can't they?

JPC
 

Paul27

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23 Sep 2019
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250
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England
Yep, Alder cones seem very popular from the post I made about adding tannins to the tank.
I want quite a dark colour but that could change depending on my thoughts as this tank develops.
I’m hoping to forage some alder twigs and cones tomorrow if the rain holds off.
I have seen a few tanks that have alder twigs with the cones attached. It’s a really nice touch so I’m planning to do the same.
I do agree, when attached to twigs they do look great. I do like your idea of this tank being experimental and learning along the way.
 

Robbie X

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20 Mar 2014
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391
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South Wales
Hi @Robbie X



Ah, music to my ears.



Is your plan to just have the Betta? It's possibly wise as other tankmates (if any) can sometimes be a problem, can't they?

JPC
I have not yet decided on tank mates. I believe they are aggressive towards any fish of the same group including gourami species or anything similar in size and colour.
Bottom dwelling species are ok though. I will be doing a lot more research on the fish prior to purchasing one so will have a better idea of what to house with the betta.
 

Robbie X

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Added Alder cones attached to twigs today. Also collected some oak leaves that I blanched in boiling water and are now drying, will add them in next couple of days.
Found a nice website that sells some great looking pods and seeds for blackwater tanks. Can’t wait for my order to arrive, I think they will really add some character to the setup. https://blackwateruk.com/shop
Still not decided on a layout yet as the wood still has a little buoyancy. Should be ok within a few days. Once it stays submerged I’ll start experimenting with the layout.
 

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Robbie X

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The tannins are really doing they’re thing now, water has a lovely tint to it. Unfortunately the Images don’t show the extent of the colour.
Any tips on achieving better photos that show the true colour of the water much appreciated.
Wood is still not sinking, still waiting to do the layout 😿
I also added some large mature dwarf lettuce and frogbit today. I just love those crazy roots 😻
 

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Steve Buce

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30 Dec 2018
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Have you considered adding live food cultures to start food webs, I always add bloodworms, black worms, they will give foraging for your fish as they hide amongst the the leaves and botanicals
I add some snails also MTS and bladder snails
I’ve added daphnia cultures , but tend not to survive too long, because of lack of particulate food , so best cultured separately and feed to tank
I might try feeding infusoria
to tank then adding daphnia
Steve
 

Robbie X

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20 Mar 2014
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391
Location
South Wales
Have you considered adding live food cultures to start food webs, I always add bloodworms, black worms, they will give foraging for your fish as they hide amongst the the leaves and botanicals
I add some snails also MTS and bladder snails
I’ve added daphnia cultures , but tend not to survive too long, because of lack of particulate food , so best cultured separately and feed to tank
I might try feeding infusoria
to tank then adding daphnia
Steve
That’s a great idea. I have daphnia in my waterbut in the garden and I’m hatching brine shrimp for my main tank.
Ramshorn and bladder snails added 👍🏻
Where can I get bloodworm and blackworm cultures?
 

Steve Buce

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30 Dec 2018
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362
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Leicester
eBay , lots of sellers for black worm n bloodworm and some LFS might stock live food

Brine shrimp won’t work, due to its salinity requirements
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
lots of sellers for black worm n bloodworm
If you can't find any sellers I've got Blackworms and a <"tank janitor pick and mix"> you can have.

You can't really culture Bloodworm, they are <"chironomid midge larvae">, so have a flying adult. I don't feed <"shop bought ones">, but I <"ranch"> my own.
lots of sellers for black worm n bloodworm
I think all the Blackworm cultures for sale in the UK orginated with the ones that @frothhelmet <"brought back from the USA">.

cheers Darrel
 

Robbie X

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Joined
20 Mar 2014
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391
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South Wales
Hi all,

If you can't find any sellers I've got Blackworms and a <"tank janitor pick and mix"> you can have.

You can't really culture Bloodworm, they are <"chironomid midge larvae">, so have a flying adult. I don't feed <"shop bought ones">, but I <"ranch"> my own.

I think all the Blackworm cultures for sale in the UK orginated with the ones that @frothhelmet <"brought back from the USA">.

cheers Darrel
Many thanks, Darrel.
Tank janitors would be snails? If so I have bladder, ramshorn and nerite snails. But would appreciate some blackworm to get me started 👍🏻
 
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