10g Blackwater Biotope Start-finish (Budget edition)

BruinAquatics

(This thread is a start to finish thread about my 10g blackwater biotope tank. I haven't started the tank yet and will be about tomorrow, so feel free to follow along!

Hey guys so I currently have 5.5 g walstad tank with a Female Koi Plakat Betta and a nerite snail. It has a little crack on the end of it and yes I know how to fix it but I honestly don't want to go through the whole process and it gives me an excuse for a 10g for her

So I've already ordered many items, and tomorrow I'm getting a 10g for $5 some sand for $3

I ordered 3 Cholla wood for $8 which will be arriving tommorow.

On friday, 8 Pieces of Spiderwood for $16 (seem to have really good reviews), 50 pieces of Alder Cones for $10, and 50 pieces of indian almond leaves for $21 which will all arrive on fri.

I'm also going to be adding frogbit, red root floaters, lotus pods and pothos which I already have

I also have a spare whisper 10 hob,50w heater, and aa simple cheap 10g light so those will also be used

Stocking wise It's be the koi plakat betta, the nerite snail, and some type of schooling fish.

So for now the total is at about $63 (add 20-30 if you don't have the floaters and the equipment).

Can't wait to keep you guys updated on this and I'll probably be starting on Saturday!
 

BigManAquatics

Nice! Certainly sounds like a nice little project
 

ChrissFishes01

(This thread is a start to finish thread about my 10g blackwater biotope tank. I haven't started the tank yet and will be about tomorrow, so feel free to follow along!

Hey guys so I currently have 5.5 g walstad tank with a Female Koi Plakat Betta and a nerite snail. It has a little crack on the end of it and yes I know how to fix it but I honestly don't want to go through the whole process and it gives me an excuse for a 10g for her

So I've already ordered many items, and tomorrow I'm getting a 10g for $5 some sand for $3

I ordered 3 Cholla wood for $8 which will be arriving tommorow.

On friday, 8 Pieces of Spiderwood for $16 (seem to have really good reviews), 50 pieces of Alder Cones for $10, and 50 pieces of indian almond leaves for $21 which will all arrive on fri.

I'm also going to be adding frogbit, red root floaters, lotus pods and pothos which I already have

I also have a spare whisper 10 hob,50w heater, and aa simple cheap 10g light so those will also be used

Stocking wise It's be the koi plakat betta, the nerite snail, and some type of schooling fish.

So for now the total is at about $63 (add 20-30 if you don't have the floaters and the equipment).

Can't wait to keep you guys updated on this and I'll probably be starting on Saturday!
Love it! Still planning on keeping some Betta Albimarginata in a 29 at some point... Just gotta bite the bullet!
 

BruinAquatics

Update: driftwood came today...... Sucks its so small. Much smaller then expected. Good for nanos but not large nanos.

Im prob gonna return lol. And get a new one that seems more legit. Idk how i fell for that lol

Anyways im deciding on a schooling fish.
Its between glowlight tetras, cardinal tetras, ember tetras and chili Rasboras.

Im honestly leaning towards ember tetras or maybe glowlights
Ok guys so the new wood im getting is mopani wood
 

MacZ

Im honestly leaning towards ember tetras or maybe glowlights

Good, cardinals should go in a 20 or bigger.

Is it going to be faux blackwater or true blackwater?
If you should go for a true one, scratch the snail, they only survive a relatively short while in BW conditions.
 

BruinAquatics

Good, cardinals should go in a 20 or bigger.

Is it going to be faux blackwater or true blackwater?
If you should go for a true one, scratch the snail, they only survive a relatively short while in BW conditions.
Its gonna be faux. My tap kh is so high that there really isn't a possibility for true blackwater. Its still gonna be super tannic, but i dont expect a buffer in ph

Yeah for the cardinals i thought that as well (since neons didn't enjoy a 10g).

Probably going with the Ember Tetras, but if aquahuna gets the glowlights in stock next week then It'll be very tuff but ill probably do glowlights.
 

MacZ

Ask whether the tetras are wild caught or tank bred. Glowlights tend to be wild caughts, so if they are leave them, they won't do well in a faux blackwater. If tankbred, go for them, I find them the more interesting ones.
 

BruinAquatics

Ask whether the tetras are wild caught or tank bred. Glowlights tend to be wild caughts, so if they are leave them, they won't do well in a faux blackwater. If tankbred, go for them, I find them the more interesting ones.
I think they might be wild caught. I think I'll go with the ember tetras. Aquahuna sells them 10 fish for $20 and only 12.99 shipping. My LFS sells them 5 fish for $25, so much cheaper at aquahuna!
MacZ what if I did espei Rasboras?
 

BruinAquatics

Alright guys I set it up today!!! It looks nice -ish but Still needs work

It's nice and "tannined" and my female koi plakat betta loves it. I had to take her out of her old tank with a cup (since it was the most gentle way to do it since she swam right in) and she had to stay in the cup for about 15-20min. Then I released her and she instantly explored everywhere and showed no signs of stress!


It has a Mopani Wood (which is thick and dense wood) in the back and smaller wood pieces in the midground and foreground.
The foreground has IAL litter, Alder Cones, and Cholla Wood.
I used white gravel since sand wasn't available
I have pothos roots and frogbit for plants

Filtration wise I was going to go with a topfin pf20 hob but even when I turned the flow down all the way, it was to strong for my betta. So now I'm running a sponge filter (which knowing that she's been in a walstad for the past few months) she actually enjoys it and watches it like it's t.v!

one of the pieces of mopani wood hasn't been fully water logged yet so its floating still.
I also need to organize the cholla wood, alder cones, and IAL better.
Will probably be adding more wood from outside for more detail.

So pictures wise I'll send some tomorrow once I touch up a bit!

also MacZ, I saw in the other thread that you said you liked the ember tetras better. I really like both species lol. Although Espei Rasboras do fit the asian style biotope with a betta and rasbora combo.
Although I really like just ember tetras in general

I'll probably make a last second decision!
 

MacZ

Although Espei Rasboras do fit the asian style biotope with a betta and rasbora combo.

It was late (past 1 am) here. :D Go Espei, not as nippy as Embers.
 

BruinAquatics

It was late (past 1 am) here. :D Go Espei, not as nippy as Embers.
Ok sounds good! I didn't know the embers were that nippy. Aquahuna sells the espei rasboras for a good price but just in case they run out of stock, will embers work as well?
 

MacZ

Embers are not that nippy, I just remembered they used to bother bigger fish, once fully acclimated. But in the end your choice.
 

BruinAquatics

Embers are not that nippy, I just remembered they used to bother bigger fish, once fully acclimated. But in the end your choice.
Yeah even though i think my betta can definitely hold her ground against them and can easily...well rip them apart,
i think ill still go with Espei Rasboras.
 

BruinAquatics

So MacZ im going to be able to get 10 espei rasboras for $24 plus $13 for shipping (usd)

i usually never use aqadvisor but, i used it as a general idea, and it said that with my betta and 10 espei rasboras my stocking will be 71%. I know aqadvisor goes lighter on the stocking (so when they say 120 its really 95-100).

What do you think, is that a good stocking? I would say it would be good. I just dont want to do weekly water changes for this tank (maybe more like biweekly)
 

MacZ

You know my opinion on Aqadvisor. From my point of view the betta and the espei are stocking limit.

I just dont want to do weekly water changes for this tank (maybe more like biweekly)

Do weekly. Period. This is the least you owe your fish.
 

BruinAquatics

MacZ
Haven't gotten espei rasboras yet, i was waiting it off.
Although now that im thinking about it i wanted to try to Beckford's Pencilfish (Golden Pencilfish) Nannostomus Beckfordi

What to do you think about a group of those guys? I personally think it would work well (this Pencilfish is about espei rasbora size)
On second thought it might not work. Im a little worried about the pencilfish trying to harrase the betta. Even though yeah she would destroy them if they got in her way, i dont want to loose fish and injure fish
 

MacZ

About N. beckfordi I would ask Pfrozen .

He's got a group of those in a tank that size. I have at least some experience with pencils, but N. eques are quite different from the other species.
 

BruinAquatics

Ok sounds good. Hopefully ur tag brought his attention. Im thinking Beckfordis should still be fine but i dont want them to boss her out or anything... Thoughts Pfrozen ?
 

MacZ

Going by what he told me the pencils will rather pick on each other, so I wouldn't be worried about other fish.
 

BruinAquatics

Ok sounds good... Knowing my betta tho something tells me that she would want to join in. She's not rlly aggressive, shes only aggressive to fish that seem threatening to her (ik she would be fine with Espei Rasboras)

Im only going to be able to get a school of 6 for the pencilfish which i feel is not rlly enough.
I think im going to order 10 espei rasboras tommorow
MacZ can i add 2 assassin snails to this mix?
So overall stocking
1 Female Galaxy Koi Plakat Betta
10 Espei Rasboras (Lambchop Rasboras)
2 Assassin Snails

Or are the assassin snails pushing it?
 

Pfrozen

Hey!

I have a group of 7 N. Beckfordi in a 10g tank. The males will constantly harass the females in a tank that size but if it's heavily planted you should be fine. I would only get 1 male... I currently have 3 and it's been difficult to get them to behave lol. With 1 the difficulty is greatly reduced

They don't pay attention to fish larger than them.. I have mine in with a dwarf gourami right now and if anything it forces them to shoal around the tank. It's only been a few days but so far it's working beautifully. They will nip at fish that are smaller though

I don't see why 6-8 N. Beckfordi wouldn't work with a betta but I wouldn't really call that an easy setup. You'll definitely need to be prepared for setbacks. I haven't seen anyone else try this before so it's kind of funny to see someone asking about it lol. Definitely a unique stocking choice

If you want something less challenging I would go with the other fish :)
 

TClare

Personally I have found beckfords pencilfish to be very easy, undemanding and not at all nippy with other fish including angelfish. However I have them in a much larger tank, and perhaps my water just suits them ( it is very soft). In any case I would prefer to stick to the Asian theme...your choice though!
 

Pfrozen

Personally I have found beckfords pencilfish to be very easy, undemanding and not at all nippy with other fish including angelfish. However I have them in a much larger tank, and perhaps my water just suits them ( it is very soft). In any case I would prefer to stick to the Asian theme...your choice though!

Yea, they were perfectly peaceful and undemanding for me when I had them in a larger tank.. their behavior changes entirely in smaller setups :)
 

BruinAquatics

Oh ok good to know. Yeah i could see it working but then id rather put the espei rasboras in because i feel like my betta would be more comfortable around them and i feel like the espeis will be more comfortable in the tank.

My tank is not densly planted. It has lots of wood, tons of pothos roots, frogbit and a bunch of leaf litter. (plus some java fern in the future). Its definitely enough (since my betta will squirm through the roots of the plants and she'll play through the leaves like its a maze.

So in theory it would be enough but i can only get N Beckfordis from a seller on aquabid and i get 6 of them. Not sure of the sex ratio. I think they're imported from Malaysia but are used to 7.2 ph water.

I feel like overall it'll be easier to deal with Espei Rasboras since i wont have to with their aggressiveness towards each other
 

Pfrozen

Oh ok good to know. Yeah i could see it working but then id rather put the espei rasboras in because i feel like my betta would be more comfortable around them and i feel like the espeis will be more comfortable in the tank.

My tank is not densly planted. It has lots of wood, tons of pothos roots, frogbit and a bunch of leaf litter. (plus some java fern in the future). Its definitely enough (since my betta will squirm through the roots of the plants and she'll play through the leaves like its a maze.

So in theory it would be enough but i can only get N Beckfordis from a seller on aquabid and i get 6 of them. Not sure of the sex ratio. I think they're imported from Malaysia but are used to 7.2 ph water.

I feel like overall it'll be easier to deal with Espei Rasboras since i wont have to with their aggressiveness towards each other

Yea, with the pencilfish the ratio will be incredibly important in a 10g tank.. I took a chance and ended up with 3M/4F.. mine are the red color morph and have never been available again so I had to make it work :D it was very difficult and I may still need to upgrade if my latest stocking taking a turn south (though I feel pretty positive about it atm)

Espeis are a solid bet imo
 

FishPlanet

This sounds great! Can you post pics of the tank when your done?
 

BruinAquatics

Yea, with the pencilfish the ratio will be incredibly important in a 10g tank.. I took a chance and ended up with 3M/4F.. mine are the red color morph and have never been available again so I had to make it work :D it was very difficult and I may still need to upgrade if my latest stocking taking a turn south (though I feel pretty positive about it atm)

Espeis are a solid bet imo
Ok sounds good. Yeah didn't want to take any risks and i honestly just want this tank to be simple
This sounds great! Can you post pics of the tank when your done?
Thanks you!! Yeah ill put those pics as soon as possible. Its just i forgot to compensate for the leaves and the wood leaching tannins in the tank despite me boiling them so i added after i added the tannin extract from the boil, and plus the tannins leached at later times, it made the tank way dark. Im going to do a water change tommorow so ill probably be able to send pics of it tommorow!
 

BruinAquatics

Alright guys GOOD NEWS

Just ordered 10 Espei Rasboras and 2 Assassin Snails for the 10g blackwater.
 

BruinAquatics

Well.... Terrible News...

Yesterday my Espei Rasboras and Assassin Snails arrived and all 10 Espei Rasboras were DOA's (dead on arrival).... It sucked. I knew something was up when the heat pack was not warm anymore. I sent a picture to them and they already put in new ones for me.

The assassin snails survived and are doing well in there new setup.

That sucked....
 

TClare

Oh no, that must have been such a disappointment. Hopefully better luck next time...
 

BruinAquatics

FINALLY: My 10 Espei Rasboras all arrived and ate very healthy and well

They're schooling around right now and every once in a while my betta will like swim through there school and just watch them.

I also got 3 Amano Shrimp for some clean up crew

I added more mopani wood and some spiderwood.

Really satisfied with the tank.

Im thinking of getting a little bit more espei Rasboras from my lfs tho.

Also pics of the amanos, espeis, and overall tank scape coming tomorrow or Saturday!!
 

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