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I'll be using a sponge filter as these fish are extremely delicate, how would potting soil work...?I do Blackwater. I use potting soil and my filtration for tannis but it's a DIY process. For long term you could always get a bag of mulch or potting soil or something in your filter and replace it with water changes. Lots and lots of plants will grow in them. Java fern/moss, crypts, swords, water lillys.... that's something you'd just have to see what you like and then if it will work well or not.
Lots of people use a certain leaf I can't for the life of me think of the name of. But you can honest to God use actual brewed tea(nothing wild just tea) and add that to the water during water changes.
I'll be using a sponge filter so I don't think adding to the filter would work. I'm not sure how I feel about using tea. These are extremely delicate fish.IMO, using potting soil is likely to lead to algae growths, especially if placing in the filter. You're better off using coconut fibre or sphagnum moss/fibre if you want to add something additional to the filter for tannins.
Rooibos tea is the latest trend going around for making your own tannin stained water. Others boil some leaf litter and then use the resulting water from that to make tea...
Regardless the strength of the tea and the intensity of the light used will determined plant growth. Traditionally, plants aren't grown in blackwater setups as in the wild plants typically cant grow underwater. So if your looking for a biotope, reccomend against plants, focusing on hardscape (and subsequently, leaf litter). The only plants that work well is floating plants, or plants like pothos which are grown out of the water column.
Using leaf litter also helps maintain the Blackwater environment. Many use Indian almond leaves (IAL), but other leaves such as oak, banana, birch can be used. There's a growing community of Blackwater setups, which can offer further guidance of appropriate locally sourced leaves.
Rooibos tea is 100% safe. Contains no caffeine, and basically 100% tannins. Would highly encourage researching it for yourself, and come up with your own conclusions based on research.
Ok, I'll research it. I guess it seems odd to use tea... But what is tea other than dried leaves boiled in water.... So I guess it's the same.Rooibos tea is 100% safe. Contains no caffeine, and basically 100% tannins. Would highly encourage researching it for yourself, and come up with your own conclusions based on research.
Otherwise, if your worried, use Blackwater extracts (which is basically 'cold tea' (leaves boiled in a pot, cooled, and resulting liquid is added to bottles and shipped) which you can by at your local store or online, or make your own using Indian Almond leaves...
Whichever way you choose, it's a rather easy and simple process. Just keep in mind, has to be maintained with each water change otherwise tannins would be removed from the system.
As for adding fibres, you could just use it as a substrate (and if needed, cap it with sand or gravel). Or consider putting in a small (reusable) tea bag or SS mesh bag, and swap out when required.