Blackwater extract? Pros and cons?

Gennasharples

I’m wanting opinions on black water extract.

I have a 55 gallon community tank with angelfish, bronze/albino Cory’s, peppered Cory’s, sterbai Cory’s , Pygmy Cory’s, kuhli loaches, neon tetras, bristlenoses, guppies, Kribensis, neon tetras, and mystery snails.
I also have a 10 gallon tank with a male betta and some yellow cherry shrimp. And a 15 gallon tank with a female betta. And a 20 gallon tank with a breeding pair of albino Kribensis.
And I really really want apistogramma and rams.

Now the issue is that my ph from the tap is at 8.4.

And in my main tank with 12 large (12 inch) Indian almond leaves and a 1/2 gallon container of alder cones left in the tank for a month with no water changes and only basic sponge filters the ph only drops to 8.0. I also have a few quite large pieces of driftwood in the tank.

I don’t have the money or space for an RO system.

I’m wondering if Blackwater extract would be an effective and smart way to lower the ph and soften the water in my tanks. It definitely seems like it would be a lot cheaper than all these botanicals.

pros and cons?
If I want to get apistogramma and rams of some sort I really need to find a way to lower my ph and soften my water. And I also really want to breed my neon tetras.
 

brhau

Adding extract will add some color and tannins to your water, but it will not soften it. If your water has that high a pH, you either have hard water with carbonate hardness (likely) or soft water with sodium hydroxide in it. In either case, you can’t soften water by adding things. Softening by definition is removing ions via RO or RODI, or diluting it with RODI water, distilled water, or rainwater.
 

ruud

If you really want a tank with a much lower water hardness in the direction of blackwater, you must have a stable water source that can provide this. The RO unit that I've been using for years has cost me around 80 bucks; with changing a cartridge every few years, let's say the hardware costs me around 20 bucks a year. The waste water is used for watering my garden or the front window of my car (I don't care about the rest of the car).

Botanicals costs me a walk in the park...or garden.
 

Gennasharples

What botanicals do you use? The only safe ones I can find locally are the cone seed type things along the beach. Casuarina cones or something like that. and I mean they seem to do hardly anything.

where did you get your RO system from and how hard was it to set up?
 

ruud

You can only lower so much (I mean little) with botanicals. You really must have a stable water source. In my case, and for most people I assume, a RO unit is the only way. If you don't want to invest in a RO unit, forget about blackwater.

I choose the smallest and cheapest I could find: OsmoPure 50 BA (Dutch website); look at that, 40 Euro.

Mostly dry leaves such as oak, walnut, alder cones, badam nuts, bolsa pods. The latter two I actually bought.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Question
  • BruinAquatics
  • pH
Replies
7
Views
536
MacZ
  • FyaNyan
  • pH
Replies
20
Views
321
MacZ
Replies
7
Views
397
david1978
  • Question
  • LeahN
  • pH
Replies
1
Views
431
-Mak-
  • CherKhan290
  • pH
Replies
12
Views
494
FinalFins

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium pH Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom