Blackwater for betta

moonraingirl

Hello everyone

Just wondering if someone's using blackwater for your bettas? I wanted to share that I put rooibos tea ( I read it doesn't change pH so much as other sources of tannins and is more available and cheaper in my area) into my betta's tank and he seems to enjoy it. He used to swim mostly close to the tank walls I assume to avoid light in the centre. After I added the tea, he went to the centre and swum right under light. He also appears more active.
I guess it will take some time for me to get used to "dirty" water but if it makes him happy, I'll be happy, too
Any of you use tea, almond leaves, peat or other sources of tannins?
 

Aquaphobia

Yes! Indian Almond is weirdly hard to find here but I have bottles of the extract that I use to darken the water for my Bettas and my angels! They both love it and get more active the darker it is
 

Bettatude

I wondered why my Betta swam more away from the light, this is very interesting! What are the ingredients and can you only get it online? Also, can you control how dark the water gets?
 

Aquaphobia

It's easier to control how dark it goes with the bottled extract but the whole leaves work very well, too! It's also supposed to have mild antibiotic properties.
 

PythonTheBetta

Does rooibos have the same antibiotic properties?
 

Lizzinator

I put a pinch of rooibos in my tank thinking it might work, but it just floated around, settled on everything, and then started rotting. Did you use a teabag with dust quality tea? Or did you use loose tea? Or did you boil a teabag, made tea, and then poured that into the water?

Since I own a coffee shop, I've taken a couple classes on tea. Rooibos has antioxidants that are beneficial to humans when they drink it, but I don't know if it does anything for fish. So I'd like to hear the answer on this one too, if anyone knows.
 

moonraingirl

Does rooibos have the same antibiotic properties?
Many people claim it does and there are many sites listing it's benefits for humans, too. But because I love to be exact, there's little scientific research of the plant so not everything that people claim has been officially proven.
However, it's certainly not toxic and many people use it in their tanks, so I guess it's worth a try.

Aquaphobia, looks like a great product. Does it change pH? I saw similar products but I was afraid to try them.

Bettatude You can get rooibos tea in the supermarket or drugstore. I live in a really small town in central Europe and it is easy to get it here, so I'm sure you'll have no problem to find it.
I brewed 2 teabags in half litre of boiling water and let it sit for about 20-30min and then I mixed it with new water for water change. My tank is 54l, that's a little bit less then 15 gallons if I remember correctly.
Lizzinator
Wow you own a coffee shop, that's so cool! I always wanted to have a tiny coffee or tea shop. I know it's probably not so great as I imagine, but yeah, I'd still like to try
 

Aquaphobia

If it does change the pH, it's not enough for the test to pick up
 

moonraingirl

If it does change the pH, it's not enough for the test to pick up
Great, I'll look if I can buy it here!

(*sorry if you already read the first version of my reply, I didn't understand your post correctly when I read it)
 

Lizzinator

moonraingirl Ok, I'll try brewing some then adding it with a wc and Prime.

I know regular coffee and tea have antibiotic properties, but this is because caffeine is an anti-inflammatory and the brew is highly acidic. Rooibos is a completely different herb, and I've never heard of it being an antibiotic agent, just for being very high in vitamins. I'm trying to learn all I can about teas, tea-like herbal infusions, etc. Herbals are hard, because there is a lot less research on them. But I'm expected to be the tea expert at the shop while my brother is the coffee and beer expert.

It's a family run business. It is very stressful and challenging but also great fun. If you really want to own a shop like that, I suggest working in one for a year first. Even if you change your mind about ownership, it's still a great experience! The coffee shop community is a great community to be a part of. =^_^=
 

moonraingirl

moonraingirl Ok, I'll try brewing some then adding it with a wc and Prime.

I know regular coffee and tea have antibiotic properties, but this is because caffeine is an anti-inflammatory and the brew is highly acidic. Rooibos is a completely different herb, and I've never heard of it being an antibiotic agent, just for being very high in vitamins. I'm trying to learn all I can about teas, tea-like herbal infusions, etc. Herbals are hard, because there is a lot less research on them. But I'm expected to be the tea expert at the shop while my brother is the coffee and beer expert.

It's a family run business. It is very stressful and challenging but also great fun. If you really want to own a shop like that, I suggest working in one for a year first. Even if you change your mind about ownership, it's still a great experience! The coffee shop community is a great community to be a part of. =^_^=
I love herbs and learning about them. I also made a few tinctures and infused oils. I find it very interesting because it's a combination of science and art.

Concerning rooibos, I wouldn't claim that it has scientifically proven antibiotic properties. The reason is that in the EU there can't be any health claims on tea packages that haven't been approved by some official European organisation (I have no idea which one because there are plenty of them ) . This is to protect customers from unverified claims. Some herbs do have proven benefits listed, but rooibos package states that "current legislative doesn't allow us to inform you about healing properties of the rooibos tea. For more information, see a book or website about herbs"

That doesn't mean it hasn't got any good properties, just they haven't been proven by research yet. Or there has been research, but European legislation doesn't consider it sufficient. So I think it's up to you as a professional to decide if you want to give a 100% accurate scientific answers to your customers or if you accept anecdotal evidence and personal experience. I personally prefer something in between
 

Lizzinator

Either way, it is tasty to me and might look good in my tank! Huzzah!
 

bettaa9

I just started using Indian almond leaves and when people come over they tell me I need to change my water
My bettas enjoy it though!
 

Mothercrow

I'm trying to find ways to minimize stress during an upcoming 6-day trip. What do you think of Attison's Betta Spa?
 

Aquaphobia

I've heard good things about it! It certainly won't hurt
 

Lizzinator

I tried out the rooibos in the tank. (Water parameters seem fine afterwards.) Now it looks like a sepia photograph! Under certain lighting, it looks spooky. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up well on my phone's camera. The camera auto white balances the tan tint out, otherwise I would show you guys.
 

Mothercrow

I did order the betta spa, and I got some wonder shells to try. I hope my long-awaited vacation is relaxing for me and not just the fish. Would you like me to tell you how they work for me?
 

bleedingheartmommy

Oooo yes please, I have been wanting to order both but not been sure about trying something new on my betta Orchid!

And girl, it's clear your a kind intricate fish keeper. You know you're doing everything you can, so go relax and make memories, you've earned it!

Oh forgot to mention: I use IAL for glass surfing, which my betta did for months before I found some real leaves. I love the color, but I'm natural everything especially for my lil Orchid! Because of the color stain I was able to put her tank lights back in (cause she glass surfed so bad when it was on that she would exhaust herself) Plus she loves playing with the leaf itself, pushing it around, swimming under it for shade, hiding behind it, swimming circles around it, and sleeping on it lol
 

Teishokue

If it does change the pH, it's not enough for the test to pick up

Tannic acid does change pH. It's just ur pH buffer you have is too strong for the chAnge. I use IAL and my PH is below 6. Possibly, 4-5
 

Mothercrow

Thank you! I saw it, but it's been a while--I looked over the site for about a week before ordering--and I had forgotten that part!
 

bleedingheartmommy

Please do let us know, I'm eager to find out just how wonderous this wonder shell is lol oh yea, did u buy medicated or regular WS?
 

Mothercrow

Just regular, I haven't had medical issues yet, knock on wood.
 

pipirose

Yes! Indian Almond is weirdly hard to find here but I have bottles of the extract that I use to darken the water for my Bettas and my angels! They both love it and get more active the darker it is
Where do you get the extract?
 

Justkeepswimming01

Can you guys attach photos of your black water tanks? It sounds interesting! Also you can keep telling me that coffee is good for me! Lol!
 

Aquaphobia


IMG_20151107_142305124_HDR.jpg
IMG_20151107_142121076.jpg

Old tank, no longer have it, but it was really nice
 

Justkeepswimming01

It's nice! The betta is beautiful!! I think I'd have a hard time with the dirty looking water.
 

moonraingirl

Here's Nietzche and his tank.
I used medication last week because it seemed to me that his fin rot from the store hasn't healed enough in 6 weeks, he still had holes on his chest fin. The lights were off most of the time so the plants don't look so good (they didn't look great before, either, to be honest). It seems like the one at the back has died and I'll get a new one.


image.jpg

image.jpg

btw I'm not sure what kind of betta is he?
 

Aquaphobia

I think he's likely to be a halfmoon. I had one who looked remarkably similar! Try to get him flaring.

My tank was especially dark thanks to the large piece of driftwood taking up the middle of the tank. It released a LOT of tannins. Very cool piece though
 

Lizzinator

What great looking tanks! So natural looking.
 

moonraingirl

HI everyone, I'm back.
I'd like to ask what do you think of an idea to put some shrimp in Nietzche's tank? I've added a snail last week and he doesn't mind him at all.
I've read some comments that it's a bad idea, (most people claim this) but then there are others who keep them together without a problem.
Do you think that my tank is suitable for them both?
What kind of shrimp and how many should I get?
I will have to buy new plants though because it seems that a combination of antibiotics and blackawter has completely killed two of my plants. I think I've got a weak light and I can't afford a new one right now. So I'm back to clear water now.
 

Aquaphobia

What kinds of shrimp are available to you? Here I would recommend getting some ghost shrimp. They seem to be less likely to be eaten plus they're much cheaper so if they are it's not such a loss. If you get enough RCS though they may breed and even if a few are eaten you'll always have some. They can be expensive at first though. Having more plants will definitely help the survival rate!
 

MockingJay

So this will be WAY off in the future,maybe next winter when I have more fish exp,but I'm very interested in a general Asian blackwater tank.

I'm thinking a 29 gallon, heavily planted, especially with surface plants. Not all will be Asian,but most will be. Current plants I am considering are floating fern(Salvinina natans) Java moss and maybe Java ferns,Some Dwarf hair grass, and a lilly,currently thinking banana lilly. The substrate would be a aquarium plant mix, probably just the big bag from petsmart. This would be lightly covered with oak and maple leaves.

Driftwwod and perhaps rocks would be added, whatever is appealing and doesn't fill to much space.

As for fish, the centerpiece would be three female betta,all would be duller, probably brown. Would be buying them very young so they could grow up together. (Read this makes them friendlier to each other)
Also stocked with

1x Siamese algae eater
8x black harlequin rasbora
2x Wrestling Halfbeaks (Preferably females)

And if that isn't pushing it...

6x Blue Line Rasbora

Questions:

ANY advice is welcome, trying to get as much info as possible...

How does one keep a well planted substrate covered in leaves clean?? No one mentions this when they set up a blackwater anywhere I've looked.

Are almond leaves really any better than oak?

Are the last six rasbora to much?

What filter would be best for a blackwater type setup?

Could I cycle it with guppies?

How do you keep a blackwater clean overall, at least to the extent where your fish don't die?

Would snails be good for the setup? Don't really want the worry of them dying in the leaf litter and not noticing.

Also anyone know what type of lilly is in this video???



(Sorry for the rambling. )
 

Repolie

If you're planning to have a betta sorority in there, you can't have three. There isn't enough of them to spread out the aggression from the dominant female. Five would be the minimum to start with.
 

Rtessy

Sounds like a pretty good idea!
However, three female bettas will not work, as they will kill the weakest, then the strongest of the two will kill the other. The minimum for a sorority is 5, though 7 works better.
However, if you go with wild bettas, that's an entirely different story, and you could do three females.
The Siamese Algae Eater will get too big for the tank and will be too aggressive.
I'm not super familiar with wrestling halfbeaks, but from what I've heard, they probably won't work too well.
Sorry to punch a bunch of holes in your plan.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by keeping leaf litter clean to be honest. You should be able to use a siphon around them like normal, just remove any leaves you suck up. The leaves don't rot terribly, so they're not an awful eye sore.
Almond leaves aren't really better than oak, they're just bigger and generally pesticide free.
The rasboras are totally fine!
Honestly the filter choice is up to you, but I prefer hang on back filters.
You could cycle it with guppies.
Again, I'm not really sure what you mean by keeping the blackwater tank clean? They're not really different from normal tanks, they just have tannins.
Snails should be fine, I have several in my blackwater tank. If you don't have a super thick leaf litter layer, you'll notice them.
 

MockingJay

Interesting...I read the Siamese where pretty chill...any other algae eaters from Asia that would work?

As for wild betas id love to have a breeding pair, but with my lack of experience I'm a bit skittish about getting anything pricey or breeding bettas just yet. I could just get one domestic female for now,I worry about having 5 with all the smaller fish. Are glass catfish very sensitive, as I read?

Interesting...I read the Siamese where pretty chill...any other algae eaters from Asia that would work?

As for wild betas id love to have a breeding pair, but with my lack of experience I'm a bit skittish about getting anything pricey or breeding bettas just yet. I could just get one domestic female for now,I worry about having 5 with all the smaller fish. Are glass catfish very sensitive, as I read?
 

goldface

I agree that I would not do a Siamese Algae Eater, especially with bettas. I own two. One is extremely aggressive. I call it Ivan, as in Ivan the Terrible. I have another one that's super chill, but it might be because it's a lot smaller, barely over an inch, and still a juvenile. By many accounts, they are generally peaceful fish, but I think that happens in a larger tank with many of their own kind.

I use oak leaves as well as a bunch of other, mostly smaller types. Some disintegrate faster than others. I let them decompose. Sometimes I siphon the debris out, but I don't think it's bad to leave it either. As you see, I use various kinds of leaves I collect from outside. And I like to use lots of them, instead of just a few spread out in the tank. Lake shores are the best places. They collect many kinds that wash up, already waterlogged. I just give it a good rinse in tap water and drop them in the tank. That's evil Ivan, btw.

IMG_0844.JPG
 

MockingJay

I love the tank bottom. Also I guess ill scrap the algae eater. Maybe ill divulge from a strictly Asian tank and get a bristle nosed pleco. Might scratch the betta and get some gouramis,though bettas are my preferred fish between the two. My only one died yesterday out of nowhere after four months of being perfectly healthy. Its put me off a bit.The cory cats in his tank are fine. Doing a fifty percent water change and added salt just in case.
 

Rtessy

I love the tank bottom. Also I guess ill scrap the algae eater. Maybe ill divulge from a strictly Asian tank and get a bristle nosed pleco. Might scratch the betta and get some gouramis,though bettas are my preferred fish between the two. My only one died yesterday out of nowhere after four months of being perfectly healthy. Its put me off a bit.The cory cats in his tank are fine. Doing a fifty percent water change and added salt just in case.
I'm so sorry to hear that. The quality of pet store bettas have unfortunately gone down quite a bit, and CanadianFishFan even made a list of tons of bettas they had, and most don't live long
If I get some time later today, I'll try and look into Asian algae eaters for you! Do you want a fish that looks similar to an SAE or something that will eat algae? Also, you could look into the Asian Stone Catfish, though I can't remember if their temperature matches a betta's. It may not...
 

The_fishy

Asian Stone Catfish like colder water (starting around 63 or so), but max out at around 75/78, from what I’ve read.

I’ve been looking around a lot at getting those for one of my tanks.
 

-Mak-

I highly recommend checking out Tannin Aquatics, there is no better place to get such a huge selection of botanicals and black water/biotope products.
 

MockingJay

An Asian catfish may work, can't find much information on them. I'm mainly looking for something to eat algae that can handle a blackwater at around 76-78 f...also don't plan on feeding many frozen or live foods other than some mosquito larvae seasonally, so they would likely only get bottom feeder pellets as a supplement to the algae.

Thanks for all the help everyone
Ill continue researching and see what I find.
 

goldface

Does it have to be an algae-eating fish? If not, I recommend you check out Amano shrimp. They love leaves too.
 

MockingJay

I did some research and I like the shrimp, but I worry that gourami or rasboras might beat them up, and that they may eat the plants. Maybe 8 shrimp and a asian stone cat...brainstorming. Ive decided to likely go with a slightly larger tank as well....probably a 37 gal from this brand


Thank you everyone with all the help so far.
 

goldface

I did some research and I like the shrimp, but I worry that gourami or rasboras might beat them up, and that they may eat the plants. Maybe 8 shrimp and a asian stone cat...brainstorming. Ive decided to likely go with a slightly larger tank as well....probably a 37 gal from this brand


Thank you everyone with all the help so far.
Gouramies might or might not pose a problem for the shrimp. Female Amanos are pretty large, though size doesn't always mean they're safe from being harassed and torn apart. Any particular species of gouramie? With that size tank, you could go with a small group of 7-9 Honey gourami. They never posed a problem for my Amanos, nor the much smaller Cherry shrimp.
 

MockingJay

I was thinking either 1 female pearl gourami or a trio of pearls,dont really want a male because of the aggression and possible fry that I don't have room for... Females aren't as pretty,but I don't want any issues between my fish and I really want some wrestling halfbeaks, which are skittish. I'm afraid a male gourami might harass them.
 

MockingJay

Could black tea be used to help darken the water safely?
 

goldface

I wouldn't, mainly because of the caffeine. I can't say if it'll be safe or not, since I've never done it. Seems to me collecting leaves from outside, in a clean environment that's pesticide free will be better. Or buy online, like TanninAquatics that was suggested before. It sells some nice stuff.
 

grac3

I really want a blackwater aquarium and I’m wondering if a betta would be happy in one? And what plants would do well in one?
 

Kribensis27

Yes, you could keep a betta in a blackwater setup. The wild species come from blackwater habitats naturally. For my blackwater tanks, I don't use many plants, although crypts do really well.
 

grac3

Yes, you could keep a betta in a blackwater setup. The wild species come from blackwater habitats naturally. For my blackwater tanks, I don't use many plants, although crypts do really well.
Would floaters work? And how would i acclimate a betta to a blackwater tank? Or would it just be like a normal acclimation. Sorry for asking so many questions, just dont wanna hurt any
 

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