Blackwater Tank?

  1. Feesh404

    Feesh404 Well Known Member Member

    It's been a while since I talked about something, I was thinking of doing a Blackwater tank! I already have a cycled aquarium that needs some fixing though. I have dark substrate and a proper 20G aquarium. I just need some help:
    What do I need?
    And if 5-6 5 banded barbs are acceptable

  2. C

    ChiefBrody Member Member

    Anything will get used to it. The main thing you need is peat filtration media. If you buy a big compressed block of sphagam peat moss at a lawn and garden center it'll last you forever. It's possible to use and reuse. Driftwood, coconut shells, leaves are all considerations as they leach tannins. I use all of the above. Tannins are proven to boost fish resistance to fungus and infection. I also use peat in my hospital/QT. Plus it just looks cool. Au naturale b277f114fee4588a14bbbfd4196c8194.jpg 2e9390908dc5dcac1f23c491b08f76b6.jpg 1d26404beb4389d449bc02f88e49b6d4.jpg 04509202a196b5dd630774457df8965c.jpg 30ada66b8b18dbaf592b92297e68edb9.jpg
  3. BeanFish

    BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    As far as I remember blackwaters have a pH of 5 or something like that. You would need an RO so you have the correct mineral content and peat/leaf litter/driftwood to lower your pH to around 5. I remember reading about nitrifying bacteria strains that are able to live in this conditions but your average bacteria wont so just to be sure I would rely on plants for filtration.
    If you just want brown stained water then add leaf litter and thats it. Doing a proper blackwater is hard and expensive.
  4. OP

    Feesh404 Well Known Member Member

    Driftwood, can do. Filtration can do. I read online I could also use some plants that float on the top?

    figured I'd leave some tannins from the driftwood
  5. BeanFish

    BeanFish Well Known Member Member

    Wood will eventually lose tanins. I use guava leafs in my corydoras tanks and I just need about 1 leaf per gal to get a good yellow/brownish color. If you want a true dark brown color you would need around 3 per gal. Of course this depends on what leaf you use too.
    Best part about leafs is that they are free and give it an even more natural tank unlike peat filtration!
  6. DHIWZ

    DHIWZ Member Member

    Agree with the no peat filtration, peat collection is terrible for the environment and you won't need it. A good piece of driftwood will leech tannins for years--just don't boil and use rocks to weigh it down or something. You can also use leaves (guava, indian almond) to supplement tannins as needed.
  7. C

    ChiefBrody Member Member

    I use oak leaves from my backyard
  8. maggie thecat

    maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Oldtimers used tea bags. These days Tetra makes a liquid supplement.