LGD's 75g Amazon inspired blackwater - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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LGD's 75g Amazon inspired blackwater

Most recent pics on page 4 and beyond

So here's my tank journal. I remember seeing a blackwater setup years ago, back in the 80's and thought it was the coolest tank I ever saw. I still think that, and finally got around to doing one. But I wanted to do it right, and it took this long before I could do things exactly the way I had in my head.

Gear:
Marineland 75g with glass lids
2x Marineland Advanced LED light
Hydor 350 canister filter, set up with spray bar, filled with foam, Seachem Matrix and Seachem Renew
Hydor inline heater

Scape:
Pool filter sand, mixed with locally sourced reddish-brown sand and gravel about 2-1 ratio
Various rocks I've collected and purchased over the years
Several different woods I've acquired
Various leaves and pods from Tannin Aquatics

Fauna:
10 Cardinal tetras
2 marble hatchets
14 Metae cories, maybe more, they keep making more!
8 Emperor Tetras
1 Otto (yes, I know, it's the last one of a school I purchased years ago)
1 clown pleco
2 Colombian plecos
1 blue angelfish
1 21-year old Raphael catfish
8 laetacara araguaie
Ramshorn snails
Malaysian trumpet snails
Pond snails
Mini-ramshorn
Limpets (yes, I don't mind snails)
Unknown amount of caridina culls.

Flora:
Brazilian pennywort
2 red tiger lotus, struggling right now
Stunted red Rubin sword, slowly growing since placed in tank
Echinodorus angustifolia, Thanks to @Method and his class for the proper ID!

Water has a pH of 5.8 and tds is around 50.


I'm not the best photographer, so please bear with my pics. Here's the whole tank, more to come. I'll be updating somewhat regularly, especially with the ever-changing aspect of the leaf and other botanical natural degradation process.
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Last edited by longgonedaddy; 03-16-2017 at 03:20 AM. Reason: Added info.
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post #2 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 03:56 AM
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Looking good daddy...I have always wanted to do one as well. Maybe I can take some inspiration. Will look better once it's filled in a bit. Are you planning for more angels? What are water parameters? Good luck n keep us posted. Cheers..

Bump: Have you thought of a darker background? Will add to the effect.
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post #3 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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Looking good daddy...I have always wanted to do one as well. Maybe I can take some inspiration. Will look better once it's filled in a bit. Are you planning for more angels? What are water parameters? Good luck n keep us posted. Cheers..

Bump: Have you thought of a darker background? Will add to the effect.
Thanks! I hope I do inspire you, as I've gotten plenty of inspiration from others here. Filled in? I don't plan on it being much more planted than it is, other than the lotus developing, but we'll see.

I edited in water parameters, but I'm at pH6.4/6.5, TDS is 50 give or take on the day, and nitrates have been Less than 5. I've been changing 25% or so 2-3x a week, to deal with any new tank issues, although I used my old biomedia, and the plants, some rocks and wood were actively in use before moving to this tank. My wellwater is pH 6.5/35 TDS, so it makes a great soft water base. Some purists would say I should have even lower tds, but I'm happy doing no work at all to adjust.

I recently picked up a girlfriend for this angel, but they didn't hit it off. One day, she's attackig him, and the next day he's the aggressor, neither of which resulted in mating, just missing scales and a scratched cornea. She's currently hanging out in my spare tank. Matchmaking worked well for me before, but not this time. I've been debating getting some juveniles, as there shouldn't be any aggression toward them from the big fella. Otherwise, I'm going to move toward more small fish, maybe a huge cardinal school, or smaller schools of others.

I tried some experimental backgrounds on small spare tanks, and was not fully happy with them. It looks a lot better in person, except for the tubes showing. I may try a non-permanent background at some point. Although I love it when the sunlight shines through and makes a lovely tannin-tinted shade on the wall behind.

Bump:

Bump:
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post #4 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Some update pics. The biofilm/white fungus has mostly gone away, and I've added some more leaves and pods. The first pic was taken while the water was still somewhat clear. It's getting even darker than the two lower pics show.





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post #5 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 03:38 AM
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Very nice!
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post #6 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 05:22 PM
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I really like the tank setup. Do you have the Hydor 350 spray bar setup to go the length of the tank (e.g. left to right) or front to back? I just got the 350 for a brand new 60 gallon setup (48 x 15 x 17) and I'm struggling with how to place it. If I go the length of the tank I'm going to have to cut the spray bar a bit to get it to fit the width of the tank (2 sections are slightly too long). Thanks!
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post #7 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 06:05 PM
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This is really pretty.
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post #8 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdwindansea View Post
I really like the tank setup. Do you have the Hydor 350 spray bar setup to go the length of the tank (e.g. left to right) or front to back? I just got the 350 for a brand new 60 gallon setup (48 x 15 x 17) and I'm struggling with how to place it. If I go the length of the tank I'm going to have to cut the spray bar a bit to get it to fit the width of the tank (2 sections are slightly too long). Thanks!

I have it blowing from back to front, I think it had 3 or 4 sections, and each one is at a different angle. I'm surprised yours only has two.


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This is really pretty.
Thanks!
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post #9 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 10:50 PM
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I have it blowing from back to front, I think it had 3 or 4 sections, and each one is at a different angle. I'm surprised yours only has two.
It came with 4 sections, but I would only be able to use 1.75 if I ran it the length of the aquarium (width is only 15"). With it blowing back to front do you find you have too much flow (what is the width of your aquarium)? Any dead spots? Thanks!
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post #10 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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It came with 4 sections, but I would only be able to use 1.75 if I ran it the length of the aquarium (width is only 15"). With it blowing back to front do you find you have too much flow (what is the width of your aquarium)? Any dead spots? Thanks!
Oh, I didn't realize the size of your setup. Mine is a standard 75 gallon 48" left to right, 18" front to back, and 21" top to bottom.

I have the four sections all pointed on different angles, although all generally point forward, rather than down. The return comes in about 2/5 from the left. The left side of the tank is a little bit more still, particularly in the front, but I don't believe that I have any truly dead spots. I have the outflow cut down to about half, and the current is very brisk. Wide open, and it would be fine for a reef, that's how strong these filters are. I'm thinking of drilling out the spray bar holes a bit to slow the current, as I don't feel comfortable throttling down the outflow any more.
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post #11 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-08-2016, 11:51 PM
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Oh, I didn't realize the size of your setup. Mine is a standard 75 gallon 48" left to right, 18" front to back, and 21" top to bottom.

I have the four sections all pointed on different angles, although all generally point forward, rather than down. The return comes in about 2/5 from the left. The left side of the tank is a little bit more still, particularly in the front, but I don't believe that I have any truly dead spots. I have the outflow cut down to about half, and the current is very brisk. Wide open, and it would be fine for a reef, that's how strong these filters are. I'm thinking of drilling out the spray bar holes a bit to slow the current, as I don't feel comfortable throttling down the outflow any more.
Thanks for the description and makes sense. I probably will not know what to do until the tank is actually full of water. Looking forward to watching the progress of your tank.
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post #12 of 103 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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My Colombian pleco thinks I can't see him.

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post #13 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting observation. Consistently the water has been testing at 1* KH, I think from a rock, as neither the PFS, nor the local sand produced any KH when I was doing some trial runs. I'm not really concerned about it, as it might give me a little stability to counter piles of decaying vegetation. What is interesting is that the snails are doing much better than in my previous tank, which was always had no measurable carbonate, but the water parameters are nearly identical in all other aspects.

Ramshorns always struggled for me, but now they are getting larger than I had ever seen. The Malaysian trumpets actually have points on the back of their shells. I've had them for years, and I never saw points, just blunted ends. And the pond or bladder snails, whatever they may be, are breeding like crazy, and the bigger ones are much more robust than in the tank from which they came.


Forgot to add that I added 8 emperor tetras and the Colombian pleco you see above in the beginning of November, all doing well.
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post #14 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic to give you an idea how tannin-stained the water really is:

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post #15 of 103 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 05:22 AM
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I'm liking it, fish must be happy, get your catfishes's some buddies but don't over do it.

Tell me I'm overboard, The truth is you just want to see me sink
If there's any room left on that ship, You don't have to save any room for me
Cause I've got my own boat, I'm doing my own thing
And I will stay afloat - even when it rains, Cause I've got my own boat
Row, row your boat, Row, row your boat, Row your boat
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