Mr. Aqua 48g - South American Biotope-ish - Page 13 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #181 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:15 PM
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Man, i'm loving this setup.
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post #182 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:31 PM
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This is looking even more awesome now.
That fuzzy stuff on the wood is pretty common with new wood, it will go away for a while, which you might not actually want.


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post #183 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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This is looking even more awesome now.
That fuzzy stuff on the wood is pretty common with new wood, it will go away for a while, which you might not actually want.


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It's actually not new wood, was used previously but out of a tank for a while. Maybe from being out it's happening again, but from my experience I've not had it come back after being used. Who knows, I hope it stays. As the tank ages and leaves break down more I'm sure more of it will appear anyway.

Pretty happy overall with how this is moving along now even after just a short time. I'm having issues with the hatchets. I think bad stock. Down to 5. Found 4 bodies and 3 are just missing. 2 of the 5 in there are missing tails, so I'm pretty sure the maniac female apisto I got rid of was attacking them too. Oh and 3 of the remaining 5 have ick. I'm going to raise the temperate of the water this weekend to fight that. They only have a few spots so I think that will be relatively easy to handle. Once thats gone I'm going to look into different/more dithers.
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post #184 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:08 PM
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Holy tannins, looks awesome!


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Mr. Aqua 30cm cube journal
20L high tech journal
Fluval EDGE slightly modded, low tech
3+ gallon (40 x 16 x 20.5 cm) aquatic soil, low-tech
Fluval spec V (sitting in a box)
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post #185 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Man, i'm loving this setup.
Thanks, appreciate it!

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Holy tannins, looks awesome!


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Haha, yeah I think I nailed the blackwater part, huh?
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post #186 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:23 PM
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Maybe setup a hospital tank so the Apistos don't get infected, although they may also need to be monitored at this point. I think they probably got knocked out due to a mixture of ich and stress from attack. Check for jumpers as they reside pretty close to the surface.
Maybe a 5-10G quarantine tank would just be good to have in general. They're relatively hassle free and will prevent future headaches from occuring. Especially once you get quite attached to some of your fish in the display.


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post #187 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe setup a hospital tank so the Apistos don't get infected, although they may also need to be monitored at this point. I think they probably got knocked out due to a mixture of ich and stress from attack. Check for jumpers as they reside pretty close to the surface.
Maybe a 5-10G quarantine tank would just be good to have in general. They're relatively hassle free and will prevent future headaches from occuring. Especially once you get quite attached to some of your fish in the display.


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I got Kordon Ich Attack which is herbal, gonna treat the whole tank, apistos included since they are in there and most likely infected. It's VERY minimal, literally 5 spots total between 2 fish. I think slightly increased temps to 84 (I'm at 80 now) and the Kordon product should knock it out.

I do have a QT tank, so I'm good there, just didn't think these guys who develop ich....though I read they do quite often.

I checked for jumpers, none to be found. It's possible a body or two are in the leaves somewhere, but I moved around a lot and couldn't locate. No spikes in ammonia or anything so I think I'm all good.
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post #188 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 04:56 PM
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I had the same issue with recycled wood growing biofilm when I put together my blackwater tank. In fact, my pieces were submerged for months in my existing tank, then were exposed for a day or so when I was scaping the new tank. They were still damp when I filled, and they grew quite a film.


Looking great, by the way!
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post #189 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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I had the same issue with recycled wood growing biofilm when I put together my blackwater tank. In fact, my pieces were submerged for months in my existing tank, then were exposed for a day or so when I was scaping the new tank. They were still damp when I filled, and they grew quite a film.


Looking great, by the way!
Did the film remain still? I'm pretty sure it's increasing actually now. The botanical all have a film too. Down to 3 hatchets. The two without tails died. I'm chalking this up to a bad batch and stress/violence from the maniac female. The remaing pair are very happy though. Just need some new dithers.

Making a new batch of rodi now to do a water change today. Just need to bring it up to temp. I'm hoping I can cut the tannins in half cause it's kinda ridiculous how dark it is lol.

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post #190 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 02:36 PM
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Did the film remain still? I'm pretty sure it's increasing actually now. The botanical all have a film too. Down to 3 hatchets. The two without tails died. I'm chalking this up to a bad batch and stress/violence from the maniac female. The remaing pair are very happy though. Just need some new dithers.

Making a new batch of rodi now to do a water change today. Just need to bring it up to temp. I'm hoping I can cut the tannins in half cause it's kinda ridiculous how dark it is lol.

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Sorry to hear about the hatchets. Apart from ottos, I've found these to be the most delicate, or maybe difficult to acclimate, fish. I'm interested to see what you choose to replace them.

Onto the biofilm. One savu pod still has it, but I think I added it later. I witnessed snails, ottos, and a clown pleco actively eating the fuzz, and even the cardinals nipping at it. What didn't get eaten, faded away in less than a month. Why it's remaining on this one pod is beyond me. But the snails have been slowly getting rid of it

Interestingly, other than some small patches, I haven't noticed biofilm/fungus/assorted fuzz on anything I've put in recently.

Read Scott's blogs on Tannin Aquatics regarding the biofilm if you haven't. He talks at length to be ready for it, but I think most traditional-minded aquarists get a little nervous when anything out of the oridinary pops up. It took me about a week of looking at it, to accept it, then I finally embraced it. Have I drunk the Tannin/botanical/blackwater Kool-Aid? Yeah.


Oh, as far as the darkness of the water, I've tempered it a bit by running some Seachem Renew in the filter. It's designed to go in planted tanks. It's selective like Purigen in that it doesn't take out the good stuff, but it's not as powerful as Purigen. It takes out some tannins but not all. And it takes out some of the funky odors too. I've been using it for years and think it's perfect for a blackwater tank.
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post #191 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to hear about the hatchets. Apart from ottos, I've found these to be the most delicate, or maybe difficult to acclimate, fish. I'm interested to see what you choose to replace them.

Onto the biofilm. One savu pod still has it, but I think I added it later. I witnessed snails, ottos, and a clown pleco actively eating the fuzz, and even the cardinals nipping at it. What didn't get eaten, faded away in less than a month. Why it's remaining on this one pod is beyond me. But the snails have been slowly getting rid of it

Interestingly, other than some small patches, I haven't noticed biofilm/fungus/assorted fuzz on anything I've put in recently.

Read Scott's blogs on Tannin Aquatics regarding the biofilm if you haven't. He talks at length to be ready for it, but I think most traditional-minded aquarists get a little nervous when anything out of the oridinary pops up. It took me about a week of looking at it, to accept it, then I finally embraced it. Have I drunk the Tannin/botanical/blackwater Kool-Aid? Yeah.


Oh, as far as the darkness of the water, I've tempered it a bit by running some Seachem Renew in the filter. It's designed to go in planted tanks. It's selective like Purigen in that it doesn't take out the good stuff, but it's not as powerful as Purigen. It takes out some tannins but not all. And it takes out some of the funky odors too. I've been using it for years and think it's perfect for a blackwater tank.
Thanks for the info on the seachem product. I'll look for it today at the lfs. I did a 30 percent change last night and it lightened the water a bit but I'd like it cut in half or so. Even though I want it blackwater I still like to see my fish lol 😁.

Debating on picking up some cories too. Only hesitation is for them eating eggs possibly, but I think the apistos could hold them off. I just really like cories and I think they'd be a good addition.

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post #192 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:38 PM
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Cories are always a good addition!

Do you boil and/or soak the botanicals and leaves? You can cut some of the tannins by that. When I was boiling them in my testing, prior to setting up the dedicated BW tank, I boiled and didn't get as dark water. But now, I run wild, and just throw them in, and let them float a while, and land where the currents take them, and the fish push around. It ends up looking better than I could ever scape them.

So I end up with a lot of tannins coming out. Before I started running the Renew, it was crazy dark, at the worst, I couldn't even see to the back of the tank.

And some botanicals and leaves put out more than others. Scott has most things noted on how much they put out. You could always go for less tannin intensive stuff, like choosing guava over catappa leaves.
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post #193 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Cories are always a good addition!

Do you boil and/or soak the botanicals and leaves? You can cut some of the tannins by that. When I was boiling them in my testing, prior to setting up the dedicated BW tank, I boiled and didn't get as dark water. But now, I run wild, and just throw them in, and let them float a while, and land where the currents take them, and the fish push around. It ends up looking better than I could ever scape them.

So I end up with a lot of tannins coming out. Before I started running the Renew, it was crazy dark, at the worst, I couldn't even see to the back of the tank.

And some botanicals and leaves put out more than others. Scott has most things noted on how much they put out. You could always go for less tannin intensive stuff, like choosing guava over catappa leaves.
Ended up with 6 blue spotted cories, pretty cool looking guys, never had them before. Also picked up 12 rummy nose tetras. Couldn't resist. Never had them before. Man did they color up in my water and I'm impressed with their schooling, super tight, really like them.

Cause my tank is so dark I went with purigen, going to remove it and see how I feel. I'm literally the most indecisive person ever. Now that I have the blackwater tank, I find myself missing the crystal clear water and bright colored plants. haha. We'll see where this is going to take me. Maybe if I add some Vals to the tank it will make me happier.
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post #194 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:40 PM
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Ended up with 6 blue spotted cories, pretty cool looking guys, never had them before. Also picked up 12 rummy nose tetras. Couldn't resist. Never had them before. Man did they color up in my water and I'm impressed with their schooling, super tight, really like them.

Cause my tank is so dark I went with purigen, going to remove it and see how I feel. I'm literally the most indecisive person ever. Now that I have the blackwater tank, I find myself missing the crystal clear water and bright colored plants. haha. We'll see where this is going to take me. Maybe if I add some Vals to the tank it will make me happier.

Cool, I had them years ago. The fun thing about cories, is usually there's no right or wrong answer, except for a handful of temperature dependent ones, it all comes down to availability and preference.

I have to laugh about the indecisiveness, as I've kind of gone through the same thing. I find myself missing a big glass box of green. So, im considering setting up a smaller planted tank.
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post #195 of 206 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, I had them years ago. The fun thing about cories, is usually there's no right or wrong answer, except for a handful of temperature dependent ones, it all comes down to availability and preference.

I have to laugh about the indecisiveness, as I've kind of gone through the same thing. I find myself missing a big glass box of green. So, im considering setting up a smaller planted tank.
Lol, funny thing is I have TWO smaller tanks planted. Spec V with a betta and then my 10g shrimp only tank.

I'm gonna ride this one out and see how I feel when the tannins come out. I think my big issue is lack of visibility. I may just run this one as a clearwater biotope. I just can't get into enjoying it if I can't see them.
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