West African Blackwater Biotope - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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West African Blackwater Biotope

Well I came across this really great piece of wood down by the river and couldn't resist building my blackwater biotope in the 93g cube. The tank has taken a few changes since being setup and I'm really happy with the layout of the tank. I will be keeping this as a soft blackwater tank while working with Scott Fellman over at www.TanninAquatics.com I'm slowly building up a nice layer or leaf and pod litter on the floor of the tank.

Setup Specifications:

Tank: Marineland 93g Cube
Light: Aquaticlife Halo Deluxe
Filtration: Eshopps 125WD Wet/ Dry Filter
Return Pump: Sicce Multi 2500
Heater: Hydor 300 watt Inline Heater
ATO System: Tunze ATO with Geosreef 5g ATO Reservoir

I've added a set of Eheim 594 Disconnects and cleaned all the wiring up nice and clean.

The inhabitants are all West African Tetra types:

Banded Darter Tetra
Dwarf Green
Congo Tetra
Ansorg's Tetra
One Line Tetra

I'd also like to add some African Butterfly Barbs to the tank as well eventually.










The awesome wood I found was rinsed, soaked in Peroxide twice followed by a soak in Metricide and a final rinse.











While draining the tank I attached my Anubais Hastafolia and Anubias Nangi to the wood with cotton thread.











Now the fun part of draining the tank, removing the other wood, removing most of the Flourite Black, adding a 1500g layer of Fluval Peat Granules, 3 17.6lb bags of Fluval Shrimp and Plant Stratum.















The initial fill, the wood has a couple strategically placed rocks holding it in this position.







Hiding the overflow behind the wood makes for a really clean look.





A couple of night shots.







Various shots into the tank of some of the inhabitants and the leaf litter bed building up.



















Couple of extra shots of the tank.





Hope you all enjoy I'll post more photos as the tank evolves...

Fluval Spec III Shelf!

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Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 12:12 AM
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Once again you've made a beautiful tank!


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 12:20 AM
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im not a blackwater type of guy but it looks pretty good :-)
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Once again you've made a beautiful tank!


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Thanks!
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Fluval Spec III Shelf!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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@D.Farci a few photos of my West African Tetra tank.

40 - Jelly Bean Tetra
25 - Ansorg's Tetra
17 - Banded Darter Tetra
15 - One Line Tetra
11- Distichodus Tuegelsi 'Dwarf Green'
14 Congo Tetra





























I have a couple of videos but unfortunately everytime I upload them into Photobucket they delete as soon as I upload...

Fluval Spec III Shelf!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Made a few changes today. Pulled most of the Anubias Nangi and relocated the Anubias Hastafolia towards the front of the tank. Need to source 2-3 more nice pieces to fill in the back and left sides of the tank. With this change I'm getting a whole new personality out of the fish in the aquarium. They are using more of the tank and soem of the fish I rarely saw out previously are now shoaling around the tank.

Also my OCD got the best of me and I'm working with LifeReef to have a new Overflow box made that fits the rimless tank better. Photos and measurements have been sent over.

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"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:58 AM
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I love black water tanks, following this with great interest.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:23 AM
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Awesome pics!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 05:22 AM
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Hi Craig,

How are your Jellybeans doing? I believe you read through my thread on my tank, and I've come to the conclusion that my tank is just too small for them. Some have jumped out unfortunately, but among the fish while they were in the tank and among the few remaining, I've noticed that few seem to be aggressors and the rest spend their time hiding or being chased. Have you noticed this as well? Perhaps your tank is setup in a way that prevents this behavior, but I am just bummed that they aren't working with my setup.

I plan on taking out the aggressor tomorrow and trading it for another Adonis Tetra or two, just to see how the three sub-dominant Jellybeans act without the dominant one around. If they are better, I might get some more and hope that they stay calm.

Go Timbers
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Farci View Post
Hi Craig,

How are your Jellybeans doing? I believe you read through my thread on my tank, and I've come to the conclusion that my tank is just too small for them. Some have jumped out unfortunately, but among the fish while they were in the tank and among the few remaining, I've noticed that few seem to be aggressors and the rest spend their time hiding or being chased. Have you noticed this as well? Perhaps your tank is setup in a way that prevents this behavior, but I am just bummed that they aren't working with my setup.

I plan on taking out the aggressor tomorrow and trading it for another Adonis Tetra or two, just to see how the three sub-dominant Jellybeans act without the dominant one around. If they are better, I might get some more and hope that they stay calm.
To be honest I added a total of 70 and might have 20 left. They constantly chase and nip each other. I love that they are active but hoping maybe I can get a small spawning group to repopulate the tank some.
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"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
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To be honest I added a total of 70 and might have 20 left. They constantly chase and nip each other. I love that they are active but hoping maybe I can get a small spawning group to repopulate the tank some.
Wow, you're making my ratio of 4 left from 10 look good

Are they dying in the tank, or are some jumping as well? I've had all 6 of mine jump through the 1"x1" gap in the lid - it's amazing how they find it. However, I noticed on the 3 left that they have slightly smashed faces, meaning they have been chased into a wall at high speeds. It's sad because they are endangered, but I'm sure breeding is difficult with other fish in the tank.

I'm going to try my hand at more Adonis Tetras, who seem content with sitting in place and looking cool, and more killies, which hopefully will drop some eggs at some point...

Go Timbers
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Farci View Post
Wow, you're making my ratio of 4 left from 10 look good

Are they dying in the tank, or are some jumping as well? I've had all 6 of mine jump through the 1"x1" gap in the lid - it's amazing how they find it. However, I noticed on the 3 left that they have slightly smashed faces, meaning they have been chased into a wall at high speeds. It's sad because they are endangered, but I'm sure breeding is difficult with other fish in the tank.

I'm going to try my hand at more Adonis Tetras, who seem content with sitting in place and looking cool, and more killies, which hopefully will drop some eggs at some point...
Most have damaged fins or the last batch I got Looked super thin and weak. I usually find them down in my sump with damaged fins or looks like someone snacked on them...

Hoping to add more Ansorgii and One Line Tetras in the future to build those schools up.

Fluval Spec III Shelf!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 02:23 AM
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Nice tank! Is your substrate just peat and the leaf litter?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Nice tank! Is your substrate just peat and the leaf litter?
Peat, Fluval Shrimp and Plant Stratum, plus the leaf litter

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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I'll have to get some new photos up soon. Got some Riparium planters going from Devin again. Tank is settling in well and some new fish have been added plus a few more to come.

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Quote:
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"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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