44G Blackwater Amazon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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44G Blackwater Amazon

I had my 44 Gallon tank sitting around and was debating on what to do with it. For years it was my saltwater reef tank and due to work and time constraints I took it down and made it a vivarium with live plants and dart frogs. Had my frogs for a few years and all my cultures got wiped and the tank sat for a while. I kept watering the plants and pruning cause it looked nice. I then had the inspiration to go freshwater after a weekend camping trip and seeing some creeks and streams. Did some research and liked the idea of a Blackwater Amazon Tank.

Excuse the HOB in the front, thats my temporary filter.

Here is how the tank sits now: 6.7 pH, 0 ammo, 0 and 17 nitrites and nitrates. Temp is around 78*

Lots of tannins because I neglected to boil the wood long enough. But its clearing up as I do my water changes.

Equipment:

Eihem Jager Heater
SunSun 302
Apex Neptune for temperature, pump, ATO and lights
Custom CREE LED fixture

Livestock:

11 Neon Tetras
8 Bronze Cory's
10 Flame Tetras

Plants:

2 Amazon Swords
1 Banana
MicroSword

Substrate:

Custom cork bark wall
ABG Mix
Magnolia leaf litter

Filtration:

Chemipure Elite
Purigen
Filter Floss
Bio-Media

20170802_212232 by Lochan Kalicharan, on Flickr

20170802_212347 by Lochan Kalicharan, on Flickr

Last edited by curry; 08-06-2017 at 04:17 AM. Reason: Update
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 08:42 PM
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Tel me about the led diodes.. Curious
Re-purpose reef light?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 08:47 PM
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Are the leds mounted on a heatsink? it does not appear so...
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yes repurposed reef lights. It works since i needed subdued lighting anyway. I can always make it brighter by swapping the blue LED's for more white LEDS. My eventual plan is to add more white LEDS in the fixture and make them dimmable.

The enclosure is the heatsink. The fins are on top but not in the picture. Theres a total of 36 CREE LEDS.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update got my canister filter installed. Waiting on coarse sponge for the bottom, I have filter floss in the middle with purigen and the top has my biomedia. Tank has cleared up a lot overnight. Top is old bottom is most recent.

I just placed an order to replace some of those CREE LED's with some more white, red and UV LED's. Im still going to keep some of the blue.

I want to add some plants in between the two pieces of driftwood but I'm still deciding what I want to add.

As of now my stocking consists of:

11 Neon Tetras
8 Bronze Cory's
10 Flame Tetras

20170802_212232 by Lochan Kalicharan, on Flickr

20170807_072423 by Lochan Kalicharan, on Flickr
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by curry View Post
Yes repurposed reef lights. It works since i needed subdued lighting anyway. I can always make it brighter by swapping the blue LED's for more white LEDS. My eventual plan is to add more white LEDS in the fixture and make them dimmable.

The enclosure is the heatsink. The fins are on top but not in the picture. Theres a total of 36 CREE LEDS.
somebody was asking earlier about the best color temp for a blackwater tank..My tendency was to a warmer LED but it seems it doesn't really matter too much..or depends on the Tannin levels.

your substitutes will be interesting. Reds wil drive the K temp down..
Why UV?

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 03:06 PM
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Why are you using Purigen if you are going for a black water look?

Just a noob


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
somebody was asking earlier about the best color temp for a blackwater tank..My tendency was to a warmer LED but it seems it doesn't really matter too much..or depends on the Tannin levels.

your substitutes will be interesting. Reds wil drive the K temp down..
Why UV?
Yes I noticed that warm/cool don't make much of a difference with all the tannins. I did have a shop light over it with a warm bulb and it was about the same.

I was planning to use this LED over a reptile tank but after thinking about it I may skip the UV and keep this light for the tank. I love the look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nlewis View Post
Why are you using Purigen if you are going for a black water look?
I wont be using it long term. It was just to help lighten the water a little because it was way to dark because of all the cork bark and driftwood.

I didn't boil everything long enough so it was just way way way to dark.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 01:44 PM
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I really like the tannin stained look of that last pic. Two of my tanks are similar but have really lightened over the years. The water I siphon out weekly looks like weak tea but water going in is remineralized RO so the tank doesn't have a chance to darken much. The natural look is very cool.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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I really like the tannin stained look of that last pic. Two of my tanks are similar but have really lightened over the years. The water I siphon out weekly looks like weak tea but water going in is remineralized RO so the tank doesn't have a chance to darken much. The natural look is very cool.


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Thanks! Yep mine looks the same when I change water as well. I do have a ton of leftover dried magnolia leaves so if I ever need to darken the tank a little I can just make more "tea" Our TDS in NYC is pretty low so I've just been using that with prime. I still have my RO/DI system from my salt days.

As of right now the hazy water has cleared up and now its just really pleasing to look at. It got the wife's approval so good to go. It looks really great especially since the fish are active and moving about their business and eating well.

Still looking at plants. Came across a few ideas. I will probably add some Sagittaria subulata (long) and Red Melon Sword In addition to the amazon swords already in there.
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