75G Dirt Blackwater Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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75G Dirt Blackwater Tank

First foray into this sort of thing, and I'd like to think I'm doing something a bit different from most people. As far as I can tell from searching very few people have done a dirted blackwater tank, with the intention of heavily planting it.

Obviously I'm going all low light stuff, due to the darker water colour, but I think I can get a fair variety of things in here. I also won't be running CO2. Looking for suggestions as well.

The basic set up is this:

-75G Rimless Deep Blue with centre overflow
-30G Long sump
-Eheim Classic 600/2217 filter (on sump)
-2x 200w Cobalt Neo-Therm Heaters
-Cobalt MJ-600 (for the sump to re-circulate the water)
-MaxSpect Razor R420r 160w 10000K (not on there yet, it's on order)

I used 1-1.5" of Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil, with a couple rises in a corner and a small mound to one side to break up the flatness. I also mixed in about 6L of peat moss into the soil and 6L of ADA Amazonia Soil.

On top of that is a mix of Seachem's Black Fluorite and Onyx Sand.

In the next couple weeks, I'll be putting some leaf litter on the bottom.

There is a healthy helping of peat moss in the filter as well.

As of right now, I have Echinodorus Amazonicus, Java Fern 'Windelov', some unknown Java Fern variety, Cryptocoryne ciliata, Crytocoryne usteriana and some Russian Moss Balls broken up and covering a piece of wood. I'll be putting some java moss in the sump and I'm expecting some Red Cobomba from a friend this week. I may attempt Crinum natans in the future as well.

The pH is holding around 6.4 right now, but I expect it to drop down to roughly 5.5 with time. I haven't finalized what fish I'll be putting in, but there's going to be a fair variety.





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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:35 PM
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Are you sure you want to make this a blackwater tank? The stained water in a blackwater setup blocks a lot of the light for the plants. And plants don't look especially good in blackwater.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
Are you sure you want to make this a blackwater tank? The stained water in a blackwater setup blocks a lot of the light for the plants. And plants don't look especially good in blackwater.
That's why I'm going with low light plants.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:53 PM
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It looks great! I like what you did with the Russian Moss Balls.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:59 PM
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By the way, If you are still planning what fish to get you can't go wrong with otocinclus.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oto Guy View Post
It looks great! I like what you did with the Russian Moss Balls.
Thanks! It's tied on by fishing line right now (which you can sort of see if you squint and tilt your head), but I'll cut it off in a few weeks when the moss is attached.

The plan is also to add some moss in the sump as a sort of "freshwater refugium" if you're familiar at all with marine setups.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oto Guy View Post
By the way, If you are still planning what fish to get you can't go wrong with otocinclus.
They're on the list! This is what I have so far:

Clown Loach
Glass Catfish
Espei Rasbora
Snakeskin Barb
Corydora Similis
L240
Threadfin Rainbow
Red Fin Bala Shark
Blue Eye Gertrude
Apisto Agassizi
Nanochromis transvestitus
Kribensis
Madagascar Rainbow
Purple Pencilfish
Samurai Gourami
Ottocinclus



All fish that I have specifically researched to be able to handle the low pH and high temperature conditions of my tank.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 04:57 AM
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Nice setup, I know a guy at the LFS with an tank just like that.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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So the crypts went and melted on me (as expected, given my lack of adequate lighting for so long), but I got my MaxSpect r420r and have since added many more plants.

Anubias barteri
A. nana
A. minima
A. lanceolata
Echinodorus ozelot
E. arjuna
Cryptocoryne wendtii "green", "green gecko", "brown"

The fish I've added in so far are:

Espei Rasboras (x39)
Clown Loaches (x7)
Similis Corydoras (x7)
Madagascar Rainbows (x6)
Apistogramma cacatoides (x2)
Nanochromis transvestitus (x4)
Electric Blue Rams (x4)
Kribensis (x2)

The Kribs spawned in my tank already. Because of their location, I can't tell if there is fry yet, but I'm thinking probably not. It's hard to tell because of their location in the tank.

Pictures will probably go up tomorrow when I have a chance to grab some with the lights on.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Some pictures since I've added fish/more plants. I'm particularly happy with how the wild caught nanochromis transvestitus are looking. They're incredibly colourful in the tank, far more than at my LFS.





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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Added indian almond leaves to the tank and the colour change has been incredible. I did not expect it to get so dark so quickly.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 02:40 AM
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What are your setting with your razor for low plants ?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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It's actually set to go to 100%. I haven't mapped the PAR, but given the colour of the water, I expect the light is attenuated quite a lot. Plants seem quite happy so far. I had to uproot some c. wendtii "brown" the other day and they had some hefty roots on them after just a week under the Razor.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Added an L240 Pleco into the tank and have further reduced the list of fish I plan to put in there.

Right now I have:

39x Espei Rasbora
4x Electric Blue Ram
2x Kribensis "Super Red"
2x Apistogramma Cacatoides "Triple Red"
4x Nanochromis Transvestitus
7x Clown Loach
7x Corydoris Similis
6x Madagascar Rainbow
1x L240 Galaxy Pleco

I decided not to add Threadfin Rainbows, Blue Eye Gertrudaes or the Purple Nanostomus, in favour of having more Espeis since they look great in the tank.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 10:53 PM
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My max is 60% on my razor and i have a lot of algae.

Can you shoot your photo period ?

Thank
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