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I am interested in creating a blackwater tank and I have a few questions for anyone who has experience.

1. Can anyone recommend a good website or information source about creating a blackwater tank? I have looked around but I have been unable to find any decent information on the subject.

2. Black water extract, yay or nay? What exactly does it do other than soften water and darken your water?

3. Has anyone ever put a layer of peat below their substrate? If so what exactly were the results?

4. I have read an article that states beech leaves are the leaf to add and you should never add oak leaves, but I have also read oak leaves are ideal... I really don't have access to either, mainly just birch, willow and cotton wood.
 

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Here's an interesting thread I found discussing the topic:

http://www.fishforums.net/lofiversion/index.php/t119337.html

This is a pretty comprehensive site:

http://www.amazonian-fish.co.uk/

[edit]

Also - from what I've read, it seems that the properties of peat that we would want leach out after a month or two. I would say that adding it as a substrate might be a waste. Most people recommend putting some in a nylon mesh bag and hanging it somewhere water will flow over it.
 

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are you doing a brazilian blackwater biotope?
a true biotope or something a little more elaborate?
if its a rio ***** bio ....white sand bottom....two or three species of plants and some leaf litter...beech is good.....so is oak, but make sure you boil them first if you collect them from outside...take them out if you notice them stating to decay....

1) the mongabay.com link is a good place to start if you want more information
 
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