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Blackwater tank

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by magpie, Mar 10, 2018.


  1. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I added some almond leaves & alder cones that I bought off ebay plus a load of oak leaves that I collected locally, and the tank is starting to look quite good! The corys love rummaging around and hiding in the leaf litter :)

    So, any suggestions of what else might work well in there? Obviously I don't want anything that is going to upset Hooper (my betta), and it would have to be suitable for soft water. I would quite like something that might work on the algae a little bit, I've not cleaned it much myself to avoid stirring up the leaf litter too much so there is plenty to feast on! Tank is 125 litres, current stock is 6 peppered corys and 1 betta, current pH is 6.6.
    Sorry for the dreadful, blurry pictures, my camera just can't take decent aquarium photos :rolleyes:

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  2. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

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    Looks good :) I think neons/cardinals always look good in a blackwater setup, though I know they don't always work with bettas... Maybe some kuhli loaches? Or harlequin rasboras if you're going for a SE Asia biotope?
     
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  3. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks :)

    Not really bothered about trying for a biotope, I think corys are S America anyway, aren't they?

    I would love neons or cardinals, I love the colours on them, but I did wonder about them with a betta. I don't really want to end up with another tank if it doesn't work out! Not that I wouldn't love a load of tanks, I just don't really have the space or money to run them!

    Am I right in thinking shrimp need hard water? I did also think about otos, but I understand they are very sensitive.
     
  4. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

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    Didn't you used to have the tank divided? I suppose you could always put the divider back in if you had neons that didn't get on with Hooper?

    I'm far from an expert on shrimp, but I believe that, while cherries and amanos prefer hard water, there are other types that like soft water. How about a couple of bamboo shrimp? I believe they're suited to soft water, plus they're large enough to deter Hooper from trying to eat them!

    Otos, as I understand it, are not bred in captivity so are exclusively wild-caught. Because of this they won't eat algae pellets and rely on natural algae for food, and therefore are often half-starved by the time they arrive in the shops, which is why many die shortly after purchase :( The general advice is to select well-fed-looking specimens and make sure your tank has plenty of natural algae growth, or grow it on pebbles left in a saucer of water on the windowsill and add them to the tank as needed. No idea about their compatability with bettas, though.
     
  5. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I did have it divided... don't think I'd like to do it again though, it makes two tall rather than wide sections and it wouldn't be much room for a shoal of neons. I found it quite awkward to do maintenance on too, and I don't know why but neither betta did very well while it was like that. They both got tatty fins even though the water was perfect, Brody obviously got very poorly and didn't make it, and since Hooper got the tank to himself his fins have been growing back. I wouldn't like put him back into a smaller section now. I think I'll have to wait until I can have a spare tank waiting in the wings!

    Hmm, I feel a bit bad for wild-caught fish :( Might forget that idea.

    I will look into bamboo & other types of shrimp though, thanks! :)
     
  6. stuaz

    stuaz PetForums VIP

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    Shrimp could be an option. Amano are great algae cleaners and are normally big enough that other fish leave them alone.

    Cherry or Crystal shrimp are good but the betta may eat them, although I do have a thriving betta sorority with them in but they were there before the bettas so the colony was established and is heavily planted so the babies stand a chance!

    As for fish, Maybe green neons or cardinals? Get a good school of them and they will likely leave the betta alone.
     
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  7. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Bamboo shrimp are out as it looks like they need fast flowing water and a hillstream-type set up, but from googling it looks like a few people have kept amanos & cherry shrimp in softer water with no issue.
     
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