Blackwater expert

chris10

Junior Poster
Feb 19, 2007
7
0
1
I just redid a local human society's cat room fish tank. Got rid of their stupid (hope I don't offend anyone) goldfish and planted some spiralis and java lace so far along with cardinals, blue rams, corys, and ottos. I now want to add more plants and thinking about glosso also.

I am currently supplementing with flourish and the trace. But would like to add some blackwater expert to replicate the cardinals environment as much as i can (in other tanks of mine the rams started breeding when I added the blackwater) and to hopefully help with the color of the tank. 6,700k does some interesting things to a tank. nothing bad just not use to it.

If I add the blackwater will I be adding too much ferts to the tank? Flourish is once a week and trace every other day. Also if the blackwater is okay should I do away with the carbon? I just have basic gravel in the tank so if I do glosso should I add root tabs to the tank or will liquid ferts suffice?

I am not a noob with fish but am with plants. Took about a month of research before I was comfortable enough with planting a tank. Have to say now the aquatic hobby is more satisfying than ever.
sorry for the long post.

46 gallon
2 wpg
co2 18 ppm
 

Frolicsome_Flora

Guru Class Expert
Jan 12, 2007
351
0
16
47
Dorset, UK
chris10;14291 said:
I just redid a local human society's cat room fish tank. Got rid of their stupid (hope I don't offend anyone) goldfish and planted some spiralis and java lace so far along with cardinals, blue rams, corys, and ottos. I now want to add more plants and thinking about glosso also.

I am currently supplementing with flourish and the trace. But would like to add some blackwater expert to replicate the cardinals environment as much as i can (in other tanks of mine the rams started breeding when I added the blackwater) and to hopefully help with the color of the tank. 6,700k does some interesting things to a tank. nothing bad just not use to it.

If I add the blackwater will I be adding too much ferts to the tank? Flourish is once a week and trace every other day. Also if the blackwater is okay should I do away with the carbon? I just have basic gravel in the tank so if I do glosso should I add root tabs to the tank or will liquid ferts suffice?

I am not a noob with fish but am with plants. Took about a month of research before I was comfortable enough with planting a tank. Have to say now the aquatic hobby is more satisfying than ever.
sorry for the long post.

46 gallon
2 wpg
co2 18 ppm

How are you measuring the CO2? If your using the KH - PH relationship, then your CO2 is more likely in the range of 5 - 20 ppm, which just wont be enough with that much light. You really need to be using a drop checker, as its the most accurate way we have of measuring CO2 content. You want to be aiming for 25-40 ppm CO2, or your going to run into problems.

Which flourish are you using? I would seriously recommend reading up about the Estimative Index method, and using that to dose the tank. Then you could alter that to cater for the black water going into your tank, Tom would be the best to advise you as to how to do this.

Root tabs are always going to help, but with good EI most water column feeders are going to be more than happy with it. EI will lead you to far less issues, less maintenance, and enable you to throw away all the test kits, as theyre, for the most part.. useless.
 

chris10

Junior Poster
Feb 19, 2007
7
0
1
Frolicsome_Flora;14293 said:
How are you measuring the CO2? If your using the KH - PH relationship, then your CO2 is more likely in the range of 5 - 20 ppm, which just wont be enough with that much light. You really need to be using a drop checker, as its the most accurate way we have of measuring CO2 content. You want to be aiming for 25-40 ppm CO2, or your going to run into problems.

Which flourish are you using? I would seriously recommend reading up about the Estimative Index method, and using that to dose the tank. Then you could alter that to cater for the black water going into your tank, Tom would be the best to advise you as to how to do this.

Root tabs are always going to help, but with good EI most water column feeders are going to be more than happy with it. EI will lead you to far less issues, less maintenance, and enable you to throw away all the test kits, as theyre, for the most part.. useless.

I am using the kh ph at the moment. I have a family member blowing me a glass drop checker so hopefully i'll have it by the end of this week. I am using a 3 liter modified jello co2 method that last a little over a month at 70 degrees f . I'll add another one to pick up the co2 level. I am just using the regular flourish fertilizer.
 

Frolicsome_Flora

Guru Class Expert
Jan 12, 2007
351
0
16
47
Dorset, UK
chris10;14294 said:
I am using the kh ph at the moment. I have a family member blowing me a glass drop checker so hopefully i'll have it by the end of this week. I am using a 3 liter modified jello co2 method that last a little over a month at 70 degrees f . I'll add another one to pick up the co2 level. I am just using the regular flourish fertilizer.

Id definatly pick up on EI, itll be a hell of a lot cheaper than using flourish liquids, dry ferts go a very very long way. Cool on the drop checker, how amazing you have a family member glass blower! You might end up with some amazing shape, Im quite jealous! :)

I have no clue what a jello co2 method is, is that some kind of DIY method? Sounds interesting. Be careful of wildly varying CO2 amounts, that can cause just as many problems as no CO2 at all as plants like a stable routine, and algae doesnt care about stability.

Check out Greg Watsons site on the Links DB for supply of dry ferts in the States, if your not in America someone can direct you to a supplier pretty much no matter where you are.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
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Sacramento, CA
As I understand it, blackwater extract is largely tannins, not fertilizers. It will really throw off the CO2 measurement if you try to just measure the water pH and KH, since it is acidic. I agree with Flora, read up on the estimative index method of fertilizing - it is easy to do, easy to understand, and foolproof. And, I hope you can post a photo of the blown glass drop checker. That should be very interesting.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
740
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Don't mess with the tannins.
They do not help these fish.

I never use it and I have hundreds of cardinals and they are large and happy.
So do many other clients.

Note, this tank has no root tabs , nothing, just plain Flourite.
I'd suggest ADA aqua soil (just this with the peat and a little mulm) though if you have the option.

canonpics resized003.jpg
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
740
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This tank gets straight EI, nothing more.
These fish have been there for 2 years now.
Out of 500, I have about 450.

Regards,
Tom Barr

canonpics resized005.jpg
 

chris10

Junior Poster
Feb 19, 2007
7
0
1
My jello is made up of sugar, jello, and wheat flour. There are many different combinations but after trying a few this works for me. I generally get about 18 bpm for 3 weeks and then die down to 12 for another 2 weeks. Most of the time i'll change the water and yeast out of it at about 2 1/2 weeks to keep it going strong. That's an approximate since I usually get burst of co2 every 15 seconds and it is very difficult to count the bubbles. Then after about a month I have to make some more jello.

I'll try to post some pics of the checker when he is finished. Its basically going to look like the ones you get off of ebay and the few stores that sell glass ones.

The blackwater has been x off my list. Thanks for the info. I will definitely check the EI thread and go from there.

Thanks
chris
 

Frolicsome_Flora

Guru Class Expert
Jan 12, 2007
351
0
16
47
Dorset, UK
Theres no way really that you can be that accurate with the ppm by the way youve been checking, you really want to be aiming at a co2 range of about 25-40ppm to produce stable conditions.

This is the trouble with DIY, I banged my head against the DIY brickwall for a year before finally caving in and buying a pressurised kit, now life is great.

When you get your drop checkers, read up on Vaughn's threads about making a reference KH solution for it, that will make life a whole lot easier for you. :)