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Roots Dyed Dark - Low Tech Blackwater (updated 08-04-14)

Lee Sweeting

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7 Jul 2013
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677
Right! So... I've decided to ditch the co2 and start a low tech tank, mainly inspired by Alastair's Little Box of Chocolates, and Big Tom's Bucket O' Mud, who's journals have been exceptional in there concept and achievements, and a real source of inspiration whilst setting up this tank.

The principal idea behind this tank is to provide a stable and healthy home, capable of housing liquorice gourami. I've really developed a liking to these little fish, primarily through reading and subscribing to the Parosphromenus Project (THE FISH: All about the Licorice Gourami-Group). Unfortunately these little fish are struggling in the wild, due to the destruction of their natural habitat. So i thought i would try to set up a tank were they would be happy enough to breed. Although this is not a true biotope (this is now my main show tank), i have tried to taylor the water parameters to suite their needs.

Water parameters: gH - 5, kH - 1, pH 6.5 for now, i've added a lot of almond leaves and alder cones, so hopefully this will reduce the pH as the leaves and cones break down.

Tank Spec:

Tank: 89 x 30 x 44 (LxHxD), which equates to about 90 litres after displacement from Hardscape, substrate etc etc.

Substrate: Original pond aquasoil capped with Ebi gold.

Lighting: 2 x TMC mini 400 led's with controller. Set @ 30% and suspended 40cm above the tank. Photo period is 6 hours for the time being. I will increase this to 8 hours after about a month or so.

Filtration: JBL cristal profi e700 (700 ltr per hour).

Heating: Hydor inline heater set to 26 degrees C.

Hardscape: Redmoor root and yamaya stone.

Flora: Salvinia natans, Microsorum mini/petite, Microsorum trident, Aponogeton crispus 'Red', Anubias bonsai, Cryptocoryne parva, Cryptocoryne wendtii 'brown, Cryptocoryne wendtii 'green' Taxiphyllum barbieri, Hygrophila pinnatifida, Monosolenium tenerum, Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping', Ranalisma Mini.

Fauna: Primarily liquorice gourami, not sure what else yet?

Thanks for looking, constructive criticism, ideas welcome.

Sorry for the crappy pictures, there just off my phone.

3c28.jpg


8fci.jpg
d77u.jpg
 

Rob P

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13 Oct 2013
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785
Ah the very least I could do mate! :) When they take off i'll have some back for my small tank ;) lol
 

darren636

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5 Aug 2011
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dorset
Where can we buy this ranalisma rostrata?

Is there a secret handshake?
 

BigTom

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1 May 2009
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Edinburgh
Brilliant Lee. I'd strongly suggest limiting the stocking to just the gouramis, or perhaps gouramis and one of the smaller blackwater Boraras species in order to give any fry as good a chance as possible. Which species are you going to go for?

Really looking forward to seeing how this develops.
 

Rob P

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Joined
13 Oct 2013
Messages
785
Where can we buy this ranalisma rostrata? Is there a secret handshake?

LOL, i bought if from Alistair when he took down Choc puddle but it's never really done brill in my hi tech (as others seem to have experienced). It was taken out of my hi tech recently with a number of mucky lower leaves but some clean new growth and odd runners just starting. Lee kindly gave me lots of fish and plants from his hi tech take down so I offered him the mucky Ranalisma. I'm sure it will prefer the conditions he can provide which are nearer to Al's :)
 

Lindy

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29 Jun 2012
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Ayrshire, Scotland
That looks fantastic! How are you going to reduce the gh? My gh is low out the tap but if I left it then the shrimp would die, otherwise I'd love to try breeding these guys
 

Lee Sweeting

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Jul 2013
Messages
677
Brilliant Lee. I'd strongly suggest limiting the stocking to just the gouramis, or perhaps gouramis and one of the smaller blackwater Boraras species in order to give any fry as good a chance as possible. Which species are you going to go for?

Really looking forward to seeing how this develops.


Thanks for the suggestion Tom, i have been thinking along those lines, either Boraras maculatus or brigittae. I think they would both compliment the tank well. I'm not sure what species of paro i will be able to find? My local LFS stocks paros but there just labeled as Parosphromenus Sp. To be honest i would be happy with any species really, although it would be nice if i could get hold of some P. deissneri. I have been thinking of putting a post up on the paro project forum to see if there is any breeders around my area? I'm a little reluctant to buy them from my LFS as they are just kept in tap water, which is fairly hard in my area. Its a shame really but they do always have them in stock.
 

Lee Sweeting

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Jul 2013
Messages
677
That looks fantastic! How are you going to reduce the gh? My gh is low out the tap but if I left it then the shrimp would die, otherwise I'd love to try breeding these guys


Hi Lindy! I did worry about this to initially. I have since been speaking to Alastair who has had success breeding these little guys. His parameters are gH 5, kH 0-1, and a pH of 6.0. I am using RO and then remineralising with sachem equilibrium. So i can pretty much set these parameters as i like.

Thanks,

Lee.
 

BigTom

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1 May 2009
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Edinburgh
I would try and get them from someone with a known species or at least import location. So many of the species within a complex are effectively impossible to tell apart by eye and it's much more valuable from the point of view of maintaining a population within the hobby if we know what they are.

You could try asking on PP, the British Cichlid Association forum, Seriously Fish or perhaps Colin Dunlop's facebook page (Facebook).
 

Lee Sweeting

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Thread starter
Joined
7 Jul 2013
Messages
677
I would try and get them from someone with a known species or at least import location. So many of the species within a complex are effectively impossible to tell apart by eye and it's much more valuable from the point of view of maintaining a population within the hobby if we know what they are.

You could try asking on PP, the British Cichlid Association forum, Seriously Fish or perhaps Colin Dunlop's facebook page (Facebook).


Thanks Tom, i'll give those sources a try and see if anything comes up. I would much rather source some from a reputable breeder. As you say it would be nice to know what species i am maintaining.

I'll let you know how i get on.
 

Lindy

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29 Jun 2012
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2,823
Location
Ayrshire, Scotland
Hi Lindy! I did worry about this to initially. I have since been speaking to Alastair who has had success breeding these little guys. His parameters are gH 5, kH 0-1, and a pH of 6.0. I am using RO and then remineralising with sachem equilibrium. So i can pretty much set these parameters as i like.
Cool! I'm hoping to set up my new tank by the end of the month for chocolate gouramis so maybe will eventually get some liquorice too.
 

Edvet

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15 Aug 2013
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Lelystad, Netherlands
Looks nice! Very nice even.
I'd say get some experience with something available, then switch to something that needs our help.
That's what i plan to do;)
I have Betta macrostoma for now, see how that works out.
Time for you to get your own Catappa:Terminalia | UK Aquatic Plant Society
 
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