Blackwater Environment Management
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Blackwater Environment Management

This is a discussion on Blackwater Environment Management within the Advanced Freshwater Discussion forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello one and all. First time posting in this forum. Didn't even know I could until recently as I have remained on the Betta ...

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Blackwater Environment Management
Old 04-06-2014, 09:58 AM   #1
 
Blackwater Environment Management

Hello one and all. First time posting in this forum. Didn't even know I could until recently as I have remained on the Betta site. I have a couple of questions. How do you maintain a stable PH in a black water environment? How do you prep replacement water for this environment so as not to disturb the conditions in the tank? Planning to keep several black water tanks, so I'd like to learn as much as I can about this area of the aquarium hobby.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:32 PM   #2
 
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The pH is stabilised by the KH (alkalinity). Make sure the alkalinity doesn't drop below 60ppm and you should experience no major swings in pH. I run my Blackwater tank at this level and my pH moves less than .2 per day. Alkalinity is maintained by weekly 20% water changes.

There are a number if ways of adjusting the pH of the water for changes (avoid pH buffers if you can)...

I use RO and tap water in a 1:1 mix which gives me the correct GH and KH values and the pH follows as a matter of course (I run just on the acidic side and see a movement of about 0.03 pH and 0.1'C during a water change)

Filter the water through a peat filter.

Create a Blackwater extract by boiling Catappa bark or peat moss and add it to the water until the correct pH is obtained. Peat moss is excellent for this and the extract obtained is very concentrated.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:41 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSVBiffer View Post
The pH is stabilised by the KH (alkalinity). Make sure the alkalinity doesn't drop below 60ppm and you should experience no major swings in pH. I run my Blackwater tank at this level and my pH moves less than .2 per day. Alkalinity is maintained by weekly 20% water changes.

There are a number if ways of adjusting the pH of the water for changes (avoid pH buffers if you can)...

I use RO and tap water in a 1:1 mix which gives me the correct GH and KH values and the pH follows as a matter of course (I run just on the acidic side and see a movement of about 0.03 pH and 0.1'C during a water change)

Filter the water through a peat filter.

Create a Blackwater extract by boiling Catappa bark or peat moss and add it to the water until the correct pH is obtained. Peat moss is excellent for this and the extract obtained is very concentrated.
I understand the relationship between KH and PH, but I wasn't very specific about the conditions I meant.

I ask as there is a type of micro fish I want to keep (I can't remember its name and I haven't been able to get back to the site where I found) whose natural environment is very soft and very acidic (PH 6.5 on the high end, 4.0 on the low end). From what I have read, the carbonated hardness of the water is pretty much non-existent.

Managing GH is simple, but managing a stable KH / PH would seem a bit more challenging. How would you maintain a stable PH in these conditions?
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:29 AM   #4
 
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Personally I wouldn't drop the pH below 6.5, you are getting into an area where pH can swing dramatically due to the very limited buffering capacity. Many fish from Blackwater environments experience low pH and negligible hardness in the wild but adapt readily to slightly acidic with reasonable hardness in an aquarium. If I were dropping pH below 6.5 I would be monitoring it constantly.

As said earlier, buffering KH is usually managed rough water changes although this can be enhanced with the addition of something such as magnesium sulphate (Epsom Salts). I certainly wouldn't allow the KH to drop below 60ppm and many would recommend not dropping below 80ppm.

It is far better to have a slightly high, stable pH than a low pH which is likely to swing dramatically.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:30 AM   #5
 
Thanks. That answers my question
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
 
do you mean one of these ?
List of smallest fish in the world - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paedocypris
-Paedocypris progenetica
-Cyprinidae
-7.9 mm (0.31 in)

Dwarf pygmy goby
-Pandaka pygmaea
-Gobiidae
-9 mm (0.35 in)

stout infantfish
-Schindleria brevipinguis
-Schindleriidae
-8.4 mm (0.33 in)

dwarf goby
-Trimmatom nanus
-Gobiidae
-10 mm (0.39 in)

---

the smallest i think wants a pH of about 5 or something really low

i know nothing else about these, including if they can be gotten in the hobby, ... but their diminutive size i find fascinating :)
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
 
This one: Sundadanio axelrodi 0.8 inches When I play golf, I need a spotter to tell me where the ball went. Just to see the ones you listed, I would need a spotter and a set of tri-focals
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:00 PM   #8
 
nice looking fish :)
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
 
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nice looking fish :)
I love everything about it, including the challenge of creating a suitable home for them.
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