Plans for a Blackwater Tank
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Plans for a Blackwater Tank

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Plans for a Blackwater Tank
Old 12-12-2013, 04:42 AM   #1
 
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Plans for a Blackwater Tank

Hey - it me... again!
Some of "yous" may know that i want to give my corner pentagon a face lift and parents are allowing it if I pay for - most - of it! So I thought i go with a cheapish set up - well, compared to the high tech and all of that stuff!
The tank (I used paint, so it not to scale, however, the measurements are):


And hoping to transform it into something like this - but with a few plants:

(Here the forum)

Tank volume: 246 liters/65 gallons
Lighting: 60cm Heto Reflector with light as it is a Blackwater, i really don't have to invest a lot for lighting!
Substrate:A mix of playsand and 3-5mm gravel - 1:1 or 2:1 respectively
Filter: Fluval 303 - love my stone-aged filter!
Fauna:
- 4 Juvenile Angels (if 2 pair, i give to other 2 back to the LFS)
- Bristlenose pair
- 8 - 12 Columbian Tetras
- A Clown Loach (I prefer not to get more as this will be my last clown - sucked into the gimmick of snail control.. grr, sometimes hate LFS! )
- 4 kuhli loaches
- 6 - 10 hatchletfish
- 6 cories
- A good colony of cherries
Flora: (What I hope to grow/add)
- Anubias plant
- Java moss
- Java fern
- amazon swords
- floaters (duckweed/salvina/amazon frogbit/water lettuce)
- Val
(- does dead ock leaves count?)
Hardscape:
- Wood (so far, got a large "tree trunk" and a smaller "tree root" bogwood)
- Stones (Got quite a few, I look into getting rid of some)


Questions:
1. Stocking list - is it too full? Could i add some more kuhli loaches???
2. I want to add some more wood pieces, and I don't want to pay a fortune - I'm an "unemployed" teen. Could i use tree branches to achieve the look I'm after? If so, what types? edit: oh, and do i just clean them like bogwood???
3. Got any interesting low-light plant species i could (try) to add??

Thanks guys

Last edited by aussieJJDude; 12-12-2013 at 04:59 AM..
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:31 AM   #2
 
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Could you return the clown loach to the LFS? Try plugging your info into AqAdvisor. It'll give you a loose idea on stocking but it's not 100% accurate. Crypts are low light plants. Everyone says they are hard to keep but I have some in my betta tank with only window light and they are growing great. If you're going to get Kuhlis I'd get no less than 6, personally.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
Could you return the clown loach to the LFS? Try plugging your info into AqAdvisor. It'll give you a loose idea on stocking but it's not 100% accurate. Crypts are low light plants. Everyone says they are hard to keep but I have some in my betta tank with only window light and they are growing great. If you're going to get Kuhlis I'd get no less than 6, personally.
Thanks for the idea on AqAdvisor.. :) So far, if i don't add the cories I have a good stocking list... For species of fish like kuhlis, there body ratio will be less compared to other fish, so meaning a smaller bio-load - does AqAdvisior consider this???
I had the clown loach for 3 years now and kind of attached to it - plus, the LPS were I got it from is horrible, they suggest goldfish for a 8 liter tank and hermit crabs conditions... don't get me started! And i know that they get some poor sucker to add it to their 2 ft tank to control a snail outbreak - that was the reason why I got the little guy...
I seen that crypts are low light plants but unsure of them, they seem to be a hit or miss plant - either they die or they grow... But I see if I can get some if my plant works out!
Right now, I have 3 kuhlis in my tank, maybe increase the kuhli school up to 6 and bring my columbians down to 8 -10???

Last edited by aussieJJDude; 12-12-2013 at 06:35 AM..
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:41 AM   #4
 
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Without the clown loach and a single pair of angels, you would be stocked to the limit with the following;

2 Angelfish (scalare)
2 Bristlenose Pleco
12 Colombian Tetra
6 Kuhli Loach
10 Hatchetfish
6 Corys
20 Cherry Shrimp

Your shrimp will most likely be picked off here and there by various other fish in the tank, so you're aware. The clown loach is going to be 12 inches long and will not live a happy, healthy life alone in a 75 gallon, not to mention will uproot plants at that size. I would really like you to consider putting an ad up to re-home him or taking him back, even though it's hard. You simply can't make him happy and he will seriously impair your stocking and tank plans. The crypts, I bought 4 (two packs) and 2 of the 4 in the pack have ridiculously good growth. I think you'll be fine with them, just make sure you get more than you think you'll need to compensate for loss.

Last edited by Flint; 12-12-2013 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:54 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
Without the clown loach and a single pair of angels, you would be stocked to the limit with the following;

2 Angelfish (scalare)
2 Bristlenose Pleco
12 Colombian Tetra
6 Kuhli Loach
10 Hatchetfish
6 Corys
20 Cherry Shrimp

Your shrimp will most likely be picked off here and there by various other fish in the tank, so you're aware. The clown loach is going to be 12 inches long and will not live a happy, healthy life alone in a 75 gallon, not to mention will uproot plants at that size. I would really like you to consider putting an ad up to re-home him or taking him back, even though it's hard. You simply can't make him happy and he will seriously impair your stocking and tank plans.
Thanks for the heads up on the shrimp, I read in a few places that angels will like to snack on the shrimp....
The main problem is that my dad doesn't want to let him go - i don't too, but if it for him to be happy, then that's what matters - as he has a fear of snails! I fully aware of the large sizes of clown loaches, i really need to talk my dad out of keep him... I seen clowns in worst set up than mine - not that it makes it A-ok to keep him in there - but he has a great diet and regularly offered snails... But me looking into clown loach care when i realised what the LFS did - wish I found this site before I get the clown - I kind of miffed - but lesson learnt, don't trust the LFS! Do you think if I can keep the clown in the tank - due to my dad's fear of snails - it will be ok minus a few fish??? I know that they usually stay around 6 inches in most tanks and right now, he 2 inch...
Your stocking suggestion does sound good, I probably decrease the hatchet school to eight as they cost quite a bit in my area...
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
 
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If a clown loach stops growing at 6" it's because he's stunted. If you are dead set on keeping the clown loach, not much else can go in there, he has a moderately heavy bioload and is a messy eater. Not to mention, he needs a long tank, 5ft minimum, not a corner tank. All in all, he will be a miserable fishy in that aquarium, unfortunately. If I put an Oscar in a 20T he would be fed appropriately and wouldn't get bigger than the tank, but he would be extremely stressed an unhappy. A stressed, cramped, unhappy fish is a sick fish and a single sick fish can crash an entire system in a matter of days. Try explaining that to your father. To add to something I just went back and read in a prior post of yours, a 3 year old clown loach should not be 2" so he is already severely stunted. He should be more along the lines of 8" right now. They should grow 4-5" a year until they are 5-6" and then about and inch, inch and a half a year after that.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
 
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Thanks for the info; I'm not dead set on the clown, my dad is.. I see if i can get him out of there and just say to my dad that he died.. :( Also, I the size isn't 100% accurate, but yes, he is a bit on the small size... But I going to get him out of there - I promise!
Thanks for all the advice Flint! Do you have any ideas about "question 2"?
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
 
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This information is based on the clowns I've kept and a quick google search I did.

As far as adding branches from outside into your aquarium, I would have to say no due to the fact that most branches I see outside are still alive in the middle, carry moss and various bugs on them. Upon doing a quick reading up on the subject, I have found that you can use thoroughly dried out HARDWOOD branches, boiled and soaked for a week, changing the water in the container daily. Softwood will rot and decompose and even the hardwood will mold in 6-12 months, so you have to keep an eye on it and remove it when that begins. It can be done, though.
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