I cannot take pictures of this tank without a glare. That’s why every photo is of the back right section only.
Anyway, the miniature blackwater tank has been made. Esmeralda seems to enjoy it. I don’t know about the snail. He was doing okay this morning, but finding him amongst the new gravel is impossibly difficult. I’m sure he’s fine.
I don’t recall what everything is, but here’s what I can remember as far as what’s used for the aquascaping:
- Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum – You probably shouldn’t use this if you’re going for a blackwater tank as it states, “Will not discolor water and helps control organic discoloration when natural driftwood is present,” but was what our tiny shop had available.
- CaribSea Super Naturals in some color I can’t remember.
- Lava rocks – There is no brand. They were purchased loose. I don’t know if there is something special about the aquarium store version versus those you can find at Lowe’s, but they’re priced like there is.
- Malaysian driftwood – This will tint your water. So if you’re not creating a blackwater tank, boil it and soak it, and whatever else people advise you to do. I cannot help you since I wanted the tannins.
- Plants* – There was a large plant vat tank at the shop. I pointed to three and then walked away to check out the fish, leaving Brian to communicate with the plant harvester. I know one is a java fern, another is a sword of some sort, and the tall reddish things are possibly some sort of rotala. Sorry. I’m terribly helpful. I can tell you the little grass-like tufts in the gravel are cryptocoryne mioya, and the floating plants are limnobium laevigatum, also known as frogbit.
- Coloring – To get the immediate blackwater tank look, without having to wait for the natural release of the tannins in the driftwood, we brewed a cup of pure rooibos tea and added that to the completed tank (sans fish and snail). It is said to not greatly affect the ph balance of the water, plus you can drink it. Not from the aquarium. That’s gross.
That’s all that’s in there at the moment, since it’s a fairly small setup at only five gallons. Her new tank is also fairly small, twelve gallons, but will allow for a little more creativity when it comes to the ‘scaping.
* I do not know if this is how the plants should be planted, or how they should look. To be honest, a lot of the plants at our store looked a little sickly, and these still have the same appearance as when we purchased them about a week ago.
Rocks And Water
by Deb Talan