Blackwater Amazon Biotope
What is a blackwater Biotope?
A blackwater biotope simulates a natural habitat. The fish, plants and water chemistry are similar to those that can be found in a specific natural setting like the Amazon. The biotope is that dark, most plants cannot thrive and fish are practically invisible this may sound strange to some, but there can be many reasons to invest in this type of tank.
Most fishkeepers like crystal clear water so they can see the fish but some advanced fishkeepers know many of the popular aquarium fish actually dwell in stained, soft, and acidic waters, and are attempting to recreate these habitats as it can be a fun and challenging project.
Natural biotopes can also be beneficial for the fish, especially if you purchase wild caught fish, being in a more natural environment without bright lighting helps keep their stress levels down and can be crucial when trying to breed some species.
What Products do you need?
Firstly you need to choose your aquarium size so you can design and create your natural biotope. Once you have chosen your aquarium you will need to choose what bogwood, fingerwood and rock looks good, now your ready to aquascape. Once you have completed your aquascape you will be ready to add tannin products to your scape in the way of Catappa leaves, wood and Alder cones. As the water is very dark growing plants isnt always easy but a species of Cryptocoryne will do very well.
Catappa leaves, bark and Alder cones will release natural tanning into the water this tanning will make the water a bronze colour. These products will not only look natural on the bottom of your Aquarium but will also give you the effect of a natural river basin. The natural tanning may look unsightly to some but it promotes the health and prevents bacterial infections.
It is important to think about the water chemistry because blackwater biotopes will have soft, acidic water.
The tannins will help bring the PH down making the water more acidic.
Trying to replicate the real pH of blackwater rivers and streams may be a bit unrealistic as it can be as low as 4.5-5 but a PH of 7 or lower will work for you. Just remember to test your Aquarium water weekly and pay close attention to PH, GH and KH levels.