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Blackwater Tank


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#1 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 13 May 2020 - 10:15 AM

The journey of my latest tank started at the 2019 NANFA convention.  Going in, I decided what trip I wanted to go on, and which fish I wanted to bring home based on my current tank setups. 

 

Should I have known better?  Of course I should.  Just like many years past, I hooked up with Brian Z and we picked a few spots here an there to do collecting.  I never intended on going so far south.  I really only wanted to see some Pteronotropis...didn't intend on bringing any home.  Guess what?

 

Arriving back in Kentucky, I realized I did not have a tank with enough room for all these fish...  BUT! I did have an outdoor tub with water and frogbit in it.  I kept this tub setup all the time with driftwood so I'd always have waterlogged wood for use in my tanks.  I dropped in a seasoned sponge filter and the fish...The fish did well for the remainder of the summer.  As fall approached I was concerned about these southern fish and the potential of a harsh winter.  Looking back, we had a very mild winter and they would have been fine. But, I found an ad on Facebook for a complete 40g breeder with filter, lights, and a stand...even better the seller was a friend of mine from church and gave me a good deal.

 

Acquired:

IMG_20191031_121313.jpg

 

I work from home and have my desk setup in my basement.  I had a large open area behind my desk thanks to getting rid of some kids toys, so I decided to setup this tank in that space.

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Mock Up:

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There's a creek about 5 miles from my house that has this awesome substrate.  It's fine and dark and I always thought it would make a great substrate for a blackwater tank.  I used a combination of that and sand.

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Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube 

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#2 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 13 May 2020 - 10:21 AM

Initial Fill up:

IMG_20191112_150737.jpg

 

IMG_20191112_194805.jpg

 

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For tanins I'm using a combination of things found near my house.  Mostly Oak and Magnolia leaves.  I also have some Shellback Hickory nut pods and magnolia seed pods.  While I am using these scattered on the bottom of the tank, I've been achieving the blackwater mainly by boiling these items in a pot, and adding the water to the tank during water changes.  

 

 

IMG_20191117_192948.jpg

 

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The giant hairgrass was intended to make a wall across the back of the tank....it's grown out of control:

IMG_20200324_183436.jpg

 


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube 

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#3 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 13 May 2020 - 10:27 AM

The Fish is a combo of Pternotropis that was collected at one location during the NANFA convention.  I had a friend from Orlando send me some Metallic shiners and I will add with these once they are big enough.

 

IMG_20191201_193404.jpg

 

I'm really bad at in-tank shots:

IMG_20191201_193623.jpg

 

IMG_20190601_181312.jpg


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube 

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#4 littlen

littlen
  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 13 May 2020 - 12:29 PM

This deserves a "Like", for sure.

 


Nick L.

#5 minorhero

minorhero
  • NANFA Guest
  • Maryland

Posted 13 May 2020 - 02:28 PM

Straight up one of the best scapes I have seen for native fishes. Well done!



#6 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 13 May 2020 - 04:01 PM

Straight up one of the best scapes I have seen for native fishes. Well done!

 

Thank you, I appreciate that.  I was greatly inspired by the blackwater creek where these fish were collected.  This creek was an awesome Blackwater area with tons of wood on the sand bottom.  We were tripping on branches all throughout the creek.  There was a 'chute' of water that had long flowing grasses on both sides.  I was trying to recreate this area, as if you sliced it in half and was looking longways into it.  I have the filter outputs on one side, pushing down, and the grass against the back.  Although that giant hairgrass hasn't worked as I wanted, I'm growing up some sag. to replant on the back.


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube 

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#7 Doug_Dame

Doug_Dame
  • NANFA Member

Posted 15 May 2020 - 10:22 PM

NICE !!!

 

Needless to say, I like your choice of fish, too.


Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida
 


#8 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 18 May 2020 - 08:20 AM

That's a terrific looking tank and blackwater scape!  Nice looking stand, and very cool that you got a great deal from a friend as well.


Kevin Wilson


#9 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 20 May 2020 - 10:54 AM

Cooking up the good stuff today

 

IMG_20200324_113845.jpg


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube 

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#10 TheNonEuclidean

TheNonEuclidean
  • NANFA Member
  • Aiken, SC

Posted 01 June 2020 - 10:44 PM

Nice tank! I used to boil oak leaves constantly for blackwater extract. I found that adding used tea bags helps a lot and should give you enough extract for several water changes. Make sure theyve been boiled for at least 5 minutes first to get rid of the caffeine.

#11 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 02 June 2020 - 09:50 AM

Nice tank! I used to boil oak leaves constantly for blackwater extract. I found that adding used tea bags helps a lot and should give you enough extract for several water changes. Make sure theyve been boiled for at least 5 minutes first to get rid of the caffeine.

 

I've seen people using a certain kind of tea for blackwater.  At this point, the leaves from my yard are doing the job.  The Combo of Oak and Magnolia leaves are working well.  

 

I've reduced the amount of actual leaf litter in the tank.  I really like the look of leaf litter, but it makes such a hassle when I clean the substrate.  The Magnolia leaves are really good for in-tank, they break down very slowly.


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube 

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#12 lilyea

lilyea
  • NANFA Member
  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:20 PM

Beautiful tank!

 

 

I've seen people using a certain kind of tea for blackwater. 

 

If you decide to experiment with tea, a brand to consider for this purpose is "Rooibos".



#13 TheNonEuclidean

TheNonEuclidean
  • NANFA Member
  • Aiken, SC

Posted 02 June 2020 - 06:15 PM

Fwiw, ive just been using used lipton tea bags to suppliment for a year without issue. If what you got is working though, keep at it!




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