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View Full Version : Biotope: Pterophyllum altum ( Altum angel)



discusluv
11-22-2017, 07:31 PM
Look at the color of this water! Now that is tea-stained! To replicate it in the aquarium would make the fish extremely happy but would mean low visibility for me.

I added some oak leaves to the geophagus tank, but didn't stain the water in the slightest, so will be attempting to add more steadily so that when I get the altums in the next few weeks will have some tannins in water.

I remember years ago I used blackwater extract, forget who makes it, maybe that would be a good thing to add as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=24&v=2DxqKzWfFfE

angelcraze2
11-22-2017, 07:43 PM
Great vid to watch! I think it might be because the water is murky/cloudy as well as tea-stained. I have a tea-stained dark tank, it doesn't make for great pics without brightening a bit, but in person, the fish look great and they love the tannins. I think with angels, the tannins and murk reduce the visibility over longer distances and prevents territorial disputes.

discusluv
11-22-2017, 07:51 PM
Yeah, there is a lot of suspended material in the water as well in the video.
I also need to consider that I have lots of plants in this tank, if the stain is too much Im sure the light to the plants will be diminished.

angelcraze2
11-22-2017, 08:16 PM
Yes, it is diminished, but hardly with a subtle stain. I keep low light plants only in my tannin-stained dark tank, but then you'd just have to increase the lighting if your plants require more. I haven't seen an issue with stained water and plant growth myself. But I keep it simple.

Honestly, I use IALs which really stain the water (more than oak leaves) and you'd have to toss in 20 or more leaves to make a statement in your 180g. The angels will appreciate just a bit of tannins, you don't have to go insane, that would be just for your preference. For instance, I wanted to try something different in my one tank, my fish all appreciate the tannins in the water, even when they are hardly noticeable. The slightest tint really does help bring out their colors.

discusluv
11-22-2017, 08:42 PM
What is IAL's?

steeler58
11-22-2017, 09:17 PM
Indian Almond leaves ;-)

steeler58
11-22-2017, 09:19 PM
Look at the color of this water! Now that is tea-stained! To replicate it in the aquarium would make the fish extremely happy but would mean low visibility for me.

I added some oak leaves to the geophagus tank, but didn't stain the water in the slightest, so will be attempting to add more steadily so that when I get the altums in the next few weeks will have some tannins in water.

I remember years ago I used blackwater extract, forget who makes it, maybe that would be a good thing to add as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=24&v=2DxqKzWfFfE

Tetra was the brand I'll bet your thinking of, Kent and Brightwell aquatics have similar products that might be better, just to name a couple ;-)

angelcraze2
11-22-2017, 09:39 PM
I got my IALs off Amazon. ~120 leaves for 25$. Yes, I know oak leaves are free, but IALs are said to added benefits like antibacterial properties. I always have a couple in each of my tanks, mostly just for the medicinal benefits. In my"Blackwater" tank, I threw I some maple leaves as well becauseI like the leaf litter look, but IALs degrade much faster than other leaves. They add stronger tannins for sure.

http://www.aquariadise.com

waylon101
11-22-2017, 09:45 PM
I love blackwater so much! A lot of people don't like it but its the most natural looking.

angelcraze2
11-22-2017, 09:56 PM
I love blackwater so much! A lot of people don't like it but its the most natural looking.

I think the fad is growing quickly, I see more and more blackwater setups popping up all over. I don't feel you have to go that dark for the leaves to have a positive effect on softwater fish behavior. The slight tint really looks amazing if one doesn't want an actual blackwater tank.

I use extra leaves if one of my fish suffer an injury, and they've all healed no problem without added chemicals or meds. I believe in IALs!

discusluv
11-22-2017, 09:57 PM
Indian Almond leaves ;-)

Oh! Of course, geezz... I have some of those as well. ill add some! :)

discusluv
11-22-2017, 10:00 PM
I got my IALs off Amazon. ~120 leaves for 25$. Yes, I know oak leaves are free, but IALs are said to added benefits like antibacterial properties. I always have a couple in each of my tanks, mostly just for the medicinal benefits. In my"Blackwater" tank, I threw I some maple leaves as well becauseI like the leaf litter look, but IALs degrade much faster than other leaves. They add stronger tannins for sure.

http://www.aquariadise.com
I purchased the oak leaves as well. They certified that they were aquarium safe, and I didn't want to chance picking up some leaves that had been in contact with chemicals. I forgot i had the Indian Almond leaves, thanks for reminding me.

angelcraze2
11-22-2017, 10:04 PM
Oh awesome you have some! Yes, I love those leaves, you'd just have to add maybe 7 leaves to get a slight tint in your 180g. That's just a guess if I compare it to my 120g.

angelcraze2
11-22-2017, 10:09 PM
My link didn't work, hopefully this one will
http://www.aquariadise.com/indian-almond-leaves/

discusluv
11-22-2017, 10:12 PM
Nice article--- for the antibacterial properties alone, it sounds like a good thing to add.

Slaphppy7
11-22-2017, 11:08 PM
I got my IALs off Amazon. ~120 leaves for 25$. Yes, I know oak leaves are free, but IALs are said to added benefits like antibacterial properties. I always have a couple in each of my tanks, mostly just for the medicinal benefits. In my"Blackwater" tank, I threw I some maple leaves as well becauseI like the leaf litter look, but IALs degrade much faster than other leaves. They add stronger tannins for sure.

http://www.aquariadise.com

I've used both IAL's and oak leaves, and personally, I'll stick with just IAL's from now on...the oak leaves were just too messy for my liking once they began to decompose, which alot of people actually want to accomplish. the "mess" in the tank replicates nature in many ways, fertilizes the substrate and other things

I just like to be able to remove used leaves (the "skeleton" vein} and replace with a fresh full leaf easily w/out dealing with bits and pieces of old leaf litter scattered all about....strictly personal preference.

Slaphppy7
11-22-2017, 11:28 PM
I do wish I could remove the remnants of "spent" oak leaves as easily as I can IAL's, I've got a plentiful supply of oak leaves every fall...I don't even have a tree, but am "blessed" with this every year in my yard from the neighbor's tree in the back...and it's just starting, this is only a part of my yard, and the tree hasn't really started dropping yet, this is maybe 1/4 of what I'll have to look forward to

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These ARE oak leaves, correct?...I was told this is an oak tree, but I'm no aborist... there's so many types of oak tree down here that make all kinds of leaf shapes and sizes

Rocksor
11-23-2017, 01:57 AM
I think the fad is growing quickly, I see more and more blackwater setups popping up all over. I don't feel you have to go that dark for the leaves to have a positive effect on softwater fish behavior. The slight tint really looks amazing if one doesn't want an actual blackwater tank.

I use extra leaves if one of my fish suffer an injury, and they've all healed no problem without added chemicals or meds. I believe in IALs!

I've had fish heal from scrapes, torn fins, and deep gouges without IALs.

fissh
11-23-2017, 04:53 PM
I'm kinda new to black water being done with leaves, how fast does the water chemistry change with using leaves? What readings (ph ammonia, etc)? Are the altums you are buying used to this kind of water? Are they wild or tank raised fish? I find wild altums to be a very hard fish to adapt, once there adapted they seem to do well.

angelcraze2
11-24-2017, 12:29 AM
I've had fish heal from scrapes, torn fins, and deep gouges without IALs.

Well, me too, but it gives me that extra piece of mind, especially if I have to be away at the wrong time.

Rocksor
11-24-2017, 07:45 PM
I'm kinda new to black water being done with leaves, how fast does the water chemistry change with using leaves? What readings (ph ammonia, etc)? Are the altums you are buying used to this kind of water? Are they wild or tank raised fish? I find wild altums to be a very hard fish to adapt, once there adapted they seem to do well.


It depends on your KH. A high KH of 8 would not change the PH or TDS value. The problem with wild altums is that no matter what water chemistry they have adapted to, any PH above 4 will allow pathogenic bacteria growth that they are not immune to. This could lead to sudden bacterial infections that kill quickly with no physical symptoms. They also need temperature as high as discus, around 84f or higher. Too low temperatures will lead to stress and infection.

angelcraze2
11-24-2017, 08:35 PM
I threw in some maple leaves as well because I like the leaf litter look, but IALs degrade much faster than other leaves. They add stronger tannins for sure.

http://www.aquariadise.com

I'd like to correct this. My maple leaves degraded quicker than I had thought!

discusluv
11-24-2017, 08:40 PM
I'm kinda new to black water being done with leaves, how fast does the water chemistry change with using leaves? What readings (ph ammonia, etc)? Are the altums you are buying used to this kind of water? Are they wild or tank raised fish? I find wild altums to be a very hard fish to adapt, once there adapted they seem to do well.

The Altums Ill be getting will be wilds. I am sure that they will be difficult, but I have raised difficult fish in the past.
Right now I have a group of wild geophagus in the same tank and they are doing well with 2 x 50% water changes weekly, 2 FX 6 filters and an added UV sterilizer that I use to keep bacteria at a minimum. The pH is around 7.4, however, so I may or may not be successful. Temperature is at 82. Kh 2/GH 5.

Rocksor
11-24-2017, 09:00 PM
what pump are you using to keep the low flow through the UV sterilizer?

discusluv
11-24-2017, 09:08 PM
We have a t-connector off the out of the FX6. Then a ball valve off the t-connector going to the UV sterilizer. And finally a flow meter on the out of the UV to accurately measure/adjust the flow rate.

Here is a picture of set-up:

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fissh
11-25-2017, 05:43 PM
Wow, very cool set up!