Every aquarium is unique in its own way but generally fall into a style or category depending on layout, decor, water parameters and so on. Today we want to talk about the increasingly popular 'Blackwater Aquarium' category.
Many of you will be familiar with the side effect of adding wood to your aquarium. The side effect being the dark brown tannic acid that leaks into your water, causing it to turn a tea colour. This is a completely natural process and over time (and many water changes) you can reduce this tannin and maintain clear water again. For some, this dark colouration is actually a desired environment for their fish. This is what we call a blackwater aquarium.
Often related to biotope style aquariums, which we will cover in a future post, these dark and mysterious looking setups, when embraced can offer a whole new fishkeeping experience. Some fish species live exclusively in these dark brown water environments and exhibit vivid colouration and different behaviours. The Neon Tetra is a fine example of this. When they are kept in these dark water aquariums, they display much more vibrant colours.
How do we create such an environment? We can either tint the water by adding tannic acid directly into the water. Or a much more aesthetically appealing and natural approach is to add botanicals. These are things like pods, casings, cones and lots of other natural items that fall into the water naturally. Creating an aquarium using botanicals will provide your fish with a very natural home.
There are health benefits to using these natural products too. Tannic acid helps to prevent fungal infections and can also quicken the recovery of fish with fungal infections.
The image above shows just how beautiful a blackwater aquarium can be. It was shared by Little Tree Design Biotopes while the smaller photo shared by @biotopiatai shows some of the amazing botanicals used to create a natural blackwater aquarium.
Have you tried the dark side yet?
Check out our aquascaping section for some blackwater products to get you started.