Amazone: Blackwater Biotope
Blackwater creeks and tributaries derive their name from their bronze tea colored water, stained by peat, driftwood and decaying vegetation. Blackwater rivers are very low in dissolved minerals and often have no measurable water hardness. The water is very acidic almost sterile water, with a pH of 3.5-6. Because of the chemistry of these waters,
blackwater rivers are considered to be some of the cleanest natural water in the world.
The bottom of the creeks are often made of a yellowish clay covered with several inches of dead leaves, driftwood and roots where aquatic life find shelter. Backwater areas are where we can find the more aquarium fish species, and greater plant life than whitewater and clearwater areas.
Woody material should be the most prominent decoration in the tank. Driftwood could be laid on the substrate or mounted horizontally to imitate submerged roots. The substrate should be made of find gravel, sand, peat or clay. Oak or magolia leaves can also be added on the substrate.
For a better effect, the light should be low and there should be a low water flow in the tank. Peat can be used in the filtration system to soften the water and reduce the pH.
The pH of the water can be as low as 5.5 and the maximum is usually around 6.5. Temperature of the water should be 79-84 F (26-29 C), and as mentioned earlier the hardness of the water should be very low (0-4 DH). Reverse Osmosis water can be used to get the very soft water of a blackwater creek.
Discus, angelfish, dwarf cichlids, most tetras species, hatchetfish, corydoras, pmelodids, loricarids, arowana, gouramis.
Because of the water chemistry of these waters, plant growth is very scarse. Some of the plants that could do well in this environment are Echinodorus, Vallisneria, Cabomba, Hornwort.
Freshwateraquariumplants.com: Amazon Biotope
Freshwateraquariumplants.com: Amazone River Facts
Mongabay.com: Whitewater Biotope
Aqua-fish.net: Whitewater river
Mongabay.com: River Types: Dwarf-Cichlid
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