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Dealing with hard tapwater with high nitrates

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
Hello,

I'm preparing to dive back into fishkeeping after a long hiatus. I previously kept a pair of A. macmasteri who showed frequent courtship behaviour but never raised eggs successfully. At the time my tap water contained nitrates of at least 50 ppm and gH was around 15, pH was somewhere in the region of 7.5. I eventually resorted to mixing the tapwater 50:50 with RO to get around these issues but I didn't dare go further down the RO route as all of the tank occupants were commercially bred and I often transferred juvenile fish between the tank and the aquatics store where I worked which also used pure tapwater for most species.

This time around I'd love to keep some more delicate blackwater species and hope to achieve breeding success with blackwater Apisto species and Chocolate Gouramis (in seperate tanks of course). Any advice regarding this issue would be greatly appreciated. I am currently looking at the following options, both of these would involve the use of high numbers of leaf litter, wood and floating plants. Please wade in with any criticism, corrections or general comments:

Option 1: Pure RO / rainwater. As I plan on lightly stocking the tanks (an Apisto pair/trio with a group of small dithers e.g. nannostomus sp. or smaller SA tetra species) I believe this will be a sustainable option. Depending on the species I would presumably have to remineralise the water to differing extents? If remineralisation is necessary what products do people recommend for this purpose? Alternatively I've seen references to people using "pure RO" although I currently don't understand what prevents a pH crash the moment acidifying substances such as peat, bogwood, leaves etc are added. I have a chemistry degree so this is especially embarrassing, please put me out of my misery in this regard!

Option 2: Mixing tapwater and RO / rainwater. Given the high nitrates and hardness in my local tapwater this would presumably require the use of several parts RO to one part tapwater. Unfortunately I don't remember, or never tested the kH of my tapwater last time around, but reducing the nitrates alone to an acceptable level would require a rather high level of dilution.

So, given the information I have provided about my water and willingness to purchase/produce RO water. What method would people use to obtain soft, fairly acidic water for keeping and breeding blackwater species? If mineralisation is required what do people recommend? Is there anything else I should be aware of?

I apologise for the slightly rambling nature of my post and thank anyone who takes the time to read it and respond!
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,892
Location
Germany
What method would people use to obtain soft, fairly acidic water for keeping and breeding blackwater species?
RO, DI, distilled or rainwater is an absolute requirement for blackwater species. No way around that. And if possible produce RO yourself. Buying it quickly becomes a stressful chore at some point. Effective RO units are affordable nowerdays and pay off quite quickly. Rainwater is of course the best and most sustainable source. I know people that collect rainwater for the majority of the year and during dry summer switch to an RO unit.
If mineralisation is required what do people recommend?
Not necessary, then it wouldn't be blackwater anymore. Take a look at the chemical properties of blackwater. (table in the article) We as hobbyists can in the end only produce an approximation of these conditions.
Alternatively I've seen references to people using "pure RO" although I currently don't understand what prevents a pH crash the moment acidifying substances such as peat, bogwood, leaves etc are added. I have a chemistry degree so this is especially embarrassing, please put me out of my misery in this regard!
Don't be embarrassed, I have a degree in philologies and history. I can't explain the mechanism fully scientifically and to be frank, not many understand it, even if they have the background.
It seems the way humic substances buffer pH in soft water is not yet fully understood. As a specialized blackwater aquarist I can only tell you: It works, I haven't heard of anyone running a 100% RO tank having experienced a pH crash. (Those are rare and connected with heavy neglect to maintenance and high Nitrates from heavy stocking densities. Or people carelessly using stronger acids to speed things up.)
The matter of fact is, in short: Humic substances are a pH buffer themselves in the lower ranges between 4.5 and 6.5. Part of the explanation is simply the amounts of H+ you need to achieve certain low pH ranges are bigger than people expect and wood, peat and botanicals do not provide that much in the end. Humic and tannic acids (and the other substances) are quite weak acids after all.
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
Hi MacZ, thank you for taking the time to reply!

Rainwater is of course the best and most sustainable source. I know people that collect rainwater for the majority of the year and during dry summer switch to an RO unit.
I plan on setting up at least three large water buts for gardening purposes anyway, there's no reason I can't use them for my aquariums during the winter, so this is good to hear.

Not necessary, then it wouldn't be blackwater anymore. Take a look at the chemical properties of blackwater.(table in the article) We as hobbyists can in the end only produce an approximation of these conditions.
If I'm not adding anything to the water, is my only control over the hardness and pH in my tank from the number of humic substances I add? I'm not sure what article you're referencing? I can't see any links in your reply.
I haven't heard of anyone running a 100% RO tank having experienced a pH crash. (Those are rare and connected with heavy neglect to maintenance and high Nitrates from heavy stocking densities. Or people carelessly using stronger acids to speed things up.)
That's reassuring. I don't plan on rushing things so I see no need to use acids to speed things up. I intend to have the tank running without fish for several weeks while I decorate the two rooms the tanks will be situated in. I will add my substrate, wood, leaves and floating plants. Let the tank sit and filter for several weeks while I monitor my pH. Once the decorating is complete I will start dosing ammonia to get the filters cycled, hopefully by that point I should have mastered creating those blackwater conditions.
The matter of fact is, in short: Humic substances are a pH buffer themselves in the lower ranges between 4.5 and 6.5. Part of the explanation is simply the amounts of H+ you need to achieve certain low pH ranges are bigger than people expect and wood, peat and botanicals do not provide that much in the end. Humic and tannic acids (and the other substances) are quite weak acids after all.
I've attempted to forget as much of my degree as possible (I now work in wildlife conservation) but I do remember that pH is measured on a logarithmic scale, so a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 6. I suppose that is why it takes so much humic substances to lower the pH significantly.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,892
Location
Germany
If I'm not adding anything to the water, is my only control over the hardness and pH in my tank from the number of humic substances I add? I'm not sure what article you're referencing? I can't see any links in your reply.
You control hardness via a TDS/EC meter. GH and KH in blackwater are below detection. pH you can't really measure with colour indicator tests as they usually need a minimum KH, and pH meters won't work without raising conductivity. Most hobbyists just check TDS and EC.
The darker text "Take a look at the chemical properties of blackwater." in my post holds the link to the wikipedia article on "blackwater rivers". There is a table showing all necessary chemical properties in that article.

And yes, only humic substances. Otherwise you change the chemical properties of the water in a way that you do not want for the fish. At least if you are looking to successfully breed true blackwater species. They have adapted to these conditions in great parts to avoid their spawn falling prey to bacteria and fungi, which have a hard time surviving in low pH soft water.

That's reassuring. I don't plan on rushing things so I see no need to use acids to speed things up. I intend to have the tank running without fish for several weeks while I decorate the two rooms the tanks will be situated in. I will add my substrate, wood, leaves and floating plants. Let the tank sit and filter for several weeks while I monitor my pH. Once the decorating is complete I will start dosing ammonia to get the filters cycled, hopefully by that point I should have mastered creating those blackwater conditions.
Cycling works differently from what you know from standard tanks run with tapwater. In soft water different genera of bacteria and organisms like fungi, archaea and yeasts take over the cycle. Fishless cycling with ammonia dosing doesn't work really under such conditions. Most people that do this work with botanicals, as the biofilms on them are a great help in getting the cycle to work and the decomposition of these materials provides the Ammonium needed. To fully cycle a blackwater tank takes months. Also, don't try cycling the filter in higher hardness/pH, the composition of genera in the microfauna of the filter media will change and adapt to soft water and low pH conditions anyway, and you might just kill off the colonies you just established. Still, a tank with such conditions usually is ready for fish after 4-5 weeks. Thanks to the fact that Ammonia is mostly present as Ammonium in low pH and as such not remotely as dangerous. Many low pH nitrifiers/ammonia oxidisers also metabolise Ammonium directly to Nitrate, skipping the Nitrite stage altogether.
I've attempted to forget as much of my degree as possible (I now work in wildlife conservation) but I do remember that pH is measured on a logarithmic scale, so a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 6. I suppose that is why it takes so much humic substances to lower the pH significantly.
Yes, you're on the right track.
For example: My former tank (just upgraded a few weeks ago to a bigger one), had a pH (given the low accuracy and precision in those conditions) of roughly 4.5 in the end, but with only using leaf litter and driftwood and adding homemade alder cone extract with each waterchange, the process to get there took about a year, give or take some months.
Now the new tank is at roughly 5.5 pH. TDS around 40 mg/l, EC at 80-100 µSI/cm. I reused lots of the botanicals and leaf litter and started off immediately with large quantities of alder cone extract.
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
563
Location
San Francisco
If I'm not adding anything to the water, is my only control over the hardness and pH in my tank from the number of humic substances I add?
Atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in water and produces an equilibrium of carbonate and carbonic acid in solution. My guess is that weak acids like those derived from humic substances (in the concentrations we use) are usually not enough to push the equilibrium heavily in favor of carbonic acid. Therefore, there will be some small amount of carbonate that buffers the water. Empirically, we observe that RO + botanicals alone tends to settle around pH 6, maybe slightly below. @MacZ observes a lower pH by adding a LOT of humic substances to arrive at a different equilibrium point.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,740
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Depending on the species I would presumably have to remineralise the water to differing extents? If remineralisation is necessary what products do people recommend for this purpose?
I'm a rain-water user (and <"have been for some time">). I don't tend to remineralise mine, but it has some carbonate buffering naturally.
Alternatively I've seen references to people using "pure RO" although I currently don't understand what prevents a pH crash the moment acidifying substances such as peat, bogwood, leaves etc are added. I have a chemistry degree so this is especially embarrassing, please put me out of my misery in this regard!
You just need to think about it in terms of changes in ionic composition, rather than pH. You will get very low pH values in very soft water with added humic and tannic substances, this happens naturally in the wild and if you have vegetated soft water you will also get <"huge diel pH variation"> as <"photosynthesis depletes CO2 (and the pH rises)">.

I'm a member of the UKAPs forum where many of the members inject CO2, this leads to a rapid fall in pH (of about one unit when you inject 30 ppm of CO2) and a rapid rise of about one unit of pH when you turn the pH off, without any ill effects on their fish.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,740
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Let the tank sit and filter for several weeks while I monitor my pH. Once the decorating is complete I will start dosing ammonia to get the filters cycled,
I should have all said I totally agree what @MacZ says about cycling. It is another thread on UKAPS, but you might be interested in <"Dr Timothy Hovanec's ..........">.

A useful "filter" reference for this is: Barthelme, R et al (2017) <"Freshwater Recirculating Aquaculture System Operations Drive Biofilter Bacterial Community Shifts around a Stable Nitrifying Consortium of Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea and Comammox Nitrospira" Front. Microbiol., 30>.

cheers Darrel
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
You control hardness via a TDS/EC meter
Looks like I have another thing to spend money on! Do you recommend any particular model of TDS/EC meter?

I assume I should continue to check Nitrates using the drip tests such as that found in the API test kit and do water changes accordingly? Will the TDS also rise between water changes as a result of other organic elements being released from decaying leaves, food and fish waste? If so will this be another sign that additional water changes are necessary?

The darker text "Take a look at the chemical properties of blackwater." in my post holds the link to the wikipedia article on "blackwater rivers". There is a table showing all necessary chemical properties in that article.
Sorry, I'm using an old laptop at the moment hooked up to a new monitor, the text looked identical! That page is an interesting read, especially how some elements were actually more abundant in the blackwater environment.

Also, don't try cycling the filter in higher hardness/pH, the composition of genera in the microfauna of the filter media will change and adapt to soft water and low pH conditions anyway, and you might just kill off the colonies you just established. Still, a tank with such conditions usually is ready for fish after 4-5 weeks. Thanks to the fact that Ammonia is mostly present as Ammonium in low pH and as such not remotely as dangerous. Many low pH nitrifiers/ammonia oxidisers also metabolise Ammonium directly to Nitrate, skipping the Nitrite stage altogether.
Oh dear. I must have explained the cycling and the nitrate cycle a thousand times while working in aquatics, now I need to relearn it! I feel like a beginner again. Luckily I'm in no rush. I had assumed the filter would have to adjust to blackwater conditions, but I had no idea things are that different.

adding homemade alder cone extract with each waterchange
Interesting, I can access lots of Alder cones at work. I was thinking of inserting a handful of them into the centre of the sponge filter and replacing them each time I do a water change and sponge squeeze. Would this be a reasonable plan?

Thank you again for the help MacZ, it's much appreciated. I apologise if I'm pestering anyone but I feel like I'm finally getting my head around it all.
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
Empirically, we observe that RO + botanicals alone tends to settle around pH 6, maybe slightly below. @MacZ observes a lower pH by adding a LOT of humic substances to arrive at a different equilibrium point.
Thank you Ben. I'll be aiming for anything acidic initially, but once I move onto the more demanding blackwater species I'll have to aim lower I guess. What constitutes "a LOT" of humic substances, are we talking large quantities of leaves or the alder cone extract @MacZ mentioned previously?

Thanks again.
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
You just need to think about it in terms of changes in ionic composition, rather than pH. You will get very low pH values in very soft water with added humic and tannic substances, this happens naturally in the wild and if you have vegetated soft water you will also get <"huge diel pH variation"> as <"photosynthesis depletes CO2 (and the pH rises)">.
Thanks again dw1305, the replies to this post have certainly given me the confidence to go the full RO / Rainwater route. Hopefully I can reach my target pH naturally with Alder cones and leaves. I just need to start collecting them! I don't plan on having aquatic plants with the exception being floating plants, I'm hoping to cover a lot of the water surface leaving a few spaces open with floating rings of airline tubing, it worked for me in the past.
I should have all said I totally agree what @MacZ says about cycling. It is another thread on UKAPS, but you might be interested in <"Dr Timothy Hovanec's ..........">.
Interesting stuff, his comment about the majority of bacterial supplements confirmed my suspicions. I never vouched for them while working in aquatics no matter how many different brands we stocked. I only ever sold them to impatient customers who clearly just needed to feel like they were doing something to speed the process up.

I'll have to wait until tomorrow to read that one, it sounds like more than a bit of steady bedtime reading! But thank you for providing the link.

Last one for a while, but if you haven't seen them, @ARK93, I really recommend Tom's (@Tom C ) <"web site">.
I've not seen the site before but the species list looks very useful! Seeing that you're from the UK I might have to ask you about where you buy your dwarf cichlids. I'm struggling to find a store that can provide anything but the most ornamental strains.

Thanks again Darrel!
 

Ben Rhau

Apisto Club
Messages
563
Location
San Francisco
Looks like I have another thing to spend money on! Do you recommend any particular model of TDS/EC meter?
Though you can find cheaper ones, lots of folks recommend the Hannah Instruments 98129, which measures conductivity, pH, and temp. It’s a reliable brand, and you’ll likely want a pH meter, since the colorimetric tests only go down to pH 6.

What constitutes "a LOT" of humic substances, are we talking large quantities of leaves or the alder cone extract @MacZ mentioned previously?
It’s a hard question to answer, because the substances are heterogeneous. In Mac’s case, he continued accumulating botanicals and extract for a year before he was able to get the pH down to 4.5. Others use more concentrated substances like commercial oak extract or peat (which works brilliantly but is unsustainable). And still others use strong acids to get to low pH more quickly.

The carbonate equilibrium is pH dependent, so once you’ve managed to get to the lower pH regime, it should be relatively easy to keep it there.

Cheers
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,892
Location
Germany
Looks like I have another thing to spend money on! Do you recommend any particular model of TDS/EC meter?
Not really. I got a cheaper one (20€) by Amtra, but the model is identical in build to many pen EC meters you can get on the internet. Nothing special.

I assume I should continue to check Nitrates using the drip tests such as that found in the API test kit and do water changes accordingly? Will the TDS also rise between water changes as a result of other organic elements being released from decaying leaves, food and fish waste? If so will this be another sign that additional water changes are necessary?
I just do weekly waterchanges, no matter what. My plants (99% floaters and emersed: frogbit, salvinia, pennywort, pothos and one single lotus) suck up everything. As the water contains so little nutrients I have to add a fertilizer, otherwise no plants would survive in my water, submerse, floater or emersed alike. I find a TDS raise between weekly waterchanges of usually 10mg/l. Which is basically nothing. Going just by that I could go for weeks without waterchanges. The behaviour of the fish reminds me of the fact though, that there is a buildup of substances we can't test for, like hormons, so I just do weekly waterchanges.
Mind you in all of this: Right now the tank only has a population of 17 fish in a net volume of 85-90 liters, none of them surpassing 5cm.

Sorry, I'm using an old laptop at the moment hooked up to a new monitor, the text looked identical! That page is an interesting read, especially how some elements were actually more abundant in the blackwater environment.
For aquarium use, just focus on conductivity, TDS and pH. The composition of ion concentrations is going several steps too far in the simulation possible in a home aquarium. Unless you want to set up a tank for behavioural studies of certain very sensitive extremophile species that aspect can be omitted. Interesting nonetheless, and maybe something to think about in case breeding success doesn't happen.

Oh dear. I must have explained the cycling and the nitrate cycle a thousand times while working in aquatics, now I need to relearn it! I feel like a beginner again. Luckily I'm in no rush. I had assumed the filter would have to adjust to blackwater conditions, but I had no idea things are that different.
No worries, it's still the same old story. Just in a different setting, if you will. The same chemical processes are involved, it's just different protagonists in a different environment.

Interesting, I can access lots of Alder cones at work. I was thinking of inserting a handful of them into the centre of the sponge filter and replacing them each time I do a water change and sponge squeeze. Would this be a reasonable plan?
I wouldn't do that. Beside the fact you take away precious space for nitrifiers, alder cones usually still contain a lot of the seeds. In water those quell and start to rot. While we want them to decompose, just like the leaves and driftwood, cones bring a big influx of nutrients. We want mainly humic substances as decomposition products and not too many carbs and other nutrients. Alder cones release most of their visible humic substances in the first week, after that a relatively slow decomposition process starts that releases further acids very slow as well. It's more effective to make an extract or to fill them in a filter media bag and hang them in the tank for 24-48 hours and removing them afterwards.
Also as alder cones are a natural product quality will not be uniform, so you have weaker and stronger concentrations. With making an extract you can balance that out somewhat.

Thank you again for the help MacZ, it's much appreciated. I apologise if I'm pestering anyone but I feel like I'm finally getting my head around it all.
You're welcome. Don't apologise. As long as you research, ask and listen before getting started all is well. If you had jumped right in, making mistakes and losing fish over it, it'd be a whole different story.

What constitutes "a LOT" of humic substances, are we talking large quantities of leaves or the alder cone extract @MacZ mentioned previously?
Could have just asked me. ;)
My regimen: I make an extract of 10-15 alder cones per liter RO + 1-2 teabags of natural rooibos tea. For every weekly waterchange. I usually use between 1 and 2 liters. Additionally I add 2-5 oak/beech/catappa leaves directly to the tank every 2-3 weeks and let them rot to mulm. No replacement, no removal.

Here is my old tank (taken down in January) after removing everything, even most of the leaf litter. This is almost only mulm in the picture.
20220122_134433.jpg
Same tank, emersed plants:
20220119_104330.jpg 20220119_104341.jpg
New tank:
20220214_152328.jpg 20220214_153413a.jpg

Just to be clear: The plants wouldn't work without vertilizer, neither the botanicals nor the fish (or both together) add enough bioload to sustain the plants.

I have written up a little primer on Blackwater last year, nothing special, breaking it down for people without scientific background knowledge, you will find a lot based on the articles Darrel has provided above. As it contains the questions I get over and over again maybe it answers something for you.
Blackwater FAQ
 
Last edited:

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Messages
2,740
Location
Wiltshire UK
Hi all,
Aqualife Leyland is also a very nice shop. They often have a good stock of not-so-common Apistogramma. And they deliver to your door...
I know, I have a look at their stock list (updated on FaceBook) on a regular basis (usually for Corydoras spp.), but it is a long way for me to travel.

Because the tap water is hard in the S. of England (where I live) there isn't much demand for Apistogramma spp. locally.

I suggested Chesterfield on grounds it was closer for the OP to travel (from E. Yorkshire), but there may not be a lot in it in terms of distance.

cheers Darrel
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
Though you can find cheaper ones, lots of folks recommend the Hannah Instruments 98129
Something to add to the Christmas list I think. I may need a cheaper one in the meantime. Unfortunately I'm aiming to keep my costs down until I finish decorating the house. MacZs suggestion sounded a little more affordable for now :p

In Mac’s case, he continued accumulating botanicals and extract for a year before he was able to get the pH down to 4.5. Others use more concentrated substances like commercial oak extract or peat (which works brilliantly but is unsustainable). And still others use strong acids to get to low pH more quickly.
I wont be using peat, I've surveyed my local peat bogs and seen the damage peat digging caused there. I'll start collecting Oak leaves and Alder cones in the Autumn and I'll just have to be patient. I may get myself a pair of more adaptable Apistos while I wait for the pH to drop to levels that suit my target species.
The carbonate equilibrium is pH dependent, so once you’ve managed to get to the lower pH regime, it should be relatively easy to keep it there.
One of these days I'll break out my old textbooks and get my head around it all.

Thanks Ben.
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
Not really. I got a cheaper one (20€) by Amtra, but the model is identical in build to many pen EC meters you can get on the internet. Nothing special.
I assume you don't measure pH electronically then? I've just had a look online and I can find cheap TDS meters including an Amtra model, but no pH meters that seem to be up to standard.
As the water contains so little nutrients I have to add a fertilizer, otherwise no plants would survive in my water, submerse, floater or emersed alike.
Wow, I'm surprised floating plants wont grow. I intend to grow floating plants because my tanks lights are built in and pretty bright, I had hoped frogbit at least would grow in a low nutrient environment, albeit slowly.
Mind you in all of this: Right now the tank only has a population of 17 fish in a net volume of 85-90 liters, none of them surpassing 5cm.
I'm curious, do you mind sharing what you're keeping? I'm currently swaying towards 12 or so Nannostomus sp and a pair of Apistos. If I can find them I'd eventually love to keep Biotoecus Opercularis, but I've never seen them for sale. I'd love to try and keep Copella species as dither fish although I'm not sure I have the space (80 x 40 roughly) and rarely see them for sale.
Could have just asked me. ;)
My regimen: I make an extract of 10-15 alder cones per liter RO + 1-2 teabags of natural rooibos tea. For every weekly waterchange. I usually use between 1 and 2 liters. Additionally I add 2-5 oak/beech/catappa leaves directly to the tank every 2-3 weeks and let them rot to mulm. No replacement, no removal.
Haha, sorry.

OK, I assume you remove the cones from whatever you make the extract in after a few days? So if I were to use a 25 litre container I'd add a bag of roughly 250 Alder Cones plus some Rooibus teabags, leave them in for a few days then remove them, right?

Are the Rooibus teabags useful for lowering the pH or used simply to deepen the colour of the water as described in your primer?

I plan on adding leaves little and often, in my previous tank I liked the aesthetic of having a few leaves floating on the surface at any given time, I'm pretty sure my pencils used to enjoy it too.

I have written up a little primer on Blackwater last year, nothing special, breaking it down for people without scientific background knowledge, you will find a lot based on the articles Darrel has provided above. As it contains the questions I get over and over again maybe it answers something for you.
Blackwater FAQ
Cheers MacZ, your primer was really useful.

I have a question though, in the primer you say "If you decide for a plantless blackwater setup, 50% waterchange a week are an absolute must, with no exceptions and barely any wiggle room." Is this simply because the plants are need to use up some of the nutrients being released? 50% seems high when trying to maintain very stable conditions, especially if I plan on keeping sensitive species such as Chocolate Gouramis one day.

Thanks again for all the help. I'm now dying to get started so I'm now considering setting up a bit of a Papua New Guinea biotope to keep me occupied. I might as well enjoy some hard water species before I dive into Blackwater in time for the Oak leaves to fall.
 

ARK93

Member
Messages
39
Location
East Yorkshire - England - UK
Try Peter Clarke (Apisto Aquatics) in Chesterfield.
Thanks Darrel,

It's not too far from me at just over an hour away. I've downloaded his app, there are some stunning species including many I've never seen in person in the "sold out" section, hopefully he'll get some back in once I have everything set up!

Aqualife Leyland is also a very nice shop. They often have a good stock of not-so-common Apistogramma. And they deliver to your door...
Thanks Tom,

It looks well worth a visit, it's a long way from me but I'd quite like to visit Premier Aquatics so I could probably tie the two into one trip at some point.

Cheers.

Because the tap water is hard in the S. of England (where I live) there isn't much demand for Apistogramma spp. locally.
The tap water is hard in East Yorkshire too. We only ever stocked agassizii and cacatuoides at the aquatics store I worked at because they were the only ones that seemed to cope with our tapwater, although nitrates of 45-50 ppm out the tap didn't help either. On the other hand, we sold a ton of Malawis and most folks didn't even need to bother with coral sand or similar.
 

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