Betta fish is an increasingly popular tank fish in the current times, and there is no doubt about that. A betta fish’s health corresponds directly to the tank conditions it is kept in. Thus, habitability is essential while setting up a betta tank. Blackwater betta tank has also increased in popularity over time.
Now the question arises, how to set up a blackwater betta tank? As a matter of fact, setting up a blackwater betta tank for your betta fish may be a challenging task. However, it can be fun and would definitely be worth the trouble if you get it right. A blackwater betta tank not only gives your tank a rich natural look but also can be marginally beneficial for your betta fish. Water parameters like pH level and water hardness are essential factors to consider while setting up this kind of tank.
What Is A Blackwater Tank?
As the name suggests, a Blackwater water tank contains water that is relatively darker in color than your usual water. The water gets its color from the release of various humic compounds. Humic materials are generally dark brown in color.
Now the question arises, how are these humic compounds released into the water? Well, the answer is simple. Humic substances are created and released into the water by decomposing organic matters like leaves, wood, seeds, etc.
Thus, we have inferred that releasing humic materials like tannins causes the tank water to go darker in color. A similar thing happens in the wild, where you may have noticed that the water bodies, especially near the forested areas, are usually darker in color due to the presence of such tannins.
Besides physical attributes, other factors make a tank a Blackwater betta tank. For instance, the water should be soft and acidic in nature. The presence of humic compounds in the water leads the water pH level to decrease over time and results in the hardness of the water getting lowered.
Another critical aspect of classifying a tank as a Blackwater tank is that there are very few aquatic plants. As the aquarium will remain dark for most of the time, the growth of aquatic plants is quite difficult in such an environment. Generally, driftwood and leaves are added to the tank so as provide a natural look to the tank.
How To Set Up A Blackwater Betta Tank?
There are a number of different ways to set up a variety of Blackwater betta tanks. Thus, there is no one definite way to achieve it. Moreover, creating a perfect black water environment for your betta fish may be an overwhelming task. Thus, you need to be careful while following each step.
Even though there are various ways in which one may develop a Blackwater betta tank, there are a few primary conditions that need to be fulfilled no matter the type of tank you are planning to set up. Among such considerations, water parameters, tank decors, and plantation are some of the most vital.
Water parameters are perhaps the most critical aspect of setting up a blackwater tank for a betta fish. Getting the water conditions right may also be a challenging task as you not only want the conditions to suit your betta fish but also satisfy the criteria for a Blackwater tank.
As stated earlier, water should be soft and acidic in nature in a Blackwater tank. To meet this requirement, you can use reverse osmosis water to reduce the hardness of the water. You need not worry about the water pH that much as the presence of tannins and other humic compounds ensures that the pH is kept low.
In the wild, black water found in forest areas can have acidity as low as 4.5. However, even if you can achieve this water pH level in your home tank, it is not recommended to lower the water pH by a large degree. Anything equal or slightly lower than 7 will fulfill the black water criteria and not harm the betta fish.
Plantation & Decors
Having discussed the various water parameters that needed to be looked into while setting up a Blackwater betta tank, we can now move on to the parameters that will give the water its color. As we had previously mentioned, there is little growth of plants inside a black water environment due to a lack of enough sunlight.
However, you can add plants that do not rely on light that much to your tank. Even though you cannot add plants to your aquarium, decors like leftover leaves and driftwood are great additions to your Blackwater betta tank. They are rich sources of tannins and add to the natural beauty of the tank.
Other Tank Conditions
Besides the factors mentioned above, there are other things that you need to consider. For instance, the Blackwater betta tank should have proper heating and filtration system installed in it. You should also ensure that you add an adequate substrate to the tank.
If lighting is a concern, then normal LED lights are recommended. A sand-based or gravel-based substrate is advisable for the betta tank. If the room temperature is not within the limit, then a heater is preferred for the well-being of the betta fish.
FAQs On Blackwater Betta Tank
Do bettas like black water?
In the wild, bettas generally live in blackwater environments. Thus, it is safe to say that setting up a black water tank for your betta fish is within the natural boundaries of the betta.
Are tannins bad for a betta?
NO. Tannins make the water darker in color and make the water slightly acidic. Bettas are capable of living in acidic conditions. Thus, tannins are not necessarily bad for your betta.
Can plants grow in a Blackwater betta tank?
YES. As a black water tank is relatively darker, only those plants can grow in it that do not require that much sunlight—plants like Java fern, anubias, and bucephalandra.
Thus, setting up a Blackwater betta tank for your betta fish may be an overwhelming task and a tricky one to get right, but it is pretty worth it. It gives the tank a rich natural look, and it is believed that the presence of tannins promotes faster healing in betta fish.