March '09 - Taint me Tannin: 3 Yellow Tanks!
Tannins are a natural subgroup of organic substances (called humic acids) that result from partial decomposition of organic matter such as plants and wood. They are partially soluble in water, and two of their main effects when dissolved are the reduction of water hardness (by trapping dissolved mineral ions like Ca(2+), Mg(2+), etc.) and the tainting of the water into a yellow, brown or even black appearance, depending on concentration.
In the aquarium, this effect can be achieved by several means: using driftwood or dried leaves as part of the decoration; using peat/Sphagnum moss as part of your filtration media; or by adding commercial "Blackwater Extract" products directly to the water. Some hobbyists consider this type of yellowish hue ugly and dirty, preferring "crystal clear" tank water, while others absolutely love the very natural aspect it helps give to their tanks. Many fish species really love it too. What about you? Enjoy the beautiful tanks below and decide for yourself!
Christine Stampe's 160 L Planted Community Tank. (Denmark)
Owner: Christine Stampe, 34, from Broendby Strand (Denmark), 2.5 years of fishkeeping.
Setup: September 2004
Tank Size: 100x40x40 cm (160 L)
Filtration: Eheim canister
Lighting: Hagen Aqua-glo + Power-glo
Heating: Jäger 125 W
CO2 System: JBL
Substrate: Red/brown gravel, 2-6 cm in height.
Decoration: One granite stone, 5 pieces of wood
Water: Temp 26°C, pH 6, KH 13
Maintenance: Water change 30-40 L every 14 days, addition of Tropica Master Grow.
Fauna: 10x Lemon tetra, 12x Neon tetra, 10x Golden tetra, 7x Phantom tetra, 3x Flying Fox, 6x Corydoras panda, 3x Botia striata, 1x L163 Pleco.
Flora: Egeria densa, Cryptocoryne wendtii "brown", Hygrophila corymbosa "siamensis", Anubias barteri nana, Microsorum pteropus, Echinodorus bleheri, Eleocharis acicularis, Vallisneria americana, Cryptocoryne nevilii, Ceratopteris thalictroides.
Comments: The water is brown because of filtration over Spaghnum, so in daytime the tank can seem rather dark, but the fishes are showing their colour well in the dark water. I wish it could have even softer water, but where I live the tap water is very hard.
Bart Geboers's 160 L Planted Amazon Tank. (Belgium)
Owner: Bart Geboers from Belgium.
Comments: Hi, great site! Here are some pictures of my 160 liter aquarium. This tank has been running since September 2005. The plants are from all over the globe but the fish I keep in it are all from South America. I just love dwarf cichlids. I can give one golden tip when it comes to keeping these fish. Always use peat in your filter. I just introduced it to this tank and since then my Apistogramma cacatuoides are mating continuously, even with a neutral pH.
Neno Zaknic's 120 L Planted Community Tank. (Croatia)
Owner: Neno Zaknic, 40, from Korcula (Croatia), 4 months of fishkeeping.
Setup: June 2005
Tank Size: 81,5 x 52,5 x 36 cm (Ferplast Marex Cayman 80 Professional, 120 L)
Filtration: Bluewave 05 internal filter
CO2 System: Ferplast Marex Energy Classic CO2 injector.
Substrate: 1-3 mm gravel.
Decoration: mopani wood
Others: circulator, timer, feeder, pH control - JBL pH permanent test.
Water: Temp 28°C, pH 6.8
Maintenance: 15% water change once per week with rain water.
Fauna: Black Molly x2, Platy x2, Black Neon Tetra x3, Ram Cichlid x2, Bronze Cory x2, Albino
Cory x2, Pearl Gourami x3, Three Spot Gourami x1, Gold Gourami x1, SAE x1.
Flora: Anubias barteri, Anubias nana, Ceratopteris cornuta, Echinodorus "red flame", Micranthemum micrathemoides, Hygrophila corymbosa "siamensis", Hygrophila polysperma, Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae, Vallisneria americana, Limnophila sp., Java Moss.
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
Photos taken by their respective authors and displayed here with their permission.