Sourcing and preparing local decor

10 Jan 2017 13:53 #1 by Gilly (Sean GIllivan)
Hey guys

I am interested in setting up a blackwater aquarium. I have a 110l juwel.

I have done my research and this morning collected a hundred or so alder cones. I also picked nice branches from the alder tree and rocks from a local river which have been disinfected.

I have a question about the branches. I cut them fresh from the alder tree. Do these need to be sterilised??. By throwing boiling water over them I will sterilise them but release tanins which is not what I want to release going for the blackwater affect.

The Alder cones I have in the hotpress. In glasnevin the ph is through the roof of hardness I think its in the 8s so im hoping these guys bring it down and add the black colour to the water.

The main question is what do I need to do with the fresh branch cuttings... boil? Dry them out? Or water log them?


Life is as dear to the mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures.

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10 Jan 2017 19:15 #2 by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne)
The branches will have to be fully dried before using or it will foul the water.
Dont expect miracles regarding the cones it will depend on your kh and everytime you gonna do a water change your ph is gonna crip up again.
If you are planning a soft water set up you should consider ro or rain water

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