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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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really irritated

I've been calling around, looking for blackwater extract.
I called "The Fish Doctors" of Adrian, when I asked for the product, the guy I spoke to decided it'd be cute to talk to me like I was a moron.

(the employee's dialogue is in quotation marks)

"Bettas are only fresh water"
Blackwater IS freshwater, they're from blackwater habitats, I like to recreate that as much as possible.
"Then you're going to need some mud and some puddles, I've never heard of anyone putting them in blackwater."
Yea, I bet you don't hear of many people putting them in anything bigger than a soda can either...

By this point Mike was irritated because this guy is disrespectful, and trying to tell me that I'm doing it wrong by giving my bettas as close to their natural environment as possible.

That store just lost my business.

Does anybody know anywhere that still carries blackwater extract? if I can't find it, I may have to just go with IAL.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:13 PM
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Personally (and I keep bettas that DO require blackwater conditions) I would just go with either peat moss or IAL. Blackwater extract is a waste of money and all my fish preferred the real thing over a bottled product.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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I'm about to, because I can't find BWE anywhere. I just don't know the dosage for a 2.5, and (3) 1 gals.

My bettas have always done really well in blackwater, I've never had one get sick in blackwater. Only clear.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:34 PM
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Are you talking about the dosage for IAL for your tanks?

If so, I think it's more a personal thing based on how dark you want to tint your water.

I like a lot of tannins so I use a lot of peat moss and IAL per tank. However, if you don't want too much, you could try tearing a small leaf into quarters or half and seeing the amount of tannins you get from that.

Only thing you have to watch is if your water is very soft already, adding IAL can drop the pH down quite significantly in a short amount of time and this can stress your betta.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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our water is in the high 7's. I'd read the normal pH is usually around 6-6.5 for bettas in the wild.

I usually only lightly tint my water, because I didn't know how dark it could be till just recently. but I like it dark, and from what I've seen, apparently so do they lol

this will be a learning experience for my biotope.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 02:10 PM
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My tanks are really dark and I am very liberal with my IAL and peat moss because my fish really require a pH of 5 and below to thrive.

A normal splendens like yours should be fine at a pH of 6-7. Just remember that once your pH hits 6 and below your tank cycle can stall because the bacteria don't like overly acidic conditions. Also, if you are doing a planted tank the tannins will cut the amount of light that is reaching your plants so you may need to overcompensate for that.

Bettas do seem to like the addition of IAL. It not only produces tannins and helps to soften/acidify the water but makes an awesome hiding place (when it sinks) or space to build a bubblenest (while it is still floating).


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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the tanks I'm currently using are too small to bother cycling. Once we move though, there will be 5 gallons for the males, and Archi will go into a 50 gal sorority. Jade will probably spend the rest of her life with the guppies, which my fiance also plans to house in black water

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