Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)


John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

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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