Starting my first brackish tank.
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Starting my first brackish tank.

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Starting my first brackish tank.
Old 05-20-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
 
Starting my first brackish tank.

Hello everyone,

So I have decided to take the plunge and start my first brackish aquarium. I have been doing a lot of research on starting one up and think that it is definitely something I would like to do. I have had freshwater, reef and marine fish only tanks in the past. I am now finally settled into a place that I will be staying for the foreseeable future and can't wait to get my aquarium back up and running. All that being said I have a few questions.

First off I am planning on doing an archer fish tank. These guys have intrigued me for years and I can't wait to own some. My LFS keeps their archer fish in a freshwater aquarium :-/ would it be best for me let my aquarium cycle as a freshwater set up add the archers and then gradually add salt over say a period of a couple weeks until they are up to the SG I want? Or would I be better off finding a place online that sells them from a brackish set up?

I will ultimately be planting the aquarium just not sure with what yet.

What are some good tank mates for archers?

Also I currently have a HOB filter and a sponge filter hooked up to a 290gph powerhead. This is creating quite a current, will this bother the archer fish? I could always just add an air hose to the sponge or drop down to say a 80 to 100gph powerhead as well. thoughts?

Any other archer fish owners out there feel free to give me some pointers as well. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 05-22-2014, 06:18 AM   #2
 
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Hello and Welcome to the Forum. I'm sorry that your threads have not been answered as of yet. I'm not sure what experience our membership has with Brackish... The Forums are quiet the last couple of weeks too, they experience lulls and we seem to be in one right now. I'll post a link to our Reference Team and see if any of them have experience and can help.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
 
turning into brackish.

Stish85,

I had a similar question on starting a brackish tank so I could house orange chromide cichlids. I am currently converting my 75 gallon into brackisk. I did a load of online searching and came across a gentleman who did the following. I printed out the material but did not keep the internet address. He converted his Dragon goby tank.
Starteh with a weekly water change of 20%and replace the water taken out with 1 gallon of brackish water to every 4-5 gallons. Make sure to pre mix and pre dissolve all MARINE SALT before adding to the tank. Use instant ocean. THe next week do 2 gallons of brackish water for every4-5 gallons of freshwater put back in. the next week do 3 gallons for every 4-5 gallons and so on increasing the number of brackish water gallonsto freshwater. Eventually you can start doing solid brackish water changes of small volumes. Get a Hydrometer to measure the salinity. He wrote that when he converted his tank he started with 1 tablespoon of MARINE SALT to each gallon and he now keeps his goby in 2 tablespoons of instant ocean salt per gallon water.

Now my 2 cents worth. Get your tank up and running fully cycled! If you have a large tank like my 75 then get #2 angels plus seeded sponges to help cycle tank.
Once all is cycled I would put in your fish and -not to many at once- and keep an eye on water perameters. Once all is goot do go then start the brackish conversion.

I am able to gage how much water I remove by using 5 gallon buckets from lowes or homedepot....keep ths water for your garden or house plants. I was also directed to get a bottle bio-spira, to help re establish the biofilters and it is working like a charm.
The freshwater bacteria will slowly die off while other salt loving bacteria will take over ..hence the bio-spira...salt water bacteria.

AS for fish >I am unfamiliar with the type you are wanting. I have a gentleman who is holding 4 orange chromides for me till my tank is fully converted. I have 2 danios and halfbeaks in the tank now and they are brackish fish. Wikipedia will have a list of othe brackish fish. Hopethis helps. Good luck
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:55 AM   #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by all gods creatures View Post
Stish85,

I had a similar question on starting a brackish tank so I could house orange chromide cichlids. I am currently converting my 75 gallon into brackisk. I did a load of online searching and came across a gentleman who did the following. I printed out the material but did not keep the internet address. He converted his Dragon goby tank.
Starteh with a weekly water change of 20%and replace the water taken out with 1 gallon of brackish water to every 4-5 gallons. Make sure to pre mix and pre dissolve all MARINE SALT before adding to the tank. Use instant ocean. THe next week do 2 gallons of brackish water for every4-5 gallons of freshwater put back in. the next week do 3 gallons for every 4-5 gallons and so on increasing the number of brackish water gallonsto freshwater. Eventually you can start doing solid brackish water changes of small volumes. Get a Hydrometer to measure the salinity. He wrote that when he converted his tank he started with 1 tablespoon of MARINE SALT to each gallon and he now keeps his goby in 2 tablespoons of instant ocean salt per gallon water.

Now my 2 cents worth. Get your tank up and running fully cycled! If you have a large tank like my 75 then get #2 angels plus seeded sponges to help cycle tank.
Once all is cycled I would put in your fish and -not to many at once- and keep an eye on water perameters. Once all is goot do go then start the brackish conversion.

I am able to gage how much water I remove by using 5 gallon buckets from lowes or homedepot....keep ths water for your garden or house plants. I was also directed to get a bottle bio-spira, to help re establish the biofilters and it is working like a charm.
The freshwater bacteria will slowly die off while other salt loving bacteria will take over ..hence the bio-spira...salt water bacteria.

AS for fish >I am unfamiliar with the type you are wanting. I have a gentleman who is holding 4 orange chromides for me till my tank is fully converted. I have 2 danios and halfbeaks in the tank now and they are brackish fish. Wikipedia will have a list of othe brackish fish. Hopethis helps. Good luck
Thanks alot! This helps out immensely. I love knowing what someone has done personally and it just reaffirms what I was planning on doing.I had planned on slowly increasing the salinity over the period of a few weeks, im glad to hear this is working for you.

As for filtration I have a 4.5 inch sponge filter and have just purchased a canister filter as well. Great advice on the bio-spira i never would have thought to do something like this.

My aquarium is just about finsihed cycling so I should be adding some fish in the next week or so. My nitrites are 0 and nitrates are at about 20ppm. For some reason my ammonia is still hanging around 0.25ppm, it was at 4 ppm last friday though. I've had it cycling for about 4 weeks now.

I will also be adding my 4' lighting today. I will then be adding some salt tolerant plants which should hopefully help bring that ammonia where it needs to be as well as helping keep the nitrates in check.

Thanks again
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
 
Smile

I would wait to add the bio-spira till you have some salinity readings. I waited 2 weeks to add my first bottle and will add another bottle in 2 more weeks which will be next weekend. I might add a third 2 weeks after that so nothing crashes.

There really is no one to give us info so I hope by us winging it, trial and error we can help others set up a tank. A note for you I have my 75 tank set up right in front of a window and to the left is a sliding door that gets late day sun and I have yet to have algae problems. The tank has been running since January. The fish seem to love the light and so do the plants,.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:30 AM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by all gods creatures View Post
I would wait to add the bio-spira till you have some salinity readings. I waited 2 weeks to add my first bottle and will add another bottle in 2 more weeks which will be next weekend. I might add a third 2 weeks after that so nothing crashes.

There really is no one to give us info so I hope by us winging it, trial and error we can help others set up a tank. A note for you I have my 75 tank set up right in front of a window and to the left is a sliding door that gets late day sun and I have yet to have algae problems. The tank has been running since January. The fish seem to love the light and so do the plants,.

Well my aquarium has finally finished its cycle. My LFS does not have any archerfish in stock right now though. I added a couple mollies to the tank to keep the bacteria from starving. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the archers to arrive.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
 
congrats!! My 75g is still cycling...should take a few more weeks. My 10g with the 2 mollies is almost finished...and the Dalmatian molly is pregnant! WEE!! I think the white Molly might be ..praying not.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
 
Remember,
Archer Fish need at least 100 gallons with a tight fitting canopy, they jump. Provide plenty of plants that do not encroach the surface giving them plenty of swimming room at the top of the aquarium. keep the water level of the aquarium a few inches below the top giving them room to practice their hunting Archerfish are capable of accurately shooting steams of water up to 1.5 m in the air. .
Some buddies Scats, Monos, Knight Gobies, and Puffers. Archer also requires live foods and do best when given live foods, any insects, or even small worms dropped on the surface of the water will do. Watersprite aka- indian fern plant is great for brackish if gradually habituated.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:04 PM   #9
 
update on brackish tank

Just wanted to up date for anyone interested and those who decide to jump into setting up a Brackish tank. My tank is doing better than I expected. 2 of the Orange Chromides have paired off and claimed one corner of the 75 gallon tank.
The water sprite, java fern, marino balls all are thriving. 3 of the balls I flattened out and attached them to driftwood with fishing line.
With each water change I make sure the salinity fluctuates as it would in a natural brackish eco system. My largest Celebe 1/2 beak, a female, was bullied to death by the 4 Orange Chromides but not before she had her 5 babies. One of the much smaller Celebes that I thought was male had 1 baby with scoliosis but the baby is happily thriving. The crab is doing well. My only problem is I was unable - early on- to remove 1 0f the 5 Zebra Danios, 1 of the 10 guppies, and 2 plecos. I finally had to give up trying to catch them in March. Now it is August and they are happy in the brackish water even though they should not be able to survive in Brackish.
Only time will tell if they remain alive. I had to replace one of the 2 HOB 400 filters and will see if I can repair it. Each HOB400 filter comes with 2 grey cartridges that I filled with Seachem Matrix. I helped established the bio filter with Instant Ocean bottled bacteria, and use Instant Ocean Sea salt. I know of the controversy about the bottled bacteria but I figured it couldn't hurt to use it. I did start with 2 Angel's Plus large sponges and I just left them in there as the tank was converted. I flush those with each water change. In the beginning the waters prite came with unhatched snails and these little round buggers have adjusted nicely to the brackish conversion. I have heard horror stories of these snails over running a tank but I am happy to say the Orange Chromides and the crab love them!!! I just need to vac up the shells every other water change. Before the high weather temps set in I was feeding the tank, along with pellets and flake, mosquito larve, and midge fly worms from my out door Lotus buckets...but the high heat wiped out that food source. I am waiting for cooler weather to give those back to me. Hope this post can be of help to others.
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