Brackish water set-up
This is my very first post I am used to other fish, my love? Exotic fancy goldfish. However for experience sake I would like experiment with other set-ups. So I am figuring on trying for brackish then maybe going to saltwater. I would like to try a fish only aquarium if this is at all possible with a bare bottom or play sand bottom.
I am going for lowest cost and lowest maintenance as possible but with of course superb care. I plan on reading LOTS of literature over the next month or two but in the mean time maybe you guys can help me understand a few points. Some questions I have are:
best lowest costing salt or salt mixes, which is best the mix or salt?
Is live sand or coral a must, can I have one without the other, and if neither is needed why do marine aquarists talk as if they are? Could or would I even use live sand or coral in a brackish set up?
What is the biggest differences in care from fresh to saltwater?
What are the biggest differences from salt to brackish?
Will I need a heater or current maker?
Will I need a protein skimmer? COuldn't more frequent water changes have the same effect?
After rudimentary research I think would really like to get a puffer or two, maybe figure 8, fancy guppies and/or endlers, nerites ... would really like to breed em, is this possible in a tank with fish? Some sort of shrimp, other crustaceans? maybe some kind of goby... I would also eventually like to try some coastal killifish.
I have a 30g or a 40gthat I could use
Suggestions on plants? They would need to be low light.
I have a ph of between 8-8.2, I have hard water but my kh or gh is on the low side? I forget which...
I wish I understood the quoting system.
regarding live rock filtering, could I just have an actual filter with ceramic rings for my bacteria to grow on? If not why wouldn't this work?
WHat is different about lighting and what is a refractometer?
I'm thinking of having a more coastal brackish system to start.
I don't 'think Guppies, Killifish, Endelers or Nerites are Brackish water fish.
Guppies are naturally brackish, Endlers are very similar to guppies and live off the coast, there was an amateur study on acclimating them to marine that I was reading into. American Killifish are brackish supposedly, and there are supposedly other near coastal killis. Nerites can live in marine to fresh but prefer brackish to salt. I'm wondering if I used a divider if that might meet with some success to breed nerites or guppies...
You are able to use a Mechanicla filter( a filter of your choice )
Your going to have to measure the salt in the water, this is a Refractometer.
I knew of FW and SW Nerites, didn't know they were the same ones.
Never heard of acclimating Guppies to SW. I have done it with Mollies myself. If your going to acclimate a fish, it will take a drip method around 4 hours using 3 drips per second.
So I can use a mechanical filter to keep my brackish tank cycled?
Now how about a saltwater?
If I use a mechanical filter would I need a skimmer for salt water?
I've heard of a hydrometer, not a refractomater but it is more efficient?
Nerites work in fresh or brackish, but only breed in brackish.
Mollies would be much better than guppies in a brackish setup. Sailfin mollies are perfect if the tank is big enough.
Puffers would destroy anything in the tank with them, and they love eating snails.
As far as marine-freshwater comparison, I think it would depend on the salinity. 1.008 or less, do it like freshwater. 1.008 or higher, treat it like marine. I don't know how sensitive live-rock is to salinity.
For brackish, a floating hydrometer would be fine. If you want sensative marine fish, a refractometer is WAY more accurate. Brackish fish aren't very sensative, and are often used to varying salinities.
In a Brackish tank you can use a FILTER. In a Marine Tank over 30g you use a Skimmer, NO FILTER. In a Marine Tank under 30g NO FILTER, you do water changes every week to keep nutrients under control.
You can use a Hydrometer, they are not very accurate, thats why I suggest a Refractometer.
Most brackish fish are much less sensitive to nitrates than marine fish- That.s why I think a filter would be ok.
Heck, salinities under 1.01, you could even go planted with bacopa, vallisneria, dwarf hairgrass, java fern, hard-water crypts, and anubias if you acclimate them slowly.
It is my understanding that skimmers help collect decaying matter so it doesn't cause nitrates to rise. Now on the other hand in freshwater aquariums we keep nitrates down by keeping the filters cleaned and water changes. Not to reinvent the marine wheel but cant this work in practice? Provided we have water already prepared before hand. Is there any literature out there to help me understand the differences?
Oh and how much nitrates is a tolerable level? In goldfish world its 20, they don't tolerate high nitrates as well.
Mechanical filters in SW world create Nitrate issues, they don't solve them. No matter what most do to them, they will retain and create problems. Skimmers do not only remove decaying matter, they remove excess nutrients from the water column itself. Coral poop, if you will, that is liquid can be removed via Foam Fractioning.(Skimming). Its been proven time and time again, Mechanical Filters don't work in SW. Use em all you'd like in FW, as these are 2 different animals. Biological filtration is done via Live Rock or Dry Rock that grows enough bacteria in it to maintain a healthy tank, along with a Skimmer, you don't need anything else for a FOWLR Tank. Now Reef tanks are altogether different. to get rid of even more excess nutrients inthe water column, you use a Fuge. By growing Macro Algae, the plants further strip the nutrients out of the water column, giving you 0's on everything including Phosphates. Getting even more technical, some will add addtional items, such as a Algae Truf Scrubber, and GFO Reactors. keeping FW and SW are 2 different beasts, and must be treated as such if you plan on having a healthy environment for your critters.
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