First, I'm new to this forum, and it has provided me with infinitely more aquarium knowledge than I had previously known.
I have a 30gal setup with a beach area up top, so the water volume is a tad lower than most. The water is very very slightly salty, around 1.002 specific gravity with marine (not aquarium) salt.
Tank has been setup for about 3 months.
Moderatly to heavily planted.
Substrate consists of variously-sized small pebbles, and heavily washed, then boiled, silica or, "play sand".
Filter setup is my own design of "mini-sump" it's a
- 2.5g tank with 2 main chambers
- 200gph return pump
- normal rough filter mesh
- Fluval-brand bio-filter media mixed with seachem-brand bio-filter media
- 10 mature Platies, a couple babies, that i'm not sure what to do with yet.
- 1 Betta
- 4 fiddler crabs
I recently got a Black Kuhlii Loach from a local PetSmart store. After my attempted acclimation to the new tank, I let him roam free; only to find it dead an hour or two later.
I found the Loach in the grasps of my only male Fiddler crab, as he tried to devour it!
I'm not sure if it was a stress issue, or if the loach tried to hide in the same spot as the crab and was attacked.
I really like Loaches, and would like to have 4-5 in my tank. Would it be wise to setup my spare 10gal tank for fiddler crabs and a few small fish?
Loaches are scaleless fish and thus don't appreciate salt in their water at all. I don't think any type of loach will work even in a slightly brackish setup. Not to mention, a kuhli loach looks just like a tasty worm to a fiddler crab no doubt.
that was one of my first thoughts; however, with that being the case, I still would have expected more than an hour or two...
I think that I like kuhlii loaches enough to setup a separate fiddler-crab tank.
Why not set up another tank for the loaches? Kuhlis can fit in a 10g, plus you already have the salt in the water for the fiddlers in the 30g. Not to mention it might be difficult to change to pure freshwater in the 30g once the platies (and especially their fry) are already accustomed to slightly brackish conditions.
Matt, why did you mix the betta and platies with fiddler crabs? You obviously shouldn't. Platies like hard alkaline water but no brackish. Bettas prefer soft acidic water. Adding salt simply results in higher conductivity causing osmotic shock on fish. This is especially true to loaches.
Move the fiddlers to your 10g and start doing water changes until the salinity is lowered further. Get marine salt and add it in your 10g for the crabs' convenience.
Whoa there...I must have completely skipped over the betta in the stocking list. Just as Lupin said, bettas don't fare well at all with salt in their water.
I've read lots of articles saying that kuhlis need groups of 3+, but Lupin's definitely more of a loach expert than I so I'd take his word for it.
About the platies: I know they're nowhere near as tolerant of brackish conditions as mollies, but don't all livebearers enjoy at least very slightly brackish conditions? 1.002 specific gravity is a pretty low salinity.
Especially since you have the betta and loaches, I'd take Lupin's advice and work on changing to water to freshwater in the 30g. As fiddlers definitely need brackish water, the 10g fiddler tank is a good idea.
As I said, I'm rather new at this; so, that somewhat explains my ignorance.
However, thanks for the experience-guided answers, I feel bad about killing things because of my stupidity.
I do, and always have used marine salt for raising the specific gravity.
I started the water changes yesterday. It shouldn't be too much of an issue to lower the salinity, as it's already pretty low -- undetectable on most store-bought gauges.
I will be setting up the 10g and cycling it within the next two weeks for the crabs.
I do have a question about my tap (city) water. From the tap the pH is around 7.6-7.8 depending on the day, everything else about it seems alright -- nitrates, nitrites, NH3/4.
I would use RO water, but, the closest LFS is a good 30-40 minutes from me, as far as I could find using the phone book/internet.
Does anyone recomend a good lower-pH buffering product?
Oh, sorry about the confusion. It was indeed marine salt.:lol:
As for the RO water, if your tapwater's hardness levels are quite low, it won't be necessary and you can use peat placed in the filter to lower the pH. Although not necessary as some fish do adapt well to high pH with the exception of wild-caught specimens, it nevertheless lets out the best in the fish. Your pH is actually fine but it is up to you whether you like to lower it further or not although it may be advisable not to fiddle with it. I use peat in my river tanks as all my fish are from soft acidic waters. What you must avoid is the pH swing. Better test your water separately to see how much difference you can make with your pH when you filter it with peat or anything else. Your other options aside from peat is driftwoods and maple/oak/Indian almond leaves. All release tannic acids responsible for lowering the pH.
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