Brackish sand/ water setup??
I have a 40 breeder and saw a picture of a great aquarium I'd like to do. (I have done saltwater.) Anyway, the setup is basically a sand area, brackish water, mudskippers, fiddler crabs. You also can do mangrove trees in there, which would be too cool.
I'm not sure what other plants you could do, but I think I'll stop the questions here.
But where the heck do you get this stuff. The lfs sells hermits, but I have not seen mudskippers or mangrove trees forever. Any online ideas??
I am not ready to set up yet and am still researching.
Check with your LFS and see if they can order the fish for you. I've seen the Indian mudskippers for sale at my LFS so there must be some sort of distributor in the states. In a 40 you want the Indian mudskippers and *not* the African ones, as the African mudskippers get much bigger and are more aggressive. I was thinking of doing a similar setup myself but in a bigger tank. I want the water side to have enough room to add some bumblebee gobies, and beyond the "beach" area I think it'd be cool to have a forest area with tropical forest lizard substrate and some anoles and tree frogs. I think I could pull it off in a long tank like a 55.
It's possible they could get some. There is one that has carried them in the past, had a whole brackish section but now only has the fiddlers.
Do you know what kind of filtration and lighting for the trees?? He suggests a Power filter, not sure that would even work given there is a big drop and not that much water.
Also how deep would the water be. Not to deep I suppose, as the fish can't really swim that well!
Do you have any ideas on how to keep the sand in its place.
I am getting really into this project, hope I can find the darned fish or that wrecks everything!
To keep the sand in place, I would maybe try to get your hands on a piece of acrylic (the type used for building acrylic fish tanks) and cut it to size. You could use aquarium sealant to glue it into place on the floor of your tank. Since the mudskippers would prefer to stay wet, you could build a wall in the middle of the tank and fill it with sand on one side. Then, you could fill the whole thing with water to maybe a quarter inch or so above the wall so that the top of your sand has a little water on it to keep the fish moist. Then you could put some rocks in the sandy area and have some driftwood laying on the wall to have access from the water portion to the sand side. You should have a couple of those to make it as easy as possible for the fish to get in and out of the water.
I would look at an internal power filter. You can suction-cup it to the aquarium wall so that you can keep it submerged.
I have pretty well sourced everything though I am not sure whether to go with mangrove "seeds" (they aren't seeds in the usual sense) or tiny plants.
However, my lfs will order the mudskipper (in season-- usually Sept or so).
They always have the fiddlers. If they don't, the drs foster smith has them now.
I also was looking at a duetto filter, but I don't know if you would recommend that? I think the size was for 10-30 gals or something. There have replaceable filters and all. You don't have to clean them too often, much to love about power filters!
Anyway you have some great ideas! I can easily get the acrylic, and I have worked with it a bit before.
Ok, here's another couple questions:
There are heater guards, but I dont' know about filter guards. What I think would be good is to build some kind of compartment around the filter and heater, that would allow exchange of water, but have the fish laying on it.
Also something that wouldn't stand out so much. I have no sump.
I suppose you could do a false bottom? Not sure how you would manage the sand?
I'm just about done with a mudskipper setup myself, just haven't added the skippers! I just did a 20L tank though, and that's plenty large enough for some dwarf skippers and fiddler crabs.
You won't need a filter guard (although you'll need a heater guard). I use the 40i and it creates a little waterfall as I've surrounded it by driftwood. It's like a little island/waterfall. You could also try something like this:
Skippers like hard water, so I recommend using at least 50% crushed coral sand. I did that and mixed it with 50% play sand.
Also, blue legged hermit crabs are very cool & live well in brackish water. They're very common and cheap in the saltwater section of your LFS. Bumblebee gobies should also work well. I've added brackish flounder to mine.
I spent a lot of time looking to see if I could do anoles or frogs or something but I had to conclude that it wouldn't work. They either secrete toxins, require different temperatures or would eat each other.
Also, you're going to need a tight fitting lid to keep moisture in as skippers need lots of humidity.
Wow everyone, your mudskipper projects sound really cool! I'd love to see some pictures when you get the chance. Good luck with everything and keep us posted! :D
Working on it...just gotta do a water change since I've got a lot of tannins in my water right now.
Also, one important note, make sure you have a heater guard if you're keeping skippers. Otherwise they can sit on the heater and burn themselves.
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