Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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h0peless151 02-20-2007 04:38 PM

Brackish tank
I just got a new tank setup. Its 10 gallons, I have 2 fiddler crabs and 3 praecox rainbowfish. Personally I didn't want them, but this tank was for my boyfriend who insisted on them. I heard fiddler crabs need land for air, but I have an airstone in the tank, so will that suffice for air? I also want to add maybe 2-3 more fish and possibly a red claw crab if I can, since [I think] they do better. Any suggestions for fish, or have I already reached my tank limit. I want brackish fish, since the rainbowfish and crabs do well in brackish water. [

tophat665 02-20-2007 09:39 PM

The crabs need some way to get out of the water from tme to time. If you can lay hands on a well seasoned piece of driftwood (or don't mind taking the time to season it yourself - boil 20 minutes, dump the water, repeat until the water isn't colored) then you could lower the water level in the tank enough that the crabs could climb up on the driftwood and be out of the water.

I don't know as I would keep any rainbows other than possibly threadfins in a 10 gallon. They generally want more swimming room than that will give them.

TheXman 03-02-2007 06:28 PM

Actually, praecox rainbowfish are not a brackish species. They may survive in it because rainbowfish tend to be pretty resilient, but they will do much better (live longer, show better color, etc.) in freshwater. They will also do better in a larger tank, like tophat said, they are active and need some room to swim. Who told you that praecox were brackish fish? Someone must have gotten them confused with one of the blue eyes species. In any case, fiddler crabs and praecox aren't compatible, they have totally different water and tank set-up requirements. If you want to keep the crabs, you should get another (hopefully larger) tank to use as a freshwater set-up for the praecox, or take them back to the store you bought them at, or find someone to take them off your hands.

The Dude 03-02-2007 08:43 PM

look into some of the dwarf brackish puffers

tophat665 03-03-2007 12:16 AM


Originally Posted by The Dude
look into some of the dwarf brackish puffers

Dwarf Puffers are freshwater. There are some smaller brackish puffers - Figure 8s stay fairly small, methinks, and green spotted, but they are too big for a 10 gallon. The thing with puffers is that they're fairly smart, and need a large amount of fairly stimulating space to do their best. And that's on top of being territorial and predatory and messy.

Insofar as I have been able to determine, the only brackish species that works in a 10 gallon for full life cycle is Bumblebee Gobies.

h0peless151 03-03-2007 02:49 AM

i thought the praecox were freshwater too, but i found it online from a couple different sources that they could get along with kribensis or ram cichlids, and because cichlids do better with a little bit of salt in their tanks i thought they could do ok in slightly brackish water. My salinity is 1.008 and they are actually doing ok, the male's color got much more vibrant and he's grown a little. my crabs found a way to crawl up one of my tank decorations and they can breathe fine, they don't bother the fish- it's actually the other way around. so we'll see how it goes.

as for puffers, i've seen the figure 8s and green spotted do well in a 10 as long as it was the only fish. the indian spotted puffers get only about 1 inch long, but they nibble on each other. they need a higher level on the brackish water, about 1.009 or 1.10, or their color gets really drab and they start dying.

TheXman 03-05-2007 04:43 AM

You're making some assumptions here that are wrong. First of all, Ram cichlids actually do NOT tolerate brackish water very well at all. Ram cichlids are South American cichlids (like Discus) and just like discus, they like very soft, slightly acidic water, just the opposite of African cichlids, and a far cry from brackish. I don't know about kribs, but I do know that Praecox rainbows really are freshwater fish. They come from remote jungle streams in Papua New Guinea that are freshwater, not deltas or estuaries, or brackish lakes. They really aren't all that picky about hardness and are pretty resilient which is probably why they are doing well so far, but brackish is pushing it. Long term, they'll do much better in freshwater, but don't take my word for it, there are dozens of people who keep Praecox rainbows (including some of the most knowledgeable rainbowfish breeders in the US and Canada) on another site:

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