red/orange cichlid ( etroplus maculatus)
I have a cycled 75 g tank currently housing 3 celebes halfbeaks, 1 zebra danio that refuses to be caught and put into my 40g tank, 2 bristle nose plecos and a crab. I willbe gettig 4 juvenile red/orange cichlids from Wetspot when he gets them in to add to the tank. I will be turning this tank SLOWLY into a brackish tank. I read up on the how to go about this but I have some Qs.
1- the red/orange cichlids start out in freshwater and slowly migrate to brackish waters in the wild. At what age do they do this?
2- I was thinking that instead of doing fresh/salt water bucket changes to turn the tank to brackish..could I litterally create a slow drip system to bring the tank to brackish?
3- Will the established bacteria die off or acclimate overtime? If there is die off willI need to get bacteria --seeded sponge--from a saltwater tank?
4- Will I need to use API test kit for saltwater or is freshwater API kit still okay to check water values?
Wow, this is interesting.
What fish are going to stay in the Brackish tank?
In answer to the questions
1) There is no documented age as such, it depends on how close to brackish water they are born in the first place.
2) To bring a tank to brackish, above SG 1.009 is a MUST for these fish, it must be done very very slowly over several weeks, even a drip system is too fast for them. Raising the SG too fast will kill the fish. You need to know whether the fish are kept in brackish at the store. THIS IS IMPORTANT, if they are, they MUST go into a brackish tank immediately, otherwise putting them into freshwater will kill them.
3) The bacteria will once you start adding the salt water, gradually change to the saltwater variety, this is another reason to very slowly change the salinity, do it too fast and it will cycle the tank, slow allows the bacteria to adapt to the conditions the salt is creating.
4) The test kits are identical for fresh and saltwater, what is different is the color cards showing the levels. You can download the saltwater charts from here.
If you are cycling the tank as a freshwater then you need to use the freshwater test kit, once you start adding salt, you will need to use the saltwater kit once the SG gets over 1.002. You will also need ideally a refractometer ($40 on ebay or from your local store) to test the salinity level.
The Celebes, bristle nose and crab will stay and the cichlids. Celebes Halfbeaks take a gravity of 1.005, EM Cichlids 1.002-1.005 There are some cherry shrimp in the tank too. They can handle 1.002-1.006. Fish Channel.com recommends a 10 day process to go from fresh to brackish. This sounds too fast too me. Aquarium fish forum.com does not give a time line on switching. I have a refractometer coming. I just looked at API kit did not see saltwater card with it. Numerous sites just state....1 to 1.5% addition of salt is recommended. This can be accomplished by adding 7.5 to 11 TSP. of salt to 10 gallons of water (10-15 g of salt/10 L. -with no time line on doing so. I will have to ask Wetspot where the cichlids come from and water parameters.
Over a small amount of time, the BN pleco will not do well in brackish, they are ok for a while but cant tolerate it full time. In terms of using it for clean up, some nerite snails will work in brackish.
I would take it a lot slower than 10 days, you will need to monitor the tank for any signs of a cycle restarting. The api kit only ships with the cards for the kit you have. In terms of the chemicals used, they are identical (I contacted API), you need to download and print the saltwater cards as the color scheme on the cards is different from fresh to saltwater.
Before I begin transformation I will transfer the plecos to my 40g tank. The Saltwater card that came with API is color coded so I am okay there. I have been looking into nerite snails. How long should I take to transfer from freshwater to brackish? 3 weeks ? a month?
You can get marine ones which will be ok in brackish. Ideally acclimate them to salt at the same time as everyone else.
great but how long should I take to go from fresh to brackish water?
Oh nice! I was just talking about the chromides the other day!
Can you update us with pics?!?
Those arent the most common cuchld yet i do think theyre cool
I would give it about 4 weeks I would say. You can ask in the brackish water section and someone might be able to offer more assistance.
Great!! Thank you Tazman for the help!! Agent 13 I do not yet have the fish. They are on order. I need to call tomorrow since I was not e-mailed today. I will in the future put up pics. I will need to figure out how to download pics since I am a nubie here.
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