Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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LOUIE ACES 03-08-2010 07:28 AM

Confused about brackish...
Hey again, I'm recently interested in getting some brackish fish so I would need a brackish set up going but I'm confused about the whole salt thing. I currently have a tank that housed african cichlids so I had been using the perfect pH stuff or whatever it's called that keeps the pH at 8.2, added it every time I changed the water. Would that system be sufficient to use as a brackish tank? I'm not really trying to have to buy all new additives and salts and everything else so I was wondering if I could just get the brackish fish and add them to the tank or if there was something else I had to add to the system. I have the freshwater salt but I read somewhere that the freshwater salt isn't what I want to add.

Right now all I have in the tank is a 6" catfish, a 8" common pleco, and a 3" spotted raphael catfish. It's a 45 gallon hexagon tank with gravel substrate, pH is 8.0-8.2, temp is 78-80, and I do weekly to week and a half water changes depending on my time availability.

Thanks for the help!

Pasfur 03-08-2010 07:36 AM

If you want brackish fish you are going to need to set up another aquarium. Setting up an environment that pushes the extremes for tolerance of all the livestock is not what you want. The fish you currently have do not originate from areas with a high salt content.

Keeping brackish fish is not like keeping Mollies or Kribs, or other freshwater fish that enjoy some salt in the water. Brackish fish require an elevated level of salt that prevents them from being kept in a freshwater system with any degree of success. In fact, if your tank was a saltwater tank you would have a better opportunity at keeping brackish water fish. But not in freshwater.

In other words, you will need to make a decision on what type of tank you want. Freshwater or brackish. If you go brackish, you will need to purchase new additives, and a hydrometer to properly measure the salt content.

LOUIE ACES 03-08-2010 11:23 AM

Ok so IF i were to choose to change my tank to a brackish tank, what would i have to purchase besides the hydrometer? and what actions/precautions do i need to do besides the weekly water changes?

Kelso 03-08-2010 12:35 PM


Originally Posted by LOUIE ACES (Post 340444)
Ok so IF i were to choose to change my tank to a brackish tank, what would i have to purchase besides the hydrometer? and what actions/precautions do i need to do besides the weekly water changes?

You'll need to give up the fish you have first off and besides that, it's really just a matter of making sure you're keeping it at the correct salinity. You'll also need to make sure that the fish you get aren't something that are going to need full marine conditions one day, or something that is mildly brackish. Just make sure you research fish before you get them.

Pasfur 03-08-2010 02:20 PM

I should point out that stocking levels in a brackish tank will by similar to a saltwater tank. A 48 hex is small for such a setup, and you will be restricted to only a handful of fish. Keep in mind that most of the everyday fish you see such as Scats, Mono's, and Archerfish are not going to work for you. They grow far to large for such a tank and these fish require a tremendous amount of space. They are really only suited for large marine aquariums.

What is it that catches your eye about brackish water tanks?

LOUIE ACES 03-09-2010 06:31 AM

well i recently purchased white tipped cat sharks only to find out AFTER the store sold them to me as freshwater fish that they're actually better in brackish water. i know they get very big so i would most likely trade them in for new little ones when they outgrew the tank. also, i like the scats and as in the scats and monos that you said wouldn't fit in my tank...thanks for crushing my dreams haha

Pasfur 03-09-2010 06:50 AM

Keep in mind, the concept of trading in fish after they get big does not work in practice. When keeping fast growing fish in smaller than needed tanks, the hormones released by the fish cause growth deformities. Even when doing HUGE daily water changes, these deformities are easily recognized.

LOUIE ACES 03-09-2010 08:49 AM

understood, thanks

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