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JerseyBird97 04-26-2010 06:52 PM

Brackish setup
I need some plants that will do well in brackish... what will work? I got some micro sword and an anubais that was about to flower but my F8's ate it... oh well... but now it's wilting. It's a 10gal with sand substrate and 2 40watt full spectrum lights.

Byron 04-26-2010 07:25 PM

These two plants will not fare well in brackish water; in fact most aquarium plants will not, though there are a few. Sagittaria subulata apparently tolerates "slightly brackish" conditions according to Peter Hiscock, but this sounds like very mild brackish. Java Moss, Java Fern (not surprising really) and Vallisneria have been mentioned elsewhere. Vallisneria does very well in hard water, so this may be part of the reason. Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) and Elodea densa have also been mentioned. I have not personally experiemented with any of these to see what level of salt (if any) they will accept before falling apart.

The "wilting" is the plant's reaction to the effects of salt. Salt makes water more dense than the same water without salt. Plants and animals are largely water. The semi-permeable layer called the cell separates the water in the plant (or fish) from the water in the aquarium. Water is able to pass through this cell; the water inside the plant cells is less dense so it escapes through the cells, with the result that the plant literally dries out, and will wilt. I've so far been unable to find a measurement of how much salt will be detrimental to plants; all authorities I have found do note that some species are more sensitive than others, and all recommend no salt in planted aquaria.


Austin 04-26-2010 07:42 PM

It's probably the salt... i don't think those are good with salt. I think java moss can do ok in salt, but idk any others off the top of my head... but theres another issue... 80 watts on a 10g tank?

JerseyBird97 04-28-2010 05:32 PM

Yea i know it's a bit high but those were the only full spectrum bulbs i could find that'll fit at the moment... I'll be getting a glass top with a flouresant strip soon

Byron 04-28-2010 06:05 PM

Just to add some plant suggestions to my post yesterday, as I was doing a bit of digging last evening in my reference books and came across some suggestions for brackish tanks by Peter Hiscock in his book Aquarium Designs Inspired by Nature.

He mentions giant hygrophila, Hygrophila corymbosa, as a substitute for mangrove (a true brackish water plant) since its leaves bear a resemblance. Hiscock says this plant "should survive low salinity conditions." Also mentioned are Anubias [no species specified, I had thought this unlikely, but he says differently so I defer to experience] and the Vallisneria I mentioned previously, along with Egeria and Microsorium.

I had missed the lights issue previously, and agree with Austin. Perhaps removing one bulb (assuming you can if these are screw-in) would be prudent; with too much light algae will find it easy to settle down and spread.


JerseyBird97 04-28-2010 07:54 PM

Thanks Byron... I'll have to look into that. I agree with you on the Anubias seeing as how mine isn't well in here lol. The lighting will be changed soon.

Byron 04-28-2010 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by JerseyBird97 (Post 371412)
Thanks Byron... I'll have to look into that. I agree with you on the Anubias seeing as how mine isn't well in here lol. The lighting will be changed soon.

But it could also be lighting with the Anubias...they are very low light plants; if mine is not shaded under floating plants, it develops yellowing leaves (and more brush algae). Could be a combo of both detriments, over light and salt, or just too much light.

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