Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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small fry 12-19-2010 10:18 PM

What does it take to setup Brackish??

I can't find any kind of source that will explain what I need to know about setting up brackish water tanks. I would like to know a list of equipment that I would need to get started.


badxgillen 12-20-2010 01:24 PM

the setup i run is just a sponge filter attached to a power head that goes to a bio wheel for filteration..some crushed coral in the substrate to buffer the water.some rock and mangroves..obviously mollies will work.i like the night gobies and scats. there are a green and a ruby red variety..monos are alright.and then all the puffers ..i know there are better setups but this one works . nothin special.just check perameters. i keep my salinity at about .07-.09 and i spoil them with Instant Ocean Mix for salt as it contains all the elements for good sea water.hope this is of some help.

small fry 12-20-2010 02:30 PM

I can't figure out a good stocking plan. If I go brackish, it would be a 55g tank.

Any ideas?

Creat 12-20-2010 04:29 PM

When stocking the only thing you have to be sure of is that the fish can tolerate the same sg. Dragon gobies are some of my favorite brackish fish along with green spotted puffers. Scats and archer fish are also great choices. I would get a schooling fish like scats or mono's and then a dragon goby makes a interesting fish for the bottom and then maybe something else? Celebes Rainbow fish are also good fish for brackish.

small fry 12-20-2010 04:51 PM

Monos are schooling fish? I wonder why, they get 8" long! That is interesting. So how big is a brackish mono "school"? The tank would be 55gallons, so if that is too small for a school, I might need to look at something else.

I thought dragon gobies were extremely aggressive/territorial. They wouldn't go with Celebes Rainbows could they?

Monos and a Dragon Goby would be great (if they would all fit), but I really like centerpiece fish (other than the DG) that doesn't need a group and wont be eaten/killed/wounded by the DG.

Thanks for the help so far!:-D

ram50 12-20-2010 09:48 PM

my 29gal brackish tank has a canister filter with just carbon, sponge, and poly pot scrubbers. It works great. I have a figure 8 puffer , a brackish flounder and some ghost shrip. I have fine play sand as my substrate. he will bury himself and all you can see is his eye balls. I use a fresh water test kit and keep my SG at 1.005. I will be glad to help you in anyway I can. its nice to see another person looking into brackish.

small fry 12-20-2010 11:39 PM

So my biggest concern is the cost. For a brackish tank, I might be willing to spend more, as I have always liked the uncommon brackish setups. Calceus (materials containing calcium) materials like coral are ok in brackish water, correct? I can use marine salt in a lower concentration (to get 1.001), right?

Brackish water is the marsh-lands between freshwater and saltwater, so are there grass-like plants I can use? What type of calcium-based material should I add to the tank? Do I need to test for calcium? Is play sand ok for brackish setups (I guess it is)? Is there anything different for a brackish setup than a freshwater setup (equipment-wise)? Why is brackish so un-popular?

Will this work;
6 Monos
1 Dragon Goby
1 Knight Goby?

I can research further if you think it is worth looking into. Feel free to make suggestions.

I have a budget of $150 for the brackish tank for this season (I might be able to throw in abit more, we will see). I already have the bare tank, I just need equipment, decor, and fish (fish can be added slowly, except school fish). Will ghost shrimp work for brackish water? I have a bunch, but I thought they were FW only (not that I read that anywhere). Maybe I can keep some of them in a bowl, changeing the water everyday and slowly boosting the salinity.

Thank y'all so much for the help!

small fry 12-21-2010 09:24 AM

6 monos
1 Dragon Goby
1 Knight Goby

will this work?

redchigh 12-21-2010 09:34 AM

I really don't know, but do lots of research... Some brackish species live in the brackish areas when young, and make their way out to the ocean (full salinity) when mature.

Here's a list of plants that might do well.

"Anacharis", actually members of the genera Egeria, Elodea are either the most common species of aquarium plant or close to it.

*Anubias spp. A large assemblage of African species and cultivars that are very resistant to both salt intrusion and fish predation.

*Bacopa spp., especially B. monniera is found in brackish waters.

Cabomba species. Beautiful, but easily fall apart when moved, and readily eaten. Take care to cut away rubber bands, remove lead weights, and gently plant individual stems if bought in typical "bunches".

*Hornwort, Ceratophyllum demersum et al. spp. (coontail to pond people). Cool and tropical water species occur. Generally unpalatable to brackish water fishes.

Water Sprite, Ceratopteris spp. Amongst my favorite aquarium plants period. Beautiful, undemanding, adaptable. Here Ceratopteris cornuta in a floating phase.

*Cryptocoryne spp., particularly C. ciliata is well-adapted to brackish water.

Echinodorus spp. The Pygmy Chain Sword, E. tenellus is well-regarded as a part-marine species.

Hairgrass, Eleocharis, particularly the more popular E. acicularis. Lives well in cool water, unheated aquariums. Of the 150 or so species, there are ones found in the tropics to the Arctic.

Hygrophila polysperma, Hygrophilia sticta, many others. "Hygros". Distasteful to many brackish fishes. Do check on the individual species requirements. Most prefer pH's no greater than 7.5, some get very large, others more suitable as closely cropped foreground plants. Some occur in red colors. Emergent species. At right, H. polysperma at a wholesale growing facility.

*Microsorium pteropus, Java Fern. One of the best brackish water plant species. In fact, about the only regularly sold aquarium plant that is "naturally" brackish. Slow, but steady grower, attached to wood.

Myriophyllum spp., Foxtails, Parrot Feather.

Banana Plant, Nymphoides sp. Close relatives of water lilies.

*Sagittaria spp. Tough, waxy leaves help this genus of attractive tall and short plant species to resist salt leaching and consumption by brackish fishes.

Vallisneria spp., particularly the "Giant" Val.s, like V. americana, hold up well to browsing and salt intrusion.

*Vesicularia dubyana, Java Moss. Can tolerate low to high light intensity, soft to very hard waters.

I marked the ones I feel to be the most likely with a *.
I would just use crushed coral as a substrate, but that's just me. Calcerous rocks and shells are okay in brackish. The equipment for brackish is pretty much identical to fresh. Be sure to find out the SG for your individual fish. One last thing- maybe consider archer fish rather than monos?

small fry 12-21-2010 09:45 AM

Way cool! I have many of those plants in my possession right now. That would make a great marsh land.:-)

As for the stocking, is it too close to tell? Is there some species that require only live food? I use strictly prepared foods (e.g. flakes, FD Bloodworms, Tubifex Worms, Staples, etc.). Has anyone ever had a similar setup?

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