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Subscribe35 Gallon brackish tank log
mrwizerd
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Ok, so I saw a few of you guys have done tank logs, but there isn't any log for brackish water so I have descided I will log this tank.

For starters it is a 20 gallon long TopFin aquarium with black silicone and trim. The first thing I did was paint the back with black primer. After that dried I rinsed it out serveral times. After that I rinsed about 15 pounds of playground sand that was washed and kiln dried by the manufaturer. After laying down the sand, I installed the hardware.

1 20 gallon rated Top Fin Air Pump
1 150 Watt Heater
1 Top Fin 30 gallon rated filter
1 Fluval 3 plus Filter

After installing the hardware I filled the tank, and turned on all the hardware after the aclimation time for the heater. That was all I was able to do tuesday night because the water was cloudy. The next night I added the plastic plants and moved two paradise gourami to the tank to start the cycle.

Last night I added a 20w light on top just resting there till the 30th when I will build the light hood. Then I checked the levels of nitrite and ammonia both were just between .5 and 1ppm so I did half a water change. I also put some brine shrimp it to hold there for feeding to the puffers that are still in the other tank till I get this one cycled.

This morning I found the heater was broken so I went back to the pet store and traded it in for a 150w Rena Cal Top Light Excel. I also did some research on some plants that will aclimate to brackish water on plantgeek.net inadvertantly I purchaced two Banana plants last night which happen to be brackish adaptable along with moneywort which I already had. Today I bought what looks like it may be a microsword:

http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/plant/DSC00228.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/plant/DSC00229.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/plant/DSC00230.JPG

I am hoping it is, either way these three are all said to be adaptable to brackish water by fishgeeks.net so I will move them over after the water cycles. Well, clippings from the moneyswort anyway. So thats all for the first entry, I will post pictures tomarrow.

Last edited by mrwizerd at 01-Dec-2005 20:57
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Report 
mrwizerd
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Saturday the 19th, I tested the water it contained .25ppm nitrite and .5ppm ammonia. Preformed a half water change.

Sunday I skipped the test to let the bacteria have a little extra food to gorge themselve on. I devised a plan to get the Fluval3+ to stand upright, since it is just about a half inch from the bottom when properly in place the sand was getting to hard to keep in place, so I though part of a square throw away plastic bowl (one you could place a sandwich in) would be easily hacked at to fit my needs. I also added a carbon pad to the fluval. I have descided that the fluval will suit my needs better than my chinsey 30 gallon rated hanging filter. But I am leaving it in and when I do remove it I will put it on the 27 so that I can use it in my next tank that I will get in a week, with hopes that it will speed up the cycling. Trying to plan ahead, but still dont know the size of the tank so I dont want to get the actual filter yet. Not sure if I am going to get a biowheel or not, if its big enough for a reef tank then I will be setting it up for full salt water.

Monday tested the water .25ppm nitrite and .5ppm ammonia give or take, so I did a water change on the 28g and 20gl at the same time. I found out that my daughters wagon was perfect for my plastic tub and has made it tremendously easier for my back. I also implemented my plan to put the retaining wall in for the filter and much to my supprise it is working wonderfully. I put gravel at the bottom to not only keep the plastic down, but also to let sand that does find its way there to fall into the rocks before it sucks up into the filter. In a month I will be switching one of the larger foam pads to a poly pad that will stop the sand a little easier but we will see how this goes.

Last edited by mrwizerd at 22-Nov-2005 00:41
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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Tuesday, today I went to the LFS and ordered three goby Paradise, Bumblebee and Mogurnda, some java moss and three microswords; I also took home a male and female creamsicle lyritail molly. I came home and tested the water at .5ppm ammonia I changed the water added salt and I added the Biomaterials from the 29 to the 30g rated generic back up filter.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Mrwizerd,

Good idea starting a log for brackish. A couple of things with sand bottom tanks, especially small grain like play sand.

1. Make sure your filter intake is raised up from the substrate. I would have a like half way between top and bottom, because if the sand get's kicked up it will go into your filter and eventually ruin it.

2. I don't know how deep you made the sand, but if you make it more than 1 inch or so you willl end up having alot of anaerobic activity within the sand. That't bad and it will add nh3 to the water.

That plant you showing is not microsword it's mondo grass which is not a true aquatic plant. It will probably die if completely submerged for a long time. Although I have one in a tank that is only 3/4 filled with water and it looked like your when I first got it and two years later it's huge, but the top of the plant is sticking out of the water. I don't think you want to go high light with a brackish tank because you can't plant heavily and with the sand your asking for alot of trouble.

My Scapes
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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1. Make sure your filter intake is raised up from the substrate. I would have a like half way between top and bottom, because if the sand get's kicked up it will go into your filter and eventually ruin it.


I currently have the filter sitting on a seperated bed of gravel, it quite efficently stops the sand from running over under the intake (the fluval is a little to big for the tank which is a good thing) Any time I have my hands in the tank I turn off the fluval.

2. I don't know how deep you made the sand, but if you make it more than 1 inch or so you willl end up having alot of anaerobic activity within the sand. That't bad and it will add nh3 to the water.


The sand substrate is between 2 and 3 inches deep depending on the location. I went down and spoke with the marine biologist that owns the aquarium store (it's nice he knows everything about fish hehe) he stated that so long as I keep the tank heavily planted I wont have to much worry about the anaerobic activity because the roots will deal with it. I told him my plans for the plants and he approves of my plan so we will see what happens, if I do start seeing fish health problems I will start suctioning off some of the sand.

That plant you showing is not microsword it's mondo grass which is not a true aquatic plant. It will probably die if completely submerged for a long time. Although I have one in a tank that is only 3/4 filled with water and it looked like your when I first got it and two years later it's huge, but the top of the plant is sticking out of the water. I don't think you want to go high light with a brackish tank because you can't plant heavily and with the sand your asking for alot of trouble.


Yeah, miguel told me that it was a mondo, I think I am going to let it stay till it starts to dwindle then I will move it to the terestrial pots. I was informed that with the plants that I am getting for this project that while I am slowly doing my migration to the brackish side it will aclimate the plants and they shouldn't shock to much. With all of them being good for brackish waters we will see how it goes.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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Yesterday I planted the microswords, dwarf hair grass and java moss. Here are pictures of the tank so far.

http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00261.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00262.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00263.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00264.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00265.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00266.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00267.JPG

Here is a couple of pictures of my babies

http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00251.JPG
http://www.cityofmist.com/halls/aquarium/images/DSC00255.JPG

The revised stock list is as follows,

3 Molly 1 Male 2 Female
1 Figure Eight Puffer
1 Green Spotted Puffer
1 Bumblebee Goby
1 Butterfly Goby
1 Megundo Goby

I am still looking for my samurai or red line puffer, and the wasp fish. If I do find them they will be migrated into the tank and the molly will go in other tanks to continue breeding food.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
dvmchrissy
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Well, it's looking good so far, except for the glitches in the pictures.


Christina

http://www.aquarank.com/image.php?id=fishprof" border="0">
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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Saturday the 26th tested water nitrites and ammonia are both at .5 ppm I think I will do a water change tonight.

I checked it again before I did the water change and the ammonia levels had dropped to .25 so I didn't change the water hoping that it would cycle

when I tested the nitrate yesterday it was almost a .5ppm and it was .5ppm solid today on sunday. However, the ammonia test was 0 ppm. ALMOST there. I am going to do my other three tanks water changes and if its higher if its lower I wont. I am hoping its the same or lower if its the same I will change a third of the water this time instead of just less then half.

Last edited by mrwizerd at 27-Nov-2005 17:13
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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I have a revised stock list after getting my goby on friday I found out a few things. First I have found the elusive freshwater waspfish (a.k.a. leaf goblinfish, butterfly goby) They were ordered under the guise of the butterfly fish so I was expecting the irredesant blue of the actual goby. Instead I got my waspfish HUHZAH! Infact fact I got two of them, there still just bigger than fry but I may send one to christina. I was only looking at one bumblebee but changed my mind after I saw them little guys, there only a quarterinch. I also got another called a mubudo or something and he is almost 3/4 inch. The fish guy who has degrees not that it means anything said that the biggest he has ever seen a bumblebee or a "butterfly goby" mabee only an inch and a quarter, but knows nothing about the third but from my research he gets to be about the same as the "butterfly goby" So I have 2 "butterfly" 3 Bumblebee and a Mubudo. So the revised list is as follows

1 Figure Eight Puffer - 3"
1 Green Spotted Puffer - 6"
2 Female Lyritail Molly will stay until the birth - 3"
1 Male Molly which may be used to cycle the 35 - 3"
1 Mubodo - 2"
2 Neovespicula depressifrons - 3" (total)
3 Bumblebee Goby - 3" (total)

I was thinking of having the ghost shrimp in there for food, but its not looking good the puffers havnt eaten the three I put in the tank they are in now. Funny enough the two paradise fish that where in the 20 originally ate all 8 I put in there.

The molly are purly there for food, and will probably stay in another tank to breed as they wont fit in the 20 when the fish start to mature, but they will all have space for now.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
jfk
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how long do you plan on keeping the gsp in there? from what i've read they will need to full salt water when they mature, and the f8 will not.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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The green spotted will stay for a few years he is still only 1 inch in length, after I start my saltwater tank in a year or two I may move him. I am not sure yet.

The dalmation molly I added gave birth to somewhere around 20 fry, I am keeping them safe right now in the twenty gallon. As of monday my ammonia levels are 0 and my nitrites are .5 but thats steady so I am banking on it starting to come down soon. I plan to move the goby and waspfish into the tank asa soon as the nitrite drops to 0.

http://www.cityofmist.com/aquaria/Brackish20gL/
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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Ok so I have descided the 35g will be the new brackish tank. So I washed what was left of my 50lbs bag of sand and put it in the 35g. Currently I have had water in it for a week. I have been changing the water in the 20 almost daily to twice daily. The fry still have not whent to the big aquarium in the sky so thats good. Plus there starting to eat normal flake and seem to be growning evenly.

I put some of that water into the 35 to give the biofilter a kick start and moved the fluval in there also. I cant move fish in because there isnt a heater so I am hoping that it will cycle on its own. Then the 20 will be used as a breeding tank.

Currently my nitrite levels are going nuts so I wont be reporting them.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Natalie
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Have you tried putting plants in yet? That's the one part of brackish tanks I never succeed in. Every freshwater plant I've tried, even ones that are supposed to be able to live in brackish, die within a week (and I acclimated them slowly and everything). I have had some limited success with a couple species of marine macro algaes, but they were far from thriving to say the least.

I've been wanting to get my hands on some kind of eel grass, but I can't find it on any of my availability lists. As a last resort, I'll just go to a marsh around here and collect my own plants and see how they do.

Good luck with your tank.



I'm not your neighbor, you Bakersfield trash.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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Revised stock list:

1 - Tetraodon Nigroviridis (Green Spotted Puffer) - 6"
1 - Tetraodon Biocellatus (Figure Eight Puffer) - 3"
1 - Etroplus Maculatus (Orange Chromide) - 3"
2 - Brachygobius Xanthozona (Bumblebee Goby) - 3" (total)
2 - Neovespicula Depressifrons (Waspfish) - 3" (total)
1 - Awaous Flavus (Candy Stripe Goby) - 3"
1 - Telmatherina Ladigesi (Celebes Rainbowfish) - 3"
2 - Pelvicachromis Pulcher (Rainbow Krib{Paired}) - 8" (total)
1 - Pomacentrus Taeniometopon (Brackish Damsel) - 4.5"

This adds out to around 36-37 inches for my 35 gallon. This is a little overstocked but not badly so, considering serveral of these fish are mid bottom and mid top respectivly I think this will be an ok setup. I have settled on having the fluval and a small power head to creat the current. I may add a small biowheel type filter to add to filtration if I find it necisary.

I have found a site that I think is one worth visiting if your looking to do a brackish water tank. He also has a few other articles.

Neal Monks, Ph.D on Fishkeeping

I have settled on my tank having a specific gravity of 1.010 which should be well accepted by all of these fish. I will adjust this on occasion to give the fish a little change as they should like it.




Last edited by mrwizerd at 02-Dec-2005 01:50
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
mrwizerd
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Thanks cory addict,

Your post was written when I was in the process of writing my own. Thanks for dropping in, I have yet to add salt to the tank, I have the ammonia down and now just have to tackle the nitrites but I think that the tank just peaked. However with the new tank I am gonig to migrate to I am going to take water out of it as I have it set up and running and then I will take all the water out of the 20 gallon and move it over with the sand. This is after removing plants and other such decoration. I will then let the tank stablize and then move the first set of fish in, which in the begining will be my two puffers the neovespicula and the butterfly. I have another goby that I bought but it ended up being a differnt goby and he will end up in my semiaggresive tank most likly. He gets to big and eats to much, I am actually worried about my cory but I think he should be worried about them as these ones are pretty tough having to deal with all sorts of madness above them plus the occasional nip. Sometimes they get injured though I have no idea why. After that, I will start hunting down the rest of the fish on my list. I think that this will be the final stock list unless I cant find something. I did stumble apon a brackish water clam named such coincidently but it doesnt seem to be a common item sold for aquaria so I may see if I can get someone on the east coast of the US to collect a few for me. They may end up food, but the upshot to trying them is they can help control the nitrates along with the plants this should be good. This tank will be fed live foods only worms, small fish, ghost shrimp as soon as I figure out why the puffers dont eat the ones that they are bunked with now, but the paradise gourami munched the 8 i was saving in his tank for the puffers I will resume feeding the puffers these. Possibly krill or some other shelled food that the puffers can knaw on.

sorry bout the super paragraph and run on sentances
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Cup_of_Lifenoodles
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1 - Tetraodon Nigroviridis (Green Spotted Puffer) - 6"
GSPs grow too large and aggressive for the other tankmates and necessitate relatively high-end brackish water. Can and will eat BBGs.
1 - Tetraodon Biocellatus (Figure Eight Puffer) - 3"
1 - Etroplus Maculatus (Orange Chromide) - 3"
Too timid for puffer tanks. I've seen them kept with F8s to some success, but even then, there was a great deal of fin nippage present in the tank.
2 - Brachygobius Xanthozona (Bumblebee Goby) - 3" (total)
2 - Neovespicula Depressifrons (Waspfish) - 3" (total)
Larger than 1.5" and quite predatory. Can and will feed on the BBGs.
1 - Awaous Flavus (Candy Stripe Goby) - 3"
1 - Telmatherina Ladigesi (Celebes Rainbowfish) - 3"
Social fish. Prefers more of it's kind.
2 - Pelvicachromis Pulcher (Rainbow Krib{Paired}) - 8" (total)
1 - Pomacentrus Taeniometopon (Brackish Damsel) - 4.5"
Too aggressive for most of your species, and will feed on smaller fish. Prefers saltwater.

You may want to reconsider the stocking a bit.


Last edited by Cup_of_Lifenoodles at 02-Dec-2005 02:07
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mrwizerd
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Cup of Lifenoodles,

Thank you for your reply I find it very interesting. This log is more of an experiment in brackish water fish keeping. There were initially very few fish made aware to me that were brackish compatible. Initially I was looking to do an all puffer tank, however, this proved to be too difficult because many of the puffers that enjoy brackish water are hard to find.

I hope to be able to balance the aggression and hunger of the preditorial fish by stocking the tank with live food they can eat (i.e. ghost shrimp, small molly, snails, clams etc.) The man at my LFS has a Ph.D in Marine Biology he stated that In the Wild the Neovespicula can reach lengths of up to three inches; however, in captivity they rarely reach more then one and a half inches.

The Green Spotted Puffer is a bit large getting up to six inches; I am planning to have a saltwater tank once he is getting that to be that large I plan on migrating him to it. So he is not a permanent fixture in the tank. As for the Figure Eight Puffer I keep getting conflicting information on his salt preference. So dependent on his reaction he may not stay either.

Though there are a few semi-aggressive animals in my tank I think that we will be ok with the Chromide in that most are aggressive to their own kind. The exception being the puffers and like I said if it becomes a problem I have space in the breeding tank (where the molly are) to move who needs to be moved. A lot also depends on the fish also; we all know that some can be a little out of character.

I was thinking that the Celebes Rainbow fish may be a social fish, I want to get 3 but am worried about overstocking. I will cross this bridge when I find a source for them I may end up with three depending on what else is in the tank.

And last the Brackish Damsel though it may prefer a larger salt concentration is said to do well in the brackish water, however, that being said the freshwater damsel which is said to live in brackish more so often than fresh may be a better alternative.

A lot of this stocking has to do with space available and fish temperament as I am adding them. My final stock list for this tank may morph as I gain the fish. I would still like to add some killifish to the mix but am still running up against the overstock limit. I want a mix between odd and beautiful and going with brackish water is going to defiantly get me this mix. The livestock may be hard to get and I expect many problems to come but that is the fun of the hobby and why I have this log to look back on how naive I was when I started. I think it’s safe to say that I will have lots of story to tell, as it sits the breeding tank may end up bouncing salinity all over the place as many brackish water fish come acclimated to freshwater. It is in fact why I am trying to get most of the stock in before I start the migration. If anyone lives on the east coast and knows of a place where they can find the brackish clams for me I would be greatly appreciated. The clam would be good for the water as I have heard they tend to clean up nitrates which would be awesome.
Either way, I do appreciate the information it gives me a lot of feed back and that is how I will keep learning the things I need to know.
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Cup_of_Lifenoodles
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Hey, as long as you have alternatives.

Good luck.
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mrwizerd
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I really do value your opinion. Everyones. I just enjoy doing differnt things and this I hope will give me a lot of experiance and some good photos to add to the site and all. Possibly give me cause to write up a report on the ins and outs of the experiance. Of corse crediting my many advisors.
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dvmchrissy
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Hey, as long as nothing happens to my Neos! That is my main concern! I can't wait until I can start my 30 Gallon tank up so that I can get my lil fellas! Also I don't want anything to happen to those mollies because I intend on getting the prettiest ones you have sent along with my Neos, so you etter take relly good care of them for me!!!

I better see more pictures too as well!


Christina
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