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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 114
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 03:20 pm:       

Well here goes. My adventure into brackish as a steping stone towards a Marine Aquarium.

Freshwater fully cycled 10g tank. Amonia=0 / NitrIte=0 / NitrAte=10 / PH=8.2
Substrate: 1 of play sand, sparse trop dressing pucka shell. Limstone rock cave
Tank mounted Swingbar Hydrometer / Thermometer
Small DYI CO2 system

Plants: Vallisneria, Egeria, Java fern, unidentified stem-plant "Red ivy something or other" (Grows out of the water at back of tank if allowed)

Fish: Three 3/4" - 1" bumblebee gobies

Other: Three Red Ram's Horn Snails

After fish settled in I siphoned off some tank water and mixed 2 tablespoons of salt, returning water to tank. I now realize my first mistake. The tank mounted Hydrometer doesn't go low enough on the scale. I have to rethink this salt measuring thing.

I think the guys at Big Al's in Ottawa wanted to run a pool to see what dies first, my plants, the snails or the goby's. They seemed to think Goby's belong in freshwater and my plants wont take the gradual change. As for the snails they decided to throw some in a brackish tank themselves and see what happened. They never thought of it before
Ya I know; I'm a Landscaper not an English Teacher.
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 7233
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 03:51 pm:       

I have a collection of 3 different hydrometers that supposedly measure salinities from 1.000 to over 1.025, and none are accurate. I can add salt to my 20H brackish tank until it tastes salty and they don't show it. Each costs $12 or less, and I've been told that the ones that cost closer to $100 are pretty accurate.

I know it is not accurate, but I now count TBS of salt. This seems to be good enough for most brackish fish, which seem to be very forgiving. I average 2-3 TBS per gallon, and have been determined to try 4 TBS per gallon this summer, but haven't quite had the nerve yet. I picked those numbers because I read somewhere that most SW is in the ballpark of 8 TBS per gallon. All I know is that my mollies and violet goby are thriving and get "friskier" when I raise it, and less active when I lower it.

I have to laugh when others post they add 1 TBS salt per 5 gallons, or even 1 tsp per gallon or per 5 gallons and call that brackish...



"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 116
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 04:59 pm:       

do you have plants growing in the brackish tanks Cindy? I think I read in another post you had a few, but did you just put them from fresh water to a tank around .010? Im hoping to gently increase salinity over a month or more from .000 to .010. I'll probly try and stop at .005 for a bit to see how the plants are coping. I bought some java fern today becasue they said it would be the best. I asked for a little java moss they had in the show tank but they would not take any out

Im going to measure out osme water in my mixing bucket and see how much slat it takes to get to .010. I'll post that in a bit for the heck of it.
Ya I know; I'm a Landscaper not an English Teacher.
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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 117
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 05:55 pm:       

4g / 15L pail half full of water and one kennyman's standard household tablespoon. Water temperature of apx 77f or 25c. 1 bag of Red Sea Marine type salt

2tbs/g = nil
3tbs/g = nil
4tbs/g =.014 No wait thers an air bubble gotta check for these alot!
4tbs/g = slight movemnt of the swingbar. cant read it.
5tbs/g = .012
6tbs/g = <.016
7tbs/g = .018

looks to me at this point, give the present conditions and humidy level of the fresh bag of salt that 1tbs/g = .0025

.0025x4=.010 Where the scale on my meter starts at so everything is making sence so far.

I have 2tbs in 10g, probly 8g of actual water so my salinity should be

.0025/8 x2 = 0.000625

If i increase by that each water change of 4g / week it should give me a good scale to judge the adaptabillity of the freshwater stuff I have to brackish at 0.005 - 0.010 in about 8 weeks or so
Ya I know; I'm a Landscaper not an English Teacher.
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 7236
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 06:16 pm:       

I only have Java moss and najas in the Brackish tank. Both seem fine with fluctuating salinity.

I originally raised the salinity slowly, afraid of shocking the fish if I did it overnight. Now most changes are done pretty rapidly, and the fish don't bat an eyelash (so to speak.) When I raise it by much, they all swim - seemingly excitedly - through the stream of salty water as I pour the pre-dissolved marine salt into the tank after the water change.

I get no algae in the tank, so I assume it is salty enough to prevent FW algae, and not salty enough to grow SW algae. I am afraid to spend any real money on plants to experiment on. Besides, my boys have it decorated in a Sponge Bob theme, and a lot of live plants seem unnecessary.

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Laura
Regular Member
Username: roseh

Post Number: 819
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 09:04 am:       

Refractometers arent as expensive as they used to be if you look in the right places. I was able to get one on ebay for $30! And it's nice and accurate ;), something my hydrometers werent. And it also goes all the way down to 0 salinity, so if it is inaccurate, you can test it with freshwater and adjust where you want the 0 to show. So if you're having problems with hydrometers, take a look at ebay. Much cheaper than any I found at my LFSs.
That's not how you spell CHEESE!
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 7242
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 10:31 am:       

Thanks for the tip!

Holy moly...112 of them (and I haven't checked AquaBid yet either):

http://search.ebay.com/Refractometer_W0QQfkrZ1QQfromZR8

...do you have one of these brands or can you recommend one brand over another?

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 125
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 04:26 pm:       

Do snails continue to work in a bracish tank as primary cleaning crew?


Ya I know; I'm a Landscaper not an English Teacher.
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Jessica
Admin
Username: jessica

Post Number: 5136
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 10:19 am:       

nerites are an excellent algae cleaner crew, and are brackish to boot.

Patience. Perseverance. Passion.
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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 128
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 11:49 am:       

Gah . . Amonia spike! Lost a goby this morning



Thanks for the snail tip Jessica. I'll keep my eye out for that kind.
Ya I know; I'm a Landscaper not an English Teacher.
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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 154
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Sunday, July 10, 2005 - 07:27 pm:       

Well its been a few weeks and I learned a few things so far. Snails add to bio load more then I thought! Had an Amonia spike the first couple of days and lost two gobys

I am now mixing 25% seawater into my water changes. 1g at 0.012 to 3g FW. I estimate I'm just over the 0.0025 mark with total salinity and rising with each water change.

The original leaves/stems of my plants began to decline but I see alot of healthy new growth beginnig. I see this often in terestrial plants due to the mesophill layers not being all that adaptable to light. I have begun to place a plant tab in altenate corners of the substrate to compencate for the lack of CEC in sand and to supply some micronutrients that would be lacking my tank.

The ramshorn snails are quite happy and babies are hatching almost daily from the egg masses laid just below the waterline in the corners of the tank.

The Java fern is by far the happiest plant in the tank and there are several plantlets at the leaftips sending out fast growing roots. I weighted down the largest of these with to grasp onto a vacant rock.

Ya I know; I'm a Landscaper not an English Teacher.
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Ken Tweddle
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 181
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 04:25 pm:       

One month update.

Salinity has reached .005 Its been hard on some of the plants but the Ramshorn are doing fine. I added some Bacopa and Hornwort. The hornwort droped its leaves overnight and made a nasty mess.

Microsorium pteropus Java Fern: Doing fine producing new leaves.
Vesicularia dubyana Java Moss: Doing fine begining to grasp onto rocks.
Vallisneria spiralis Straight Vallis: doing fine and spreading accross the substrate.
Egeria densa Elodea: some topgrowth but not rooting into substrate.
Hemigraphis colorata Crimson Ivy: Dead as a doornail.
Anubias var nana Dwarf Anubias: no change from the day I brought it home.
Ceratophyllum Hornwort: leaves droped when planted overnight making huge mess. Still have small clump in sheltered corner but I dont think hornwort is a salt worthy as some people say.
Lemna minor Duckweed: too much surface motion but few pieces along sides of tank surviving.
Bacopa unknown type: too early to tell.

Bumblebees are happy as clams and getting fed frozen bloodworms, frozen bbs and live bbs when avalible.

Doing 30% weekly water changes at .005 salinity. One Tab type fert in alternating corners each week.}
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 269
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Monday, September 05, 2005 - 07:30 pm:       

Update on plants;

Microsorium pteropus Java Fern: Still Doing fine producing new leaves.
Vesicularia dubyana Java Moss: Begun to grow on well.
Vallisneria spiralis Straight Vallis: Has sucsesfully colonized a corner of the tank.
Egeria densa Elodea: Dead
Anubias var nana Dwarf Anubias: Dead
Ceratophyllum Hornwort: Dead
Bacopa suffered alot of shock but has begun rooting and putting on new growth.
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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Jessica
Admin
Username: jessica

Post Number: 5475
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, September 05, 2005 - 07:50 pm:       

ken - THANK YOU for your monitoring the plant results. Keep up the good work!

I noticed the same intolerance of the anubais in my own tanks.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, juice in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"
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Kelsey
Regular Member
Username: soggynacho

Post Number: 517
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 11:59 am:       

"Do snails continue to work in a bracish tank as primary cleaning crew?}"
I've kept ghost shrimp in mildly brackish conditions as well.
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 337
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 08:23 pm:       

You got me looking up inverts Kelsey

And looky what I found. http://wrongcrowd.com/staticpages/index.php?page=crab

I'm doing a diy canopy for the second instalment of my brackish tank so hopefully I can make it cabproof! I got a 20x18x24 37g tank over the weekend and have made the rootstructure that simulates a mangronve tree.

Stocking idea so far is 4 bb gobys, 9 Chanda lala (indian glassfish) A pair of halfbeaks and one of these Red Crabs.
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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Kenny
Regular Member
Username: kennyman

Post Number: 432
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 06:05 pm:       

Ok the tank has evolved in 5 months. I made the move from the 10g to a 37g a few weeks ago. I have also reduced the SG to 1.0025 to encourage plant growth.

37g 20"x18"x24"tall tank
Tahitian moonsand substrate
Internal Sponge Filter
1600 lumen compact florescent

Microsorium pteropus Java Fern: A great plant. There are four clusters all doing fine.
Vesicularia dubyana Java Moss: Declining a bit due to grazing by shrimp.
Vallisneria spiralis Straight Vallis: doing fine and spreading across the substrate.
Ceratophyllum Hornwort: One small sprig survived and is growing well as a floating plant.
Cryptocoryne Pontederiifolia. A new addition two weeks old. Melting as expected but all 6 plants showing new growth.

Fishes:

3 Amano Shrimp
3 Ghost shrimp
4 bumblebee gobies
6 Chanda ?something?
1 Red Clawed Crab
Ramshorn snails
Malayan Trumpet Snails
I'm only a Landscaper; not an English Teacher.
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