Chris's 36 Gallon Brackish Tank

ChrissFishes01
  • #1
Hello! This is just a build thread for my (relatively) new tank. It's been going for around 3 months, I think - I started with the idea of having just one Figure 8 Puffer, but found the tank far too similar to my Green Spotted Puffer tank. So, I put in a small female guppy, just to see how he'd react - and he didn't give her a second look, even when she was eating on his clams during feeding time. So, I decided I'd do a lightly-brackish community tank, and plant it with some salt-tolerant plants.


36 FTS 3-2.jpg

I chose a coarse sand for the puffer, since they like to blow the substrate around while looking for food. I went with black to highlight the green on the puffer’s back, and the green/black combo with the plants is always nice too. I used two pieces of Mopani to “scape” the tank - I stuck them in there in a position I found pleasing and called it quits. I’ve never been much of a scaper, lol.

Once I found that the guppy did well with the puffer, I added a male and a second female. Then, a week or two later, I added a trio of platies. The tank was still freshwater, as I figured I’d just acclimate the whole tank to low-end brackish once it was stocked to make it easier on everyone. At this point, I noticed that the puffer had come down with a little bit of ich, and one of the platies had some spots as well. So, I went ahead and began increasing the salinity of the tank, and that took care of the ich after around 8 days. After the ich was taken care of, I introduced a trio of balloon mollies as well as around 8 ghost shrimp. I expected the shrimp to be hunted down in a few days, but the puffer doesn’t really hunt them. He ate one when I dumped them into the tank, but I think he figured out they’re hard to catch, and I keep him well-fed enough that he doesn’t have a chance to get hungry enough to try too hard. The shrimp still give him a wide berth, but spend plenty of time out in the open. They make great additions to the tank.

A few days ago I added 4 Black Racer Nerites, as I was getting some algae on the glass of the tank. Nerites are one of the few snails that I know of that’ll do well in brackish and have a small enough foot that they can protect it while they’re stuck to something. One of the snails didn’t make the acclimation, unfortunately, but the other three have done well. The puffer pays a lot of attention to them, but I haven’t seen him pester them too much. Today, I added in a trio of Limia Nigrofasciata, the Humpback Limia. They’re roughly as brackish-tolerant as platies, and I was surprised to find them at my LFS. They’re a common Limia, but definitely still pretty rare in your average LFS, I’d say. I ordered 8 Bumblebee Gobies, and they’ll be here on Thursday. I’ll be done with stocking after that - I probably went a bit heavy, but I think it’ll work out fine with how heavily I’ve got the tank planted, and how I tend to maintenance my tanks.

I’ve got a pretty wide variety of plants, including:
Crypt Wendtii
Crypt Wendtii Red
Crypt Tropica
Red Amazon Sword
Jungle Vallisneria
Marimo Moss
Anacharis
Anubias Nana
Anubias Golden
El Nino Fern
Java Fern Windelov
Golden Pothos (growing out of the top of the tank)

Everything except for the Pothos is doing well so far, although I may get rid of the Anacharis. I like the plant, but it’s just so hard to keep planted! It’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. I’m always looking for more brackish-tolerant plants, too, so if anyone has suggestions, hit me up! I especially love Crypts, but am finding them to be incredibly slow growing under brackish conditions. All the plants are growing slower than they do in freshwater, but the Crypts are especially slow - I did start with small plants, but still.

The tank is filtered by a sponge filter and an Aquaclear 50, but I plan to remove the HOB once the tank is more established with a few more plants. Don’t need the HOB sucking up babies! I just have a generic Top Fin heater in the tank right now - I’d like to get a nice Fluval or Aqueon heater, once I can find the models I want in stock. For lighting, I’m using a 30” Finnex Stingray, and plan to stick with that light. I love it! It’s perfect for that low-medium light range in this tank.


Maintenance in this tank consists of weekly 50% water changes, and the occasional glass scraping. Frequent re-plantings of the Anacharis have been a requirement, too, and I need to whip out the super glue and attach some Anubias to the driftwood more permanently - I’ve just been lazy. I have some sponge and cuttlebone in the HOB, but haven’t been running any chemical/physical media. I may add some carbon to help with the tannins, but I’m undecided. I don’t especially hate the tannined look, but I’m not necessarily a fan, either.

So far, this tank is just fun for me. I love seeing how organisms react in situations we may not necessarily expect them to be in - plants and the common livebearers in salty water, for example. I bred some guppies in full saltwater, and had a blast with that. I just kinda play with this tank, and of course love the Figure 8 Puffer, the reason the tank even exists. This one is actually fairly brave, even compared to my larger GSP who tends to flip out if I approach the tank too quickly. I do a lot of saltwater tanks, and have several breeding projects going that tend to be a bit higher pressure, in a way. Plus, I work at a pet store, so I’m around tanks 24/7. Having a tank I can just enjoy is a nice change of pace!

I'll be sure to post lots of pics and vids!
 
BigManAquatics
  • #2
Looks like the makings of a fun tank, for sure!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Just picked up 11 bumblebee gobies to round out the stocking on this tank. 10 of them look good (thin, but not emaciated), and the 11th looks pretty rough. That said, they're eating flake food (unenthusiastically) after being in the tank for less than 30 minutes, so it's a good sign! The puffer gave them a nice long look, but wasn't aggressive. The male Limia is actually chasing them around, I assume due to their pattern similarities. We'll see!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Here's a video of the BBG's eating some frozen foods. Glad to see they're not too picky!

 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
My fish are getting chunky! This caramel colored molly is getting an insane belly. Hard to believe he's a male!

Even the little BBGs are packing on a bit of weight.

Most of the plants aren't looking so hot, though. This Anubias Golden, for example, has been melting back in both tanks I put it into.

The Anacharis is growing, but old growth is quickly being overtaken by hair algae. I'm now dosing Easy Green/Easy Iron/Easy Carbon every other day, but haven't noticed any effects yet. My puffer doesn't bother ghost shrimp - do you think a few amano shrimp would be a good idea?

But, as always duckweed finds a way. Gotta respect it for that!

I'm finding that one of my favorite things about this tank is the shimmer some of the livebearers get in the correct lighting. The Limia probably have the most, but the mollies and guppies have a ton, too.
 
Gr2
  • #7
My fish are getting chunky! This caramel colored molly is getting an insane belly. Hard to believe he's a male!

Even the little BBGs are packing on a bit of weight.

Most of the plants aren't looking so hot, though. This Anubias Golden, for example, has been melting back in both tanks I put it into.

The Anacharis is growing, but old growth is quickly being overtaken by hair algae. I'm now dosing Easy Green/Easy Iron/Easy Carbon every other day, but haven't noticed any effects yet. My puffer doesn't bother ghost shrimp - do you think a few amano shrimp would be a good idea?

But, as always duckweed finds a way. Gotta respect it for that!

I'm finding that one of my favorite things about this tank is the shimmer some of the livebearers get in the correct lighting. The Limia probably have the most, but the mollies and guppies have a ton, too.
Hi Harrison! Your tank is super cool and it’s great you provided so much information. I recently started my Brackish water tank as well and I’m running into some of the same few problems as you are. It has been exactly 3 weeks since I started my tank the plants I have in are Java fern and Anubias. My salinity is at 1.008sg. The Anubias seem to be dying off slowly but my ferns seem to be doing good. I wanted to ask you what salinity your brackish tank is at and what plants seem to be doing ok? And also, how long did it take for your tank to fully establish and cycle? Right now I have only 2 temporary mollies in there who are doing great.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Hi Harrison! Your tank is super cool and it’s great you provided so much information. I recently started my Brackish water tank as well and I’m running into some of the same few problems as you are. It has been exactly 3 weeks since I started my tank the plants I have in are Java fern and Anubias. My salinity is at 1.008sg. The Anubias seem to be dying off slowly but my ferns seem to be doing good. I wanted to ask you what salinity your brackish tank is at and what plants seem to be doing ok? And also, how long did it take for your tank to fully establish and cycle? Right now I have only 2 temporary mollies in there who are doing great.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!

From what I understand, 1.008 is a bit too high for most plants, maybe even ferns long-term. My tank swings between 1.002 and 1.005, depending on water changes and evaporation - most brackish species are extremely tolerant of salinity swings, so I don't worry too much about it other than keeping it low enough for the plants and platies/limia (who are not as salt-tolerant as the other fish) to do well.

The tank cycled in about 5 weeks, but I cycled it as a freshwater tank and increased the salinity once I had my fish. Depending on the fish you're keeping, this can be a good way to introduce them into brackish water, as it's likely they've been kept in freshwater at the store. In the case of mollies and guppies (and most estuarine fish), acclimating to the higher salinity is no big deal. For some more sensitive species, it's probably best to do it rather slowly. I just to add most of my fish before adding salt, and then slowly increasing the salinity over a few weeks. The Limia and BBGs were added after that, and they were purchased in FW - I just dipped some tank water into their bag while they were floating, and released them after 30 minutes.

What do you plan to keep in your tank?
 
Gr2
  • #9
I'm glad you enjoyed it!

From what I understand, 1.008 is a bit too high for most plants, maybe even ferns long-term. My tank swings between 1.002 and 1.005, depending on water changes and evaporation - most brackish species are extremely tolerant of salinity swings, so I don't worry too much about it other than keeping it low enough for the plants and platies/limia (who are not as salt-tolerant as the other fish) to do well.

The tank cycled in about 5 weeks, but I cycled it as a freshwater tank and increased the salinity once I had my fish. Depending on the fish you're keeping, this can be a good way to introduce them into brackish water, as it's likely they've been kept in freshwater at the store. In the case of mollies and guppies (and most estuarine fish), acclimating to the higher salinity is no big deal. For some more sensitive species, it's probably best to do it rather slowly. I just to add most of my fish before adding salt, and then slowly increasing the salinity over a few weeks. The Limia and BBGs were added after that, and they were purchased in FW - I just dipped some tank water into their bag while they were floating, and released them after 30 minutes.

What do you plan to keep in your tank?
Thanks for all the info! I started this tank for a Green Spotted Pufferfish. So as soon as the water parameters are steady and my tank is fully established I’m going to return my mollies and get my puffer. In the future when he is an adult he needs to be acclimated to full marine but not sure what plants will be able to thrive in higher salinities. Maybe I’ll transform my tank to a FOWLR tank or if my Java ferns end up melting I could add plants in that can do good in higher salinities. What do you think?
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks for all the info! I started this tank for a Green Spotted Pufferfish. So as soon as the water parameters are steady and my tank is fully established I’m going to return my mollies and get my puffer. In the future when he is an adult he needs to be acclimated to full marine but not sure what plants will be able to thrive in higher salinities. Maybe I’ll transform my tank to a FOWLR tank or if my Java ferns end up melting I could add plants in that can do good in higher salinities. What do you think?
Other than Mangroves and some species of seagrass, no true plants will live in full saltwater. I keep my GSP around 1.018 in a 40 breeder, just a plain FOWLR. I may introduce some macroalgae to the tank later, but I think it may end up being more trouble than it's worth. Since the vast majority of cleaners can't live with the GSP's, it's simply easier to use a very weak light to avoid excess algae growth. Plus, some of them will tear macros to shreds, something to keep in mind.
 
Gr2
  • #11
Other than Mangroves and some species of seagrass, no true plants will live in full saltwater. I keep my GSP around 1.018 in a 40 breeder, just a plain FOWLR. I may introduce some macroalgae to the tank later, but I think it may end up being more trouble than it's worth. Since the vast majority of cleaners can't live with the GSP's, it's simply easier to use a very weak light to avoid excess algae growth. Plus, some of them will tear macros to shreds, something to keep in mind.
Yes I see, I will definitely think about that when it’s time to acclimate him to full saltwater. I know there’s specific measurements of the GSP to know when to move to higher salinities but when did you move him from brackish to full marine? I get many different answers through google. I read when they reach above 4” to keep them at 1.018+.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Yes I see, I will definitely think about that when it’s time to acclimate him to full saltwater. I know there’s specific measurements of the GSP to know when to move to higher salinities but when did you move him from brackish to full marine? I get many different answers through google. I read when they reach above 4” to keep them at 1.018+.
I wouldn't worry about it too much.

IMO and IME as long as you don't keep a baby (under 2") in high-end brackish or full saltwater (1.015+) and you don't keep an adult in full freshwater, you'll be fine. I bought my first GSP at around 1" and put him straight into 1.008 water. He did fine, and I kept it there for about a year. When he was roughly 3", I moved him into water that was roughly 1.020. My current GSP was purchased at around 2 1/2", and was acclimated straight to 1.015 with no ill effects.

I usually treat "specifics" as more of a guideline, when it comes to this kind of thing. Very, very few studies are done on aquarium fish, especially on something as specific as what SG to keep GSPs at during their life cycle. So those charts you see are probably made by an experienced aquarist who has developed a method and has shared it with people - which is great. But that doesn't necessarily mean that's the only way to do it, just that that's one way that works.

TL;DR - keep GSPs under 3" in water below 1.015, and keep GSPs over 3" in water above 1.015, and you'll be fine. If you need to acclimate to a higher salinity in a short amount of time, just drip acclimate it over night with a heater and air pump in a bucket. They're hardier than you might think!
 
Gr2
  • #13
I wouldn't worry about it too much.

IMO and IME as long as you don't keep a baby (under 2") in high-end brackish or full saltwater (1.015+) and you don't keep an adult in full freshwater, you'll be fine. I bought my first GSP at around 1" and put him straight into 1.008 water. He did fine, and I kept it there for about a year. When he was roughly 3", I moved him into water that was roughly 1.020. My current GSP was purchased at around 2 1/2", and was acclimated straight to 1.015 with no ill effects.

I usually treat "specifics" as more of a guideline, when it comes to this kind of thing. Very, very few studies are done on aquarium fish, especially on something as specific as what SG to keep GSPs at during their life cycle. So those charts you see are probably made by an experienced aquarist who has developed a method and has shared it with people - which is great. But that doesn't necessarily mean that's the only way to do it, just that that's one way that works.

TL;DR - keep GSPs under 3" in water below 1.015, and keep GSPs over 3" in water above 1.015, and you'll be fine. If you need to acclimate to a higher salinity in a short amount of time, just drip acclimate it over night with a heater and air pump in a bucket. They're hardier than you might think!
That was really well said and easy to understand. Thanks so much again for all the helpful information and advice! Do you have an Instagram for your fish tanks/aquariums? Just subscribed to your YouTube.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
That was really well said and easy to understand. Thanks so much again for all the helpful information and advice! Do you have an Instagram for your fish tanks/aquariums? Just subscribed to your YouTube.
Thanks! I don't, but I'll have to make one at some point.

I made one. Login • Instagram
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Unfortunately, I lost the smaller of the two female Limia last night. The other two are in good health, and other than the BBG that I lost this is the tank's first death.

The parameters all check out - no ammonia, no nitrites, and nitrates well under 40. SG is 1.003. They are all ammonia burned, and this was the least outgoing of the three. Perhaps it was just in poor shape when I got it? I see no physical injury.

In other news, all of the female ghost shrimp in the tank are now berried. I bred ghosties in a tank not much different than this (other than the fish and power filter), so I think it's safe to say the fish will have some live food here soon!

I also saw a total of 9 BBGs out this morning, the most I've seen out at one time so far. Some of them are just 1/2" long, so it's hard to say how many I have. At least 9!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I'm pulling the plug on the Pothos - I had read that it could do well with some salt in the water, but that's not been my experience. Maybe it was because I got Golden Pothos and not the regular species. It's doing well in my 5 gallon pea puffer tank.

Some of the other plants are struggling too. The Anacharis is growing (very slowly), but the old growth is getting covered in hair algae pretty quickly. The Crypts are doing fairly well - growing new leaves, with only a small amount of hair algae overtaking old ones. The Java Fern isn't growing, but I keep on seeing baby ferns floating around the tank, so I assume that's probably a stress response? The El Nino fern (Bolbitis) is developing brown spots and doesn't seem to be growing. Same for ALL of the Anubias, except for one random Anubias Nana that's clinging to life. The Flame Sword actually seems to be growing, but it's hard to tell how much with it being at the back of the tank. The Jungle Val is beginning to die back, which is especially strange since it's supposed to be extremely salt tolerant.

I dose Easy Green, Easy Iron, and Easy Carbon every 2 days at 3 pumps. I add root tabs monthly under the rooted plants. Nitrates stay high in this tank (always above 20 - usually around 40 by water change day) and there's obviously plenty of minerals, with all the salt in the water. I use a 30" Stingray, which is admittedly pretty low light (especially when the water is tannined), but I'd still expect more growth. I guess some of these plants aren't as salt tolerant as people advertised, or perhaps it depends on the specimen? I'm especially surprised that the Anubias and Java Fern aren't doing better. I've always heard that they're stupid tolerant of salt.

TL;DR - Brackish Planted Tanks are hard.

But, on the bright side, the fish are thriving! I'll have to get my DSLR out here soon and take some new pics. With the exception of the single BBG and the Limia I lost (which turned out to be the male), everyone looks fat and happy. The Balloon Mollies keep on catching my attention, especially - I think this is the ideal environment for a Velifera Molly, personally. They look great!

I keep on expecting to see a ton of fry, but I think I have too many predatory fish in the tank for any to survive without me intervening. The HOB doesn't help, either.
 
wishuponafish
  • #17
I'm pulling the plug on the Pothos - I had read that it could do well with some salt in the water, but that's not been my experience. Maybe it was because I got Golden Pothos and not the regular species. It's doing well in my 5 gallon pea puffer tank.

Some of the other plants are struggling too. The Anacharis is growing (very slowly), but the old growth is getting covered in hair algae pretty quickly. The Crypts are doing fairly well - growing new leaves, with only a small amount of hair algae overtaking old ones. The Java Fern isn't growing, but I keep on seeing baby ferns floating around the tank, so I assume that's probably a stress response? The El Nino fern (Bolbitis) is developing brown spots and doesn't seem to be growing. Same for ALL of the Anubias, except for one random Anubias Nana that's clinging to life. The Flame Sword actually seems to be growing, but it's hard to tell how much with it being at the back of the tank. The Jungle Val is beginning to die back, which is especially strange since it's supposed to be extremely salt tolerant.

I dose Easy Green, Easy Iron, and Easy Carbon every 2 days at 3 pumps. I add root tabs monthly under the rooted plants. Nitrates stay high in this tank (always above 20 - usually around 40 by water change day) and there's obviously plenty of minerals, with all the salt in the water. I use a 30" Stingray, which is admittedly pretty low light (especially when the water is tannined), but I'd still expect more growth. I guess some of these plants aren't as salt tolerant as people advertised, or perhaps it depends on the specimen? I'm especially surprised that the Anubias and Java Fern aren't doing better. I've always heard that they're stupid tolerant of salt.

TL;DR - Brackish Planted Tanks are hard.

But, on the bright side, the fish are thriving! I'll have to get my DSLR out here soon and take some new pics. With the exception of the single BBG and the Limia I lost (which turned out to be the male), everyone looks fat and happy. The Balloon Mollies keep on catching my attention, especially - I think this is the ideal environment for a Velifera Molly, personally. They look great!

I keep on expecting to see a ton of fry, but I think I have too many predatory fish in the tank for any to survive without me intervening. The HOB doesn't help, either.
In my experience the anubias suffered too. After a few weeks they looked perfectly healthy but then I touched it and it fell into a million pieces because the rhizome was actually mush.
Anacharis slowly died and eventually created a huge mess as the leaves fell off...
My vallisneria originally melted but then came back very strong (looks a little different in brackish mode) and now spreads like crazy.

I'm glad your fish are doing well!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Alright, so a lot of the plants I've added haven't made it. Here's what I've learned:

Anacharis (did okay for a while, even grew, but old growth began to rot faster than new growth appeared)
Anubias (some are deteriorating, while other species are simply not growing - I wouldn't call either a success)
Crypts (all crypts in the tank have been growing extremely slowly, but seem okay otherwise)
Java Fern (they don't look healthy, but are growing and aren't dying)
El Nino Fern (hasn't grown, and seems to be dying back)
Subwassertang (too soon to tell)
Red Root Floater (too soon to tell)
Duckweed (is growing, albeit very slowly - only 2-3 new pieces after a few weeks)
Jungle Val (still no new growth, but no deterioration)
Bacopa (not growing, not dying)

I'm considering adding in some Red Mangroves down to the road, or maybe trying some Chaetomorpha in an in-tank algae scrubber. I just need a little nutrient export.

Another interesting note - pond, ramshorn, and trumpet snails all survive and reproduce at this salinity, although at a greatly reduced pace. I find them on the cuttlebone in my HOB all the time. I think I'd see a lot more if I didn't have the F8.

All fish are doing well. I don't think I've lost any BBGs (although it's hard to tell), and all the livebearers are still doing well (no fry, though, due to predation). All the fish in the tank (except the F8) are eating pellets, flakes, and algae wafers now, including the gobies. They still get other foods, of course, but being able to be fed dry food is nice. The F8 actually eats the algae wafers, too, interestingly enough.

Just a little update. Nothing super exciting has happened, but thought I'd check in.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Long time, no update!

I'm gonna go ahead and say that this tank is no longer planted, in any sense of the term, lol. All of the plants are basically finished, so I'll be completely removing them today.

Fish-wise, we're doing great. The puffer has gotten quite round, and still hasn't shown any aggression towards the other fish. The BBG's seem to have dropped in numbers, but I think I still have at least 6-8. I'm not sure if they're just hiding around the pieces of wood, or if maybe some of them didn't make it. All the livebearers have done well, and I believe I even have some balloon molly and MAYBE a couple Limia fry running around - the platies don't seem to want to breed in brackish, and the guppy fry are small enough that they get gobbled up pretty quickly by the gobies.

I'll be doing a re-scape soon, since I know I can't have plants in here. I'm thinking about replacing the wood with some red lava rock. I think it'll look nice with the black sand.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Excuse the water spots and reflections - I just wanted to shoot a quick video to kinda show you guys what's going on in the tank.

I added in a Gambusia Sp. I found in a fish shipment as well as some young guppies from another tank. You can also see some fairly round bumblebee gobies and some molly fry, as well as two male mollies displaying over a VERY pregnant female. They flare their sails all day at each other - I love Velifera mollies! There's also a male platy that's pushing 3"+ and is super robust. I swear it's got something to do with the minerals in the salt.

Oh, and of course the F8 is hanging out, looking for food, as usual.

 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Tank is trucking along. Went to do a water change last weekend and the water was cold - the heater had gotten unplugged at some point. Water temp was around 70. Oops. None of the fish seemed stressed, so I just did my water change with 70 degree water and let the heater heat it back up overnight. No ill effects so far!

I'm having a really tough time finding decent-sized chunks of lava rock. You can get the little pieces from hardware stores that people use for grills and landscaping but I want some chunks. Petco sells 6" pieces, but even then, it's not really what I'm looking for. I wouldn't imagine a quarry would have something like that, right? Or maybe a mom-and-pop landscaping store, if I can find one. I could also just use "dead" live rock from an old saltwater tank. It won't look as nice but it'd color up over time.

I'll be moving this tank to a different spot in my apartment in the next little while, and I'm considering changing the stocking a little bit. Maybe getting rid of the guppies and the platies (they're doing fine, just not adding much to the tank IMO), moving the balloon mollies to a separate tank (I'd rehome them but they've grown on me - the biggest female let's me pet her), moving the Humpack Limia out to a breeding tank, and trying to focus on the F8 and the Bumblebee Gobies.
 
Yeoy
  • #22
Cool setup. BBGs have always been one of my favourite fish to keep and watch - didn't know you could get un-fussy eating BBGs though :p

Cool set up. Limia is a cool fish too, shame they didn't all survive. And brackish + plants has always been super tough for me too.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Cool setup. BBGs have always been one of my favourite fish to keep and watch - didn't know you could get un-fussy eating BBGs though :p

Cool set up. Limia is a cool fish too, shame they didn't all survive. And brackish + plants has always been super tough for me too.
BBG's are pretty awesome!

These guys eat almost anything - but they get live baby brine and bloodworms almost every day, too, so they'd be fat regardless!

I hate that I lost some of the Limia. I'm hoping to move them to their own 10 gallon and breed some.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
I had an idea hatch today at work...

I've got a 65 gallon (30"x18"X25") with a lot of bubbles in one of the seals. I had planned on selling it as a terrarium, but what if it has some value as a paludarium? I've never really done one of those. That'd be kinda cool.

And then it hit me.

What about a brackish paludarium? The BBGs and F8 down in the water, a DIY sandbank, some terrestrial plants/mangroves, and I'm considering a group of Indian Muskippers. A group of four would be awesome, and from what I can find, they should go well with what I have.

Thoughts?
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Lost the larger of the two male platies today. He was fine yesterday, but was kinda shimmying around this morning, and I found him dead a few minutes ago. Everything else is doing well, and parameters check out. I had been decreasing salinity a bit, just as a seasonal change, but I can't imagine that would have had a negative effect on him.
 
wishuponafish
  • #26
I had an idea hatch today at work...

I've got a 65 gallon (30"x18"X25") with a lot of bubbles in one of the seals. I had planned on selling it as a terrarium, but what if it has some value as a paludarium? I've never really done one of those. That'd be kinda cool.

And then it hit me.

What about a brackish paludarium? The BBGs and F8 down in the water, a DIY sandbank, some terrestrial plants/mangroves, and I'm considering a group of Indian Muskippers. A group of four would be awesome, and from what I can find, they should go well with what I have.

Thoughts?
That's exactly what I'm planning to do someday!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
That's exactly what I'm planning to do someday!
I think it'd be an awesome setup! Sourcing the mudskippers seems like it's gonna be the hardest part, unfortunately, but it may be a seasonal availability thing.

For now, I'm just researching a bit on how to make DIY beaches and stuff. Thinking about maybe doing a slow-moving creek build - lots of smooth rocks, side-to-side flow, and plenty of mangroves/semi-aquatic/terrestrial vegetation.
 
wishuponafish
  • #28
I think it'd be an awesome setup! Sourcing the mudskippers seems like it's gonna be the hardest part, unfortunately, but it may be a seasonal availability thing.

For now, I'm just researching a bit on how to make DIY beaches and stuff. Thinking about maybe doing a slow-moving creek build - lots of smooth rocks, side-to-side flow, and plenty of mangroves/semi-aquatic/terrestrial vegetation.
I had a stagnant beach setup for my crab, but I broke it down when I moved.
Choice of terrestrial plants (other than mangrove) might be a little difficult because of the salt if you can't find any in the wild, I was thinking emersed water sprite or micro sword, or maybe even some kind of palm.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
I had a stagnant beach setup for my crab, but I broke it down when I moved.
Choice of terrestrial plants (other than mangrove) might be a little difficult because of the salt if you can't find any in the wild, I was thinking emersed water sprite or micro sword, or maybe even some kind of palm.
I was actually thinking palm, too, but a lot of them are toxic to some degree - I think a Sago Palm or Coontie Palm would be awesome, but I wouldn't want to risk poisoning my fish. Maybe there's a fern or something that looks similar?

In general, I was thinking less of planting the plants in the substrate (other than the aquatic ones and the mangroves), and doing more epiphytes and air plants. They'd have to be at least a little salt tolerant, but I think that'd be manageable.
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Alright, so after looking the 65 over, I've found a flaw in slaw.

The seam that has all the bubbles in it has deteriorated even further - it seems like silicone is dry rotting, almost. Odd, since this tank was manufactured in 2014, according to the sticker. Not even 10 years old and falling apart.

Way to go, Aqueon.

So, looks like I'll have to think on what else to do for now. I am going to move the livebearers out of this tank into their own respective colony tanks at some point, and I think maybe I'll go to just the puffer and gobies. I've noticed the puffer's teeth getting a bit long, so I'm hoping adding some base rock will help him trim it down on his own. And, I'm also considering adding some dried barnacles to the tank to maybe stimulate the BBGs to spawn... they're about that age, and I'm fairly sure I've got some females with eggs. They're huge. I'd have to rear them in a separate tank, but it looks easy enough.
 
TheAnglerAquarist
  • #31
Hello! This is just a build thread for my (relatively) new tank. It's been going for around 3 months, I think - I started with the idea of having just one Figure 8 Puffer, but found the tank far too similar to my Green Spotted Puffer tank. So, I put in a small female guppy, just to see how he'd react - and he didn't give her a second look, even when she was eating on his clams during feeding time. So, I decided I'd do a lightly-brackish community tank, and plant it with some salt-tolerant plants.

View attachment 771326

I chose a coarse sand for the puffer, since they like to blow the substrate around while looking for food. I went with black to highlight the green on the puffer’s back, and the green/black combo with the plants is always nice too. I used two pieces of Mopani to “scape” the tank - I stuck them in there in a position I found pleasing and called it quits. I’ve never been much of a scaper, lol.

Once I found that the guppy did well with the puffer, I added a male and a second female. Then, a week or two later, I added a trio of platies. The tank was still freshwater, as I figured I’d just acclimate the whole tank to low-end brackish once it was stocked to make it easier on everyone. At this point, I noticed that the puffer had come down with a little bit of ich, and one of the platies had some spots as well. So, I went ahead and began increasing the salinity of the tank, and that took care of the ich after around 8 days. After the ich was taken care of, I introduced a trio of balloon mollies as well as around 8 ghost shrimp. I expected the shrimp to be hunted down in a few days, but the puffer doesn’t really hunt them. He ate one when I dumped them into the tank, but I think he figured out they’re hard to catch, and I keep him well-fed enough that he doesn’t have a chance to get hungry enough to try too hard. The shrimp still give him a wide berth, but spend plenty of time out in the open. They make great additions to the tank.

A few days ago I added 4 Black Racer Nerites, as I was getting some algae on the glass of the tank. Nerites are one of the few snails that I know of that’ll do well in brackish and have a small enough foot that they can protect it while they’re stuck to something. One of the snails didn’t make the acclimation, unfortunately, but the other three have done well. The puffer pays a lot of attention to them, but I haven’t seen him pester them too much. Today, I added in a trio of Limia Nigrofasciata, the Humpback Limia. They’re roughly as brackish-tolerant as platies, and I was surprised to find them at my LFS. They’re a common Limia, but definitely still pretty rare in your average LFS, I’d say. I ordered 8 Bumblebee Gobies, and they’ll be here on Thursday. I’ll be done with stocking after that - I probably went a bit heavy, but I think it’ll work out fine with how heavily I’ve got the tank planted, and how I tend to maintenance my tanks.

I’ve got a pretty wide variety of plants, including:
Crypt Wendtii
Crypt Wendtii Red
Crypt Tropica
Red Amazon Sword
Jungle Vallisneria
Marimo Moss
Anacharis
Anubias Nana
Anubias Golden
El Nino Fern
Java Fern Windelov
Golden Pothos (growing out of the top of the tank)

Everything except for the Pothos is doing well so far, although I may get rid of the Anacharis. I like the plant, but it’s just so hard to keep planted! It’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. I’m always looking for more brackish-tolerant plants, too, so if anyone has suggestions, hit me up! I especially love Crypts, but am finding them to be incredibly slow growing under brackish conditions. All the plants are growing slower than they do in freshwater, but the Crypts are especially slow - I did start with small plants, but still.

The tank is filtered by an Aquarium Co-Op sponge filter and an Aquaclear 50, but I plan to remove the HOB once the tank is more established with a few more plants. Don’t need the HOB sucking up babies! I just have a generic Top Fin heater in the tank right now - I’d like to get a nice Fluval or Aqueon heater, once I can find the models I want in stock. For lighting, I’m using a 30” Finnex Stingray, and plan to stick with that light. I love it! It’s perfect for that low-medium light range in this tank.


Maintenance in this tank consists of weekly 50% water changes, and the occasional glass scraping. Frequent re-plantings of the Anacharis have been a requirement, too, and I need to whip out the super glue and attach some Anubias to the driftwood more permanently - I’ve just been lazy. I have some sponge and cuttlebone in the HOB, but haven’t been running any chemical/physical media. I may add some carbon to help with the tannins, but I’m undecided. I don’t especially hate the tannined look, but I’m not necessarily a fan, either.

So far, this tank is just fun for me. I love seeing how organisms react in situations we may not necessarily expect them to be in - plants and the common livebearers in salty water, for example. I bred some guppies in full saltwater, and had a blast with that. I just kinda play with this tank, and of course love the Figure 8 Puffer, the reason the tank even exists. This one is actually fairly brave, even compared to my larger GSP who tends to flip out if I approach the tank too quickly. I do a lot of saltwater tanks, and have several breeding projects going that tend to be a bit higher pressure, in a way. Plus, I work at a pet store, so I’m around tanks 24/7. Having a tank I can just enjoy is a nice change of pace!

I'll be sure to post lots of pics and vids!
I just love puffers
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
I just love puffers
Me and you both! I just shot a video on my pea puffer tank, and I always forget how much I enjoy that little guy. Even the tiny ones are awesome!

You should totally get one.
 
TheAnglerAquarist
  • #33
Me and you both! I just shot a video on my pea puffer tank, and I always forget how much I enjoy that little guy. Even the tiny ones are awesome!

You should totally get one.
I wish. I already have a 29 gallon and my parents wont let me get another tank, at least for a few months. Otherwise I would totally get a 10 gallon just for 1 or 2 murder beans! By the way I need to see that video!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
I wish. I already have a 29 gallon and my parents wont let me get another tank, at least for a few months. Otherwise I would totally get a 10 gallon just for 1 or 2 murder beans! By the way I need to see that video!
Ah, I remember that! My parents got me my first 10 gallon on their own terms - after that, it took a while for me to wear them down on each tank after. I did it, though!

The video will be up on my YouTube in an hour or two, if you want to check there. I try not to upload videos where it's more than me showing a feeding or something on here - don't want to abuse Fishlore for views!
 
TheAnglerAquarist
  • #35
Ah, I remember that! My parents got me my first 10 gallon on their own terms - after that, it took a while for me to wear them down on each tank after. I did it, though!

The video will be up on my YouTube in an hour or two, if you want to check there. I try not to upload videos where it's more than me showing a feeding or something on here - don't want to abuse Fishlore for views!
What is the channel?
 
TheAnglerAquarist
  • #37
Should be in my signature, but I guess it doesn't show up on every post.
Just subscribed!
 
ChrissFishes01
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
Just subscribed!
Thanks! I'll shoot you a PM whenever the DP video goes live.
 
TheAnglerAquarist
  • #39
Thanks! I'll shoot you a PM whenever the DP video goes live.
Sounds good! Gotta go do a water change
 
wishuponafish
  • #40
I love puffers too, within a few months I went from my gateway puffer (pea puffer) to figure 8s, then a GSP, and before I know it there's a fahaka in a 150 gallon tank in my living room!
 

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