Converting my shrimp/snail tank to brackish


I currently have a 60 Litre snail (ramshorn/nerite) and cherry shrimp tank. From what I've read ramshorns/nerites and cherry shrimp can all live in a brackish tank, and it may even mean my nerites reproduce.

Is it as simple as reading up on how to make the tank brackish and then giving it a go?

Will I need to move my plants out before converting to brackish?


Some plants can take brackish some can't. Some fish can take certain levels of brackish some can't . you really have to know what you are doing

you also have to raise the salinity by less than .002 and no more than that per week until it's where you want it, if you do it any faster it will kill off you cycle.

it's not simple, and it's not fast, but if your read up and understand what you are doing and how to do it, Cherry Shrimp would do best at 1.003. Ramshorn likely 1.003 is also fine. For the Nerite, I'm pretty sure you need 1.006 to 1.010 you could try lower, but the baby nerites may not survive if too low.

Java Fern and Anubias most likely would be your plant options. but they have to be slowly acclimated to the salinity increase slowly over time also so they would remain planted, or planted before the salinity increases start, then SLOWLY increase the salinity, a tiny bit each week. You can't add them later directly, and you can't rush raising the salinity, but they can be acclimated slowly changing freshwater to brackish and transitioning them.

it would take you two to three weeks to go to 1.003 safely for your biofilter and plants. I don't recommend going to 1.006 -1.010 unless you take a month to 2 months or longer of once a week small salinity increases, and then I won't say or guarantee that your shrimp or ramshorns could take it that high, but the nerite can take it that low down at 1.003, the only question is do they need the 1.006 to 1.010 for viable eggs or will the larval stage work through also at 1.003? I don't know for sure, but I know for sure it doesn't work at 1.000

If you rush increasing salinity, it will kill your biofilter, it's would be starting a cycle from scratch.
The possibility exists. maybe if your cycle is well established the biofilm will protect the bacteria from too steep of a SG increase. I'm not sure.

Personally I think 15 gallons is too small to try to maintain a stable SG, but what do I know, people do what it takes and go outside the recommendations all the time and it works out out of sheer determination and willingness to do whatever it takes.


Thanks for the really informative and insightful reply. Sounds like there is a lot of risk involved to my inverts, just to satisfy my curiosity of something new.

One day I’d like to try and breed Nerites, but I’ll wait until I have a more suitable tank to do it.

If I were to get a new tank, specially for the purpose of breeding Nerites, what would you say is the right size?


in all honestly salt or brackish water tanks are easiest to keep stable the larger they are. I tried a 20g salt, to be fair it was extremely low tech though, like a freshwater tank, but with salt water. none of the high tech stuff.
I was fixing salinity near daily, and as a result, it just all fell apart the moment I couldn't be there, it was like I couldn't just take a day off from it. Id check it in the morning, and in the evening need to make an adjustment or risk it getting further and further out of wack if I didn't adjust.

I would say to avoid being tied to the tank, 40g or bigger would be the smallest a person could go and not have evaporation increasing salinity on you all the time, still have to keep an eye on it but, not so bad for 40-55-75g and bigger, more volume of water = less severe changes.

just about everywhere will say 20 gallons at a minimum. I'm gonna say, sure, if it's high tech, or sure if you want to check on your tank all the time and knock down salt and add freshwater to make adjustments and keep it in line.
Figure it like, the oceans are really stable. the volume of water is massive, Brackish water might be less stable as far as SG, but the fish aren't trapped in one spot and can move out of die off areas that changed too rapidly, brackish zone fish are more tolerant and don't easily go into shock, however the bacteria species aren't and it comes and goes and so do the fish.
In your tank they don't have the ability to flee an area of quick salinity rise or quick salinity drop like they would in an estuary or something.

It's pretty advanced and not exactly easy to do brackish water, I wouldn't say it's harder than Salt, but it is much harder than freshwater, and there isn't a whole lot of information on it, it's not as explored as fresh or saltwater keeping is.

I'd say if you want to do it, study on it some, really get the basics down, then get a cheap 5 or 10 gallon on sale to play around with, keep water, keep bacteria, keep plants, play with your salinity and learn how to adjust up and down or keep it stable without crashing things. Maybe get a new nerite you aren't attached to and then try your best to keep him alive and breed it. if it works out, and you are comfortable doing that for a few months, maybe half a year then maybe decide to go bigger.

Like I said, if you really want to do something, you'll do what it takes to make it work and put the time in. Nerites don't need a lot of space. on a 5 or 10 gallon a 15% water change in a bucket is like 1-2 gallons a pop, it's not complicated and it will at least get you your introduction into it, if you can manage it at that level, you can do it with a bigger tank.
I'd say, keep water, keep plants, keep bacteria, if that works out small scale, maybe send over a nerite and see how it goes next.
For sure you'll learn a lot about preparing water, water changing, raising and lowering salinity, and acclimating to brackish. Like no stores keep brackish as brackish it's all kept as freshwater. if you find it too much hassle it won't be extremely costly to abandon the idea.


Thanks for all the information! I really appreciate it.

For now, I'm going to leave it. Perhaps when I have more free time to really dedicate to doing it properly I'll set-up a brackish/marine tank.

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