Cycling A Brackish Tank?

  1. MJDuti Well Known Member Member

    I am finally getting the ball rolling with a new tank and building the stand the end of this month which will start the madness. Don't worry, there will be photos.

    The setup will be a 20G long low-end brackish setup (no more than 1.005 SG). This will be a new tank so I have to setup everything from scratch and cycle it obviously. My question is, should I let it cycle and then start raising the salinity, or just start out with the salinity that I want and keep it at that level? I know beneficial bacteria types change with salinity but from what I remember, low-end brackish is pretty much the same as FW, no? The reason I'm asking this is that I want to try some java ferns and vals which can handle mild salt. I know it'd be better for them to slowly transition, I really just don't want an extra step. However, if that is what will work best than I would gladly do it.
     
  2. renthus Well Known Member Member

    Eh... I would start the tank at 1.002 SG, with plants and everything, then go up to 1.004 a week later, and then level off with that. Your cycling should be unaffected, and .002 boosts are trivial, even for fish.

    By the way, what are you stocking with? Mudskipper? Gobies?
     

  3. matsungit Well Known Member Member

    I would start cycling at your target salinity. You'll need about 2 cups marine salt (not higher salinity reef salt) for 20 gallons. Stability or Microbacter7 are both good for saltwater or fresh so I recommend either of these. My jungle vals, corkscrew vals, baby tears, and dwarfy lily are doing well on 1.0025sg which is only half of your salinity. Java fern did not do well for me but I have not made a second attempt yet. I've had several attempts at onion plant with no success and kept melting. Red wendtii lasted awhile but grew smaller and smaller leaves and died after a few weeks. I tried Red Cabomba too but it also died.
     

  4. MJDuti Well Known Member Member

    it'll be for a Figure 8 puffer! We'll see if he can maybe coexist with a couple BB gobies.

    Hmm, baby tears in salt, very interesting, and awesome. Don't know if my lighting would support them though. I'm a big fan of windelov fern over regular java fern. How closely related are they? I would love to try both.
     

  5. matsungit Well Known Member Member

    I've had several F8s and BBGs together without issues. I'm not very familiar with Windelov sorry, but baby tears and dwarf lily are very hardy in my tank.
     
  6. Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Windelov is identical in care as the regular java fern. I can toss a couple baby Wind's into my brackish tank to see how it does and let you know. Java fern didn't do well in my tank either, but I have lots of baby java in one of my tanks to try again. Corkscrew val grows better in brackish than jungle val in my experience. Currently, I am running at 1.008 SG, which is double what you are doing. BTW, if your using a hydrometer for readings, they usually have +-.002 error, so you could be as high as 1.006 or as low as 1.002. Which really won't hurt anything, as I have found Vals, Anubias, and money wort do fine up to 1.010SG.
     
  7. Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    In following up on this..
    I threw in several small Windelov java ferns and they are all still doing fine. None of them melted during the change.
     
  8. Amzwiz87 Member Member

    Hey can you let me know how it goes with the BB gobies?! I have two lil figure 8s in a 50 gallon brackish tank and wanted to add some BBG but the LFS advised me against it and said I would only have temporary success and my puffers will just get more aggressive with age and eventually will end sadly. Do you plan on getting a juvenile figure 8 or a more nature one? Mine are still pretty small.


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  9. Amzwiz87 Member Member

    Typo above...*mature


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  10. matsungit Well Known Member Member

    There seems to be a few misunderstanding about the Figure Eight species "aggressiveness". They are not aggressive at all from juvenile to adult. They even like to chill with like and other species. They are just almost always hungry and they do not have territorial issues. They normally target the smallest species to eat but in my experience Bumble Bee gobies are sneaky enough not to attract the F8's interest. If you are interested in housing F8s and BBGs together then you should provide lots of hiding places. BBGs need to be able to blend in and camouflage. FYI, my F8s decimated entire populations of neon, cardinals, and rummynose tetras in the past. My water is a very low 1.0025sg brackish. My F8s don't bother my Sterbai Corys, and mollies but do eat their eggs and fry.
     
  11. Amzwiz87 Member Member

    Thanks!!!!


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  12. Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member

    I would get the salinity where you want it first, and then cycle. Dr Tim has two types of One & Only; if your salinity is less than 10 ppt (1.007 S.G.) then use the freshwater formula. If your salinity is greater than 10 ppt (1.007 S.G.) then use the saltwater formula.