Going Brackish. The impact salt has on live plants, filters and other things

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by FiguringOutFigure8s, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. FiguringOutFigure8sNew MemberMember

    So my tank is cycled to fresh water right now with two tetras keeping it going.

    I've heard about making some sort of drip apparatus to incorporate the salt? Can I just use a bucket of aquarium water with dissolved salt and add that and if so in what kind of time frame?

    Is marine salt going to eat away at my ornaments and filter? And with all the contradiction on fish blogs if I just stick to java ferns will I be able to keep them alive in my tank? I've heard 1.005 is the lowest and best for plants that you can go while still maintaining brackish qualities.

    My main goal is to have one figure 8 and trust me I have read about 15 million different articles (I like to be informed before diving into looking after a living creature) and still there is contradiction on them. As in how often they need snails to wear down their beaks. Some people say once a day, to once a week, to every couple months. I've had pet store owners tell me they will do what ever it takes to survive so they will even chew on rocks to keep their teeth down.

    Seeing as an additional snail tank seems like a whole other exploration into looking after snails I think I'll do the route of buying them or asking at pet stores for free ones, but will a f8 eat dead ones? I just want to give it the best life possible.

    Oh yeah and I know they live in river brackish water so would more bubblers for movement be ideal? Any ideas anyone?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2012
  2. fishaddictionValued MemberMember

    Remove the tetras before getting figure 8 it will bight them at night my pea puffed slaughtered a 4 in rainbow for the aquarium salt. I bought some marine salt at perform and it said the exact imount for salt per gallon also if you use and undergravel filter and due big water chanvesbadd salt every time.

  3. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Someone here keeps F8s...lemme see if I can track said person down.
  4. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi, welcome to Fishlore :;hi2

    :;du Thread moved to Brackish Tanks forum.

    I would also suggest having a peruse of the forum, https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/brackish-tanks-forum/, there are many threads about keeping F8's that might help you answer your questions.

    My take on it (having never kept them), provide snails (or just shells I think) as regularly as possible, so that your puffer always has the ability to grind down teeth/beaks. Kind of like a scratching post for cats, you leave it there all the time, and they use it when they feel the need.

    As for going brackish - what are your plans for the Tetras? They are FW, not BW/SW fish. A better alternative may be mollies, they can tolerate salt (some are full marine). I would use a marine salt, not aquarium salt. Aquarium salts aren't necessarily balanced with other elements that may be beneficial to your Brackish environment. A good cheap salt mix would be the Instant Ocean Salts (don't bother with Reef salts)

    Your filters and equipment should be fine with the salt, but you will need to keep an eye on salt-creep. What sort of filters? canisters should be ok, as they are closed system, but others may develop salt creep that will need regular cleaning.

    Actually, how big is this tank? Is it large enough for a puffer?

    Plants... I'm not sure what can tolerate salt and what can't, but for some reason, I'm thinking mangrove type plants, estuaries and the like.

    Oh, and you'll always find differing opinions in this hobby. I always do what I understand based on my research. If I don't understand it, and it doesn't make sense, I don't do it.
  5. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    I've kept 2 F8s since they were babies. Now one of them is going past 3". I've never had any problems with their beak overgrowing but I feed a snail or two every week. Mine do not chew or bite on rocks or ornaments so don't bet on it. Ramshorn and pond snails are ideal as long as they fit in their mouth. Avoid trumpet, nerite, apple snails, etc. since the shell are too hard. They will not eat dead snails. Have you ever smelled a dead snail? I also keep some ghost shrimp with them but they finish them off within a week or two (60 ghost shrimps). F8s should be in 1.003 to 1.005sg but I have 1.0025sg as a compromise with some FW species. Invest in a salinity refractometer for accurate and consistent readings. They ate almost all my neon tetras and cardinals but the rummynose tetras seem to be doing fine with them. As for plants I could only keep marimos successfully but I have bad lighting and bad luck with plants. I believe mangroves could work though if you have the proper space and external lighting as they are grown above the water (best in sump/refugiums). If you are raising salinity, raise .001sg per week or 2. This is more for avoiding nitrogen cycle crash than your fish. You can keep the F8s while you're increasing salinity since they can tolerate FW short term.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  6. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Does a marine Turbo snail count?..... man, I could never have imagined it (worst that nature can manifest).... it lingered for an hour I think....

    Thanks for the first hand experience with F8 matsungit.
  7. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    LOL. Yeah they do stink. It seems they rot immediately after they die.

    Oh, and circulation is always good for any tank for efficient filtration and detritus management. But F8s don't need strong flow since they're slow swimmers. They can only swim fast in short bursts for hunting and evasion. Provide a hiding place for them to sleep in. Use fine sand substrate so their bellies don't get scratched but watch out for cycle spike if you do change your substrate.
  8. JRC3Well Known MemberMember

    What size is the tank? That is the first question.
  9. matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    He/she did say that he/she read 15 million different articles on F8s so I only addressed specific questions and what was stated.
  10. JRC3Well Known MemberMember

    My question was to the OP.

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