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Libelle

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I have a 55 gallon brackish water aquarium that is very well stocked. My two babies are my columbian sharks which mimic each other when they swim. They are getting close to a foot long each. These are the roommates
2 4" spotted cats
1 5" common pleco
1 7" Bichir loach who eats anything smaller than my pinkie finger
1 3" colbolt blue cichlid
2 4" jewel cichlids
1 2" rosy barb
1 3" electric blue cichlid
1 4" 3 spot gourami
1 4" skinny but healthy albino red fin shark
2 3" Krib cichlids

I run an aqua clear 50 and an aqua clear 70 power filters. I do a 40-50% water change ever 3 weeks, as well as my weekly 25% changes. I have had an aquarium since I was a kid, but educated myself with lots of reading as well as trial and error. Back then cycle came in what looked like ketchup packs and stunk like rotting fish. I hope I can offer any advice to those who have questions. Keeping a tank healthy is work but well worth it. I look forward to being a part of these forums and getting to know some of you along the way.
 
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Libelle

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You could be right. The only fish I have ever kept in sizes greater than two were neons. In my tank you learn how to survive or you will become lunch..lol Thank you for the welcome.
 

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Hello Libelle welcome to the forum I would love to see some pictures of your tank and your fish I'm sure others would too

Fishlore is such a friendly and helpful community I'm sure you will enjoy it here
 
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Libelle

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The condition of my sharks skin tells me about the salt content of my tank. If there is not enough salt bumps form under their skin and goes away when more salt is added. I will post some pictures of my tank. I was not too sure about any of the cichlids liking the water conditions, but they all seem to be happy. My jewels had babies about two moths ago. To bad that the parents ate them. Please do not take me as some know it all as I learn something new regarding aquariums every day. Cheers, Libby.
 

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We are all always learning Libby that's what is so different about this hobby I learn something new most days and the some of your fish I've not heard of before so really looking forward to the pictures
 

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Jewels will pretty much breed no matter what. They're little rabbits. The Columbians have the potential to get almost double their current size. They will eventually outgrow a 55 gallon tank.

Do you know what your specific gravity is? What kind of salt have you been using?

I'd love to see pictures
 
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Libelle

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My SG is, ummm salty. Lol terrible I know. I have no idea. I (OMG) do not measure my salt when I do my water changes. I should get a refractor ( I think that is the term I am looking for). I have some pictures I will post soon. My sharks are my pride and joy. One would be lost without the other. I have never seen fish that are together like they are and mirror each other when swimming.
 
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Libelle

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API aquarium salt. Bet there was some or a lot of head shaking going on when you read about my SG reading..lack of. I grind it up very fine as well. So no one it the tank thinks it is food. Read some where that it is very bad for fish if they eat salt.
 

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I hate to break it to you but you aren't brackish.

In order to go true brackish, you have to use marine salt like instant ocean. Honestly it's a good thing though. You probably would have killed your other fish if you were using the proper salt. For a true brackish setup you want 1.005 to 1.010 SG with marine salt.

I will be honest with, please don't take this as rude or anything. Your other fish really do not belong in a brackish environment. Pleco's are especially sensitive to it. They don't have scales so it can burn them. You will be much better off having the Colombian sharks in their own tank.
 
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Libelle

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I thank you for your honesty. This is the only pleco that has survived in my tank as the others became lunch within 24 hours. I do use quite a bit of salt. If I was to guess I use 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. How is marine salt different than the salt I use? I do not have the space for another tank, other wise I would set my kids up in their own home. I upgraded in May 2012 from a 33 gallon. That was fun, and lots of work. My sharks are very skiddish when you walk by the tank they jump and hit their head on the hood. I had one fly out at me when I was feeding them. That scared the poop out of me! I ran and got a pot holder to pick it up as you can not just pick them up or you will be sorry you did. Cheers Libby
 

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Aquarium salt is basically kosher salt.

Marine salt is a different molecular structure with a whole bunch of minerals. It imitates what is found in real seawater and brackish.

If the aquarium salt is working for you, I'd stick with that. I'm pretty sure your other fish wouldn't like real brackish water.
 
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