Pleco in brackish water?

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goldengill

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Hi I'm a bit new to live bearers and found that they prefurr a brackish tank. I realized just after adding the 2 teaspoons of disolved aquarium salt to my 20 gallon tank that my pleco might not think it was so nice. Should I remove him or is it too late? I have 6 guppies, and 5 platties in there now. Thanks
 

COBettaCouple

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Re: Placo in brackish water?

Our platys have done well without adding salt, some livebearer owners do, others don't. I think we only did it once or twice since we've had them and not since months before we got the cory cats.

Is your pleco a common pleco or a dwarf? Your 20 gallon is about maxed out on bioload with the guppies and platys so even a dwarf pleco would be a burden on the tank & require at least 2-3 partial water changes a week since plecos put out massive amounts of waste. If he's a common pleco, he'll grow to 12-18" and need a much bigger tank. I'm not sure if the salt will affect the pleco or not, we haven't gotten any yet since we don't have tanks big enough even for a dwarf pleco. If you haven't already done so, you should post your message in the pleco forum here at fishlore.
 
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goldengill

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Re: Placo in brackish water?

Thanks! Actually, my husband who is really the fish keeper here told me to take the pleco out. He's a clown pleco or so the lfs told me. Only supposed to grow to 4" or so. Anyway, my husband was pretty sure he had read that salt was bad for the scale-less fish. I was thinking of putting him in with our White Cloud Mountain fish as their tank seems to have a bit of an algae (green) problem. I checked the temp parameters and it looks as if the pleco will be ok in an unheated tank. Our 50 gallon already has a 6" pleco in there. I gotta find someone who has a bigger tank for him. I'm new to this site and didn't realize that there was a pleco forum here. I'll post there as well.
 

Gunnie

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Re: is bracksh water ok for plecos?

Plecos don't like salt. I don't think it's absolutely necessary to have the salt in there for the platies, but I could be wrong on that. I'd do a water change and get that salt out. Is you pleco showing stress since you added the salt?
 

Neville

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Re: Placo in brackish water?

i'm keeping guppies, mollies and platies without any salt and they look just fine. i don't think they require any salt, salt may act just as a medication for them.
 

vin

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Re: Placo in brackish water?

Everything I've read about guppies and platys says salt is preferred but not an absolute necessity.....
 
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goldengill

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Re: Placo in brackish water?

Thanks everyone,
The pleco doesn't seem stressed and I did do a 30% water change. My husband had told me to take him out once he heard I had put the salt in the tank, which I did. Then we thought we'd move him into the tank with the white cloud mountain fish so after a gradual temp decline, we checked the temp of that tank and realized it would be too cold for him. I did the 30% water change in the 20 long then re-acclimated him to the higher temp and released him about 2 hours later. The poor little guy had been through so much I was doubtful he'd survive but so far, he seems happy. it seems that brackish water is not really necessary by what I've read here so far. i just heard that live bearers are happier and more productive in that environment. I appreciate all your imput.
 

Dino

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Re: Placo in brackish water?

Many livebearers can be found in brackish water in their natural habitat.
However, they are so far removed from what is found in most pet stores, that I believe adding salt will do more harm than good.

Dino
 

August_Jacque

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My gupppies do very well in brackish water.
 

LilMollieBreeder

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I have two plecos and some mollies the plecos in my tank aren't effected by it. mine are ok in brackish water.
 

Chief_waterchanger

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They may appear to be alright now, but the chances are that if for any reason they are weakened (beyond having the abrassiveness of brackish water) then they will suffer more ill effects than they would if they were not in brackish water, because they do not have a slime coat to withstand the salt's abrassiveness.

Saltwater fish are bringing water in through osmotic pressure inorder to dilute the salt that is found in their system from eons of exposure to salt-heavy water.

Freshwater fish are pushing water out through osmotic pressure inorder to dilute the salt around them when it is introduce because their DNA has evolved through thousands of years of non-salt heavy water exposure. It is like the slug idea... If you pour salt on a slug it shrivels because its body automatically dehydrates itself by pushing liquids out inorder to try to dilute the salt around it, eventhough there is no possible way the slug would ever have enough liquids to dilute the salt poured on it.

The situation is similar for humans that consume high amounts of sodium... they tend to feel bloated and retain more water, because their systems are trying to handle something that is in too high of a concentration.
 

sirdarksol

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What CWC said. (That was, perhaps, the most concise explanation of osmotic stress I've ever seen. I like it.)

The reverse can happen too (which is why you shouldn't keep your fish in pure distilled water). I've even heard of at least one verified case of water poisoning, where a prison inmate drank so much water that his red blood cells actually ruptured from the osmotic pressure.

So yes, the fish may be doing okay now, but plecos typically live in pretty soft water. Thus, their cells aren't made to deal with higher salinity.

Brackish fish, on the other hand, have fairly adaptable cells, because they have to live in anywhere from full freshwater to full saltwater over the course of a year, a month, a week, or in some extreme cases, even a day.
 

Butterfly

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Along with CWC's excellent explanation here is a visual aide.(I always have to see things to figure them out )

Down the page where it says salt sucks- this kind of explains what happens when freshwater fish are in brackish or salt conditions they aren't meant for.
Then further down under the Hyper catagory it tells what happens to animal cells under these conditions.
If anybody is interested further you can google Osmoregulation to learn what fresh and salt water fish need to keep their systems balanced and hydrated.
The reverse can happen too (which is why you shouldn't keep your fish in pure distilled water). I've even heard of at least one verified case of water poisoning, where a prison inmate drank so much water that his red blood cells actually ruptured from the osmotic pressure.
SDS that is called water intoxication - the sodium in the body is so diluted
that the water moves across the blood cell walls(because there is more sodium in the cell than out) and cause them to burst as in the Hypotonic example.
Carol
 

DarkRevoultions

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So far, plecos I haven't heard of being able to be living in brackish water. Only puffers, and other types of brackish fishes are allowed. Try calling big al's aquariums, they can help you a lot.
 
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