Water Tests In A Brackish Tank

aurion

Hello, I'm a newbie trying to create a low end brackish tank (SG 1.005) to keep gobies with swordtails. I did 5 weeks of dry start in a planted soil tank and flooded the tank 2 days ago. I'm using Seachem brackish salt, which I already used 2 jars of to reach 1.005 for my 20 gallon long tank. I'm using the API freshwater kit to test ammonia levels, and they are rising exponentially (there are no fish in the tank, still cycling). One thing that concerns me though is that a white cloudy precipitate forms in the tube when I add the testing reagents... it didn't do that before I added the brackish salt so I'm guessing that the salts are reacting with whatever is in the reagents. Would appreciate input from all the brackish gurus out there about what to do. Thank you!
 

Fisker

Never had that issue when using API on freshwater, brackish, or saltwater. That said, I use Instant Ocean salt, and not Seachem. I actually didn't know that Seachem had their own salt line. Regardless, as long as the test seems to be reading accurately, I wouldn't worry about it. I would switch over to Instant Ocean, though, as I'd imagine you'd pay MUCH, MUCH less per lb of salt.

Be careful not to let your SG creep up too much with swordtails. They can definitely handle some salt, and I find that they do better with SOME salt in their water - I kept some at 1.004 and they thrived. However, if I got behind on top-offs, and it crept up to 1.006 (which happened quite often, as it was a paludarium) I noticed that some of them seemed stress, although all other parameters were within range. The swordtails I was keeping were a pretty "fancy" strain, and probably hadn't encountered much salt in many, many generations, so YMMV, but still. In general, swordtails and platies are both much less salt-tolerant than guppies, endlers, and mollies.
 

aurion

Never had that issue when using API on freshwater, brackish, or saltwater. That said, I use Instant Ocean salt, and not Seachem. I actually didn't know that Seachem had their own salt line. Regardless, as long as the test seems to be reading accurately, I wouldn't worry about it. I would switch over to Instant Ocean, though, as I'd imagine you'd pay MUCH, MUCH less per lb of salt.

Be careful not to let your SG creep up too much with swordtails. They can definitely handle some salt, and I find that they do better with SOME salt in their water - I kept some at 1.004 and they thrived. However, if I got behind on top-offs, and it crept up to 1.006 (which happened quite often, as it was a paludarium) I noticed that some of them seemed stress, although all other parameters were within range. The swordtails I was keeping were a pretty "fancy" strain, and probably hadn't encountered much salt in many, many generations, so YMMV, but still. In general, swordtails and platies are both much less salt-tolerant than guppies, endlers, and mollies.

Thanks for the great tip - out of curiosity, which strain of swordtail did you keep? I'm on the lookout for fancy strains (like maybe some alphas) for when the time comes... they'd be the centerpiece and the priority so I don't want to stress them out.
I was planning on keeping a desert goby if I could find one, or a knight goby if not, hence the aI'm for 1.005, but I'd put less salt in if they'd be ok with it. I have dwarf hair grass and Java moss, I'm guessing they'd do better with less salt too?
 

Dch48

I get the slight cloudiness as well when testing my 1.010 water and I use Instant Ocean. I just marked it up as being because of the salt. It doesn't do it with the other tests, only the Ammonia one.

Everything in my Opae'Ula tank is going well but I decided to test the water anyway. I got the expected 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrite but what surprised me is that there is also 0 Nitrate. There used to be Nitrate of about 5. I guess the macroalgae (which is growing) is absorbing the Nitrates? Maybe that's also why there is no longer any other kind of visible algae even though the tank gets a few hours of indirect sunlight and that tank lights are on for 12 hours every day. At one point there was a lot of brown and some green spot algae on the glass. It's now gone as well as the visible slime coating on an empty Nerite shell. I know the 16 shrimp and one Horned Nerite have eaten a lot of it but it is not growing back at all.
 

Minxxy

HI, welcome! My ammonia is cloudy as well on my brackish tank, there's nothing to worry about.
If your centerpiece fish is the swords it would be much easier to keep them in fresh and scrap the goby, also the plants would do much better in fresh as well.
 

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