What do I need for a brackish tank?

PlantedCommunityTank132

I bought a 33 gallon tank some days ago, and might have it as a brackish tank. Ive never kept any brackish/saltwater tanks before, so I'm very new to all the things I need. If you have kept brackish tanks before, please state all the things I would need.
also, how many mudskippers could I add to the tank? Thanks
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

anyone? also, could I add a figure 8 puffer, if I would add a slope so that the mudskippers have one side of the tank, and the puffer the other side?
 

PeterFishKeepin

you could add mangroves? i live at a brackish water australian river and there are loads of mudskippers and also crabs they need a land and water area. Mangroves are a good plant you can add.
 

Cue

No mudskippers. If you have to do only one. They’re big bullies, have a habit of climbing out of the tank, and need a bunch of land because they don’t actually spend much time in the water. They really shouldn’t be kept with other species, only other mudskippers if you have a really big tank. What salinity do they need? Is it different from figure 8 puffers? Mudskippers are also almost always wild-caught.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

you could add mangroves? i live at a brackish water australian river and there are loads of mudskippers and also crabs they need a land and water area. Mangroves are a good plant you can add.
didnt know mangroves were aquarium plants. thanks
No mudskippers. If you have to do only one. They’re big bullies, have a habit of climbing out of the tank, and need a bunch of land because they don’t actually spend much time in the water. They really shouldn’t be kept with other species, only other mudskippers if you have a really big tank. What salinity do they need? Is it different from figure 8 puffers? Mudskippers are also almost always wild-caught.
I don't really know the salinity. I just saw Tazawa tanks keep them together.
 

Cue

Ok so a quick google tells me mudskippers need 1.003 - 1.015 and figure 8 puffers need between 1.005 - 1.008, so it is doable. Understanding salinity is very important though, so I think that’s something you may have to research because the results of incorrect salinity can be pretty gruesome.
 

ChrissFishes01

Tazawa kept a green spotted puffer with his African mudskippers, I believe. I don't think he's got a Figure 8, unless I've missed it.

Personally, with it being a 33 gallon tank, I think you could likely do a colony of mudskippers and then a single figure 8. Depending on the temperament of your puffer, a few other small fish may be possible, but it'll completely depend on the individual puffer. I'd go for Indian mudskippers - they're smaller and tend to be less aggressive than the Africans. Might be hard to source, but I honestly don't know how well a 33 would work out for Africans due to the long and narrow footprint.

As for water parameters, I'd go for about 1.005 and keep it there. Much lower and you're opening the door for a lot of freshwater diseases to take hold, and much higher will be detrimental to the Figure 8 Puffer in the long-term. 1.008 is certainly within range for the puffer but is a bit higher than I kept my Figure 8. Sponge filters work great for tanks like this, IMO.

Biggest issue you may face is internal parasites with both the mudskippers and the puffer. Both are likely to be wild-caught, which can be an issue when it comes to disease. However, most brackish fish are actually kept/sold in freshwater at stores and transshipers, so as soon as you acclimate them into brackish water, most external diseases will die off. Internal parasites usually survive the salinity change, though. I'd run them all through a couple courses of praziquantel and metronidazol (prazipro and metroplex) as a prophylactic.

Oh, and large pieces of lava rock can make fantastic islands for the mudskippers. You can also go and buy some base rock intended for saltwater tanks that would work quite well. Mangroves were mentioned, and can be quite fun! They're kind of their own beast though. They have some different care requirements than most plants, so it's worth spending some time reading about them. They aren't particularly difficult, but can be easy to kill if you treat them like any other plant. The Red Mangrove is what most people keep.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Ok so a quick google tells me mudskippers need 1.003 - 1.015 and figure 8 puffers need between 1.005 - 1.008, so it is doable. Understanding salinity is very important though, so I think that’s something you may have to research because the results of incorrect salinity can be pretty gruesome.
okay. thanks for doing the research
Tazawa kept a green spotted puffer with his African mudskippers, I believe. I don't think he's got a Figure 8, unless I've missed it.

Personally, with it being a 33 gallon tank, I think you could likely do a colony of mudskippers and then a single figure 8. Depending on the temperament of your puffer, a few other small fish may be possible, but it'll completely depend on the individual puffer. I'd go for Indian mudskippers - they're smaller and tend to be less aggressive than the Africans. Might be hard to source, but I honestly don't know how well a 33 would work out for Africans due to the long and narrow footprint.

As for water parameters, I'd go for about 1.005 and keep it there. Much lower and you're opening the door for a lot of freshwater diseases to take hold, and much higher will be detrimental to the Figure 8 Puffer in the long-term. 1.008 is certainly within range for the puffer but is a bit higher than I kept my Figure 8. Sponge filters work great for tanks like this, IMO.

Biggest issue you may face is internal parasites with both the mudskippers and the puffer. Both are likely to be wild-caught, which can be an issue when it comes to disease. However, most brackish fish are actually kept/sold in freshwater at stores and transshipers, so as soon as you acclimate them into brackish water, most external diseases will die off. Internal parasites usually survive the salinity change, though. I'd run them all through a couple courses of praziquantel and metronidazol (prazipro and metroplex) as a prophylactic.

Oh, and large pieces of lava rock can make fantastic islands for the mudskippers. You can also go and buy some base rock intended for saltwater tanks that would work quite well. Mangroves were mentioned, and can be quite fun! They're kind of their own beast though. They have some different care requirements than most plants, so it's worth spending some time reading about them. They aren't particularly difficult, but can be easy to kill if you treat them like any other plant. The Red Mangrove is what most people keep.
I watched a video about his puffer/skipper tank, and he said it's a figure 8 puffer. How many mudskippers would you say I should keep, if I would only do Indian mudskippers without any other fish species? how many figure 8's could I keep if I would do a puffer only tank? thanks for the long reply with all the info in there btw
 

ChrissFishes01

okay. thanks for doing the research

I watched a video about his puffer/skipper tank, and he said it's a figure 8 puffer. How many mudskippers would you say I should keep, if I would only do Indian mudskippers without any other fish species? how many figure 8's could I keep if I would do a puffer only tank? thanks for the long reply with all the info in there btw
Maybe he's added a F8 to his Indian Mudskipper tank. I know he's got a GSP in his African tank though. They look similar but end up needing very different setups in the long run.

If you did only Indians, I'd do 6-8 or so. I'd have 2 or 3 islands for them to bask on, so the less dominant ones can still have an area out of the water if the dominant ones end up claiming an island.

If you did only F8's, you could probably do 2-3 and even add in a school of non-aggressive fish, like Celebes Rainbows or some guppies/endlers/platies. It simply depends on the temperament of the individual puffers you get. My F8 never bothered any other fish, and even allowed shrimp to live in his tank. But some other F8's will be more aggressive, even towards other puffers.

Personally, I'd go for 4-5 Indian Mudskippers and a single puffer. Even if the puffer is aggressive, the mudskippers can get away to the land portion, and you don't have to worry about food competition or lack of variety. But, it's whatever you like!
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Maybe he's added a F8 to his Indian Mudskipper tank. I know he's got a GSP in his African tank though. They look similar but end up needing very different setups in the long run.

If you did only Indians, I'd do 6-8 or so. I'd have 2 or 3 islands for them to bask on, so the less dominant ones can still have an area out of the water if the dominant ones end up claiming an island.

If you did only F8's, you could probably do 2-3 and even add in a school of non-aggressive fish, like Celebes Rainbows or some guppies/endlers/platies. It simply depends on the temperament of the individual puffers you get. My F8 never bothered any other fish, and even allowed shrimp to live in his tank. But some other F8's will be more aggressive, even towards other puffers.

Personally, I'd go for 4-5 Indian Mudskippers and a single puffer. Even if the puffer is aggressive, the mudskippers can get away to the land portion, and you don't have to worry about food competition or lack of variety. But, it's whatever you like!
oh. that might make more sense. thanks for all the info. I don't know which to pick. arghhhhhhhhhh

I tend to like the Indian mudskippers more rn. might change tho. lol
again thanks for all the help
salinity wise, the figure 8 puffer, and bumblebee gobys need the same salinity. would that work tho?
 

ChrissFishes01

oh. that might make more sense. thanks for all the info. I don't know which to pick. arghhhhhhhhhh

I tend to like the Indian mudskippers more rn. might change tho. lol
again thanks for all the help
salinity wise, the figure 8 puffer, and bumblebee gobys need the same salinity. would that work tho?
F8 Puffers and BBGs are perfect tank mates. I kept a group of 8 BBGs and a single F8 puffer in a 20 long for a couple years. It's a lot of fun, as long as you can meet the food requirements of the puffer and the gobies.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

F8 Puffers and BBGs are perfect tank mates. I kept a group of 8 BBGs and a single F8 puffer in a 20 long for a couple years. It's a lot of fun, as long as you can meet the food requirements of the puffer and the gobies.
Yay. I think I'm gonna do that then. what did you feed them?
 

ChrissFishes01

Yay. I think I'm gonna do that then. what did you feed them?
Figure 8 Puffers will need foods to trim down their beak. So live snails, shrimp, the occasional dried mealworm, anything with a tough shell that they can bite through. You can feed them bloodworms and such too, but most of their diet should be hard foods.

BBGs will just depend on how well the individuals you get are trained on dead food. Mine would take anything frozen and live baby brine shrimp, but I've heard of some people only being able to feed them live foods. If you buy them from a store, I'd make sure they look kinda fat and that they're eating frozen foods.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Figure 8 Puffers will need foods to trim down their beak. So live snails, shrimp, the occasional dried mealworm, anything with a tough shell that they can bite through. You can feed them bloodworms and such too, but most of their diet should be hard foods.

BBGs will just depend on how well the individuals you get are trained on dead food. Mine would take anything frozen and live baby brine shrimp, but I've heard of some people only being able to feed them live foods. If you buy them from a store, I'd make sure they look kinda fat and that they're eating frozen foods.
okay, thanks. could I keep 2 F8 puffers and 10 BBG's together?
 

ChrissFishes01

okay, thanks. could I keep 2 F8 puffers and 10 BBG's together?
Should work out fine, as long as the two puffers get along.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Should work out fine, as long as the two puffers get along.
Great. what would you make the tank look like? as PeterFishKeepin already said, I could do mangroves, but anything else?
 

ChrissFishes01

Great. what would you make the tank look like? as PeterFishKeepin already said, I could do mangroves, but anything else?
Unfortunately there aren't really many plants that will survive water above 1.003-1.004, so plants are out besides mangroves. Macroalgae can be attractive for tanks with salinities of at least 1.015, but yours won't be anywhere near that.

I'd personally look into some spiderwood and some caves, to try and give the fish plenty of places to hide and explore, but it's really whatever you like.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Unfortunately there aren't really many plants that will survive water above 1.003-1.004, so plants are out besides mangroves. Macroalgae can be attractive for tanks with salinities of at least 1.015, but yours won't be anywhere near that.

I'd personally look into some spiderwood and some caves, to try and give the fish plenty of places to hide and explore, but it's really whatever you like.
Okay. Wood sounds interesting. I’ll probably go for that. Thanks for all the help. Wat salinity would you recommend?
 

ChrissFishes01

Okay. Wood sounds interesting. I’ll probably go for that. Thanks for all the help. Wat salinity would you recommend?
Probably 1.004 or so for the puffers and gobies. They aren't super picky, but mainly, it shouldn't be above 1.008 or so.
 

JustAFishServant

Just thought I should butt in. Found this video of a guy who insists brackish can be easy (I had one, as long as I measured salinity, it was easy!) He has an F8 puffer with mudskippers, just like you want :)

 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Just thought I should butt in. Found this video of a guy who insists brackish can be easy (I had one, as long as I measured salinity, it was easy!) He has an F8 puffer with mudskippers, just like you want :)

thats actually the guy we were talking about before. he's also the reason why I want a brackish tank cuz he said its easy. lol
Probably 1.004 or so for the puffers and gobies. They aren't super picky, but mainly, it shouldn't be above 1.008 or so.
okay. thanks so much
would you say breeding BBG's is possible/easy?
 

ChrissFishes01

thats actually the guy we were talking about before. he's also the reason why I want a brackish tank cuz he said its easy. lol

okay. thanks so much
would you say breeding BBG's is possible/easy?
Possible, sure! I had some breeding activity in my colony but I never pursued it. There's some detailed breeding journals online that may interest you.

Breeding Bumblebee Gobies - page 1
 

JustAFishServant

thats actually the guy we were talking about before. he's also the reason why I want a brackish tank cuz he said its easy. lol

okay. thanks so much
would you say breeding BBG's is possible/easy?
Ah, I see! Well, I've kept brackish before - they're far easier I imagined. He mixes FW and SW but I simply added small amounts of salt until correct salinity was achieved for a rescued fiddler crab. He lived for 3 years so I think I did something right :p
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

sorry, but could I do an Indian mudskipper tank with bumblebee gobies, or would the Indians be too aggressive? And if so, how many of each could I add?
 

ChrissFishes01

sorry, but could I do an Indian mudskipper tank with bumblebee gobies, or would the Indians be too aggressive? And if so, how many of each could I add?
I might personally recommend avoiding it. BBGs are kinda shy and passive IME, so I'm not sure they'd be able to handle any aggression from the Indians at all.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

I might personally recommend avoiding it. BBGs are kinda shy and passive IME, so I'm not sure they'd be able to handle any aggression from the Indians at all.
hmm. how often are the mudskippers in the water?
 

ChrissFishes01

hmm. how often are the mudskippers in the water?
Depends - they'll likely be hanging out in extremely shallow water most of the time, and will venture to the deeper water several times a day.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Depends - they'll likely be hanging out in extremely shallow water most of the time, and will venture to the deeper water several times a day.
so, if I did a Indian mudskipper tank without anything else, how many would you say I could get?
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

sorry, but can I use a normal aquarium light for the mudskippers, or do I need a different light? also, could I put some crabs in there?
 

ChrissFishes01

so, if I did a Indian mudskipper tank without anything else, how many would you say I could get?
Probably 6-8 in the tank, to allow for plenty of room to disperse aggression.
sorry, but can I use a normal aquarium light for the mudskippers, or do I need a different light? also, could I put some crabs in there?
I've always seen normal lights used for mudskippers.

I'd skip the crabs - there's a good chance they'd go after the fish, and none of the fish you're talking about keeping are quick enough to escape.
 

SparkyJones

best shot at brackish plants, just green plants though..., that aren't huge and won't fit your tank, would be
Sea Grass (Zostera marina) tolerates up to 1.0188 SG
Widgeon Grass (Ruppia maritima) tolerates up to 1.0264 SG

Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is just too big for most people.
Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca) gets big and spreads out and yeah, its a sea weed type thing.

You can acclimate from fresh to a mild salinity a lot of Freshwater plants but most of them are right around 1.002-1.006 SG and can't tolerate higher than that for very long. Anubias, Anacharis, java fern, java moss.

Really depends on what SG you need to keep on how you are limited, but the mangrove and sea lettuce is pretty reserved for just massive tanks, unless maybe you found a bonzai version of the mangrove somewhere... I've never seen one.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

Probably 6-8 in the tank, to allow for plenty of room to disperse aggression.

I've always seen normal lights used for mudskippers.

I'd skip the crabs - there's a good chance they'd go after the fish, and none of the fish you're talking about keeping are quick enough to escape.
okay. I sins know the crabs would be aggressive. thanks
best shot at brackish plants, just green plants though..., that aren't huge and won't fit your tank, would be
Sea Grass (Zostera marina) tolerates up to 1.0188 SG
Widgeon Grass (Ruppia maritima) tolerates up to 1.0264 SG

Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is just too big for most people.
Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca) gets big and spreads out and yeah, its a sea weed type thing.

You can acclimate from fresh to a mild salinity a lot of Freshwater plants but most of them are right around 1.002-1.006 SG and can't tolerate higher than that for very long. Anubias, Anacharis, java fern, java moss.

Really depends on what SG you need to keep on how you are limited, but the mangrove and sea lettuce is pretty reserved for just massive tanks, unless maybe you found a bonzai version of the mangrove somewhere... I've never seen one.
I heard about the acclimating plants thing, but I heard that it takes months, but thanks.

so, no mangroves?
 

SparkyJones

okay. I sins know the crabs would be aggressive. thanks

I heard about the acclimating plants thing, but I heard that it takes months, but thanks.

so, no mangroves?
it takes months to raise SG anyways without destroying your biological filter. or you start a new cycle with the higher SG from the start and wait through the cycling. still takes a month or so to cycle a tank.

I don't know if they will keep the link or not, I can't post pictures because of copyright supposedly and they tag me, and most of the time I post links they kill the link because hey, it's someone else's website (bu they say to do that instead of posting....whatever, I can't win, but here's a link, that's a small mangrove in a brackish tank. look like something you want to do?
Simon's Aquascape Blog

roots are somewhat under water the entire plant and some roots will be out of the tank though.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

it takes months to raise SG anyways without destroying your biological filter. or you start a new cycle with the higher SG from the start and wait through the cycling. still takes a month or so to cycle a tank.

I don't know if they will keep the link or not, I can't post pictures because of copyright supposedly and they tag me, and most of the time I post links they kill the link because hey, it's someone else's website (bu they say to do that instead of posting....whatever, I can't win, but here's a link, that's a small mangrove in a brackish tank. look like something you want to do?
Simon's Aquascape Blog

roots are somewhat under water the entire plant and some roots will be out of the tank though.
I will most probably do a brackish cycle. The plant does look nice, but might be a bit big, lol. here's a video of what I thought they are
 

SparkyJones

I will most probably do a brackish cycle. The plant does look nice, but might be a bit big, lol. here's a video of what I thought they are
yes, those are them, those are newly sprouted propagules though, they become 7 ft tall trees in about 2 year time. LOL
In an aquarium it would probably max out and die off around 2 ft or less without enough nutrients to support it or making crazy nutrient ammendments to the tank, considering the propagule is like 6-12" and sprouting it's around 15-18" maybe 20" here, that's not a long life at all.
 

PlantedCommunityTank132

yes, those are them, those are newly sprouted propagules though, they become 7 ft tall trees in about 2 year time. LOL
In an aquarium it would probably max out and die off around 2 ft or less without enough nutrients to support it or making crazy nutrient ammendments to the tank, considering the propagule is like 6-12" and sprouting it's around 15-18" maybe 20" here, that's not a long life at all.
okay then. thanks for the info
 

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