Jump to content

Setting Up A Brackish Tank For A Green Puffer


Pixiefish

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hi everyone. I posted this in tropical but on reflection I think it probably belongs here.

I'm going to help my daughter 'Ink Fish' set up her tank and we wanted to start a fishless cycle ASAP.

I just had a couple of questions and please excuse my ignorance as I'm totally new to this.

1) Should I begin the cycle with salt? I imagine the biobugs are different between fresh and salty? If so, how much?

2) The lfs are keeping the puffers (1.5" approx) at a salinity of 0.3%. They are using kosher salt rather than marine salt. As I understand the fish will need to move up towards high-end brackish/marine as it grows, wouldn't it need marine salt? Which should I use?

3)Is there a chart or something that will explain salting quantities; from what I can gather, marine people talk about specific gravity rather than salinity%. Where can I learn how to dose?

Can anyone help alleviate my stupidity?

Thanks,

Pixie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

yes, u should probably start with salt, and u should probably be using marine salt. U will also need a hydrometer or refractometer to measure salinity. U can keep him at 0.3 for awhile, then over time move up to full marine which is 1.025 or 1.026, that depends what kind it is, maybe ask at ur lfs. The packages of the salt usually explain how much to use, but with a hydrometer of refractometer, u will measure the salinity, or gravity, whatever u wanna call it. I'll see if I can find my topic on how to do a fishless cycle that will work especially good with marinetanks, since u use a marine animal for it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thanks Shamu. The only thing with the shrimp is, I wonder how you can control the amount of ammonia being released into the tank; you know how when using pure ammonia you stop dosing once you reach a reading of 4? Have you actually tried it?

thanks

pixie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I would do just a regular marine setup for them (minus the live rock till you go to full marine) and just keep them in brackish water. Specific gravity (measured on a hydrometer) for brackish is usually around 1.010. For full marine it is 1.023-25. And yes you are correct that they will eventually need marine water.

I have seen many just generic "puffers" come through the store and they do very poorly in freshwater. The good news about caring for brackish fish is that they are used to fluctuating levels of salt in their water, since they live at river mouths where the freshwater and seawater constantly mix. Unlike true marine fish, they tolerate swings in salinity. They make good practice for when you have to do saltwater! smile.gif

As for what salt to use now, I would recommend a marine salt mix. You can also buffer the water you would use with a good quality buffer. I use Kent Superbuffer. We typically also use a crushed coral base like in saltwater. The coral chunks are good for them to nibble at, also, and wear down their beaks.

As for your cycling question, I would just cycle it with the puffs in it. Be on top of their water quality and willing to do water changes as needed. I much prefer this to fishless, but that's just me!

(I'll close the other topic!!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

no, I havent tried it, but I read about it in my saltwater book, it says that it works very good for saltwater tank, I dont have a saltwater (was gonna get one, but chose another goldietank instead, that was a really hard decision) but I did ALOT of research cause I really wanted one and still do, my books all say that the shrimp method works great :) . You can do it the other way too, if u dont trust my method ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thank you everyone.

Jsrtist, I thought to do the f/cycle because I'd heard that puffers were very bad with ammonia and was afraid the cycling period might be a bit rough on him.

I've managed to find Bactinettes though - I think they are the UK version of BioSpira (small gell pearls containing live bacteria, refrigerated in an ammonia suspension?) Well, I figured that if I raise the ammonia and then add the Bactinettes the tank may only take a short time - if their promises are true :yeah:

How do you decide how and when to begin raising salinity for these fishes?

Thank you for the suggestions :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Well that was really interesting - very thoughtful of you. Thank you.

Now if the tank was bigger........ I'd love to add some black mollies and my little 'Ink Fish' has found these amazing gobies called bumblebees - they have very long, black and yellow bottoms.

Now that would be a good picture for your avatar!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

yes, if the tank was bigger u could add some more saltwater fish, but only certain ones, and the tank would have to be full marine, and then u would maybe need a protein skimmer too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I personally love the bumblebees and used to keep them in my saltwater tank. I'd be afraid of putting them with puffers though, and mollies too because of the fins.

That is great that the UK has their own Biospira now! I am hoping that can really help you out? I guess for brackish you can just mix both the freshwater and marine Bactinettes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Jsrtist - thanks for reply.

I'm about to find out if they'll do the job.

I'm dosing until the amm reaches 4 and then I'll throw in the bactinettes split over 3 doses - They don't seem to differentiate between marine or freshwater, hmmmmn. :hummm

The lfs are keeping the puffers at 0.3% (not even using marine salt, just the aquarium stuff) so I'm guessing that the bactinettes will be OK and then the whole set-up will adapt as I gradually increase salinity. Do you think that sounds OK?

Don't worry about the addition of other fish everyone, it's not a plan just a daydream.

Would you agree on adding a PS and liverock somewhere after an SG of 1.018, Jsrtist?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I think that sounds like a good idea, just remeber to be careful especially when cleaning the tank, puffers have really sharp teeth and they can bite, they especially like to destroy things that are orange so I wouldnt put anything orange in the tank. also if u get live rock and he starts eating it, take it out! Also be careful that it doesnt take a bite out of the heater or filter intake tube (as I said before, they are very destructive!) and dont put any wires in the water. You probably already know all this, but I just wanted to be sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...