Brackish water changes

Tain't fresh, and tain't marine! Talk about brackish setups.

Brackish water changes

Postby Radioactive on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:38 pm

Hello and thank you for reading. I have just ordered the Blue Magic WATERBED DRAIN AND FILL KIT. I plan on using it for all my water changes. My question is for a brackish aquarium 29 Gallon tank about 22G in actual water give or take, can I add the tap water via tapwater and hose using this unit THEN add my dechlorinizer/conditioner AND about a gallon of water from my bucket that would have marine salt to bring my SG to my desired SG level? I read the water change section on the python but couldnt find anything on brackish water changes. If I have missed something and this question has been answered already I appologize. So to summ it up

1. drain tank 50% using this kit and hose
2. fill tank with tapwater leaving enough room for another gallon
3. Add tap water conditioner
4. Add premixed gallon of water Containing marine salt that has been aged for about a week to bring my SG to my desired level
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby bertie 83 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:32 am

I don't think the sg swing would be good for your bacteria or fish. You can use a powerhead and hose to pump water back to your tank from the mixing tank.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Iliveinazoo on Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:25 am

Salinity swings are second nature to true brackish water fish as the salinity varies constantly in the estuaries that they call home. Your nitrifying bacteria on the other hand does not but since we are told that the majority of that is in the filter then as long as you don't turn your filter on while carrying out the water change then you should have no issues. Just be sure that the salt has fully dissolved in the bucket.

Some of the brackish fish that we keep are not found in brackish conditions in the wild but do best at low SG in captivity, such as the Figure 8 puffer or Bumblebee Goby, so as long as you add the freshwater first and the salty bucket second then again you should have no issues.

Apparently there are some marine species that can be kept in high end brackish conditions (I believe that the Dog Face Puffer is one); why you would want to do this is beyond me but I would only recommend adding water of the correct salinity to these tanks.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby RTR on Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:26 am

Brackish water or marine water should be prepared in advance in a separate container and checked for proper specific gravity/salinity. Fish may be adapted to specific gravity changes within hours by drop-wise acclimatization. Unfortunately, the required bacteria cannot, but must be adapted by much slower changes of no more than +/1.002 per 48 hours minimum or slower during the critical range from ~1.008-1.012+ or slightly more. Rapid changes in specific gravity may kill the require bacteria quickly, leaving you with a toxic tank from lack of the beneficial bacteria plus pollution from the death of the bacteria needed for stability.

While fish in the wild may move of their own volition through water of quite different salinities, bacteria and many invert cannot. Required bacteria and other microscopic life necessary for tanks are much less adaptable. To manatain a cycled and well-balamanced tank, you must hand the system suitably for all of the required living components. Statements to the contrary as given above are false.


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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Radioactive on Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:38 am

Thanks for all the answers so far. Would it be safe if my filter was turned off during this process? I have a aq 50 which holds two bags of biomax and one sponge. The other filter is a tegrafin 20 that i use primarilly for mechanical. I know all my slate rock and sand would have benefi
cial bacteria but thought my filter housed most of it. Thanks again
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby RTR on Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:23 am

No. The nitrification bacteria are two species out of the hundreds in a mature tank.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby JRC3 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:02 pm

It truly is easier to mix the water in a vessel at least 24hrs ahead of time. The only problem is storage and the cost of the container, pump, and heater when it is colder. The other good thing about premixing ahead of time is the water is able to gas off and stabilize so you wouldn't have to use dechlorinator...Though I do anyways just in case. you also don't have to worry about adjusting the temperature if the tank and vessel are kept the same.

A 20g "Big Brute" trash can be had for $20 and a cheap pond pump from Harbor Freight for $10 or under ...Then if needed a cheap heater for around $20.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Radioactive on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:53 pm

Unfortunately space is a large issue as i live in an apartment. So is money right now. Currently the 29g is set up and has been for about 2the days. No fish are in it yet as my small f8 is in his 10g. My back is really bad and i was trying to avoid the 5whole gallon bucketing. To be honest i dont know if i have enough room to even store 3 buckets filled. I want whats best for my puffer so wanted to convert to brackish. Maybe i will have to keep him in freshwater until i can afford to buy more
equipment. Hes only about an inch long and i have had him for lessbthen a month.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Pufferpunk on Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:44 pm

Many will not agree with this method but I used to pour the salt into the impeller side of the HOB filter as the tank was filling with FW. it would mix in the filter. You could even pre-mix it in a jug of water 1st & pour it in the filter, which would disburse it through the tank. Of course, you must know how much salt to add to get to your desired SG.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby skoram on Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:22 pm

Pufferpunk wrote:Many will not agree with this method but I used to pour the salt into the impeller side of the HOB filter as the tank was filling with FW. it would mix in the filter. You could even pre-mix it in a jug of water 1st & pour it in the filter, which would disburse it through the tank. Of course, you must know how much salt to add to get to your desired SG.


For medium to lower salinity tanks, wouldn't that run the risk of killing the bacteria in the filter? If salt is poured directly in then for a brief period of time the concentration/SG should be much higher than the rest of your tank.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby puffykid on Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:25 pm

I believe that if the fluctuation of salinity is for a short time and it returns to the previous level then the bacteria can withstand the change and survive. Since there are other systems in place for other environmental stimuli such as heat.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Radioactive on Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:43 pm

Ok so far alot of different opinions on this. I can honestly say the outcome of this discussion will determine on if my F8 goes into this 29g. The 10g he is in was supposed to be temporary. Please help me decide what would be best for my new F8. My options are

1. put him in my 29g and keep it freshwater or do water changes using the method I described originally if converted to brackish
2. keep him in my 10g and convert it to brackish and be capable of 50% weekly water changes at 1.005
3. try to find him someone who can keep him in a bigger brackish tank ( Last resort ) <------I REALLY dont want to see him go as I am attached already.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Pufferpunk on Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:59 am

skoram wrote:
Pufferpunk wrote:Many will not agree with this method but I used to pour the salt into the impeller side of the HOB filter as the tank was filling with FW. it would mix in the filter. You could even pre-mix it in a jug of water 1st & pour it in the filter, which would disburse it through the tank. Of course, you must know how much salt to add to get to your desired SG.


For medium to lower salinity tanks, wouldn't that run the risk of killing the bacteria in the filter? If salt is poured directly in then for a brief period of time the concentration/SG should be much higher than the rest of your tank.


I used to worry about that, since a concentration of salt went though there but the system always seemed fine. I even rinsed the filter sponges out in tap water.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby RTR on Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:19 am

I am a senior citizen, long retired from the labs and any manual labor. I have a few portable (castered) water-holding containers, but most reservoirs are fixed position. I never, ever carry any buckets of water. Water is always pumped from the hard plumbing to reservoirs where it is aged and decloramined (that BTW is always required for water treated by chloramines). BW or SW is added to reservoirs and mixed and tempered before adding to an occupied tank. I do not carry buckets for any routine purpose. If I had to tote buckets, I would no longer be keeping fish.

I have been a multi-tank hobbyist for many decades. Part of being so involved in wet pet keeping is reducing the manual labor common to single-tank operation. Carrying buckets is hard and high-risk. There are easier and better techniques.
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Re: Brackish water changes

Postby Iliveinazoo on Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:45 am

RTR wrote:Brackish water or marine water should be prepared in advance in a separate container and checked for proper specific gravity/salinity. Fish may be adapted to specific gravity changes within hours by drop-wise acclimatization. Unfortunately, the required bacteria cannot, but must be adapted by much slower changes of no more than +/1.002 per 48 hours minimum or slower during the critical range from ~1.008-1.012+ or slightly more. Rapid changes in specific gravity may kill the require bacteria quickly, leaving you with a toxic tank from lack of the beneficial bacteria plus pollution from the death of the bacteria needed for stability.

While fish in the wild may move of their own volition through water of quite different salinities, bacteria and many invert cannot. Required bacteria and other microscopic life necessary for tanks are much less adaptable. To manatain a cycled and well-balamanced tank, you must hand the system suitably for all of the required living components. Statements to the contrary as given above are false.


HTH


Granted between the 'critical' range where bacteria does not adapt as well then you 'may' experience difficulty. I'm not sure what and how much microscopic life is in the tank, I'm also not sure where the majority of the microscopic life exists; be it the water column or the substrate - probably both, I would have thought that much of the microscopic life in the substrate would be little affected as they would be protected by the sand/gravel layer. What is the life expectancy of the microscopic life in the tank - days, weeks, years? presumably they are reproducing and dying all of the time but we don't carry out water changes daily to compensate.
Many people on this forum (myself not included) add a dehclorinator directly into their tank before they add tap water, obviously it would take a while for the dechlorinator to mix with the tap water but peole do not report ill effects from chlorine or heavy metal poisoning causing a toxic tank. I would have thought that this practice would be on a par or potentially even more destructive than what the OP is proposing.
It appears that from Pufferpunk's experience that adding the salty solution in one go will not produce a toxic tank.
Maybe the OP could 'give it a go' as well and report their findings?
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