Brackish Tank Set Up

Tain't fresh, and tain't marine! Talk about brackish setups.
sarahnya
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Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:56 am

I think I'm moving more towards a F8 so there are few things I need to know.

Apparently plants help the tank stay clean but not a great deal thrive in BW.

So which plants are easy to maintain for a beginner?

What substrate should I use?

Any fertiliser or anyting else I should be aware of?

What filter do you recommend for a 180+ litre tank?

Is 180 litre big enough or should I go bigger?

Will F8 tolerate any other species in the tank, I read conflicting reports some saying that tank mates actually made the Puffer shy etc. I only intend on having one F8

I'll post more questions as I think of them, just short on time right now.

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:50 am

Oh lighting as well

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Iliveinazoo
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by Iliveinazoo » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:06 pm

sarahnya wrote:I think I'm moving more towards a F8 so there are few things I need to know.

Apparently plants help the tank stay clean but not a great deal thrive in BW.

So which plants are easy to maintain for a beginner?

What substrate should I use?

Any fertiliser or anyting else I should be aware of?

What filter do you recommend for a 180+ litre tank?

Is 180 litre big enough or should I go bigger?

Will F8 tolerate any other species in the tank, I read conflicting reports some saying that tank mates actually made the Puffer shy etc. I only intend on having one F8

I'll post more questions as I think of them, just short on time right now.
I have a figure 8 and try to keep the salinity between SG1.002-SG1.003@25degC to give the plants the best chance of thriving. The plants curently in my tank are aponogeton crispus, cryptocoryne wendtii, vallis spiralis, sagitaria subullata, crinum thiainum, bacopa monieri and tiger lotus, java fern and water sprite. All are easy to grow with the exception of the tiger lotus and crinum which seem to need stronger lighting and fertilisation than the others. There is also a brackish plant thread on here somewhere that is really helpful.

My substrate is aqua soil capped with silica sand but if i did it again I'd just go with a complete aquasoil because there is now a spread of soil on top of the sand in places which makes it look a bit rubbish. I should really say that you should use aragonite sand to buffer your water but if you keep a mesh bag of crushed coral in your filter then you are buffering, albeit to a lesser degree.

Fertilisation will be necessary and any you choose should contain NPK as well as trace elements. I mix my own ferts with dry salts that i bought years ago and they will last at least another couple so I've probably saved a fortune in off the shelf products. The only salt i have to buy with any regularity is epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) and you can buy big boxes of the stuff at any garden centre, i buy a big box once a year or two.

My tank is 200l and i have a fluval 306 filter together with another cannister filter that i got free when i took out a magazine subscription but I've got no idea what it's called.

A 180 litre tank will be fine for a figure 8. My puffer lives on its own at the moment but he has shared with others in the past. All puffers should come with a health warning to potential tank mates but figure 8's seem to be 'generally' more passive than others.

Your puffer won't require strong lighting but your plants will need some light, don't be tempted to blast loads of light in though because algae will be the only beneficiary. Limit your lighting to the needs of your plant choices because You want to avoid adding CO2 which acidifies the water.

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:16 pm

Thanks so much for that. I'm so torn at the decision. I went back to look at the Amazon puffers today and they have dulled in colour and look thin so I'm thinking some things wrong there. Felt so sorry for them I'd probably have bought a couple back if my tank was finished cycling.

Also they actually got some Figure 8 in, there was one lush looking one with a proper 8 on his side. Again these guys looked a little stressed but they had only been delivered that morning.

On the plus side I've acquired a 40ltr tank with about 100 ramshorn snails in so I no longer have to worry about food!

Liveinazoo, how do you make your own fertiliser etc, and what's Epsom salt for?

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Iliveinazoo
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by Iliveinazoo » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:13 am

I use dry salts and make up a macro mix and a micro mix. I use the concentrations listed about mid-way down in the following article:

http://www.ukaps.org/index.php?page=dos ... -dry-salts

The place that I bought my ferts from don't sell the dry salts any more but these do:

http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fert ... ?limit=all

Epsom Salt is just magnesium sulphate and garden centres usually sell big boxes of the stuff so it normally comes cheaper than an aquarium retailer.

I normally dose the mixes every 4 days but 2 days apart from each other (if that makes sense), i.e. every other day my tank gets a dose of one or the other.

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:22 pm

Okay so far I've got myself the following equipment:

Refractometer
Aragonite sand
40 Ltr tank with over 100 ramshorn snails in
Fluval 406, any suggestions on how to fit this beast onto my tank with that annoying in built filter in the lid (I suppose I'm gonna have to drill through it?)

My tanks actually 100 Ltr, I will get a the larger one set up next year but we are going to decorate downstairs including a new floor and I don't want to have to lug a large tank around if I can help it!

Anything else I might need? I can't wait to start aquascaping etc!

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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by bertie 83 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:22 pm

Iliveinazoo pretty much covered it. You will need to drill to fit that filter afaik. Many have luck with bumblebee gobies, they are great at cleaning up leftover shredded puffer food. I would recommend putting tons of hiding places for them and definitely add them first. Good luck and keep us updated. Remember not to rush the cycle, great things do not happen fast in fish tanks. Give it some time and it will be perfect.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:18 am

Okays I'll see if I can borrow one with a large bit on it.

Also is it OK to have the intake and outtake on the same side, it's just the filter occupies most of the right hand side.

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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by Pufferpunk » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:59 am

You need to calibrate that refractometer.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:59 am

Yeah I got it second hand and the guy calibrated it for me!

I did read that it needs recalibration regularly due to temperature changes, is that correct? It seems easy enough to do anyhow, he gave me a bottle of solution to use with it.

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:22 am

One other thing, I read in an Amazon review that Aqua soil can lower the PH and soften the water, is this going to be a problem for the F8 who likes a hard water?

Do I need the Aqua soil at all or will sand alone not be enough to support the plants?

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:48 am

Regarding the fertiliser, is this the mix you were on about livesinazoo?

"1 kilogram (1 litre) of typical commercial Nitrogen liquid contains 10.5 grams of soluble nitrogen from the [Urea + Nitrate salts] and 20 grams of soluble potassium. This will on average set you back £28 or so. That same £28 will buy you either 25,000 grams of Urea powder or 5000 grams of Potassium Nitrate powder. This means you could “roll your own” - about 200 liters of Nitrogen mixture and still have enough Urea powder left over to last the next 5 years."

Just wanting to know exactly what to mix up and ratios as I might have a bash at this when I get time.

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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by Pufferpunk » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:03 am

sarahnya wrote:Yeah I got it second hand and the guy calibrated it for me!

I did read that it needs recalibration regularly due to temperature changes, is that correct? It seems easy enough to do anyhow, he gave me a bottle of solution to use with it.
Fantastic!
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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T niphobles
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by Pufferpunk » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:05 am

sarahnya wrote:One other thing, I read in an Amazon review that Aqua soil can lower the PH and soften the water, is this going to be a problem for the F8 who likes a hard water?

Do I need the Aqua soil at all or will sand alone not be enough to support the plants?
I think you're doing a whole heck of a lot of work for plants that may not fair well in BW. It is recommended to use argonite sand, to keep the pH steady, around 8. You could add a bag of it into your filter. Not sure if that'll be enough.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"

sarahnya
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Re: Brackish Tank Set Up

Post by sarahnya » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:10 pm

I know Pufferpunk, I'm a nutcase but I love plants lol

As it happens I tested my water at the fish shop as my test kit STILL hasn't arrived!

My results are as follows :

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
PH 8 (and a rather dark 8 at that)

I didn't do nitrates but will do when kit comes, I just wanted to make sure there was nothing too funky in the water. I had been doing a fishless cycle adding food and Stability for over a week before adding in 2 Guppies. I've reserved a lovely Figure 8 at the store who I've already named "Maurice" after my late granddad.

I'm going to move the Guppies to a smaller freshwater tank I have cycling now which I got free from the lovely guy who sold me his Snail tank and gave me a bucket load of salt as he was giving up marine. I'll move them before I put Maurice in just in case he fancies Guppy tail.

Just going to to finish getting the tank ready while the spare one cycles and my test kits come so I can double check everything before picking up that cutie.

Also one other thing, I tested the water in the Snail tank and the nitrites and ammonia were testing the next level up from baseline (can't remember exactly what it was). Could this be harmful to the snails and should I start doing water changes? I've only had it cycling 3 days and had no choice but to throw them in there, unfortunately he gave me a new filter so I had to start from scratch but hopefully using stability it will sort itself out.

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