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Thread: Adjusting a freshwater tank to brackish

  1. #1

    Adjusting a freshwater tank to brackish

    Does anyone have any experience with this? I donít know where to start. I have crushed coral, oyster shells, and freshwater aquarium salt. I think I need a hydrometer but that is all I know. Itís for some sheepshead minnows I got at the auction. The water has a ph of 8 and gh is pretty high righ now.


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  2. #2
    I'm not going to be able to really help you with the brackish part exactly but I will say, a refractometer is totally worth it over a hydrometer for measuring salinity. You can get them pretty cheap now days as well.

    https://www.amazon.com/Lab-Refractom...node=393272011


    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbletest View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with this? I donít know where to start. I have crushed coral, oyster shells, and freshwater aquarium salt. I think I need a hydrometer but that is all I know. Itís for some sheepshead minnows I got at the auction. The water has a ph of 8 and gh is pretty high righ now.


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  3. #3
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    I would start with a box of Instant Ocean and an electric kitchen scale so you measure exactly how much salt you use.

  4. #4
    Thanks! I just got a marine salt mix yesterday and I think I can borrow a kitchen scale. Should be getting a hydrometer today. Is filtration different with brackish tanks?



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  5. #5
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    I don't think so. In full salt you usually add a skimmer, I think it may also be useful in a high salt brackish. But normal filtration should work fine. The issues you will see are similar to keeping a Tanginikan tank in that salt will crust on every surface, especially if there is a spray. Expect to clean them a lot and maybe put plastic wrap over a hang-on-back to keep salt from spraying on your lid or light. I think salt tanks use sumps and canisters more just to reduce the water/air interface but I know people use Emperor hang-on-backs on salt tanks. I haven't actually kept a brackish tank myself, but I think you'd pick the goal salinity as a percentage of full salt, so you'd use 10% the amount the box says to make seawater., if you want a 10% brackish tank. You'd fully the dissolve the salt in water and add it slowly over time. I don't think you'd want to go up more than 10% at a time. So if your goal is 30%, do 10% and then add 10% more after a few days.

    When you change water, replace the salt you tank out, so if you take out water out of 20% salt tank, replace the water with 20% seawater/80% fresh. But replace evaporation with straight fresh water or your salinity will go up.

    Consider posting the club's Facebook page and the atlanta reef club as someone else will have to help you with how to read a refractometer and other details.

    You may be able to use a TDS meter as a quick and dirty spot check. They are only about $20 and it will give you a number that includes the salt and all the other ions in the water including carbonate and nitrate. Once you figure out where the number should be by testing your tank, you can see if it has changed. When it does, get out all the other tests.

    You can use volume measures like tsps and cups for salt, but you can't beat a scale that reads to 0.1 g for accuracy.
    Last edited by Demonfish; 04-10-2019 at 10:48 PM.

  6. #6
    Thanks! I added my first mix of salt tonight, about 1/4 cup. I have a tds meter so iíll take a look. And I will check out the Atlanta reef club as well. I am hoping that I can make it through without any mistakes.


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  7. #7
    Board Of Directors heatherbeast's Avatar
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    Please let us know how it goes! They are really fun little fish, I have them in with my swordtails (for now) since their tank has harder water than others.

  8. #8
    So far they are doing well. I got two bags of them at the auction with 2 bags of the fundulus heteroclitus. The males are pretty territorial and really color up! They are really tough fish too! I donít think Iíve ever owned fish that were so aggressive when it was feeding time. Iíve been adding about a third of a cup of marine salt mix every other day gradually, still a ways from being brackish but the ph and gh are at a good place right now. Itís a 55 so I think it might take a while.


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  9. #9
    Additional comment, I have heard it is good to make sure there are some decorations, driftwood or rocks to break up the line of sight between the males. To keep the aggression down.


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