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Brackish Experiment

Iliveinazoo

Member
Joined
23 Apr 2008
Messages
130
Location
Southampton
I visited this site a couple of years ago and asked what plants might work in a brackish aquarium, since that day I have continued my research on this site and others and have experimented with many diffirent plants and eventually got to grips (kind of) with dosing regimes.

The tank is, as the title suggests an experiment of what plants can be grown in brackish water, it started without any plants whatsoever, hence the Durdledoor style rock ornament and lack of a defined aquascape but it is a starting block for when I upgrade to a 400 or 450 litre tank in the future.

Tank Specs:
Volume: 60l (16USG)
Substrate: Eco Complete under sand.
Lighting: 1.5W (T5) per USG.
Filtration: Eden 501 and HOB Filter
Dosing: 2.5 - 5ml liquid carbon daily, JamesC's Macro (approx 10ml) & Micro (approx 10ml) mix on alternative days.
Salinity: Varies from SG1.003 - SG1.006 but predominantly 1.003 at 25 deg C

Slight Overstocking:
2x Figure 8 Puffers
1x Halfbeak
4x Bumblebee Gobies

DSC00528.jpg


DSC00529.jpg


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Apologies about the picture quality but I'm by no means a photographer. The Hornwort generally thrives but the SG has been at 1.006 at 25 Deg C recently and it has suffered a bit.

Current Plant List:
1. Aponogeton Crispus.
2. Bacopa monnieri.
3. Crypt Wendtii "Brown".
4. Crypt Wendtii "Mi Oya".
5. Crinum Calamistratum.
6. Ceratopteris Thalictroides.
7. Java Fern.
8. Java Moss.
9. Nymphae Lotus - Tiger Lilly.
10. Sagittaria Subulata.
11. Vallis Spirallis.
12. Hornwort.

Out of all of the above the only survivors at SG1.005-SG1.007 at 25 Deg C are 1, 2, 7 & 8 however growth is almost non-existent at this salinity. If you want to plant a brackish aquarium then you will have more success running below SG1.005 at 25 Deg C.

Plants I've tried that haven't survived are:
1. Crinum Natans.
2. Vallis Americana.
3. Crypt Becketti "Petchii".
4. Samalous Valerandi.
5. Lilleapsonis Brasillines (spelling?).

Though I think that plants 4 & 5 didn't survive because the lighting and/or dosing wasn't sufficient and may try them again in the future.

Hopefully this helps anybody that is thinking about a low brackish setup but it will also be a reference point for me when I eventually get the larger tank and attempt my first real aquascape.
 

Dave Spencer

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,389
Location
N. Wales
Thanks for the info.

I have often wondered which plants would be best suited to a brackish aquarium. Does running with an SG below 1.005 reduce your choice of fish?

Dave.
 

Iliveinazoo

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Apr 2008
Messages
130
Location
Southampton
Brackish fish can be grouped into various categories:

1. Hardwater species that do better in low brackish systems, less than SG1.005, in home aquaria such as the figure 8 puffer, halfbeak, bumblebee and knight gobies, T Microlepsis (Archer Fish) and Datniodes.
2. Euryhaline fish that will do well in a wide range of salinities but typically SG1.005-1.012 such as T Jaculatrix and T Chatareus (Archer Fish), Scats, Monos, mudskippers and mollies. Though scats, monos and mollies will destroy any plants that you might want to introduce.
3. Those that start off in low salinities but raise to high as they get older such as Green Spotted Puffers.

That said there are lots of species, many more than I have listed that will do well below SG1.005. When I get the larger tank I will be considering a shoal of archers after the bumblebees die off or maybe a couple of chromides.
 

hydrophyte

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2009
Messages
774
Those are interesting observations. Your tank looks real nice too. I like the bright, clear green colors.

I'd be interested to more about the actual occurrences of those in nature--whether or not they actually grow in backish environments out in the wild.

Cryptocoryne ciliata is one that I understand really does grow in estuary situations, and it has these wild blooms...

3526731744_63edfeef76_o.jpg
 

Iliveinazoo

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Apr 2008
Messages
130
Location
Southampton
I'm yet to try that one as it hasn't been available at the right time and it would be fantastic if I managed to get it to flower like that :D .

I know that Bacopa Monnieri, Ceratopteris Thalictroides, Hornwort, Java Fern and Java Moss occur in brackish waters. Apparently Samalous Valerandi and Lilleapsonis Brasillines occur in brackish areas which makes me think that my problem in growing it was down to my lack of knowledge and/or equipment. I haven't found any text linking Aponogeton Crispus with Brackish waters but I suspect that it does occur due to the success I have had at relatively high salinities.

I have a mudskipper setup that runs at SG1.010 at 25 Deg C, at that salinity the only plant life that I could realistically hope to grow would be mangroves and sea grasses and weeds which occur naturally in estuaries however I would need to upgrade my tank to one with a tight fitting glass lid and a luminaire with a much greater light output than i currently have.
 
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