Video: Brackish Water Aquarium
Recently, there has been an increased interest in all sorts of unusual novelties in the world of aquarium hobby. People come to pet stores in search of new, unusual fish, different from the already fed up neons and scalars. Fortunately, there are several categories of fish that can meet these requirements. One of these categories includes fish that are connected not by species unity, but by the features of the environment in which they are comfortable to live. These are fish that prefer to live in slightly brackish water.
There are several different species of brackish water fish - some are colorful, some are ugly, some are majestic, funny or weird. Before considering these species, it is necessary to briefly touch upon the features of their habitat and care for them.
Speckled Argus (Scatophagus argus)
The quality of the environment. Brackish water is a term describing the quality of water that can be observed at the mouth of rivers as they flow into the sea or ocean. In other words, brackish water is a kind of intermediate state of water that is neither completely saline nor completely fresh. This state of water is usually much less stable than the state of water directly in the sea (ocean) or river. So, if a flood occurs on the river upstream, the concentration of salts at the mouth decreases, and in case of drought, the salinity of the water increases.
The mouth of the river is very fertile. The constant influx of nutrients from the sea or ocean, the active flow of water, provided by tides and currents, as well as the relative shallow water create a perfect natural environment for organisms that can use them, despite the some instability of this environment. Thus, many brackish water organisms are omnivorous, taking advantage of the wide range of foods available.
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Salt level. Brackish water as applied to an aquarium can mean different things to different people, so much so that one person's brackish water tank may be designed very differently from another. There are quite viable brackish water aquariums with a concentration of one teaspoon of potable salt per 5 liters of water and without taking into account the pH level. And you can find working aquariums in which the salinity level is much higher, and coral chips are used as gravel, and the pH is kept at 8.2.
So, brackish water can contain different concentrations of salt. The salt concentration in the aquarium should depend on the fish you intend to populate it with. For example, some fish species cannot tolerate a salinity level of 1.010. Some experts recommend this recipe: a salt concentration of about 1.005 (or about a quarter of the volume should be seawater) and part of the gravel (about one quarter) should be coral chips. It should be noted that in this case the salt concentration level can fluctuate by 0.002 points in both directions.
PH level. It is believed that in brackish aquariums you should not worry too much about the pH level, as it also tends to change in the natural environment. However, if you decide to change the salinity level of the water, use a hygrometer for accurate measurement, because although fish living in brackish water in nature very quickly adapt to new conditions, it is still safe to not expose them to sudden changes in the level in the aquarium. salt, in any case, no more than 0.001 in a 24-hour period. Keep in mind that in nature, a fish has the ability to migrate in the water in order to find the most comfortable level of salinity for itself, but in an aquarium it does not.
Temperature. Although the temperature is also unstable in the natural brackish water environment, do not allow the temperature in your aquarium to change quickly. Your aquarium is much smaller in volume than the mouth of a river, so temperature changes have a much stronger effect on the health of your fish than the same changes in nature.
Aquarium size. It is not recommended to use an aquarium with a capacity of less than 50 liters. The larger the aquarium, the more stable the environment. Use a bottom filter with strong water flow.
High pH. If you are using regular coral-free salt, you shouldn't pay as much attention to nitrogen levels as you would in a freshwater aquarium. On the other hand, if you want to use partially seawater and coral chips, you should pay special attention to nitrogen. The high pH is promoted by ammonia produced by fish and food that has not been eaten and decomposes at the bottom.
Striped etroplus (Etroplus suratensis)
Bacteria. You can completely "run" the tank before you even populate it with fish, or you can add only one small fish to it until the necessary bacteria settle in the gravel, or you can add a special agent containing the necessary bacteria to the water.
Water replacement. Change the water in your aquarium regularly. Some species of fish living in brackish water are sensitive to water quality (especially when they are young). Any aquarium, fresh or brackish, should change a quarter of the water per week (except in some saltwater aquariums). If your tank has a high pH, this is especially important.
Certain species of fish that live in brackish water naturally make excellent aquarium fish in brackish aquariums. Some species can be purchased fairly easily at pet stores, while others are quite rare.
Arguses are the first fish that come to mind in connection with brackish aquariums. Speckled argus (Scatophagus argus) is quite common, while spotted argus (Selenotoca mulifasciata) is more rare. Finally, it is worth mentioning the rather rare four-striped argus (Scatophagus tetracanthus).