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Related FAQs: Brackish Water Fishes, Brackish Invertebrates, Brackish Plants,

Related Articles:  Brackish Livestock, Marines in the Brackish Water Aquarium by Neale Monks, Brackish Fishes By Groups: (see below for links to family, species accounts), Brackish Invertebrates, Brackish Plants

/The Conscientious Brackish Water Aquarist

 Brackish Water Fishes 


Lutjanus griseus


    What are the criteria for being considered a "brackish water" organism. Some only travel temporarily twixt the sea and/or freshwater for feeding or breeding purposes. Others are more full-time residents of partly salty in-between environments. 

Should we include the Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas... that swims up the Amazon, Mississippi more than a thousand miles as brackish? The same species is landlocked in Lake Nicaragua... yes, a freshwater shark!

Archerfishes, Family Toxotidae

Glassfish, Family Ambassidae

Parambassis randa  Aquarium pic. 

Climbing Perches, Family Anabantidae

Shark Catfish, Family Ariidae

So ugly they're beautiful, the Toadfishes, Family Batrachoididae.

Freshwater Needlefish, Family Belonidae

The Giant Perches of the Family Centropomidae

Cichlids like Chromides (genus Etroplus), Mozambique Mouthbrooders (Oreochromis mossambicus), some of the Pelvivachromis (e.g. Kribensis).

Not always so "Freshwater Flounders", of various Families


Spadefishes, Family Ephippidae, often called Batfishes in the pet-fish interests. The genus Platax, other than the notorious P. pinnatus have been kept in brackish settings. They do get quite large, quickly.

Sticklebacks, Family Gasterosteidae

Fresh to Brackish Gobioid Fishes, many choices; Sleepers to Dragons!

"Mud Pond" Killifish, Cyprinodontiforms of Assorted Families, Jordanella floridae

The Tigerfishes we call Dats, Family Lobotidae

Snappers that go both ways, Family Lutjanidae

Some of the Silversides, Order Atheriniformes, mainly known as Rainbowfishes, Family Melanotaeniidae and other families. 

Loaches, family Cobitidae, particularly the Clown Loach is known to cruise coastal areas of its native Indonesia, venturing in and out of seawater.

Monos; Moonfish, Fingerfish, Family Monodactylidae

"Freshwater" Moray Eels, Family Muraenidae


Leaffish, Family Nandidae

Livebearing Toothed Carps; Mollies, Halfbeaks, Guppies and more. Naturally Brackish Water Fishes of the Families Poeciliidae (Mollies, Platies, Guppies, Swordtails), Anablepidae (Four-eyes), Hemiramphridae (Halfbeaks)

Mudskippers, Family Periophthalmidae


Freshwater to Brackish Pipefishes, Family Syngnathidae  
Brackish to Freshwater Puffers

Scats, Family Scatophagidae

The Targetfishes, Family Teraponidae

Bibliography/Further Reading:


Anon. 1981. Where watery worlds mingle... Aquariums Australia 2:1, 1981.

Anon. 1975. Tanks with brackish or mixed water. Aquarium Digest International 3:4, 75.

Burgstaller, B.J. 1978. The brackish system. FAMA 8/78.

Castro, Alfred D. 1996. Fishes for the brackish aquarium. Pt.s I, II. 5,6/96.

Dawes, John. 1989. Bolstering sales of brackish water fish. Pets Supplies Marketing Magazine. 7/89.

Gibbs, Max. 1995. The brackish aquarium. For the adventurous fishkeeper looking for something different from the conventional tropical freshwater or marine aquarium, the brackish tank offers a challenge. FAMA 4/95.

Gos, Michael. 1980. The brackish system, pt.s 1,2. FAMA 11,12/80

Gos, Michael W. 1977. The brackish aquarium. TFH 10/77.

Monks, Neale. 2001. Giving into temptation. A personal top ten of brackish-water fish. TFH 9/01.

Taylor, Edward C. 1996. Creating a brackish-water biotope. Pet Business Magazine. 11/96.

Taylor, Edward C. 1982. Keeping a brackish aquarium, pt.s 1,2. TFH 5,6/82.

Volkart, Bill. 1989. The brackish aquarium: Pt. 1, setting up, Pt. 2, plants, Pt. 3 the fishes. TFH 6,7,8/89

Wolf, Jim. 1998. Fish on the brink (brackish). Odyssea. J. of the Mar. Aq. Soc. of L.A. 4/98.


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