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FAQs on Tap/Source Water Use for Brackish Aquariums

Related Articles: Treating Tap water for Brackish Aquarium Use,

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FW/BW Bumblebee Goby: Table Salt vs. Aquarium or Marine salt.  10/10/2006 Thanks for the tips Jorie. <You're welcome.> I'm almost certain this Goby is the more freshwater tolerant Brachygobius xanthozona variety. The stripes and coloration look right. I will read up more on appropriate salt level for them. By the way, I added a level Tsp. of noniodized table salt per gallon to my tank. the Endler's and plants don't seem to mind but should I use aquarium or marine salt instead? <You definitely should be using either aquarium or marine salt, not table salt - these are very different.  I personally use Instant Ocean marine salt in my brackish tank.  I'd suggest doing enough water changes to remove the table salt, then very carefully increasing the salinity with either aquarium or marine salt. Do invest in a hydrometer if you don't have one. The  table salt is very likely why the goby isn't happy at the moment - I'm surprised the Endler's are OK, to be honest.  Endler's livebearers aren't brackish, and even though the goby can "tolerate" freshwater, that doesn't mean he will thrive.  In all reality, you've got two types of fish with very different requirements that really don't belong together.  For the best interest of all, I still recommend separating the two, and making the goby's tank brackish.> Thanks again. Gregg. <You're welcome.  Good luck, Jorie>

Salt for Brackish?  12/17/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Will Doc. Wellfish's aquarium salt make the water brackish for my Freshwater Moray eel. <Nope, you need to use marine salt for brackish water.  BW occurs where the ocean meets outward flowing rivers--saltwater and freshwater mix. These areas are called estuaries, mangrove swamps, and salt marshes. The water, which is part marine and part fresh, is referred to as brackish.  When making your FW tank BW, you must only raise the SG (specific gravity--the measurement of salt, by a hydrometer) by .002/week, so you won't cause the biological balance in your tank to crash.  It takes around a cup of salt/5gal to raise the SG .005.  You're going to have to do some math to get the SG up to where you want it, especially after removing some of the salt during weekly water changes.  After you get the SG to your goal, it gets easier to estimate the measurement of salt to replace the salt removed during water changes.  I suggest premixing the salt in a bucket of warm water, before adding to your tank.  Check the BW info here at WWM too.  ~PP> Making Brackish Water  3/16/04 Ok, I have read over and over your article, but I don't quite understand how to do the brackish transitions slowly because they say you can't add the salt directly to the aquarium, it must be mixed first. <Since there is a slight leeway for SG fluctuation (.002 either way), I have been successful in doing the calculations to find out the closest amount of salt necessary to add to my tanks & just pour it into my filter box as I am filling the tank.  A lot of folks will disagree with my method, but I have a lot of tanks & with 50% weekly water changes on my BW tanks, just can't have buckets of water laying around the house with salt dissolving in them.  I always check the SG the next day & usually it's right on, but if I need to, I can add salt or remove water.  It's never been more then .002 off.> I have Instant Ocean and a 20 gallon tank. I understand that 1 cup salt per 5 gallon raises salinity to 1.005, but I want to acclimate my baby slowly, as you have suggested .002 per week. What is the best method to do this?! <Start out w/a little less than 2 cups (around 1 1/2-3/4) of salt & check the SG the next day (I bet it'll be close to 1.002) & adjust accordingly.  For the next weeks water change, the calculations get a little more complicated.  You need to figure for the salt you remove (I do 50% water changes, which makes things a little easier) & figure for the extra salt necessary to raise the SG another .002.  So you'll be removing around 1 cup of salt with the water change, & will need to add back that cup & about another 2 to raise the whole tank another .002 to 1.004.  Again, I will remind you, this doesn't have to be exact.  By the time you get to the SG you're looking for, you'll be practiced as to exactly how much salt it will take to replace the salt removed at each water change.> Once again and again, thank you so much. <I'm confident you'll get the hang of it!  ~PP>

Making Brackish water 3/10/04 OK. I've got my hydrometer and my salt (Instant Ocean, is this good?). <Sure, any marine salt will do.> In a 20 gallon tank, how much salt should I put in to gradually raise the salinity? Maybe a 1/2 cup per 5 gallons to start? He is currently in complete freshwater. <That's close, 1/2 cup/5gal will raise the SG to around 1.0025.  Maybe use a little less & measure the SG again in a day.  You can always add more.  ~PP>

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