How to Care for Brackish Water Fish

Brackish water fish prefer a living environment between freshwater and saltwater. The salinity should be lower than saltwater tanks but higher than freshwater tanks, which should be maintained at about 1.005-1.012. Plus, brackish water fish are commonly easy to care for, while they do need daily care. In this article, we are going to talk about the brackish water fish care guide. You will walk away with a much better understanding of how to care for brackish water fish. Rant over, let’s delve right in!

Facts of brackish water fish

Brackish water fish can be kept with invertebrates, crustaceans, and other brackish water fish of similar size. Their size and lifespan are varied from different fish species. Archer fish, Brackish puffer fish, and Scats are great alternatives among brackish water fish. Interestingly, Archer fish can jump off the water surface to capture insects. And the Scats feature various colors and patterns.

Next, we will share some requirements of the living environment for brackish water fish.

Water temperature 72-82 ℉
pH level 7.8-8.4
Salinity level 1.005-1.012
Alkalinity level 180-360 ppm (10-20 dKH)
Specific gravity level 1.005-1.015
Minimum tank size Determined by fish species

Aside from brackish water fish, some freshwater fish can also survive in brackish water aquariums. For instance, Guppy fish, Molly fish, Mudskipper, Pufferfish, and Goby fish. They are great options exactly.

Brackish water fish feeding

Brackish water fish need nutrition to survive. Hence, a balanced diet is necessary. You can feed them with vegetables, flakes, free-dried foods, blood worms, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other frozen foods. Also, some brackish water fish are scavengers. They will consume debris and uneaten fish food in the tank.

In general, the feeding amount is determined by fish species. Commonly, you can feed one to three times each day. And make sure your fish finish eating within 1–3 minutes. As for the frozen foods, you’d better thaw them before feeding. Besides that, during the feeding process, an automatic fish feeder can help you take care of fish. As the fish can dispense food for fish with programmable time and portion. Consequently, you do not need to worry about your fish when you are on business trips, holidays, or busy times.

Habitat maintenance of fish in brackish water

Actually, brackish water fish are not difficult to keep. The point of brackish water fish care is that keep daily and regular maintenance.

Do regular water changes and tank cleaning

Usually, it is recommended to change 15-30 percent of water once a week. Just determine the volume according to the status of your tank. As for water changes, a water changer will help you out. It makes sense in changing aquarium water plus sucking out debris and waste.

During the water change process, if necessary, you can wash the sand or gravel and clean your tank. Furthermore, rinse the aquarium decors and supplies regularly. For example, once each month or once every two months. However, just keep in mind – never use soap. Otherwise, it would pose threats to your tank. For example, foamy bubbles on the top of the fish tank.

Add marine salt

Each time after water changes, you’d better add moderate marine salt. And then measure the specific gravity of the aquarium water. Marine salt contains sodium chloride and various vital minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. But do not directly add the marine salt to your brackish water aquarium, or your fish may get shocked and plants get burned. You should add the salt to a separate area, and adjust the water parameters. You’d better not add the water with marine salt to your brackish water fish tank until the water parameters reach accepted levels.

Monitor the water quality and water temp

To keep stable and great water quality, it is feasible to test the water parameters once a week and check specific gravity levels at least twice a week. You can finish it easily with the help of aquarium water test strips. Also, a thermometer gives you real-time water temperature. By the way, you can also add an aquarium heater to maintain consistent water temp.

Add necessary aquarium decors and supplies

Generally, you should provide adequate aquatic plants, rocks, stones, and other decors to make sure plenty of hiding places. As for aquarium supplies, you can choose from the substrate, marine salt, appropriate food, water test strips, hydrometer, thermometer, aquarium heater, aquarium filter, air pump, aquarium light, etc. Just make decisions according to the fish species and tank requirements.

Next, we will list the necessity of some aquarium supplies.

  • Aquarium heater

To keep a stable water temperature, an aquarium heater is fundamental. As we have mentioned above, the water temperature in the brackish aquarium should be 72-82℉. Hence, a double quartz heater is an excellent choice. With a built-in intelligent LED digital temperature display and three temperature probes, you can check the real-time water temperature.

  • Aquarium light

Sufficient light makes brilliant fish and live aquatic plants. For instance, if there are aquatic plants in a brackish tank, like java fern, anubias, and hornwort. Then, adding an aquarium light would be crucial. A Bluetooth LED light is not bad for someone who wants to control lighting via a mobile phone and customized 300+ colors. And submersible LED lights are a better option for fish tanks with a hood.

  • Aquarium filter

A canister filter is an excellent option for a brackish aquarium. It can filter particles and debris effectively and also absorb odors. In the meantime, the filter can accelerate beneficial bacteria to grow.

Never overstock

As fish grow up or if you want to introduce more fish, it is better to consider whether your tank can stock them or not. Overstock will lead to poor water quality because of the build-up of waste, debris, and excess food. Plus, overcrowded is a major cause of stress and disease. Actually, it is not good for fish health. By the way, the tank size depends on the size and quantity of the fish.

Key takeaways

To conclude, with proper maintenance, keeping brackish water fish is not difficult. And given below can be three key points during the maintenance process of brackish water fish care: changing aquarium water, monitoring the water parameters, and cleaning your tank regularly.

Also, you should observe your fish. You can get information about their health status. The table below will give you some pointers.

Signals of healthy fish 1. Bright body color
2. A great and healthy appetite
3. Clear eyes
Abnormal fish behavior and symptoms 1. Loss of color or appetite
2. Spots or fungus on the body or mouth
3. Inactive and stay at the bottom of the tank
4. Swimming upside down
5. Frayed or decaying fins

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