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Brackish Water Aquarium


It is not always necessary to opt for the exact replica of sea in your drawing room aquariums or reef tanks. You can deviate from being totally saline to semi-saline water chemistry as there are several fish and aquatic life that are ‘Brackish’ or ‘semi-salty’ water friendly.

The range of ‘Brackish’ water varies from being near-fresh to near marine. Though the salinity level in the tanks or the ‘specific gravity’ (SG) should be maintained between 1.005 and 1.010 but practically all brackish water fish can tolerate various level of salinity. In fact some aquarists prefer to change the level which keeps the fish healthy and free of parasites. A hydrometer is used to check the salinity level.

There are wide ranges of fish suitable for brackish water. In fact some of the brackish water fish like molly, Florida flagfish and some cichlids like chromites and black-chin tilapia are sold as fresh-water fish. However, the true variety of brackish fish includes monos, scats, archerfish, puffer fish, goby, flatfish and gar.

There are certain varieties of fish for which the SG needs to be increased slightly every six months.

The size of the tank varies depending on the species and the temperature should be maintained between 76-82o Fahrenheit that is in the tropical range. The substrate varies from sand to gravel but many aquarists choose crushed coral or aragonite salt to raise the hardness and pH level.

These fish tend to jump out of the tank and have the capability of breathing for an hour outside water. So the tank should always be covered. Since some of these varieties come from estuaries, these should be kept in aquariums having slow current and some hiding place. Those taken from sea should be kept in tanks having plants around the perimeter and large rocks to rest upon. Some of the fish are taken from mangrove swamps. So their aquariums should have mangroves.