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re: Freshwater Plants and Brackish Water Conditions

>From: N.Monks at nhm_ac.uk (Neale Monks)
>Date: Mon, 24 Mar 97 12:11:19 +0000
>Subject: re:  Freshwater Plants and Brackish Water Conditions
>Regrettably, very few commercially traded plants are useful in brackish
>water aquaria. In part this reflects the absence of small herbaceous plants
>in many such environments; which are dominated either by larger plants like
>mangroves and various rushes, reeds, and turtle and eel grasses.
>At the lower end of the brackish scale (below 1.005) many hardwater
>tolerant plants will do well - but this is a bit hit and miss, and depends
>on the quality of the other tank conditions (lighting, etc.). Forget about
>any plants that need extra carbon dioxide - you want plants that are good
>at using carbonate and bicarnonate salts in the water. So Vallisneria,
>Sagittaria, Elodea, Ceratophyllum and such like are all worth trying. Java
>fern is often quoted as being worthwhile in such aquaria, but I have
>*never* had much luck with it.
>Between 1.005 to 1.020 there is basically nothing in the trade. The eel
>grasses, which look superficially like Vallisneria, are natural inhabitants
>of such habitats, but you need to collect them yourself. These plants are
>said to be quite tricky. Check out "Dynamic Aquaria /  Adey & Loveland" for
>Above 1.020 Caulerpa algae make good aquarium plants, but need all the care
>of marine invertebrates for long term success. They are easy to grow and
>quickly form dense stands.
>Bumblebees can be adapted to marine conditions easily, especially
>Brachygobius aggregatus, one member of the genus found in fresh and marine
>environments. Brachygobius doriae is one species that probably won't do
>well though.
>A number of other gobies besides bumblebees would be worth looking out for,
>especially the larger Cryptocentrus 'watchman' gobies which could be mixed
>with burrowing shrimps.
>With best wishes,

	Many thanks for your cordial and informative response to my post.
I've been pondering this dilemma for the last several days and, taking
into account some of the things you've mentioned, I think I've stumbled
upon a tentative course of action.  The crux of this plan (or should I 
say experiment?) will be to slowly and gradually ween the fish off the
water saline level in which they are living in now, to one that might
be a bit more hospitable to the plants I intend to keep with them.  Say
I gradually decrease the saline level of the water over the course of
a week and settle somewhere in the 1.08 to 1.015 range?  The idea is
to try to meet both fish and plants half way.  As brackish fish, I'm
assuming that these particular gobies will have the ability to deal
with some degree of variability in the salinity of their environment.
I would watch both fish and plants for signs of distress or aversion
to the change.  I would welcome any thoughts or personal experiences
you might have with trying something like this.
	Thanks also for pointing out the eel grasses.  I'm not certain
but I think I've seen some offered at one of the local aquaria shops.
I guess I'll be making another round of visits to some of my favorite
haunts =)  As for the Caulerpa algae, I'm assuming that this is one of
those marine algaes that reef folks try to get growing in their tanks?


Jerry B.