Do Fish Feel Happy In Brackish Water? 5 Best Brackish Fish



  • Many Fish feel happy in Brackish Water.
  • Fish have a Super-Power of Osmoregulation that makes them adaptable to brackish water.
  • Some of the brackish water fish are Molly fish, Guppies, Bumblebee Gobby, Figure 8 Puffer, and Orange Chromides.

All the owners who love to keep fish as pets are concerned about their feelings and happiness. The question sometimes arises about which type of water is suitable for fish and do fish feel happy in brackish water or not.

In this blog post, we will explore the answer to this question. We will look at the science behind this question and see what experts have to say on the matter.

Read further to learn about the brackish water fish.

What Is Brackish Water?

Brackish water is a type of water that contains a mix of fresh water and salt water. It is not as salty as seawater and not as fresh as groundwater.

Fish that live in brackish water are exposed to a mix of fresh and salt water, which can affect their health and happiness.

Brackish water is available in a place where the sea and river meet. At that place, the population of fish is more.

You can easily prepare Brackish water by mixing salt water and fresh water. But, not all fishes feel good in brackish water. Before keeping your fish in Brackish water, research their nature.

Do Fish Feel Happy In Brackish Water? Yes They Do

Yes, the fish living in brackish and naturally adaptable to this environment feel happy there.

Some fish can live in environmental conditions that may differ from their natural conditions. However, this difference in the environment does not mean that their health will be good or they will feel happy.

For instance, if you keep a freshwater fish in brackish or marine water, its body organ will strive hard to stay alive. Consequently, fish goes into stress conditions and ultimately die.

Similar is the case of brackish water fish. It requires some salts to regulate homeostasis in the body. Otherwise, they will not be happy.

It is necessary to ensure that the fish is adaptable to salty water. Otherwise, the freshwater or marine water fish may become ill or die in brackish water.

How Do Fish Survive In Brackish Water? They Have Super Power

Some fish can survive in brackish water by having special adaptations. Fish have gills specially adapted to filter out the salt from the water.

In fish, a superpower termed osmoregulation is present that helps fish to survive in brackish water. Like humans, it helps them maintain the required water, salts or minerals concentration.

If this superpower does not work correctly, fish in the marine environment will start losing water. As a result, the water concentration will be reduced. In contrast, the salt concentration increases in the fish tissues—the salt and water concentration imbalance results in health loss or fish death.

Osmoregulation makes fish adaptable for brackish water - Do fish feel happy in brackish water?

Therefore, brackish water fish have an osmoregulation pattern adaptable to an environment with a small amount of salt. In contrast, some fish species cannot tolerate salt, such as freshwater fish.

Salt should only be added to those aquariums in which salt-tolerant species of fish are present.

For instance, mollies are brackish water specie, while some catfish species cannot live in salt water. It is generally believed that fish with no or small scales cannot tolerate brackish water.

Can All Fish Survive In Brackish Water?

No, only those fishes that are adaptable to brackish water can survive. Freshwater fish cannot survive in this water. The process of osmoregulation in freshwater fish may get disturbed. In this way, the health of a fish is badly affected.

If you want to keep freshwater fish, then you must buy a separate aquarium with freshwater in it. Otherwise, you may lose your precious innocent pet fish.

How To Make Brackish Water? Step By Step Guide

Brackish water is present in the region where rivers meet the ocean in estuaries. If a person wants to create an environment for their aquarium fish, they should consider its salinity level.

The salinity level is measured through specific gravity. For this purpose, a hydrometer or refractometer is required.

Point To Remember: The specific gravity of natural brackish water ranges from 1-1.019. Therefore, the recreated brackish water should have the same range.

Following are the steps that will help you to make brackish water.

  • Place tap water in a bucket. The dechlorination of tap water should be performed.
  • Take the dechlorinated water to the required aquarium temperature.
  • Now, 2-2.5 tablespoons of salts should be added per gallon of water. It means adding almost 9-12 grams of salt to one liter of water. Now, the specific gravity of water will range from 1.005-1.015.
  • Dissolve the salt in the water by continuous stirring for 20 minutes.
  • By using a refractometer or hydrometer, specific gravity is measured.
  • To achieve the desired level of salinity for brackish water, add salt or water until the water with specific gravity is made.

The preferred specific gravity value is different for each fish. It is recommended to study the range of specific gravity that the particular fish you will keep in an aquarium prefers.

5 Best Brackish Water Fish

There are many beautiful brackish water fishes. Here are some of the fish that are best for brackish water.

1. Molly Fish

Molly fish is a genuinely brackish water fish. It is adaptable to these water conditions. They can survive in freshwater or marine water too. If you want to get a brackish water fish, mollies are best.  

2. Guppies

The most favorite and friendly fish – Guppies are also brackish fish. It is usually believed that Guppy is a freshwater fish, but it is also adaptable to salty water. Guppy is one of the most peaceful fish and perfects to keep as a pet.

Guppy is one of the best brackish water fish and feels happy in brackish water

3. Bumblebee Goby

The bumblebee goby is a small, colorful fish adaptable to brackish waters. These fish are popular among aquarium enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and playful nature.

These fish are also tolerant of a wide range of water conditions. This feature makes them a good choice for beginner aquarists.

4. Figure-8 puffer

Figure-8 puffer is a brackish water fish and requires a slightly saltier environment than freshwater fish. The figure-8 puffer is an easy fish to care for. It is a hardy fish that is not very sensitive to changes in water parameters.

If you plan to keep a figure-8 puffer in your aquarium, you must ensure that you use the proper type of water.

5. Orange Chromides

Orange chromides are brackish water fish. They are a popular choice for aquaria because of their beautiful orange coloration. These fishes are calm and peaceful.

These fish are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to keep them healthy and thriving.

Orange chromides need a well-oxygenated tank with plenty of hiding places. They are also susceptible to changes in water quality. So, it is essential to check the water condition and pH of the tank.


It is difficult to say whether or not fish feel happy in brackish water. While they may be as comfortable as they would be in freshwater.

Some fish are able to function and thrive in brackish water. But many fishes cannot live or survive in salty water. Therefore, do proper research before keeping your pet fish in brackish or freshwater.


  1. European Environmental Agency: Brackish Water
  2. What is Homeostasis? Scientific American
  3. Exotic Fish in Fresh and Brackish Water of Florid: Biological Conservation
  4. Estuaries, A Happy Place For Fish

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