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When to add salt?
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davidtpm
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.28(Thu)17:41    Post subject: When to add salt? Reply with quote

The guy at the lfs told me to put salt in my tank, OK I bought some. But before I add it I would like a second opinion. here is a list of what is in my tank 9 guppies, 1 mollie, 6 platies, 6 albino cories, 2 snails 1 drawf frog. This is in a 55gallon tank. also what is the purpose of adding the salt? I also told him what all was in the tank he said it would be fine. Please help.
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fiffy
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Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Location: NJ

PostPosted: 2005.04.28(Thu)18:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

well guppies and mollies prefer brakish water. That being not as salty as ocean water but more then say fresh water. However, both have been known to live quite fine in compleatly fresh water, and at least mollies have been known to live in compleatly marine enviroments. However, I would not suggest the latter. The purpose of salt in a freshwater aquarium from what I have been reading a lot on is actually a huge discussion with no real answer. Look into the other fish in your tank to see if they can handle the salt before you add it. If they can't, return it. The guppies and mollies will be fine without it.
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dr_fosg8
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Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Location: central Illinois

PostPosted: 2005.04.28(Thu)20:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it regular aquarium salt (sodium chloride)? Or is it marine salt? The latter you don't want to use in your tank in any amount. If it is regular aquaruim salt you would be fine adding it per package directions. I have heard claims that aquarium salt eases stress, improves gill function, aids slime coat production, blah, blah, blah. The only thing I have used it for with any real purpose is to fight an outbreak of ich.

So I guess if it was there all the time you should be ich free, LOL. Smile

To use salt or not to use salt, really a personal preference(I think anyway).
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Vancouver Canada

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)0:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David,
Why did the lfs person tell you to add salt anyways? I am always leary of adding additives just for additives sake (say that three times real fast!). Often times the more we mess with water parameters the more they go out of whack.
That being said, as stated above, some "freshwater" fish do prefer slightly salty conditions. In your case the Guppies, mollies and Platies. You will have a conflict with your cory's which are sensitive to salt (and I think your snails and frogs but some one with more experience can chip in there, I'll stand to be corrected).
Some fungi, bacteria and parasites can't cope with saline conditions and this is why salt is added for control of ich etc... but if you have a clean tank this shouldn't be a problem anyways.
If you want to create a more brackish tank for your livebearers then perhaps you should consider removing the corys.
Just my T.C.W.
Good luck!
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davidtpm
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)6:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hi David,
Why did the lfs person tell you to add salt anyways
They said that they add it to all their tanks. The only problem I am having is a 8.0 pH. The fish look like they are OK, I read that a 7.5 is what livebearers are suppose to be, but I don't want to use that pH down stuff.The tank has been sit up for 8 months now.
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Destany
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: 2005.04.29(Fri)7:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oddly, I just read an article about this very topic. Generally, there are two schools of thought, but I'll just toss in my own opinion. The idea for adding salt is that fish themselves have a saline content that in FW fish is higher than the water in the tank (or their native habitat). Through the process of osmosis, water from the tank will try to flow across the cell membranes into the fish, killing it. Fish deal with this problem through osmoregulation, a natural ability of the fish to keep the less saline water out of their bodies. One school of thought is that by adding salt, the fish will spend less energy on osmoregulation and therefore be healthier and happier. This is one of the fundindental reasons why salt is used as a cureall for many common fish ailments.
The other school of thought (which is where I lay my hand) is that osmoregulation is a natural process of the fish, and therefore, not something that needs to be corrected by us. The way I look at it, if fish NEEDED to have salt, they would naturally migrate to more saline waters. We don't know what other byproducts or functions osmoregulation produces in fish. It could be healthy for them, and something that they NEED to do, or could be highly beneficial for them.
Afterall, high impact aerobics is stressful for my body, it's definately hard on me, but we know that it's ultimately highly beneficial to excersize to promote good health and longevity.
I prefer to have my water as close to the natural habitats of the fish I keep. If they wanted salty water, they would live their in the wild, and I'm a big fan of mother nature, I feel that she knows best. She put these fish in freshwater and I trust her judgement!
Were it me, I'd keep the salt on hand in case you need it for medicinal purposes, but that's it.

Just my two cents!

Edit: If you're trying to lower the pH of your water, try peatmoss in the filter.
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dale
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Location: Vancouver Canada

PostPosted: 2005.04.30(Sat)23:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey David,
Before adjusting your pH check your tap water. Is it also high?
If so then you have to watch/lower it or possibly switch to a type of fish that like alkaline parameters such as some African rift cichlids.
If your tap water is lower in pH then something else is causing it to rise and it would be better to change that than to embark on the endless journey of tampering with pH. Another passive way to lower pH is to add plenty of bog/driftwood.
Good luck!
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fiffy
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Joined: 26 Jun 2004
Location: NJ

PostPosted: 2005.05.02(Mon)18:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Destany

I read that same article LOL
did you read the comments made at the very begining of the mag, from the editor? I tend to agree with him that makeing things "easy'er" for your fish isn't always better. In fact, if that were the case they would never life in water that was more or less salty then thier own boddies. Adding salt to tanks with fish who do not life natually in area's with salt in the water is compleatly useless cept when fighting ich or whatnot in my opinion. But for guppies and mollies well, they are found in water with salt in it. Though not always. So its truely is a personal preference I would supose.
I also agree that the more you add the more you upset your already stable enviroment. If the fish are healthy, let them be. But again, it is all personal preference.
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nukri
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Location: Naperville, IL

PostPosted: 2005.05.04(Wed)14:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add or not to add, that is the question...
Oops, the question actually was "WHEN to add".
Basically, dale already said exactly what I wanted to say, word-in-word. Generally livebearers like slightly salty water, corys and snails dislike it strongly and don't know about the frog.
But just to make my message qualify as a responce, I'll add that in my experience, lilttle salt (about 1-2 tdp/10G) helps acclimatize most livebearers to new conditions. So, the answer to you question is, add little salt just when you buy livebearers but keep the corys and snails away from it. Once you see that fish are doing well, you can take the salt out by regular water changes, nothing special.
Cheers,
nukri
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.05.04(Wed)14:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

to expand upon Nukri's thoughts- If you are going to do the salt thing for the livebearers, I would not do it in the same tank as cories, snails and frogs. If you have a quarantine tank, then by all means proceed. But if you don't, then there is no way to add salt and simultaneously protect the saline intolerant critters from it.

Personally, I'd be particularly concerned about the frog in conditions with any sodium salinity.
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