Aquarium Salt yes or no - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-22-2011, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Aquarium Salt yes or no

I have a 10 gallon freshwater. I currently have 1 guppy, 1 molly, 1 dwarf frog and a corydora and a snail. Can I add a little aquarium salt? I also have live plants.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-22-2011, 05:34 AM
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I would not add any salt to that mix. I think the only two who could handle it would be the guppy and molly.

And it is not necessary for the health of your fish.

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post #3 of 5 Old 06-22-2011, 05:51 AM
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I would not add any salt to that mix. I think the only two who could handle it would be the guppy and molly.

And it is not necessary for the health of your fish.
I agree ... only use salt when your treating an illness like ick or, I've read to help a really stressed out fish ... but certainly to treat ick.

75g FW Cyprinidae Tank - Running Fluval 404
5 BlackRuby, 4 Albino Tiger, 4 Odessa, 3 Tiger, 2 Green Tiger, 3 Denison, 2 Cherry, 2 Gold, 2 Checkered BARBS + 4 Zebra Danios, 1 Red-tail Shark. Looking to add 4 Five Banded Barbs
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-22-2011, 08:56 AM
I concur with both Romad and Barbman.

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Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-22-2011, 10:04 AM
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Agree. And here is why.

Salt is detrimental to freshwater fish and plants in varying degrees. To understand why, we must understand what salt does in water.

Salt makes the water more dense than the same water without salt. The aquarium contains water. The bodies of fish and plant leaves also contain water [just as we do--we are, what is it, 70-some percent water?]. The water in the aquarium and the water in the fish/plant are separated by a semi-permeable layer which is the cell. Water can pass through this cell. When either body of water is more dense, the other less-dense body of water will pass through the membrane to equalize the water on both sides.

Water is constantly passing through the cells of fish by osmosis in an attempt to equate the water inside the fish (which is more dense) with the water in the aquarium. Put another way, the aquarium water is diluting the fish's body water until they are equal. Freshwater fish regularly excrete this water through respiration and urination. This is the issue behind pH differences as well as salt and other substances. It increases the fish's work--the kidney is used in the case of salt--which also increases the fish's stress in order to maintain their internal stability. Also, the fish tends to produce more mucus especially in the gills; the reason is due to the irritant property of salt--the fish is trying to get away from it.

Dr. Stanley Weitzman, who is Emeritus Research Scientist at the Department of Ichthyology of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and an acknowledged authority on characoid fishes, writes that 100 ppm of salt is the maximum for characins, and there are several species that show considerable stress leading to death at 60 ppm. 100 ppm is equal to .38 of one gram of salt per gallon of water. One level teaspoon holds six grams of salt, so 1 tsp of salt per gallon equates to more than 15 times the tolerable amount. Livebearers have a higher tolerance (mollies sometimes exist in brackish water) so the salt may be safe for them.

Plants: when salt is added to the aquarium water, the water inside the plant cells is less dense so it escapes through the cells. The result is that the plant literally dries out, and will wilt. I've so far been unable to find a measurement of how much salt will be detrimental to plants; all authorities I have found do note that some species are more sensitive than others, and all recommend no salt in planted aquaria.


Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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