Freshwater Salt - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

View Poll Results: Freshwater Salt
Yes I use it 5 26.32%
No I dont 14 73.68%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Freshwater Salt

Do you use freshwater Salt? and Why?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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I started using it with my new tank as This has been recommended to me by the places where I bought my fish. When I used to keep a tank years ago I never used freshwater salt. Posting a poll to see what all of you have to say about it.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 10:02 AM
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Only occasionally if I have a betta with fin issues or illness. It helps boost electrolytes and promotes faster healing.

I never use it in my 75 gallon because I have lots of diff. fish types and some are salt sensitive.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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It seems like most people do not use salt... Now I feel like my LFS told me to use it just to sell me something else 0_o
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 05:04 PM
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I have used it for a betta in the past (who ended up dying anyway) but do not use it for most tanks because most fish that are sensitive to water conditions are also sensitive to salt.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 05:18 PM
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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 now seems to be due to the irritant property of salt--the fish is trying to get away from it.

I have an interesting measurement for fish. 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. Use of salt for treatment purposes should first consider the level of tolerance of the respective fish in the aquarium; any medication is likely to cause some stress to fish, but those species that are particularly adverse will be significantly weakened further by salt.

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 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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post #7 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 05:21 PM
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Goldfish do better in water that has salt in it, thats why I add salt to my goldfish tanks. They can even handle LARGE amounts of salt if acclimated correctly. I used to add 3 cup of non- iodized salt to my 6 gallon goldfish aquarium when I had it.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 06:49 PM
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I can not argue with all the science there Byron, But in all the years I have been doing this hobby, salt has always played a part of healing for my fish. I am not saying that they should be exposed to it for such long periods of time that it may hurt them but for short therapeutic periods I still use it exclusively .. I have found it to be wonderful for fin repair and such. I have always used it with Mollys and platys and other live bearers with great results.. Even took mollies from fresh water ph7.0 to a specific gravity of 1.024 were they thrived!!! I no this does not apply to all fish just trying to say that its ok if properly applied.. Thanks Jack

When looking for a solution to an Aquarium problem go slow and change only one parameter at a time!
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underh2o View Post
I can not argue with all the science there Byron, But in all the years I have been doing this hobby, salt has always played a part of healing for my fish. I am not saying that they should be exposed to it for such long periods of time that it may hurt them but for short therapeutic periods I still use it exclusively .. I have found it to be wonderful for fin repair and such. I have always used it with Mollys and platys and other live bearers with great results.. Even took mollies from fresh water ph7.0 to a specific gravity of 1.024 were they thrived!!! I no this does not apply to all fish just trying to say that its ok if properly applied.. Thanks Jack
Yes, I mentioned livebearers being able to tolerate it better. And mollies occur in brackish water. No arguments there. But when it comes to soft water fish, there are better remedies in most cases with less impact on the fish's system.

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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post #10 of 12 Old 01-13-2011, 07:47 PM
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We don't use it at all. I know my CL's are sensitive to it, but even with other fish I have had, I didn't really use it.
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