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I'm curious about these two old wives' tales, where did they come from?

This is a discussion on I'm curious about these two old wives' tales, where did they come from? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I generally agree with you (Matt), but one has to be cautious here. Some inexperienced beginning aquarists might well get the impression salt is ...

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I'm curious about these two old wives' tales, where did they come from?
Old 07-27-2010, 08:33 PM   #11
 
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I generally agree with you (Matt), but one has to be cautious here. Some inexperienced beginning aquarists might well get the impression salt is the best cure for ich or something else, when it is certainly not for some types of fish. Salt can severely stress and finally kill many soft water fish, and plants as well, especially at the high dose rates often suggested. I posted on this in two threads only last week, so here is what I said for the record:

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, 90-some percent water?]. The water in the aquarium and the water in the fish/plant is 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.

There is varying opinion on salt, I admit that; but I have never yet found one written authority who recommends salt in a freshwater aquarium in general, only as a medication/treatment for something.

Dr. Stanley Weitzman, Emeritus Research Scientist at the Smithsonian and an acknowledged authority on characoid fishes (tetras, etc) writes that 100 ppm of salt is the maximum tolerated by characins, and several species show considerable stress leading to death at less, 60 ppm. 100 ppm is equivalent to .38 of one gram of salt per gallon, which is about 1/15 of one teaspoon [one level teaspoon is 6 grams].

This is why I do not recommend salt, whatever it may say elsewhere.

Byron.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
 
hi, i understand what your saying and that is your view on the subject. we all have diffrent opinions and i appreciate that. we all pick up methods along the way, i been working with fish for nearly 9 years now n im only 21, so i beleive i will hear lots more opinions n i love that. but my main point i was trying to get across is that staff should not always be blamed because they have not been trained properly. it just annoys me when people automatically judge without considering these things, such as undertraining.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:59 PM   #13
 
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I wasn't commenting on staff anywhere, whatever gave you that idea? I said nothing about staff or their training.

My response was to provide scientific information on the use of salt. And while it may be my view, it is as I think I clearly demonstrated the view of the scientific community and experienced aquarists. I tend to listen to those who know far more than I do about fish biology. Any aquarist who is concerned over the long-term health of their fish will not want salt going into the tank with soft water fish.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:07 PM   #14
 
i didnt say you did i was just explaining my point. i beleive in the use of salt n will continue to use it. while you listen to people who are against it i will continue to be oe of those who do use salt. there is both scientific evidence for the pros and cons of the ue of salt, i will do what i beleive to know is best and so will others.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:29 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattfishgeek View Post
i didnt say you did i was just explaining my point. i beleive in the use of salt n will continue to use it. while you listen to people who are against it i will continue to be oe of those who do use salt. there is both scientific evidence for the pros and cons of the ue of salt, i will do what i beleive to know is best and so will others.
I would be very interested to read your scientific evidence supporting the general use of salt in freshwater aquaria containing soft water fish, if it exists.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by mattfishgeek View Post
i didnt say you did i was just explaining my point. i beleive in the use of salt n will continue to use it. while you listen to people who are against it i will continue to be oe of those who do use salt. there is both scientific evidence for the pros and cons of the ue of salt, i will do what i beleive to know is best and so will others.
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would be very interested to read your scientific evidence supporting the general use of salt in freshwater aquaria containing soft water fish, if it exists.

I too would like to read any such evidence.

This is one of the big problems in our world today :::said in cantankerous bitter ol' codger voice::: so many seem to believe that all opinions are equally valid even when some fly in the face of solidly known information.

Salt simply shouldn't be used as a regular additive to freshwater aquariums.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:56 AM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I wasn't commenting on staff anywhere, whatever gave you that idea? I said nothing about staff or their training.

My response was to provide scientific information on the use of salt. And while it may be my view, it is as I think I clearly demonstrated the view of the scientific community and experienced aquarists. I tend to listen to those who know far more than I do about fish biology. Any aquarist who is concerned over the long-term health of their fish will not want salt going into the tank with soft water fish.
Agreed, Salt does have a place such as temporary treatment for ICH with some species, and the use of Marine salt is sometimes used with livebearer's such as mollies for it contains trace minerals that help create alkaline conditions that one may or may not already have. Mollies.platy's,guppies and swordtails can tolerate slightly saline conditions but if they are kept in proper enviornment (ie) hard alkaline water,,it is usually not needed.
Salt can help with lessening the effects of nitrites which often occur in small overcrowded tanks and is most often seen in fish store tanks for that reason.
Healthy fish are capable of producing healthy slime coat and healing from wounds and scrapes without the use of salt ,and many species,,,not just soft water fishes ,do not tolerate even small amounts of salt on regular basis. Those that believe that they are providing some benefit to their fishes by using salt on regular basis in freshwater tanks, are what drives the sale of aquarium salt. These are my feelings on the subject .

Last edited by 1077; 07-29-2010 at 12:59 AM..
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:05 AM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by mattfishgeek View Post
i didnt say you did i was just explaining my point. i beleive in the use of salt n will continue to use it. while you listen to people who are against it i will continue to be oe of those who do use salt. there is both scientific evidence for the pros and cons of the ue of salt, i will do what i beleive to know is best and so will others.

In your first post in this thread ,you say you don't believe in the regular use of salt but now you are expressing conflicting view.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:53 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by mattfishgeek View Post
hey guys salt is beneficial in some instances. salt will actually reduce the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, it acts as a general antiseptic by affecting less developed osmoregularatory systems such as white spot. also a fishes concentration of salt is approximately 10%, when a fish breaks its skin it losses salts. while i do not agree with the constant adding of salts, it does have its uses.
Also i fink that simply saying shop workers are trying to make money by telling u to add salts is judgementall. these staff are often undertrained and often not have no training at all. so they pass on what they read on the advice stickers and the myths that are passed from one to another. i experience this every day n it is ultimatelly down to companies not training their staff apropiately. Thats just my opinion any way.
finally someone firsthand is giving us inside info on what happens inside a lfs.what you said is true when i think about it.the workers are doing things thats been told and a few may know next to nuts about fish as not all fish lovers will want to work in a lfs except for a few (we a re lucky if we meet a few) the weird thing is my flower horn seems so much more active and less slugish if theres some salt added to the tank.i'll leave it for a week then i'll change the waterand add a little salt coz if i don't it will looks sluggish after 2or3days.why's that?
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:57 AM   #20
 
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wow a info debate.hope i'll get more insights here but it'sgetting a little hot in here.maybe a water change or chiller will be needed in here =)
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