Need a reasonable salt amount to make tankmates comfortable - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-12-2011, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Need a reasonable salt amount to make tankmates comfortable

I'm risking a lot here, mostly because I've spent weeks, if not months, trying to find a set-in-stone answer. I currently have 4 Mollies and other various tankmates, and I've been wanting to buy a dragon goby for years now. Now that I'm older and understand the care needs for this goby, I also understand that some of my other inhabitants might not fare so well.

30 Gallons (will be upgrading to 55-75 if I decide on the Dragon Goby)
4 Mollies/ 3 Fry (in breeder net)
2 Platties
1 Albino Rainbow Shark
1 Kuhli Loach
1 Common Pleco/ 1 Pleco baby (trying to sell the adult pleco)
2 Fiddler Crabs (which I know won't last long, because Wal-Mart employees are dumb enough to sell these as fully aquatic to people like me who buy on a whim [which I never do, but these I didn't do my research on until i got home, so I'll enjoy them while they last.])

I already know my Mollies will be fine with the addition of salt, but I'm worried about the Loach, the ARBS, the plecos and the crabs, being scaleless. I wouldn't mind having to get rid of the loach and plecos (i barely have algae growth as is, and arbs takes more care of that), as well as the crabs and platties, but I'm really hesitant on getting rid of the albino rainbow shark, she's one of my favorites. Is there any reasonable medium to how much salt I can add to make the mollies/goby happy and the rainbow shark not miserable? As well as with the rest of the community.. Any advice is appreciated, I get so many mixed reviews on the internet; this is the most trusted forum in my opinion...
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-12-2011, 07:36 PM
None of them can have salt. I would question if the mollies even should have salt.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-12-2011, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I know the mollies don't really "need" salt per se, but I know if I get a dragon goby I'll have to add at least a little bit for good health, and if I do that I know the mollies will tolerate it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-12-2011, 09:57 PM
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mollies and fidlers are the only ones that can take salt, fiddlers are not freshwater crabs they are brackish.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ladayen View Post
None of them can have salt. I would question if the mollies even should have salt.
That's entirely incorrect. Overtime you can actually condition Mollies to live in a saltwater environment, by slowly transitioning them and raising the SG week by week.

But to the original poster of this thread, aside from the Crabs (which should also have some access to land or above water - they are brackish and also require the ability to get out of the water once in a while) and the Mollies, increasing salinity would kill everything else in the tank.

Good luck!

29g Saltwater Reef
10g Freshwater 'vase'
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I found that out about the crabs after I already bought them :/ That's my fault for thinking Wal-mart knew what they were talking about, as I had never read up on crabs before then, but wanted some nice critters for the bottom. I'll be swapping them out for MTS eventually, but maybe not as I can imagine they would get killed by salt as well? Thanks for the input!

I think I'll just have to live with the sacrifice of getting rid of my darlings for this dragon'll be worth it :)
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 11:40 AM
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Do you have a LFS that will take them as opposed to you just killing them off? Or maybe a friend with a tank that can tolerate them?
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 12:21 PM
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Freshwater fish and brackish water fish should never be combined in the same aquarium. There is no "middle ground," so either will be stressed due to the salt/no salt. And that means weakened health, more disease, and premature death.

On the molly issue, it is quite true that they can be found in both fresh and brackish water in their habitat. But something that is frequently forgotten is that they normally swim out of brackish and into fresh, and they can do this whenever they like. This option is not available in a brackish aquarium, so they are forced to tolerate it. This is not to say that they will not "live" in brackish or even full marine water; but as their natural habitat shows they do not do this themselves, it seems wise to avoid forcing it onto them in captivity.

With respect to other fish, especially soft water fish (loaches, the "shark", etc) they should not be placed in water with salt long-term. Salt is detrimental to soft water fish in varying degrees depending upon species. I have written in detail on this elsewhere.


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 #9 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron, I'm quite aware of your take on the molly-salt debate (I read the dr. coletti article from another thread), and yes, I definitely have an LFS who can adopt my sharks, I would never dream of just "killing them off" illegitimately. I apologize if that's how it sounded when I said "get rid of them." The main question was about the "middle-ground" as Byron stated, not whether the Mollies would need or not need salt. This is because I plan on getting a dragon goby, so with the transition to brackish water, I'm already aware that mollies would be good tank-mates. I was trying to figure out about the other inhabitants. Thanks everyone for the advice!
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-13-2011, 03:16 PM
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Question! If you are planning on getting a bigger tank for the goby, then wouldn't you have two tanks? Couldn't you just keep the 30 gallon going for the other fish, or do you have to get rid of it?
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dragon goby , mollies , salt

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