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We do not want to bother the reader with more water chemistry, but there is one more important thing to note at this time. The reader will recall that we have repeatedly noted that we have never collected species of the subfamily Glandulocaudinae in areas of streams that are subject to tidal influence of any kind. There are notes in the aquarium literature concerning fish diseases that characins should never be subjected to water containing more than 100 parts per million of sodium chloride, common salt. We think that is advice well given, but there are apparently some species of characins that are even more sensitive to salt. [The authors then relate their specific issue where increased salt being used for treatment caused the fish to go into hiding, followed by bloating, then death of a few fish each day, until the water was changed to RO water.]
There is no reference to the specific "aquarium literature" but I have frequently encountered similar statements from biologists experienced with collecting fish in South America. Dr. David Sands in his description of several new species of Corydoras in FAMA during the mid 1990's noted his observations that corydoras living in rivers and streams that are tidally influenced are never found anywhere close to the upper extent of tidal (salt) water. The fish avoid such water.
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]
I wasn't really trying to question you. I was just concerned because I have five red serpaes that have been swimming in allot more salt than that for quite some time. They look beautiful even though I have hardish somewhat alkaline (7.6-7.8) water. I have to do a water change on them anyhow, so I'll just use unsalted water the next few changes and see if I see any differences in their behavior, general health or coloration. Thanks for the information.