salinity in FW tank - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 29 Old 12-07-2006, 11:12 PM
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Another point to make: How many of these freshwater fish we're speaking of are captive bred? What are the conditions that they are being bred in and raised in?
As for the "Lysol Operation"... we're not talking about something that will have an effect on the central nervous system if we're exposed to it. If you want to view it that way... then do it and take into account that your body may have an allergic reaction to the Lysol... would she be spraying it once/month then? Sodium Chloride, in animals that have an extremely low tolerance to it, can cause health problems and physical damage to their nervous system. Almost comparable to feeding someone food laced with rat poison... it won't kill them initially, though they may show some mild symptoms from time to time. In small doses, all it would do is make them feel sick... but eventually the body gives out...
Now, that said... let's get back to "salt". What kind of salt are we talking about? How many of us realize that sodium chloride is only one form, and how many of us know what is in our aquarium salt? My husband and I have found a good online resource for comparing freshwater to seawater. It can be found here:
Note the different kinds of salts, and the difference in concentrations in freshwater vs saltwater. The problem isn't "salinity" in freshwater, it's with the sodium chloride content in aquarium salt. After reading that article, read the contents listed on a bag of aquarium salt, or call one of the manufacturers of aquarium salt or sea salt mixes, and ask them for a content breakdown of the salt product. There are products such as RO Right by Kent Marine, intended to replace the natural "salts/elements" found in freshwater. There are other products like Freshwater Essentials, Cichlid Essentials, etc etc. The contents on these will replace more of the "good salts" for freshwater fishes than will aquarium salt. The biggest difference in those products and aquarium salt is the lower percentage of sodium chloride.
If we are doing frequent water changes with tap water, most of these trace elements or "salts" are replenished within our aquarium without the need for "artificial means" to put them there. So... once again, I will stand on "it depends on what fish you're keeping".

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #22 of 29 Old 12-07-2006, 11:20 PM
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So much for debates.
And as long as this continues to become an issue, beginners will be confused by this. And yes, I still wouldn't add salt unless the fish really needs it(brackish water condition or illnesses). But then, we're still entitled to different opinions and others may think salt is necessary even if the fish itself is already satisfied with the current surroundings.:)

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post #23 of 29 Old 12-07-2006, 11:45 PM
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Just for reference...

The composition of marine salt is:

Element ppm

* Chloride, Cl 19,500
* Sodium, Na 10,770
* Magnesium, Mg 1,290
* Sulphur, S 905
* Calcium, Ca 412
* Potassium, K 380
* Bromine, Br 67
* Carbon, C 28
* Nitrogen, N 11.5
* Strontium, Sr 8
* Oxygen, O 6
* Boron, B 4.4
* Silicon, Si 2
* Fluorine, F 1.3
* Argon, Ar 0.43
* Lithium, Li 0.18
* Rubidium, Rb 0.12
* Phosphorus, P 0.06
* Iodine, I 0.06
* Barium, Ba 0.02
* Molybdenium, Mo 0.01
* Arsenic, As 0.0037
* Uranium, U 0.0032
* Vanadium, V 0.0025
* Titanium, Ti 0.001
* Zinc, Zn 0.0005
* Nickel, Ni 0.00048
* Aluminium, Al 0.0004
* Cesium, Cs 0.0004
* Chromium, Cr 0.0003
* Antimony, Sb 0.00024
* Krypton, Kr 0.0002
* Selenium, Se 0.0002
* Neon, Ne 0.00012
* Manganese, Mn 0.0001
* Cadmium, Cd 0.0001
* Copper, Cu 0.0001
* Tungsten, W 0.0001
* Iron, Fe 0.000055
* Xenon, Xe 0.00005
* Zirconium, Zr 0.00003
* Bismuth, Bi 0.00002
* Niobium, Nb 0.00001
* Thallium, Tl 0.00001
* Thorium, Th 0.00001
* Hafnium, Hf 7 x 10-6
* Helium, He 6.8 x 10-6
* Beryllium, Be 5.6 x 10-6
* Germanium, Ge 5 x 10-6
* Gold, Au 4 x 10-6
* Rhenium, Re 4 x 10-6
* Cobalt, Co 3 x 10-6
* Lanthanum, La 3 x 10-6
* Neodymium, Nd 3 x 10-6
* Lead, Pb 2 x 10-6
* Silver, Ag 2 x 10-6
* Tantalum, Ta 2 x 10-6
* Gallium, Ga 2 x 10-6
* Yttrium, Y 1.3 x 10-6
* Mercury, Hg 1 x 10-6
* Cerium, Ce 1 x 10-6
* Dysprosium, Dy 9 x 10-7
* Erbium, Er 8 x 10-7
* Ytterbium, Yb 8 x 10-7
* Gadolinium, Gd 7 x 10-7
* Praseodymium, Pr 6 x 10-7
* Scandium, Sc 6 x 10-7
* Tin, Sn 6 x 10-7
* Holmium, Ho 2 x 10-7
* Lutetium, Lu 2 x 10-7
* Thulium, Tm 2 x 10-7
* Indium, In 1 x 10-7
* Trebium, Tb 1 x 10-7
* Palladium, Pd 5 x 10-8
* Samarium, Sm 5 x 10-8
* Tellurium, Te 1 x 10-8
* Europium, Eu 1 x 10-8
* Radium, Ra 7 x 10-11
* Protactinium, Pa 5 x 10-11
* Radon, Rn 6 x 10-16

Aquarium salt is simply sodium and chloride, nothing else. I have a feeling there are lots of beginners that set up brackish aquariums and use aquarium salt, as opposed to marine salt.

I agree it does in a way depend on what fish you are keeping, like livebearers, but you still must remember that aquarium salt is nothing more than sodium chloride, period. To replicate the natural environment you need calcium, magnesium, potassium, boron and silicate salts, which are present in marine salt.

The use to treat bacterial pathogens should be the main use of salt. Using it on a constant basis always made little sense to me.
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post #24 of 29 Old 12-07-2006, 11:48 PM
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Excellent post, Mike. I'll consider linking this thread to the stickied Freshwater Informations.
Nice thread.

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post #25 of 29 Old 12-07-2006, 11:56 PM
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Another point I agree with was that tap water does contain an adequate amount of trace elements, like sodium and chloride. Your fish should be able to adjust to the moderately hard and alkaline tap water fine, even fish like tetras, rasboras, corys, and angels that are from soft, acidic water.

Seems like adding MORE salt only makes them have a more difficult time acclimating to the conditions.
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post #26 of 29 Old 12-08-2006, 12:43 AM
There have been several great answers. I also am in the no salt boat. I keep slat water tanks and fresh water tanks. I've never felt the need to grab a big ol cup of Seachem reef salt to add to my pleco tank. I agree fully that your tap water contains almost a trace of every element or mineral needed to raise fish. A second good point has been brought up. How many of you thought the topic was about table salt?

My first thought when reading the "dilemma" was not about your ratio but the fact that you keep brackish fish with salt free fish and ask how to walk the fence. You just shouldn't do it. Bracksih should be kept in brackish and fresh in fresh. Same goes for African cichlid keepers. To many of them think plain old sand and tap water will do the trick. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those same people like to mix their Africans with fish from all over the world and call it a "community tank". Sorry no such thing. One or more of those species will never live to their fullest. Being compromised in some way or another. As Dawn pointed out, added salt will mess with certain fishes nervous system. Mixing fish of the wrong PH or salinity levels will cause some fish to just eek out a living. They will fail to reproduce. They will fail to grow. They will fail to show great colors. These fish often die in about a year. You know how many people at work tell me about their fish when they find out I have tanks? They go on and on about their 20g tank on the counter. It has neons, tetras, goldfish, a "shark", a frog, possibly a turtle and all kinds of other stuff. Then they tell me about hte fish that died last night. And about the one that died last week. Also they had to replace the goldfish that died 2 months back before their daughter realized it was dead. They generally say things like, "it was almost a year old. It lived a long time". Then comes my favorite question, "so how long do fish live?" Yeah many live longer than 5 years.

Myself I am completely against medicating and adding things like salt, "just to be safe". Just to be safe I do a lot of water changes instead.
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post #27 of 29 Old 12-09-2006, 07:03 AM
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look all i could say in this i dotn add salt but ive got some delicate south americans. I would agree that its loaction location location but the generals info is that gobies and livebeares have a much greater tolerance
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post #28 of 29 Old 12-09-2006, 08:34 AM

In order to implement "clarity here" when I have referred to salt such reference has been to sodium salt (NaCl).

IMHO the 2nd most commonly available form of salt is potassium salt (KCl) [as I am fairly certain most of you "oil field hands" out ther will recognize].

The photograph is of the sodium salt which I use.

(I believe that this salt may just be "rock salt" but packed smaller and sold at a higher price.
I use it because I believe that it may be mined from a pit (or portion thereof) which contains minimal impurities.)

In generally chemistry salt is a molecule formed by the elements in Column 1A and Column 7B in the Periodic Table.



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post #29 of 29 Old 12-10-2006, 04:22 AM
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Knowing what I do about salt and fish, I wouldn't be putting that stuff into my aquariums or wasting my money on it. As was already stated, it's the sodium chloride that has the negative effect on fish... and that's generally what you're adding to your tank. I agree with using marine salts for brackish water fish due to the number of different salts that need to be found in the water for the fish to function normally. Simply adding sodium chloride seems to me to only be adding an early death for the fish. Long term, it's not healthy.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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