Salt or not ? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Post Salt or not ?

Hello all ,I just found out that adding salt to a freshwater tank may not be a good idea , due to the process that your fish intake eylectrolites.
This is the first I've ever heard about it being bad and I know alot of ppl that add salt to there tanks just like myself in effort to make our tanks more natural and / or a healthy enviroment for our fish .
To find that it maybe harming them botherd me and I wanted to let others know too.
I am hoping that the moderators will be able to clear this up for me and others or to lame it down a bit so we can understand it better.
Any input would be appreciated ,
God bless y'all and thank you for your help
Charlie
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 03:30 PM
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Hello charlie1881;
I am not a moderator nor do I have any useful experience in fish keeping but I have been informed that all members of this forum oppose the use of salt in freshwater aquariums.

After saying that I think that there are two ways that fish have to resolve the problem of lost electrolytes (salt). If your aquarium water column is rich in dissolved oxygen the fish’s respiration would slow down reducing the outflow of water therefore reducing the loss of necessary salts through osmosis. Another way the fish can control the outflow of electrolytes by using chloride cells that are based around the gill filaments. These cells transport sodium, chloride and potassium ions from the water outside the fish’s body to the blood inside the body. This replaces the lost electrolytes from the large amount of urine freshwater fish pass. This process is the basis for the view of adding salt to freshwater aquariums.

Niels Jensen who is citied in the Total Solids (TSS and TDS) in the Freshwater Aquarium article says that a mix of one teaspoon baking soda, one tablespoon Epson salt and one teaspoon marine salt mix with five gallons of water should be used.

Baking soda raised the carbonate hardness keeping the ph steady
Epson salt raises the general hardness
Marine salt is used to raise carbonate hardness and add trace elements.

Niels Jensen goes on to say use this mixture with central American fish including livebearers and cichlids and community fish that are hardwater, high TDS concentration and base ph.

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post #3 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 05:06 PM
I do not and would not add salt to a FW tank.

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post #4 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 05:18 PM
I love your frankness,appreciate your help, love a Bunker show..but I miss the clown.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 07:25 PM
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You will find a difference of opinion among aquarists on using salt, which is fine, provided each opinion recognizes the science and the risks. I will never put salt in my tanks, not even as a treatment because of the side effects. If you want the scientific facts, read this:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-97842/
Yes, I wrote it, but the science is not in doubt and it comes from the references cited.

Pop, the Jensen data can work, but the context is critical. Marine salt is not "salt" as the so-called "aquarium salt" or table salt [this is explained in my article]. Epsom salt is pure magnesium sulfate, which is nothing remotely close to "salt." And baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is one thing in hard water but a very different thing in soft water. And the concluding info about how this combo works for hard water fish is the key. Plus we must assume there is going to be medium hard or harder water as the source water, and this also plays into the equation.

Using that combo in a soft water tank with soft water fish would not be healthy for the fish.

Byron.
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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 #6 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 07:46 PM
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Hello Bryon;
I don’t think I implied that marine salt was anything but marine salt and that Epson salt was any different then pure magnesium nor did I say anything about aquarium salt where did you get these ideas??



I also don’t understand what you are implying about soft water did I say something about soft water I think I mentioned only hard water fish cited from an article you cited, how can that be wrong.



No where did I imply or say anything about using salt. My apologies for using your citation if that is the offending nexus.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 08:11 PM
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Hello Bryon;
I don’t think I implied that marine salt was anything but marine salt and that Epson salt was any different then pure magnesium nor did I say anything about aquarium salt where did you get these ideas??



I also don’t understand what you are implying about soft water did I say something about soft water I think I mentioned only hard water fish cited from an article you cited, how can that be wrong.



No where did I imply or say anything about using salt. My apologies for using your citation if that is the offending nexus.
pop.
The initial question from Charlie was whether or not to use salt. The data you cited from Jensen obviously implies using various salts and substances, according to his formula. I don't agree, at least not as a basic "always do," so I was making this clear to Charlie. I've no idea about Charlie's level of understanding on using these various substances, but given he asked the question I would tend to think he would appreciate more info to avoid misunderstanding. And if it were me asking the question, I would take away from your response the idea that Jensen says to use that mixture. Charlie may have soft water fish for all I know.

Byron.

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 #8 of 16 Old 12-10-2012, 08:42 PM
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I've never used salt with my fish unless they were sitting on a dinner plate on my table.

Of course, brackish or marine fish are the only ones I would use salt with (marine salt, that is).
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-11-2012, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
The initial question from Charlie was whether or not to use salt. The data you cited from Jensen obviously implies using various salts and substances, according to his formula. I don't agree, at least not as a basic "always do," so I was making this clear to Charlie. I've no idea about Charlie's level of understanding on using these various substances, but given he asked the question I would tend to think he would appreciate more info to avoid misunderstanding. And if it were me asking the question, I would take away from your response the idea that Jensen says to use that mixture. Charlie may have soft water fish for all I know.

Byron.
hello bryon;
i just want to point out that in my original post i stated " oppose the use of salt" in the first sentence. your above remarnks is mainly a smoke screen to hide the appearent.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-11-2012, 08:54 AM
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hello bryon;
i just want to point out that in my original post i stated " oppose the use of salt" in the first sentence. your above remarnks is mainly a smoke screen to hide the appearent.
Pop, Actually you indicated that you were informed that (all) members of this site are opposed to using salt, but then go on to reference Jensen, recommending the use of baking soda, marine salt and epson salt. It reads very much like you saying that in spite of what others members may say, this is a preferred recipe~?
I would agree that when someone asks about using salt in an aquarium, they generally mean aquarium or table salt.
I think it was not your intent to recommend using salt, but your post is easily interpreted otherwise.

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