02-13-2010, 10:50 AM
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Agree with Angel. It is a commonly-held misconception that mollies (and some think all livebearers) need salt. FALSE.
Livebearers occur in slightly basic/alkaline water that has a degree of mineral hardness. Not as significant as rift lake cichlids, but along those lines. As opposed to any of the tetras, rasbora, etc. So while livebearers must have minerals in the water, this is not common salt. The use of the word "salt" for these minerals is correct but misleading, as the minerals are calcium and magnesium and such, not sodium salt.
Mollies can tolerate salt, and will manage in brackish water. But as there is no reason to do this, and it will kill your plants [there are only a few that tolerate brackish water], don't bother. If your tap water is basic and moderately hard (pH above 7, hardness comparable) you're fine.
Ideal plants for mollies and all livebearers are Vallisneria. It does extremely well in such water, better than is soft acidic water, and mollies love to graze algae from the leaves. Some of the swords will also fare well, Echinodorus bleheri is one. Plus those Angel mentioned.