Tetras and Salt
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Tetras and Salt

This is a discussion on Tetras and Salt within the Characins forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> I've recently read that aquarium salt is not very good for tetras. I added aquarium salt on the advice of the pet store after ...

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:36 PM   #1
 
Tetras and Salt

  1. I've recently read that aquarium salt is not very good for tetras. I added aquarium salt on the advice of the pet store after I lost 3 brand new neon tetras to ich and almost one red eye. I first treated the tank for ich (the red eye - who was already in the tank when the new neons comtaminated my tank and died - survived and no longer shows any signs of ich), then I added aquarium salt a few days after the ich treatment was complete. The 2 red eyes and the 4 original neons all seem fine with the salt. Other than that, I only have mollies and swords (who need aquarium salt) and one two-inch pleco. He seems fine too.
Any advice?

Last edited by Swords and Mollies; 06-10-2009 at 11:37 PM.. Reason: Just wondering
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:00 AM   #2
 
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You are misusing the salt actually. Adding salt for no reason is not necessary and practically a waste of time and money. I prefer to advise using it for ich cases and nitrite intoxication (water changes are still better) only, nothing else. If anything, take your store's advice with a grain of salt. Not every word of theirs, is true. Most of their "advice" is based on marketing ploy.
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:07 PM   #3
 
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I agree with Lupin's comments. It is my view that salt should never be used in a freshwater aquarium except (1) as a medication [and I've serious reservations on this, but never mind], or (2) if all the fish in the aquarium require it or can tolerate it (such as mollies).

You specifically asked about tetras. Characins are very sensitive to salt and all chemicals. It may have something to do with the Weber's Apparatus that all characins have; they have a significant ability to detect chemical things in the water, like a sixth sense as one writer put it; they react much more than some fish to copper-based medications as an example. They can develop internal problems from salt and mineral substances in the water (calcium salts blockage of the kidney tubulii is documented in cardinal tetras that are maintained in hard water). Also, when the salinity strays outside the normal range for any species, the fish must work harder and use more energy to maintain the complex internal equilibrium that keeps the pH of its blood steady (which must be equal to that of the surrounding water, which is why pH fluctuation is so critical), its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. Stress results when the fish is forced to adapt to an environment that is not ideal to the species, and that can lead to poor health, behavioural issues, and disease.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:47 PM   #4
 
More and more confused all the time.

So then should I not mix tetras with Mollies and swords, b/c both the mollies and swords, I was told, need aquarium salt? Is that not true? This came straight from the information on the tanks, where it says they are community fish, so on and so forth ...
I'm trying to find out what to do. I read one thing, am told different things here and there. I don't really see where the pet store was trying to misled me. They told me that aquarium salt was not necessary for the pleco, and took a good amount of time to research before they would even tell me that it probably wouldn't hurt it. That doesn't sound like they didn't care or were just trying to make a buck. I am very confused. Thanx in advance for any additional help.


I'm beginning to think there are as many opinions about fish as there are people that deal with them in any way ..?
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
 
I'm sorry, but I also forgot that the salt is supposed to reduce stress. Is that not true?
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:39 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords and Mollies View Post
I'm sorry, but I also forgot that the salt is supposed to reduce stress. Is that not true?
It can act as a neutralizer to the toxic effects of nitrite however nothing will replace water changes which is a much better option than the use of salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords and Mollies View Post
So then should I not mix tetras with Mollies and swords, b/c both the mollies and swords, I was told, need aquarium salt? Is that not true? This came straight from the information on the tanks, where it says they are community fish, so on and so forth ...
I'm trying to find out what to do. I read one thing, am told different things here and there. I don't really see where the pet store was trying to misled me. They told me that aquarium salt was not necessary for the pleco, and took a good amount of time to research before they would even tell me that it probably wouldn't hurt it. That doesn't sound like they didn't care or were just trying to make a buck. I am very confused. Thanx in advance for any additional help.


I'm beginning to think there are as many opinions about fish as there are people that deal with them in any way ..?
Mollies and swordtails do not require salt. You'll be fine mixing them with tetras without using salt.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:49 AM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords and Mollies View Post
So then should I not mix tetras with Mollies and swords, b/c both the mollies and swords, I was told, need aquarium salt? Is that not true? This came straight from the information on the tanks, where it says they are community fish, so on and so forth ...
I'm trying to find out what to do. I read one thing, am told different things here and there. I don't really see where the pet store was trying to misled me. They told me that aquarium salt was not necessary for the pleco, and took a good amount of time to research before they would even tell me that it probably wouldn't hurt it. That doesn't sound like they didn't care or were just trying to make a buck. I am very confused. Thanx in advance for any additional help.


I'm beginning to think there are as many opinions about fish as there are people that deal with them in any way ..?
I dont think it is that they are trying to intentionally mislead you, they just are not always the most informed people. I have caught plenty of incorrect things the petstores have told me as well as other customers. I do not think it is because they are trying to mislead the people. You do not have to have that much knowledge to work at a pet store as they 'teach you along the way'. The fact they had to do 'research' to tell you yes or no on the pleco tells me they probably are lacking some of the info they should readily know. I'm sure they were just misinformed and unintentionally passed it on to someone else thinking it was correct.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:59 AM   #8
 
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I'm beginning to think there are as many opinions about fish as there are people that deal with them in any way ..?

You're correct. But there is a difference between one of us having an opinion based on common myth and one of us stating an opinion based on scientific fact. Both Lupin and I have stated scientific facts in our opinions. For the record, when I post information based on my personal experience in this hobby, you can be assured that I have researched the reason behind it so that it has a basis and is not merely something I have thought up. This is certainly not to say I am always right, far from it; but if my thinking agrees with those in the hobby and scientific community who have what we may term expert knowledge, I feel comfortable stating that opinion.

I'm sorry, but I also forgot that the salt is supposed to reduce stress. Is that not true?

If you read my original post, you will see this is clearly not true. Forcing a fish to live in water containing salt, when that fish's internal metabolism is going into "overdrive" to counter the effect of the salt in the water, is obviously not healthy and going to stress out the fish. This fact came from an article on fish growth vs. tank size written by Laura Muha in the December 2006 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist. Ms. Muha consulted a number of leading ichthyologists and biologists in researching her article, and she cites from many of them.

There is also the matter of common sense. If a fish like the cardinal tetra comes from water that has a pH range of 3.5 to 5 (depending upon the source for each particular fish), so little mineral hardness that it can scarcely be measured, and so far removed from the influx of salt water, common sense tells us it will thrive best when given conditions that replicate this water as close as possible. Adding salt to the aquarium is exposing this fish to something that is foreign to it's internal organs and biological processes that developed over millions of years of evolution--and this does not make sense to me. When I then have information from several biologists who support this common sense with scientific fact about blockage of the fish's kidney tubulii and the fish having to adjust its internal blood pH to equal that of the water, I feel safe accepting it as fact that adding salt to the aquarium is going to be detrimental to this fish.

There was a time in the hobby when many believed one should never do a partial water change, but retain the same water only adding to it when it evaporates. Although there are still some who maintain this is possible, the majority now hold a very different opinion based on scientific facts about water chemistry that most hobbyists didn't know about back then. Science can explain why things occur in our aquariums, so that we can better understand the biological processes and strive to maintain a more healthy environment for our fish.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:21 PM   #9
 
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I went into Petsmart just today and saw what I think Swords and Mollies was talking about saying info is written by each tank; I saw where it was talking about gouramis and (I think) swordtails requiring some salt. I became really confused and sad, as I never heard anyone talking about that (I'm still new though) and I really like them.

I really want a gourami or swordtail in my first tank (still doing research), but I think I'd only have room for one after my six or so tetras for my 20 gal, and I think you have to have gouramis/swordtails in groups (?).

I'm happy to hear though that I don't have to add it and I can mix them with tetras. :]
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:41 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Murphy View Post
I went into Petsmart just today and saw what I think Swords and Mollies was talking about saying info is written by each tank; I saw where it was talking about gouramis and (I think) swordtails requiring some salt. I became really confused and sad, as I never heard anyone talking about that (I'm still new though) and I really like them.

I really want a gourami or swordtail in my first tank (still doing research), but I think I'd only have room for one after my six or so tetras for my 20 gal, and I think you have to have gouramis/swordtails in groups (?).

I'm happy to hear though that I don't have to add it and I can mix them with tetras. :]
Gouramis do not live in water with high conductivity (from added salt electrolytes). Swordtails can live without salt just fine. Your store is spewing BS as usual.
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