Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Aquarium salt? (

girl920 09-21-2006 11:56 PM

Aquarium salt?
According to one site, which is filled with info on aquarium fish, one should add a small amount of aquarium salt to a freshwater aquarium. It supposedly keeps the inhabitants healthier. I've never tried this in the past. I'm curious to hear what the opinion(s) on this board might be, before I try it. Thanks!! :?

Lupin 09-22-2006 12:16 AM

Hi girl920,

That is only their own opinion. I'd never add salt lest it is for emergency purposes or for fish who can tolerate salt long-term.
It may be true that salt will make them healthy but there is a fact that some pathogens will never tolerate salt hence their own advice to add salt. Adding salt in every freshwater tank is unnecessary and will do more harm than good.
Some fish certainly will not tolerate salt for long.

IMO, only mollies and brackish water fish will thrive well in salted conditions apart from marine.

crazie.eddie 09-22-2006 01:10 AM

I actually have experience with salt. I've used it for about a year or so. My appeared to be fine with the salt. None showed any type of stress, even for particularly "salt sensitive" fish such as clown loaches, gold nugget pleco and at the time, I also had neon tetras and dwarf gouramis, which are also salt sensitive. I originally added the salt to treat one of my clown loach, which showed signs of ich. After doing research, I found that adding salt was the best solution, along with high temps. Ich cannot take the osmotic pressure of the change in salinity levels, but fish can. After treatment of the ich, I kept with the salt for about a year. The reason was I read all the benefits with adding salt. None of my fish showed any types of stress, nor did I have any problems.

I would have to assume that some fish die from salt, from the way the salt is added to the tank. I am sure that most people just pour the salt crystals directly in the tank. With such a high concentration in a small area, any fish, more like bottom dwellers, that come close or in contact, could suffer some kind of injury.

The best way to add salt is to put the salt crystals in a cup and then add water and allow the salt to dissolve thoroughly. Once fully dissolved, pour the solution in your tank slowly over a long period of time. What I did was I cut some thin narrow slits in the bottom of a disposable drinking cup. I then tied 3 pieces of string to the top lip of the cup, so it can be hung. I put the salt crystals in the cup and slowly lowered the cup into the tank, until the top lip of the cup is almost the same line as the surface of the water in the tank. Then hang the cup, preferably close to the output of the filter.

As I mentioned, I found no problems with adding salt in the tank. In fact, I was actually dosing the wrong amount of salt in my 55 gallon tank. During a water change, I would probably remove about 5-10 gallons of water. Instead of adding salt equivalent to the amount of water I added back (5-10 gallons), I would add salt equivalent to the full tank, which was 55 gallons. I did this every week for about a year. As I mentioned, none of my fish, showed any type of stress nor did I have any problems with any of my fish.

I only stopped dosing salt, due to the fact that it was getting expensive continuously buying salt. I also read some kind of info on the net regarding that the salt could be harmful. But as I said, I had the tank with salt for about a year. Now that I do not use salt, my fish still appear to be fine. I still keep aquarium salt and Epsom salt, for medicinal purposes.

So if you want to use salt, make sure you dissolve it first, before pouring it into your tank.

Andrew 10-24-2006 05:50 PM

i add mineral salt from sera, but thats because i am making up aquarium water from R/O its either that or use tap water as a 50:50 buffer, sadly my water supply is not up to it!

Salt i have heard is good to treat disease- i have never tried it myself.

Tracy 10-24-2006 08:56 PM

welcome to the forum, Andrew! Your aquarium is beautiful; live plants in there?

Lupin 10-24-2006 08:59 PM


Originally Posted by Tracy
welcome to the forum, Andrew! Your aquarium is beautiful; live plants in there?

Yep. He has a thread in the gallery section(where pics are being shown of course).
Stunning tank.:welldone:

caferacermike 10-25-2006 04:51 AM

It also depends upon the location of where the fish originate. Most African lake cichlids prefer a type of sodium in the water. Regular old marine salt is not the actual one. It can be used but some manufacturers are targeting the cichlid boom and creating the proper mineral combos. I've heard many theories about adding salt over teh years to treat disease. I figure it's eaiser to isolate the affected fish in a tank and "medicate, play doctor" as I feel fit on that one fish. No reason to medicate everyfish because one is suffering.

Healthy fish living in clean water= healthy slime coat.

Andrew 10-25-2006 12:50 PM

Thanks- yes they are real plants, cant help buying them though i havent bouht for a long while. I am after something rare, i want to have a stab at the lace plant again- something i havent mastered- its a fussy thing, expensive too!

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