Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
I'm having this issue of salt as well. Now, I've kept livebearers a long time, but left them around 2005 by donating my fry to the fish shop for tetra. Having been big into the tetra, cories and similarly shoaling fish, I've returned to my trusty livebearers. You can't beat their color and personality.
My office tank came down with camullanus. In essence my approach did little for the infected fish; thus, I euthanized them since their deaths were slow and painful otherwise. Given that I understand camullanus does not tolerate salinity very well, I'm entertaining the idea of using it in my planted tank (now at home). Bottom line is that the tank has been empty upwards of at least 6-7 weeks. I have drained it, cleaned what I could (ok, does anyone really "clean" substrate?), dosed it with every anti-parasitic combination I could get my hands on and performed a 50%-60% water change. Now, should I add salt?
The platies and swordtails lost to the camullanus are being replaced and housed in quaratine for several weeks, again leaving the planted tank free of potential hosts. However, I do not want to disturb my vals and sword plants anymore than what they've been put through already. Although I'd choose plant death over fish death, I'm just still of that mind set that salt benefits the livebearers. My grandmother had exceptional molly and swordtail stock for many years using salt. I've tried to purchase from reputable platy/swordtail dealers, but you just never know what you get.
All that being said, slowly adding salt to the tank makes me a bit nervous, as I do not want to harm the plants; while I've kept platies without salt, their longevity might be suspect. Either the salt provides some benefit to them, or the stock is substandard to what I got back in the '80s and '90s.
My water changes for livebearers are religious. A minimum of 20% per week.
38-Gallon Goldfish Mini-pond
20-Gallon False Neon Tetra Lagoon
20-L Xiphophorus breeding ground
20-L Xiphophorus (h, m, v) Waterway