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Old 12-26-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
bighollywood
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Livebearers


So to add some color, I would like to add some livebearers to the tank. In the past, I have put salt in the tank to help their general wellbeing. Can you do this in the Planted tank or is there some other trick?
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:15 AM   #2
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What benefit do you believe you're getting from adding salt? I know it gets sold a lot under the premise of increasing their slime coat--but there's really no point to it unless you're housing fish that are specifically brackish water only.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:28 AM   #3
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What kind of livebearer?

There's usually no need to add salt.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:40 AM   #4
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platties... they just seem to get clamped fins sometimes... Thought the salt helped that.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:45 AM   #5
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If you find it's necessary, then I've heard of dosing about a spoon per five gallons. But it's never been necessary in my experience.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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If it is a livebearer only tank you can safely add aquarium salt at a rate of one tablespoon per five gallons. it will not harm fish or plants. some other fish do not like salt though like cories and kuhlis. some oldtimers think the electrolytes are helpful to prevent diseases.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #7
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so any thoughts on the clamped fins
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighollywood View Post
so any thoughts on the clamped fins
Platies are generally pretty hardy and easy to keep.

Try to select healthy-looking fish when you purchase them. Use water changes to maintain water quality.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:13 AM   #9
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Clamped fins imo is usually parasites or poor water. turn the water temp up slowly to 86 or 90 to kill ich.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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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.

Thoughts?

My water changes for livebearers are religious. A minimum of 20% per week.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
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If you're getting them locally, you're likely getting sub-par quality. That's the sad and unfortunate reality.

I've never, ever had to use salt with livebearers for any reason. The only time I've ever seen it used with friends is when they get less than healthy stock from local shops.

What sort of substate are you using? Some can be cleaned, some cannot.

Typically, if I'm worried about infection, I start over.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:25 PM   #12
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In essence I've done close to that, starting over: bringing the tank home for more careful observation, disposing of the water, thoroughly cleaning the filters, dosing meds upon restart. I used double the dose of meds recommended, for a more efficacious shot at destroying them.
Without hosts for this length of time, I cannot fathom the buggers are "hiding" somewhere. Most would've been paralysed by the medication and then starved to death or succumbed to the environment by now--at least, this is how I reassure myself. Much of the hardscape, rocks and so forth, were allowed to dry out completely prior to reintroduction.


I use Fluorite, with some river rocks (purchased, not found). I am not purchasing stock locally this time. Both sets of stock have been purchased by internet dealers, one of which I've purchased from beforehand. The first batch will be through quarantine by the time I get the second "wave."

Over the years, I've been very successful at choosing healthy livebearers. Of course, all it takes is a single bad apple and the whole tank can be spoiled. However, most of the time I've used salt (from what I can recall), though I understand their health may not have been dependent upon that.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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So what I hear you saying is that the fish from the local big box stores, that are the only stores to get fish from these days, are just crap and going to die?
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:30 PM   #14
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Your gramma may have used the salt for her mollies. They are brackish.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:44 PM   #15
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If you want to avoid using aquarium salt, you can keep endlers( I like them more than guppies). I remember petco used to have these cups filled with aquarium salt in their livebearer tanks 5-6 years ago; I don't know if they still do that anymore.
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