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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Aquarium Salts

I have read somewhere that you should add some aquarium salts to your freshwater tank, just want to know what is the purpose for the salts, and will the salts affect your water parameters and what about for the fish and plants.

I have a 20G that I plan to have some small community fish such as guppies, dania, tetra, honey dwarf gouramis, cory cat, etc with lots of plants.

Last edited by corgifishkeeper; 05-03-2018 at 06:57 PM. Reason: correct typo
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 07:28 PM
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Unless you are adding salt to treat a disease or you have brackish livestock, adding salt is not necessary. Add too much, your fish will struggle or die, as will your plants.

Many of us add MgSO4.7H2O, Epsom salt, as a plant fertilizer. This will have some mild, beneficial affects on our fish as well.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 07:38 PM
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Hi corgifishkeeper,

First let me welcome you to the forum. Hope you have a fun time here and are able to learn what you need to get a superb planted aquarium.

When you see people mentioning "salt" here, they do not necessarily mean table salt (NaCl) but they mean Salt in the chemistry definition:
"In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound that can be formed by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base.[1] Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge)." Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(chemistry)

So yes NaCl is a salt, but so are KNO3, CaCl2, K2SO4 etc. Unfortunately,you will also meet people saying only salt and actually meaning table salt, which can lead to confusion.

In planted aquariums, you generally do not need to add any NaCl. Other salts added to the aquarium are added as fertilizer for the plants.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
Hi corgifishkeeper,

First let me welcome you to the forum. Hope you have a fun time here and are able to learn what you need to get a superb planted aquarium.

When you see people mentioning "salt" here, they do not necessarily mean table salt (NaCl) but they mean Salt in the chemistry definition:
"In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound that can be formed by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base.[1] Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge)." Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(chemistry)

So yes NaCl is a salt, but so are KNO3, CaCl2, K2SO4 etc. Unfortunately,you will also meet people saying only salt and actually meaning table salt, which can lead to confusion.

In planted aquariums, you generally do not need to add any NaCl. Other salts added to the aquarium are added as fertilizer for the plants.
Good additional info, didn't even think about it from that standpoint. Yes, many of us put a TON of "salt" into our aquariums, haha. Just not aquarium salt, like what's used for saltwater tanks.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post

So yes NaCl is a salt, but so are KNO3, CaCl2, K2SO4 etc. Unfortunately,you will also meet people saying only salt and actually meaning table salt, which can lead to confusion.
Thanks but I much prefer malt vinegar on my fish.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
Just not aquarium salt, like what's used for saltwater tanks.
you mean marine salt then ? for seawater tanks ? --- again, see the confusion I was speaking of?

I would not recommend adding marine salt to freshwater tanks. It has particularly high levels of lithium, boron, bromide and strontium and all the other minerals are in weird concentrations for planted tanks.

If you need to treat fish problems, use table salt(NaCl). If your GH is low use a freshwater GH buffer/booster or make your own by dosing MgCl2, MgSO4, CaCl2, CaSO4, KCl, K2SO4.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 12:02 AM
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I'm going to take a stab at this and guess someone told you, maybe an old timer like me, that adding a little salt is good for the aquarium??

Back in the 70's, 80's it was a very common practice. Folks would dose non-iodized (or kosher) table salt into freshwater aquariums. It had something to do with the theory that fish would produce more slime coat, which would make them more resistant to disease, and thus healthier and long lived.

I'm pretty sure it is a myth, but really have no scientific knowledge whether it actually had any benefit or not. In general, it is not good for plants, and it's certainly not necessary to keep healthy long lived fish.

Interesting, I thought it went the way of under gravel filters long ago, but it still comes up from time to time.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by corgifishkeeper View Post
I have read somewhere that you should add some aquarium salts to your freshwater tank, just want to know what is the purpose for the salts, and will the salts affect your water parameters and what about for the fish and plants.

I have a 20G that I plan to have some small community fish such as guppies, dania, tetra, honey dwarf gouramis, cory cat, etc with lots of plants.



Adding aquarium salt (not salts) used to be quite popular as a general fish health aid. I used to put quite a lot in my pond. It's pretty much fallen out of favor. Maybe you were reading something old.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
Hi corgifishkeeper,

First let me welcome you to the forum. Hope you have a fun time here and are able to learn what you need to get a superb planted aquarium.

When you see people mentioning "salt" here, they do not necessarily mean table salt (NaCl) but they mean Salt in the chemistry definition:
"In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound that can be formed by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base.[1] Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge)." Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(chemistry)

So yes NaCl is a salt, but so are KNO3, CaCl2, K2SO4 etc. Unfortunately,you will also meet people saying only salt and actually meaning table salt, which can lead to confusion.

In planted aquariums, you generally do not need to add any NaCl. Other salts added to the aquarium are added as fertilizer for the plants.
I was referring to the API Aquarium Salt that's for freshwater I saw in the store, I bought Seachem Flourish and Excel as fertilizer and carbon for my planted tank, do I still need salt if i am going to use these?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by corgifishkeeper View Post
I was referring to the API Aquarium Salt that's for freshwater I saw in the store, I bought Seachem Flourish and Excel as fertilizer and carbon for my planted tank, do I still need salt if i am going to use these?
Flourish Comprehensive is not an all in one fertilizer!
Macros will be missing.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 05:06 AM
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Macros are available in Flourish Comprehensive in small amount's.
Used it for a couple year's at twice a week in el natural type tanks and while still considering the Nitrogen,and phosphates as the boogey man.
The same page in magazine's I ordered from oddly to me, also displayed Seachem's Nitrogen,and phosphates along with potassium.
I felt more comfortable with the thought that I was getting a little bit of everything in the flourish comprehensive but plant's did not look like photo's of other's growing same plant's as me.
Then began to read more on plant fertilization techniques here, and elsewhere, along with possible cheaper method than buying largely bottles of water.
Began with the dry mineral salt's after that and still using them today.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 01:31 PM
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Everything in this hobby is plain as day. Flourish comprehensive is not comprehensive. Aquarium salt is not for salt water aquariums.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 02:03 PM
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cor...

If you keep the tank water especially clean, then you probably don't need the aquarium salt. I keep most of the livebearing fish and they seem to be healthier with up to a teaspoon in every 5 gallons of treated tap water. This amount won't bother the other fish or any of your aquarium plants.

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"The fish keeping hobby is very simple. Just change out a lot of water, a lot of the time!"
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2018, 03:49 PM
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So I just went through this same thing with the aquarium salts for freshwater tanks. The best reason that I read for why to add the salt to a freshwater aquarium was to help with oxygen exchange at the gills, this is also what it says on the box as well. API doesn't specify what type of salt it uses for this product, so I would assume just NaCl. I used it for several months, and did not notice any benefits or harm. I quit using it, and did not notice any benefit or harm.

I believe that any benefits to adding the aquarium salt, if existent, are negligible. Some fish, including some of the ones you mentioned are said to be particularly sensitive to salty water (in the brackish sense). The aquarium salt probably wont hurt them, but if it hurt anything in your tank, it would be them. The one difference that I did notice when I quite using salt was this: I have one single neon tetra, he's one of the first fish I ever bought. The rest of his school died in a horrible fertilizer accident when I was hungover. So he's a pretty shell shocked guy, all alone, and who knows what all that fertilizer did to him. Anyhow, he mostly chills in one spot kinda in the middle of the tank, with a thousand yard stare, and twitching. When I quit using salt, he started exploring the tank a bit more.

Take that for what you will.

Stable water parameters over everything else
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 04:29 AM
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https://www.algone.com/using-salt-in...water-aquarium

Good article but sort of MILDLY contradictory..
example after pretty well destroying salt..
Quote:
In some minor cases of external parasites, flukes, fungus, etc. a salt bath can assist the fish in healing better. This is in part related to the benefits of osmotic pressure regulation.

Fish stress is relieved and the organism can fight off diseases easier which aides in the recovery. The concentration should be 4 teaspoons per Gallon and the duration of the bath about 30 minutes. This bath will also stimulate the protective slime coat, which will further enhance the fish’s’ ability to cope with the disease.
I know but consider all of the statement.. and this:
Quote:
but again stress protecting additives and water conditioners have the same effect.
BTW: Guppys can live in salt water.. or so I have been told..
Oddball exception I suppose..


Using heat and salt to treat ich never killed my fish.. Plants on the other hand got pretty banged up..
SOME fish woudn't have probably survived but I didn't have them.
Should note that the salt concentration was below "recommended" for the treatment but way more than a "normal" dose.
also some say heat alone was enough.

Personally , don't see the need for it day to day..
bit more
http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article22.html

Found this one funny..
Last group of neons.. Same thing.. One lasted a long time..

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebi...altusefaqs.htm

Quote:
Question re: neon. Have had the neon the longest with the guppies.
<Cool. But one Neon is par for the course... buy six, most die, one lives for years. A common story, unfortunately. No simple explanation.>
Maybe the salt..
BTW: most died after the salt.. a while after..

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-07-2018 at 04:44 AM. Reason: edit
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