Safe to put aquarium salt in for sick tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Safe to put aquarium salt in for sick tank?

Would it be possible to put some salt in one of those plastic "betta containers", cut a small hole in the lid and leave it in the tank for a few days and not harm, the plants? Plants are hornwort, java fern, java moss and anubias.

Futher details...

Tank has been untouched for almost a year, other than the usual water changes, gravel sweeps and foam rinsing.

Symptoms on fish aren't visible. No speckles, holes, welts, disintegrating fins or any of that stuff. They slow down, hang out near the heater, then die. I've waited a couple weeks in between the last series of deaths to deprive and kill the bug, but apparently it's affecting this new batch of platies from my 55.

Heat's up at the maximum 88. Readings using the API liquid kit show the A/N/N to be near or at zero.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 06:26 PM
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If you live plants in your aquarium, avoid using salt. Plants can be damaged with a relatively low dosage of salt, which is one reason it's best to treat sick fish in a hospital tank rather than your regular tank.


Also, scaleless fish, particularly Cordydoras, are very sensitive to salt. Even a small amount could harm them. Tetras are also somewhat sensitive to salt.

Abe


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 06:46 PM
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If you don't know what the problem is, I wouldn't add salt OR raise the heat. The heat and salt method is effective against ich, but raising the temperature will actually make some diseases kill your fish faster. Also, having the heat too high can stress your fish. So I would inch the heat back down and try to see if you can figure it out before treating (there's no sense in treating something before you know what it is, since the treatment might make it worse.)

I assume that they aren't just dying of old age (if the new platies are also dying?). It's rather strange that an established tank with not new additions would suddenly get a disease. Did you recently add new plants? Did they come from a pet store? Have you changed anything about the way you do water changes? I assume when you say foam rinsing you mean rinsing out the filter foam in old tank water?

As a side note, all of the plants you mentioned can tolerate brackish water, so adding a little salt wouldn't hurt them. If you were going to be adding salt, I would mix a small amount in tank water and then add it instead of putting it in a container.

Joy to the fishes!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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I assume when you say foam rinsing you mean rinsing out the filter foam in old tank water?
Yes, that is correct.

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As a side note, all of the plants you mentioned can tolerate brackish water, so adding a little salt wouldn't hurt them. If you were going to be adding salt, I would mix a small amount in tank water and then add it instead of putting it in a container.
Okay, cool. Will give that a try and turn the heat down.

If these ones die off though, I'm doing a tear down. Lots of work, yes, but if I can't see any symptoms, what's somebody to do than just nuke and rebuild? The plants, of course, being the slow growers they are will be moved to a storage bin full of tank water and given a healthy dose of postassium perma-whatever. The rest will get the hose again.

At any rate, thanks. Will give the very small amount of salt a go.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

- DogFish 1.24.12
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 01:39 AM
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Willy nilly dosing will do nothing but harm.

Have you measured ammonia/nitrites/nitrates? ph/kh/gh?

I'd do some good 50-75% water changes. I bet your TDS has creeped up pretty high, for starters.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 01:57 AM
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keep in mind too, higher temperatures have less dissolved oxygen which could be why your fish are hanging out at the surface by teh filter input


They have no other visible symptoms?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Willy nilly dosing will do nothing but harm.

Have you measured ammonia/nitrites/nitrates? ph/kh/gh?

I'd do some good 50-75% water changes. I bet your TDS has creeped up pretty high, for starters.
The readings are virtually zero on all three, OS. That's why I don't get it. No visible symptoms and the parameters are good.


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keep in mind too, higher temperatures have less dissolved oxygen which could be why your fish are hanging out at the surface by teh filter input


They have no other visible symptoms?
No symptoms. Temp's been turned down as recommended.

Like I said, I don't want to nuke the tank, but I'm losing one fish per day, so clearly something's present.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

- DogFish 1.24.12
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 04:46 PM
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The readings are virtually zero on all three
I noticed on another thread that you replaced your filter last month. I assume you used some filter media from the old one. You have said twice that your readings were near 0. What exactly are they. Also, what else are you dosing and how much?
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