Salt in freshwater planted tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Salt in freshwater planted tanks?

I'd like to hear from anyone who has used salt in a freshwater, planted aquarium.

I am specifically interested in details such as dosage, tank size, type of plants, and if there were any effect on the plants.

I am NOT interested in personal opinions on whether salt does/doesn't have beneficial effects, or does/doesn't belong in a freshwater planted aquarium, UNLESS you share an relevant personal experience to back it up.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 05:36 AM
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I have used Salt in my tanks before.
I will occasionally throw it in. But I don't do any formal dosing on it. It doesn't harm any of the plants that I have ever had in my tanks. (Which I have never kept extremely cantankerous varieties though I have kept a decent variety of aquatic plants.) It will melt everything if you over dose on it though. I know from experience on that one treating sick fish once a while back. Melted every plant in the tank. Go figure lol.
When I dose, I use 1TSP/ 10 Gallons of water. I do know that salt is accumulative. It has to be removed by doing water changes.
And I use either Aqaurium Salt or Noniodized (Plain) Salt.
But that is all I know.
Maybe someone else will be more helpful.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 07:05 AM
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I maintained a .10% salt (NaCl - Sodium Chloride) level for over two years. That would be 1000 ppm. The level was maintained using Pond Care's Salt Level Test Kit. This is a titration test for sodium chloride only - each drop added indicates .01% (100 ppm) until the solution turns purple. The dosage was about 55 grams per 15 gallons of water. The salt used was Reagent ACS Sodium Chloride.

Most all "typical" plants grew great with no problems. Madagascar Lace grew like a weed and put flower stalks up constantly. Echinodorus grew great. Crypt Wendii grew great. Most "fast" bunch plants grew great - cabomba, egeria, etc.

I have stopped the dosage three weeks ago. I do weekly 40% water changes. It is too soon to observe the results I think. Salt level is currently between .01 - .02% (100 - 200 ppm). The Madagascar Lace doesn't seem to be responding well... it may be osmostic shock as it now needs to adjust to a new salinity level. Kasselmann says she observed the plant growing in freshwater forest rivers and streams with TDS levels no higher than 500 ppm at the most (which was in areas with abundant calcium carbonate rocks).

I haven't started yet but I plan on making a couple other changes as well... calcium sulfate instead of calcium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate instead of sodium bicarbonate. Mainly trying to lower TDS, sodium, and chloride levels.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 03:38 PM
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I throw in about 1 Tablespoon every 5 gallon water change. I use RO water which tends to strip a lot of natural salts from the water. So far, no real problems as far as plant growth is concerned. As far as the types of plants I have, I don't know. I buy what looks nice.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2006, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your responses! Seems like a lot of people have been wondering how much salt is safe, either as a prophylactic or as a treatment, but there wasn't a thread for the topic.

To summarize/standardize what has been used successfully:

1 tsp/10 gal (Marchsunrise371)
2 tsp/10 gal (Sarahbobarah - from a PM)
2 tbsp/10 gal (Olsaltybastard - figures, lol)
2 tbsp/10 gal (Hypancistrus - hope my conversion from grams/volume is right)

If anyone else has an experience with salt, please share.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2006, 02:03 PM
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I treated an outbreak of Ich with 2 tsp/gallon. The fish seemed fine during this which I maintained for two weeks, even though all visible signs of Ich were gone in 4 days.

The plants, however, seemed to fair about as well is Ich did. I lost a beautiful java fern I had for years. Cabomba and hornwort that I was pruning weekly stopped growing and eventually looked so bad I removed them. Vals and rotala just kinda sat there not growing but not withering.

I didn't like what it did to the plants but I wasn't getting anywhere with Ich on elevated temp alone. I had lost 3 black tetras and was determined not to lose more. In hindsight, maybe I should have tried 1 tsp/gallon first but such is life.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 12:10 AM
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i used maybe a ts per gal on a 38 with plants to treat ich and the only fish that died was the fish that brought in the ich, the plants didnt die, but showed weakness, mostly from higher temps and no light for the 2 weeks.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 07:13 PM
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I brought TDS up from about 200ppm to 500ppm using aquarium salt - half of what Hypancistrus used and it DESTROYED everything- my red foxtail turned black, watersprite, bacopa, baby tears, rotala Wallichii & a sword plant even frogbit were all turning brown all the way to the roots. It also did a lot of damage to my anubias nana and java fern. The only thing that couldn't care less was the drawrf hairgrass- it kept right on growing like mad..

Who knows why it works for one person and not for another? My pH at the time was ~6.4, temp at 78 and I raised the TDS to reduce stress on the fish during the nitrite spike when the tank was cycling. Maybe salt is okay at higher pH, but causes damage at lower Ph?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 04:55 PM
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I have never used a hydomener before. When you give measurements for salt what are you measuring on the Hydrometer? Salinity or Specific Gravity? Also , I'm confused by the scale on the hydrometer. It starts at 1.00 and goes up from there but all the measurements I see in articles are amounts below 1.0.
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