Salt for freshwater, planted tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Salt for freshwater, planted tanks

I am fairly new to planted tanks. Someone told me recently that adding non marine salt is beneficial for community fish. What would the effect be on my plants? Is there a dose that is good for the fish and the plants? Bill
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 08:32 PM
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Salt

It's generally accepted that salt is not great for plants. I add some, but tiny amounts compared to fish only tanks. I add maybe a teaspoon for a 20-gallon water change.

There's proably not the same need for salt that there is in a fish only tank. Salt is used as a sort of buffer and to prevent disease but in a planted tank there's lots of dissolved organic carbons that are acting the part of the buffer and the plants actually produce antibiotic like substances.

The fish are also a lot less stressed in a planted tank, ammonia is consumed by plants so it's not stressing the fish and the fish arn't so totally out in the open so there's less enviromental stress. There's less need for salt for many reasons. For a long time I never added any salt to my tank and never really had any problem with my fish.

The main problem is they live to long. I've had some of the same fish ( and shrimp) for many years. I'd like to get some new ones but the old ones never die.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 01:34 AM
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A .10% salt level is safe for most plants. I maintain this level in my own tank. My Madagascar Lace grows like a weed.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 01:56 AM
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But the PH/KH chart won't get you the correct ppm of CO2.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tempUser
But the PH/KH chart won't get you the correct ppm of CO2.

Huh? How do you figure that?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Huh? How do you figure that?

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm
Quote:
The pH-KH-CO2 Relationship
pH, KH, and CO2 have a fixed relationship as long as carbonate is the only buffer present.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempUser
The pH-KH-CO2 Relationship
pH, KH, and CO2 have a fixed relationship as long as carbonate is the only buffer present.
I may be mistaken, but I think salt, like Epsom salt, wouldn't affect pH, and therefore the charts would be the same. Look at it this way, if you add something to standing water (no added CO2) and the pH changes, it will effect the charts. If what you added is a carbonate, the charts will be correct, if what was added is not a carbonate, tannins for example, the charts may need to be adjusted.


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First true attempt at a planted tank.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 03:35 AM
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Use the native habitat of your fish as a guide. It is my understanding that some fish (mollies, WILD bettas) do better with a little salt (assuming NaCl) to rid off velvet. There are also some brackish fish that need partial salt water. If you are keeping SA fish, you might not need any salt at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bilkeo
I am fairly new to planted tanks. Someone told me recently that adding non marine salt is beneficial for community fish. What would the effect be on my plants? Is there a dose that is good for the fish and the plants? Bill

Moved to Tucson.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 04:28 PM
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Nice try but NaCl is NOT a buffer or an acid. So it doesn't effect the relationship at all.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 05:01 AM
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Nice try but NaCl is NOT a buffer or an acid. So it doesn't effect the relationship at all.
Are you saying that I was trying to make things up or you just enjoy making fun of ppl??
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempUser
Are you saying that I was trying to make things up or you just enjoy making fun of ppl??
Don't mind Rex. He is very helpful, but also enjoys pointing out any and all errors. Don't take it personally. He will be just as quick to help you out when you have a question. When the Gadd calculator is talking about buffers, in this case, it is referring to pH buffers, which salt doesn't affect.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 05:42 AM
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Salt is such a relative term. Lots of acids and bases are organic salts so it might be good to state the exact compound. For example I seem to recall that Epsom salt (mag sulfate) will increase GH. Table salt (NaCl) will (in my understanding) help reduce osmotic pressure but not show up as pH or GH.

So "salt" is a really general word like "hot".

Moved to Tucson.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 12:35 PM
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That's why I said NaCl. Sodium Chloride. It doesn't affect the pH/kH/CO2 chart. Matter of fact in the link given there is NO mention of NaCl or sodium chloride. Nor any mention of salt. So I do question where the idea that the above mentioned substance will change the relationship came from.

And yes I will point out errors. In these days of the Internet those errors get magnified and repeated. People would some day come across this thread and for some of those people the ONLY thing they would take from it is the "fact" that salt, NaCl, affects the pH/kH/CO2 equation. And that's not true.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 06:39 PM
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If you really want to know if NaCl concentration alters the KH/CO2 concentration relationship, the best thing to do is just do the experiment and forego mere conjecture.

Anyone want to volunteer to try it?

As for me, I think I'll just not use NaCl additions and not worry about it.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 12:25 AM
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I have a chemistry text book that tells the result adamjh.
Na and Cl are conjugates of strong acid and bases so do not effect the pH.(Chemistry TA nerd)

So in summary, be VERY specific. If "non-marine" salt is NaCl, say as much.

There are times and places where strange water chemisty is importaint. For example riff lake chiclids like hard and basic water while discus like soft and acidic. It all depends on what "community" fish in the OP are.

Moved to Tucson.
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