The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been waiting to get some actual aquarium (marine) salt to make my tank a true brackish tank (planning on breeding Nerites) but I don't have any of it yet. I do have some aquarium salt (the non-marine kind.)

Can I put some of that in my tank for the mollies I just got a couple of days ago? They are not being as active as I would like and I am wondering if this would help.

Fish in tank:
2 pictus catfish.
3 female mollies
Tank divided in half with a divider that allows for water movement to keep catfish from eating my mollies (they have already killed my guppy that was in the tank before I put the divider in.)

Can the catfish handle the salt? What if I put just a small amount in (About 4 teaspoons (3 teaspoons equals a tablespoon, in case you didn't know.)

I am considering that they are reacting to some ick that is not visible to my eye, but I don't want to raise the water temperature to 86 without seeing spots on the fish.

So, can these catfish handle a little salt? I'll test the water tomorrow and make sure it's not ammonia that's causing the weird behavior. It shouldn't be, as the tank is cycled, but you never know, I guess. Maybe it's nitrate, as well...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I know aquarium salt won't do anything about making it brackish. I'm going to buy some "reef salt" for that once I get a chance to.

Alright, then. I'm doing a lot of work on my tanks later today so I'll do a water change and put a little salt in the tank for the fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
I would be careful about that.

For one, from all of my reading, catfish don't do well with salt. Being scaleless fish, they are extremely sensitive, so it could potentially kill them. I would research whether your particular species of cat can handle it. Personally, I wouldn't chance it, but you may research it and find evidence to the contrary.

Also, the salt used to make a tank brackish is entirely different from aquarium salt. You can't just toss some in there. It alters the composition of the water. Just dumping a bunch of salt in suddenly would be like suddenly adding a ton of water with the complete opposite pH of your tank. At best, it will stress the fish out. At worst, the shock could kill some.
When making a tank saltwater or brackish, you need to monitor the salinity and avoid sharp changes. There are different kinds of equipment you can buy for that, but they don't tend to be all that cheap. Personally, I like using refractometers, but they are a bit pricy.
And it should definitely be a gradual change. Just because a fish can live in both fresh and salt water doesn't mean you can just toss it from one to the other. It would have to be gradually acclimated.


(I haven't worked with brackish tanks, but I work at a saltwater aquarium, so I am quite familiar with saltwater tanks. I'm sure we monitor ours much more regularly than most home aquarists, but we are constantly checking the salinity of our tanks to make sure there aren't any major fluctuations that could harm the fish.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
I have done what you are trying to do.

Here is how to do it right:

1) Put the Mollies in a quarantine tank, not a tank with other fish. Especially fish with a preference for totally different water.
2) Make GRADUAL changes to the water in the quarantine tank so the Mollies' metabolism has a chance to change to suit the new water.

I put some Mollies in a 10 gallon tank and every few days added some minerals and some salt for about a week.
I used Equilibrium for GH and baking soda for KH, and had coral sand in the filter (in a nylon stocking). I used table salt, or aquarium salt or whatever source of NaCl I had.
This made a sort of 'fake' brackish water that was good enough to get started with until I could get to the store and buy the right material.
Then I did a water change and made the new water to the same GH, KH and salinity as the water they were already in, but used the blend of salt and minerals that is sold for marine tanks.
From then on I used that blended material and made the water a little harder, a little more salty with each water change.
After a month the Mollies were in water that matched my brackish water tank.
They did not need any medical treatment, but the quarantine tank is the best way to handle new fish, just in case they do need treatment.

Pictus cats are not compatible with this sort of water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
I add salt to my water for all water changes about a tbsp to 20 gallons my cats and plants are fine have not noticed any thing bad from the added salt only benefits the fish, again I'm not talking treating the tank only adding salt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Generally aquarium salt (not reef salt) is safe at levels of 1 tbspn per 10 gal, that being said I would run a quick google search just to make sure all of my fish are salt safe. Salt aides in respiration and stress reduction, as long as I don't see any problems along either of those lines I don't use it, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, that being said, I do have a half bag of aquarium salt with a measuring spoon in it handy :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top