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So to add some color, I would like to add some livebearers to the tank. In the past, I have put salt in the tank to help their general wellbeing. Can you do this in the Planted tank or is there some other trick?
 

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What benefit do you believe you're getting from adding salt? I know it gets sold a lot under the premise of increasing their slime coat--but there's really no point to it unless you're housing fish that are specifically brackish water only.
 

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If it is a livebearer only tank you can safely add aquarium salt at a rate of one tablespoon per five gallons. it will not harm fish or plants. some other fish do not like salt though like cories and kuhlis. some oldtimers think the electrolytes are helpful to prevent diseases.
 

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I'm having this issue of salt as well. Now, I've kept livebearers a long time, but left them around 2005 by donating my fry to the fish shop for tetra. Having been big into the tetra, cories and similarly shoaling fish, I've returned to my trusty livebearers. You can't beat their color and personality.

My office tank came down with camullanus. In essence my approach did little for the infected fish; thus, I euthanized them since their deaths were slow and painful otherwise. Given that I understand camullanus does not tolerate salinity very well, I'm entertaining the idea of using it in my planted tank (now at home). Bottom line is that the tank has been empty upwards of at least 6-7 weeks. I have drained it, cleaned what I could (ok, does anyone really "clean" substrate?), dosed it with every anti-parasitic combination I could get my hands on and performed a 50%-60% water change. Now, should I add salt?

The platies and swordtails lost to the camullanus are being replaced and housed in quaratine for several weeks, again leaving the planted tank free of potential hosts. However, I do not want to disturb my vals and sword plants anymore than what they've been put through already. Although I'd choose plant death over fish death, I'm just still of that mind set that salt benefits the livebearers. My grandmother had exceptional molly and swordtail stock for many years using salt. I've tried to purchase from reputable platy/swordtail dealers, but you just never know what you get.

All that being said, slowly adding salt to the tank makes me a bit nervous, as I do not want to harm the plants; while I've kept platies without salt, their longevity might be suspect. Either the salt provides some benefit to them, or the stock is substandard to what I got back in the '80s and '90s.

Thoughts?

My water changes for livebearers are religious. A minimum of 20% per week.
 

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If you're getting them locally, you're likely getting sub-par quality. That's the sad and unfortunate reality.

I've never, ever had to use salt with livebearers for any reason. The only time I've ever seen it used with friends is when they get less than healthy stock from local shops.

What sort of substate are you using? Some can be cleaned, some cannot.

Typically, if I'm worried about infection, I start over.
 

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In essence I've done close to that, starting over: bringing the tank home for more careful observation, disposing of the water, thoroughly cleaning the filters, dosing meds upon restart. I used double the dose of meds recommended, for a more efficacious shot at destroying them.
Without hosts for this length of time, I cannot fathom the buggers are "hiding" somewhere. Most would've been paralysed by the medication and then starved to death or succumbed to the environment by now--at least, this is how I reassure myself. Much of the hardscape, rocks and so forth, were allowed to dry out completely prior to reintroduction.


I use Fluorite, with some river rocks (purchased, not found). I am not purchasing stock locally this time. Both sets of stock have been purchased by internet dealers, one of which I've purchased from beforehand. The first batch will be through quarantine by the time I get the second "wave."

Over the years, I've been very successful at choosing healthy livebearers. Of course, all it takes is a single bad apple and the whole tank can be spoiled. However, most of the time I've used salt (from what I can recall), though I understand their health may not have been dependent upon that.
 

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If you want to avoid using aquarium salt, you can keep endlers( I like them more than guppies). I remember petco used to have these cups filled with aquarium salt in their livebearer tanks 5-6 years ago; I don't know if they still do that anymore.
 

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Kevbshields, I wouldn't count on salt to affect callamanus worms. They are insanely tough critters. Can be paralyzed completely by multiple dewormers, yet remain in the host and recover. Only a heavy dose of Levamisole works.

Without hosts, you've hopefully managed to eliminate them. But as you say, it only takes one bad apple in the future, and callamanus can exist and kill without any external indication - I lost many guppies for three months before spotting the first worm, and I had two sets of eyes actively looking for them. I recommend adding Levamisole treatment to your quarantine procedures. You'll find it most easily by searching for "Vermisol powder", used for avians. Keep it in the fridge for longest shelf life. Two potential sources for you:

http://www.vitakingproducts.com/wormers1.htm
http://www.jedds.com/-strse-1524/Vermisol/Detail.bok
 
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