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Old 01-15-2003, 05:47 PM   #1
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Adding salt to a FW tank. (1 Tbsp / 5G = ??? ppt or SG of ?)

Alot of people recommend adding salt to a FW tank. The general consensus being 1 Tbsp per 5 gallons of water.

Since water changes will be diluting the salt, over time. I would like to be able to test it with a hydrometer but I have no idea what the reading should be.

Since: 1 Tbsp = 14.79 mL and 5 G = 18.93 L (18930 mL)
Would that work out to 14.79 mL / 18930 mL = .7813 PPT (parts per thousand)

And more importantly, if I use a hydrometer, what should the reading be for salinity and specific gravity @ 78 F ?

I know that I am probably overcomplicating this issue but I'd like to get a handle on the salinity / specific gravity thing before I venture into Brackish and Marine in the future. (Don't worry, I am talking about the DISTANT future)
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Old 01-16-2003, 09:07 AM   #2
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A coworker gave me the same recommendation of adding salt to my fresh water. I plan on adding the salt today. I had thought of water changes. I planned on simply adding the salt to the water in the same ratio before I added the water back into the tank. I use a five gallon bucket. Might be harder if you are using a hose to fill up the tank.
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: Adding salt to a FW tank. (1 Tbsp / 5G = ??? ppt or SG o

Quote:
Originally Posted by targaboy78
Alot of people recommend adding salt to a FW tank.
What is the main reason/s for this ??
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Old 01-16-2003, 11:29 AM   #4
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I also was told by a coworker to add some salt to my tank. From what I understand, it has a positive effect in buffering the water and killing a lot of BAD bacterias that form in the tank (i.e. Ich). I've also read that it opens the fish gills more and makes breathing easier for them.

Make sure you use aquarium salt - NOT marine salt or *gasp* table salt

The instructions on the salt I bought suggested 1/2 teaspoon for each gallon for live bearers, or 1 teaspoon per gallon for egg layers. I have some live bearers, so I opted for the lower amount of salt.

To add it, I use a 5 gallon bucket too. I filled the bucket for a regular water change, let it dechlorinate, then added all the salt to that bucket. I poured the bucket in slowly near my power filter to have it mix as much as possible with the rest of the tank.

All my fish have been doing great since, and that was two nights ago!
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Old 01-16-2003, 01:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
I've also read that it opens the fish gills more and makes breathing easier for them.
That's what the packaging I have in my hand says as well. My coworker said the salt also results in the fish making a thicker slime coat over their bodies which helps prevent transmission of disease and parasites.
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Old 01-16-2003, 01:39 PM   #6
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Here's another interesting tidbit. The salt packaging said it aided other remedies for diseases like ich. I looked at the packaging for the ich medication that I bought and it contained 50% malachite green and 50% sodium chloride, which is salt.
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Old 01-16-2003, 02:14 PM   #7
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OK, darn.... I admit it. I use a 5 gallon bucket anyway, so 1 Tbsp would be easy to throw in there. I just thought that the math would get kinda funky.

Image: 35 gallons of un-salted water in the tank. Then I remove 5G and add 5G with 1 Tbsp salt. Then in two weeks I'll remove 5G (which is partially salted with the 1/7 Tbsp salt that is disolved in it) and replace it with 5G/1Tbsp. 8O Then my calculator melts and I bleed through my eyes. I realize that it will basically work its way out (99%) but I have a flair for the dramatic.

But I wanted to use a hydrometer too.

Ok, I admit it is because if I already had a hydrometer, then I could tell my wife that "all we needed was a skimmer and we could go SW".

I guess, the easiest thing would be to add 1 Tbsp salt to 5G water, stir and measure the salinity reading. They I know what the optimum value should be then just occassionally check the tank to ensure that it is within the parameters.

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Old 01-16-2003, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
the easiest thing would be to add 1 Tbsp salt to 5G water,
That would work, but I'm wondering if that little amount of salt could even be read with a hydrometer.

I'm replacing ten gallons of water tonight to fill a hospital tank. The 55g has no salt in it now. I plan on adding the salt to the replacement water and over the course of a week, add enough salt to the 55g to equal out 1tbs per 5 gallons.

One thing to keep in mind, salt doesn't evaporate. So if you are topping off a tank that has had salt added to it and water has evaporated, you don't need to add salt to the filler water. Though I doubt that the amount of extra salt that would be added would harm anything.
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Old 01-16-2003, 04:03 PM   #9
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water salinity

For a freshwater tank the salinity shouldn't even register even if you have a bit of salt. (1tbsp per 5gallon is about right for regular upkeep and preventative.)

For a brackish water tank, anywhere from 1.005 to 1.013

For marine tanks anywhere from 1.022 to 1.030
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Old 01-17-2003, 10:40 AM   #10
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That's true on the evaporation - if you're topping off for water that evaporated, no need to add more salt. If you're sucking water out for your regular maintenance, then you need to add salt to what you're replacing.

It's not so bad - I'm going to make sure that it's not too high salinity, but I'm not really worried about it.
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