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Old 04-13-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
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Is conditioning salt in the water okay or even necessary?

I'm pretty new to this hobby and was told from a lfs employee to always add conditioning salt to any water I put in my tank. I am still doing this with every water change, once a week, along with dechlorinator. Since I've had no cycling issues and no fish loss, I'm afraid to change what I'm doing. I have barbs, 1 raphael cat, 4 african cichlids, a rainbow shark and 2 mystery snails. I am wondering if this is really necessary, and possibly, if it may be damaging to the snails, cichlids or the catfish. As I've set up my tank, I have purchased all of my fish from this same store and they've never said anything about water specifics for different types of fish such as the cichlids. They all seem to be thriving but I'm curious about the necessity of the salt. I don't have any nitrites or ammonia in the tank, and nitrates are always around 5ppm. It is soft water, also. Is this because of the addition of the salt? Also, I've been reading more about argonite substrates, etc. Is this absolutely necessary? I have regular aquarium gravel in the tank now. Thanks for any replies.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:21 AM   #2
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I have never used salts in my tank... ever. So i couldnt tell you how detrimental it would be to continue/stop useage.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:23 AM   #3
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I think I've been doing it more out of habit, and as they say, if it's not broke, don't fix it. So, I've been careful to do exactly the same thing every time I change my water. But in the beginning, it was just the barbs. Now, with a more diverse tank, I'm not sure if I should stop or not.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:24 AM   #4
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Is that conditioning salt a light blue in colour?
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:36 AM   #5
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Nope, just looks like plain white salt crystals. It's called conditioning salt on the package, and the directions say to add with every water change, not much, like 1 tiny scoop for every 5 gallons. It claims to reduce stress and build up a "slime coat."
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:07 AM   #6
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In that case, I don't know it. There are two ways to look at this.

1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If there are no problems with your tank, it's not doing anything bizzare to your water parameters and your fish are happy, then it's probably not doing any harm.

2. It is unwise to add something to your tank if you don't know it is or what its for. Does the product's manufacturer have a website? Might be more info there if it does.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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Yes its been around forever, my dad used to use it when he had breeder tanks set up when he was a teenager, I used it to set up my tank in the beginning and dont use it much unless I notice they are stressed and then I add the minimum and the next day everything seems back to normal.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
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I've done some reading, and I work at a LFS:

The box claims that it can be used as a tonic. Perhaps the increased salinity is detrimental to bacterial parasites?

I've also read that it will build up a fishes' slime coat by irritating it. I don't use it in any of my personal tanks, but at work, we tend to put in about 1/2 cup per 10 gallons, just once, until we do at least 3 20% water changes if the tank has any kind of ailment (ich, fungus, bacterial infections).

That's all I know for sure, just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:31 AM   #9
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With catfish and snails salt is not good. Salt can be used for medicinal purposes but other than that it is not needed in a FW tank. To reduce the useage, simply stop using it, it will be slowly filtered out with water changes.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:31 AM   #10
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Thanks all for responding. I was following advice from the lfs employee. But, I've been at this for almost a year now and am starting to trust my own gut a little more. Also have learned that they have given me some very wrong info (although unintentional) in the past, too. So, I'm not going to use it any more. Thanks again!
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