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Old 09-16-2003, 10:38 AM   #1
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Adding salt to a livebearer tank?

After doing some online/book research on platies, I came up with an article that says that all livebearers (platies, mollies, guppies) need a little bit of salt in the tank water to thrive. They say 1 tea spoon per every 20 liters (about 5 gallons). Does anyone have experience on that? Does it really make a difference? Are there any potential risks in it? I also read that the salt should protect them from disease. I'm planning to start a livebearer tank, and am willing to make changes like add salt if it's considered useful for the fish.

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Old 09-16-2003, 11:34 AM   #2
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Sure its teaspoon?

I add 1 rounded TABLESPOON per 5gallons.

and personally, I havn't had any problems with the salt in the tank.

However some species don't like salt as much as others do, so do your research before adding any new fish to it.


Also, Salt only leaves the tank when you syphon, it does not evaporate. So only add more salt to the takn after a water change.
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:13 AM   #3
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Just make sure the salt dissolves before it gets to the fish. I had a few pieces that hadn't fully dissolved when I finished off my water change this past weekend. My smallest Zebra Danio that it was food and went right after it. Toxic shock and a burial at sea. It pissed me off because I've been doing so good with the fish up until that point.
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:42 AM   #4
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Thank you for your replies . Yes, I'm planning to only have fish that can handle the salt, probably only platies.

Yes, my source says specifically 1 tea spoon per 20 liters. The salt that I bought from the store yesterday, however, says 1 rounded table spoon. I'm probably going to start off with lower amounts, and see how it goes.
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Old 09-17-2003, 08:37 PM   #5
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I was told by my lfs that 1 tea spoon for every 10 gal, so your lower measurment should do fine. I have had no problems by adding it.
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:53 PM   #6
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Platies and swordtails don't like salt. Guppies and mollies can be brackish, esp mollies. But you should knwo taht means true brackish water salt which is the same as sea salt mix. This does not mean freshwater aquarium salt which is just NaCl. Freshwater aquraium salt is really meant just as a way to kill ick and other diseases. It won't hurt your fish but has no true benifit.
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Old 09-18-2003, 09:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkos
Platies and swordtails don't like salt. Guppies and mollies can be brackish, esp mollies. But you should knwo taht means true brackish water salt which is the same as sea salt mix. This does not mean freshwater aquarium salt which is just NaCl. Freshwater aquraium salt is really meant just as a way to kill ick and other diseases. It won't hurt your fish but has no true benifit.
Hmmm, well, I'm really coming across differing information on this. This is a quote from a website:
"Like most livebearers Platies will do better with 1 Tablespoon of Aquarium Salt per 5 gallons of water." http://www.aquariumfish.net/catalog_...es/platies.htm And in the link for more about Aquarium Salt they feature the exact same salt that I just bought, that is said to be made from "evaporated sea water". And there is also a Finnish site that recommends adding salt for platies. (They don't specify which kind of salt, tho)
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:16 AM   #8
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Actually, you can add "Aquarium Salt" to any freshwater tank. The directions will tell you to add 1 rounded Tablespoon for every 5 gallons of water in your tank. The benefit is that this increases the slime coat for your fish and this helps the fish to stay calmer.

Once you have added your initial dose of salt, you only add the salt to your "water changes". This is because aquarium salt does not evaporate.

HTH
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:17 AM   #9
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Here. Read this article, it is about mollies specifically but I think that it has good points for all livebearers.

http://tcoletti.tripod.com/molly_salt_debate.html
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:44 PM   #10
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Thank you. OK, I've come to the conclusion that most fish like, or at least can handle, some salt in their water. It seems to be recommended for most livebearers, but, then again, most of them can survive without it, as well. That adding salt may prevent disease, but then again the fish may get used to it over time, and will need more salt to keep the disease away. And adding salt might make the fish a bit more forgiving to your mistakes (which, for a beginner especially, may not be a bad thing :P).
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:59 PM   #11
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Sounds like you've got it figured out!

I used a bit of salt in my tank when it was 1st cycling, as I was having problems with my nitrites never really dropping to zero. Now that the tank its stable, though, I don't use it anymore...with most freshwater fish, there's just no need to make their kidneys work that extra bit harder, unless you have some nitrites, or are treating for illness.

Of course, with the fish that are happy in brackish waters, you don't really have to worry about it!
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:02 PM   #12
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Just make sure to use real brackish water salt if you want to use salt and save the freshwater aquarium salt (NaCl) for treating problems. NaCl just has no real use to fish. I think that is why this debate comes up so much because there is always confusion over what adding salt really means.
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:39 PM   #13
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Thanks, everyone, for your help! I appreciate your input.
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