Adding salt to a freshwater tank???

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Oct 12, 2002
Hello, I am new to this. However what I have been reading in here looks like everyone is friendly and helpful.
I would like to know if I should add salt to my freshwater tanks. If so, what are the benifits. I have a 20gal and a 55gal.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
From comments made by crazy I am understanding that not all freshwater fish react favorably to aquarium salt.

Maybe if you could describe your tank in as much detail as possible including how many fish and the types of fish someone who understands freshwater could give you better advice about your specific setup.
Types of fish

In my 55gal, Im have 2-small irredescent sharks, 1-small red parrot, 3-small koi, 1-Large placosomus, 1-small Placasomus, 1-small rainbow shark, 1-blue gurromi, 1-comet.
In my 20gal, I only have 2-small koi, 3-small gold fish, an algae eater, and 1-black mollie
For what it is worth, first off, I think you have mixed species that really do not belong together. Koi require much different tank parameters than lets say..your gourami, sharks and comet do. They are also a relatively dirty fish as far as tank cleanup goes, you will be vacuuming ALOT.

As far as the salt goes, I do not know about the parrot fish and koi, but the rest will tolerate the salt well. Adding the salt really helps helps the gill function.
you really need to research each fish in your tank and their tolerance for salt, plecos can be sensitive to it, although i have had no problems with low doses, i have read reports of their skin being burned--as a general rule, scaleless fish and tetras usually do not tolerate salt as well as many others....are you having a problem in your tank that you think salt would help? if you aren't having any problems and your fish don't need the salt, I wouldn't add it--you will have better results with treating things such as ich if you start with no salt in your water--the sudden change is more detrimental for the little ichlets.... you don't need aquarium salt, you can use any type of plain salt, not iodized, but something like kosher...if you do decide to add salt, dissolve it before you add it, and be sure not to pour it directly over your plecos, or any of your fish for that matter...salt does help sickened fish or injured fish ( that can tolerate it :D ) by aiding their slime coat formation and aiding healing--overall if you don't have any livebearers or similar fish that thrive with salt, no ich or illness, no injuries , i wouldn't recommend it at this time....the plecos certainly don't need it :lol:
Just for the record, my plecostamus was over 18 inches long when he died by carpet-surf suicide. I got him at 2 inches in length and he always had low dose salt in the aquarium. All the fish are very aged now. I stand by the fact that it does help gill function. I never have ick either.
I have a 55 gallon arfican cichlid tank with one plecostemus. I have been adding salt for about 2 weeks now and it seems to be well received by all fish so far. They seem healthy and active as usual. I have not noticed any adverse affects yet. I add salt with every partial water change I do. I think it is beneficial to use; anything that helps the fish to be less stressed and to have electrolytes balanced is worht a try. researching your fishes particular tolerance to salt like crazy said can't hurt either. Good luck!
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