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Aquarium salt vs Marine salt

TO KYO

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I tried turning my tank to brackish water because I own mollies, but I was told aquarium salt won’t do the job that I would need marine salt instead. Can somebody care to explain that to me? (I have a 20g tank btw)
 

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The link in post #2 explains it. Aquarium salt is just "regular plain salt" or sodium chloride. Marine salts have other minerals in them, to replicate marine water. Marine salts are mixed at half level for brackish.

Mollies do not need brackish water. While they can usually manage in brackish and even marine water, it is not necessary and best avoided. It is true that in their habitat some molly species can be found in such water, but this does not apply to commercially raised fish which so far as I know are all raised in fresh water their entire lives. There is no benefit to brackish/marine water. They do however require moderately hard or harder water, speaking here of the GH, which is a very different thing, and such water does not contain any common salt, sodium chloride.
 
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TO KYO

TO KYO

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The link in post #2 explains it. Aquarium salt is just "regular plain salt" or sodium chloride. Marine salts have other minerals in them, to replicate marine water. Marine salts are mixed at half level for brackish.

Mollies do not need brackish water. While they can usually manage in brackish and even marine water, it is not necessary and best avoided. It is true that in their habitat some molly species can be found in such water, but this does not apply to commercially raised fish which so far as I know are all raised in fresh water their entire lives. There is no benefit to brackish/marine water. They do however require moderately hard or harder water, speaking here of the GH, which is a very different thing, and such water does not contain any common salt, sodium chloride.
Thank you, but I don’t if it’s just me or what but my mollies seem happier ever since I started adding aquarium salt to my tank. Also how can I increase my water hardness. I live in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and I believe my WH is around 100 which might be the reason why my mollies keep getting sick
 

Byron

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Thank you, but I don’t if it’s just me or what but my mollies seem happier ever since I started adding aquarium salt to my tank. Also how can I increase my water hardness. I live in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and I believe my WH is around 100 which might be the reason why my mollies keep getting sick
I am aware of this issue from the other two older threads, in which I happened to have posted. It would be my view that the water hardness is your issue. And if so, the mollies will die, guaranteed. Not trying to frighten you, but it is inevitable because they are not getting the calcium and magnesium from the water to maintain the proper operation of their metabolism and physiology. The salt is likely seeming to help temporarily because of its effect on osmoregulation. But it is only a temporary and partial reprieve for the fish.

Assuming GH of 100 is ppm (or mg/l which is the same measure) this equates to 5.5 dGH. Mollies must have a GH in the range of 15 to 30 dGH (= 268 to 537 ppm or mg/l). Along with this, the pH must be basic (above 7.0) which would be the case if the GH were at the higher level.

Hardening water is not difficult. You can purchase rift lake salts and mix the water before to adding it to the tank (thinking here of water changes). Workable, though it means preparing water in advance, and the cost of the salts. And to be clear, "salts" here refers to the salts of minerals like calcium and magnesium, not to common salt sodium chloride which is not necessary.

The other method which I personally prefer because it is permanent and less expensive is to use a substrate composed of calcareous mineral, here primarily calcium with magnesium. Dolomite was what I used back in the 1980's for my tank of mollies and even my rift lake cichlid tank. Today there is another better sand, aragonite, because it looks natural (the dolomite was pure white, a bad substrate as I now know). CarribSea make an aragonite and crushed coral sand that works well. This very slowly dissolves right from the start, raising GH and pH, and it lasts for years.

Either option will work to raise the GH and pH for mollies and other livebearers. But if soft water fish species are present, this can bee devastating to them. It depends upon the species, as there are some that must have very soft water and some that are fine somewhere mid-ground, but one has to be careful that the mollies are not being detrimentally affected just to have an inappropriate mix of species.

I should also mention that if this is a 20g tank it is really inadequate size for mollies; males reach 3 inches, females 5 and even 6 inches. And being largely vegetarian, they eat more which means produce more waste so that impacts water quality faster in small tanks.
 
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TO KYO

TO KYO

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Is there any type of food that could help prividing the calcium and magnesium?
 

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Is there any type of food that could help prividing the calcium and magnesium?
No. While calcium and magnesium may be in some foods, it is no where near the levels the fish need. The level of calcium and magnesium in the water is quite high for these fish.
 
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Then what do you recommend me to do until I can buy the rift lake salt? Do daily water changes and addin aquarium salt?
 

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Byron- I know nothing about water softness and hardness and depend on other members for that info. Just curious though, has anyone ever used Wonder Shells for minerals? Someone suggested them for my bettas but I never got them. OP, please don’t take this as a suggestion. Just curious.
 

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Then what do you recommend me to do until I can buy the rift lake salt? Do daily water changes and addin aquarium salt?
There is nothing you can do. But as the salt is apparently providing some relief, and assuming there are no other fish species in this tank (all of which would be harmed much more than mollies by common salt), using it may help.
 

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Byron- I know nothing about water softness and hardness and depend on other members for that info. Just curious though, has anyone ever used Wonder Shells for minerals? Someone suggested them for my bettas but I never got them. OP, please don’t take this as a suggestion. Just curious.
I won't guess as to how effective these might be. But from my limited reading I can't see them providing what is needed here, namely harder water. Any common shells in the tank would dissolve calcium, but how much?
 
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TO KYO

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Oh they sell chiclid lake salt at PetSmart I’m buying h it tomorrow thank you so much brother
 

cliffstips

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Oh they sell chiclid lake salt at PetSmart I’m buying h it tomorrow thank you so much brother
I've never done it, but I have seen people add cuttlebone to tanks to add calcium and minerals and it's really inexpensive.

Sent from my PH-1 using Tapatalk
 
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I am aware of this issue from the other two older threads, in which I happened to have posted. It would be my view that the water hardness is your issue. And if so, the mollies will die, guaranteed. Not trying to frighten you, but it is inevitable because they are not getting the calcium and magnesium from the water to maintain the proper operation of their metabolism and physiology. The salt is likely seeming to help temporarily because of its effect on osmoregulation. But it is only a temporary and partial reprieve for the fish.

Assuming GH of 100 is ppm (or mg/l which is the same measure) this equates to 5.5 dGH. Mollies must have a GH in the range of 15 to 30 dGH (= 268 to 537 ppm or mg/l). Along with this, the pH must be basic (above 7.0) which would be the case if the GH were at the higher level.

Hardening water is not difficult. You can purchase rift lake salts and mix the water before to adding it to the tank (thinking here of water changes). Workable, though it means preparing water in advance, and the cost of the salts. And to be clear, "salts" here refers to the salts of minerals like calcium and magnesium, not to common salt sodium chloride which is not necessary.

The other method which I personally prefer because it is permanent and less expensive is to use a substrate composed of calcareous mineral, here primarily calcium with magnesium. Dolomite was what I used back in the 1980's for my tank of mollies and even my rift lake cichlid tank. Today there is another better sand, aragonite, because it looks natural (the dolomite was pure white, a bad substrate as I now know). CarribSea make an aragonite and crushed coral sand that works well. This very slowly dissolves right from the start, raising GH and pH, and it lasts for years.

Either option will work to raise the GH and pH for mollies and other livebearers. But if soft water fish species are present, this can bee devastating to them. It depends upon the species, as there are some that must have very soft water and some that are fine somewhere mid-ground, but one has to be careful that the mollies are not being detrimentally affected just to have an inappropriate mix of species.

I should also mention that if this is a 20g tank it is really inadequate size for mollies; males reach 3 inches, females 5 and even 6 inches. And being largely vegetarian, they eat more which means produce more waste so that impacts water quality faster in small tanks.
Whenever I get the cichlids lake salt, should I do a x% water change or just add it to the tank (remember yesterday I did a 50% water change and added 15ml of aquarium salt).
 

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Whenever I get the cichlids lake salt, should I do a x% water change or just add it to the tank (remember yesterday I did a 50% water change and added 15ml of aquarium salt).
Make sure you get a Rift Lake water conditioner and not just a trace element buffer. The Rift Lake conditioner has calcium and magnesium chloride and numerous other minerals to increase the GH (general hardness), pH and KH (carbonate hardness). Rift Lake buffers are usually made of carbonates and bicarbonates and increase the KH and pH but do not increase the GH. You want the Rift Lake water conditioner not the buffer.

You should always make the water up at least 30 minutes (preferably 24 hours) before using it in the aquarium. The easiest way to do this is to fill a large plastic bucket, rubbish bin, storage container with tap water. Add the Rift Lake conditioner and aerate the solution until all the white mineral salts have dissolved. This can take a while so you need to aerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Once the salts have dissolved and about 5-30 minutes before you use it, you add some dechlorinator to remove any chlorine/ chloramine. If you have chloramine in the water, use a dechlorinator that binds to the free ammonia. Then use this water to do a partial 20% water change on the tank each day for a week. After a week of 20% water changes you do a 30% water change each day for a week. Then after that you can do bigger (50-75%) water changes once a week.

The idea of doing a small water change each day for a week is to allow the GH, KH and pH to go up slowly so there is less stress on the fish. If you change the pH, GH or KH too much too quickly, you can kill the fish. By doing a small water change each day (using the new hard alkaline water), you will gradually increase the hardness and pH and there will be less stress on the fish.

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Most Rift Lake water conditioners contain Sodium Thiosulphate, which is used to break down chlorine/ chloramine. However, it does not bind to free ammonia in the water. In most American water supplies, chloramine is used and you need to add a dechlorinator that binds to free ammonia so it doesn't poison the fish when you do a water change.

Adding a dechlorinator after the Rift Lake salts have been dissolved, and 5-30minutes before you do the water change, will allow the dechlorinator to bind to any ammonia in the water and make it safe for the fish.

This is important when using Rift Lake conditioners because they increase the pH of the water to about 8.5. When the pH is this high, any ammonia will be extremely toxic. So you need a dechlorinator to bind to the ammonia in the water (that has come from the chloramine) so it doesn't kill the fish due to the high pH.

It sounds complicated but just dissolve the Rift Lake conditioner in a bucket of water and 5-30minutes before you add that water to the tank, add a dose of dechlorinator to break down any chloramine and bind with the ammonia.

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Most Rift Lake conditioners will increase the GH by about 400ppm when used at the maximum/ recommended dose rate. Because your GH is about 100ppm, and Mollies need a GH around 250ppm+, you only need to use the Rift Lake conditioner at about 1/2 strength. This should give you a GH of about 300ppm, which will be fine for livebearers.

When you start using the Rift Lake water conditioner, you will not have to add any more salt (sodium chloride).
 
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