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Salt Uses In Freshwater Aquariums

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Deanasue, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I realize that the use of salts in freshwater tanks is a debated topic but that is not my purpose in posting this today. I simply want to clarify the confusion that many are having in using salt for freshwater fish. Below are some guides that I hope will help those of you that are interested. I couldn’t find a previous sticky on this topic so forgive me if there is one existing on our forum.

    Table Salt There is both iodized and non-iodized table salt. Neither of these salts should be used in fish tanks as they both have caking agents which are harmful to fish. However, non iodized salt can be used to clean nitrogen pads, and as a disinfectant. Very good to use in tanks and on equipment being disinfected after disease/illness. Cheaper to use in such cases than aquarium salt.

    Aquarium Salt. I highly recommend purchasing aquarium salt from your fish store as opposed to rock salt if you live in the U.S. This is because aquarium salt is refined from the purest parts of salt minds and with the safety of fish at hand. Rock salt can contain lead and nickel which are harmful to fish. Aquarium salt is good for improving gill function, reducing stress, disinfecting wounds, promotes healing, reduces osmotic pressure, inhibition of nitrites, and improves slime coat. Use for fin/tail rot and to disinfect and encourage healing of open wounds. Best used directly in the tank or quarantine tank

    Epsom Salt. Pulls fluid out. Good for Pop Eye, dropsy, bloating, and constipation. Best used in fish baths.

    Note: Always dissolve salts in dechlorinated water before adding to fish water as salt can burn and sting fish.

    Dosages of above do depend on type of fish and disease/injury being treated for. Please use according to package directions or Google amounts and methods for each type of use.

    Note: This may not be a complete list of uses but should help eliminate some confusion.

    WARNING: Do not use salt on scaleless fish or invertebrate. Please check salt tolerance of your particular fish breed before using salt treatment. Many plants can not handle salt so use caution in a planted tank. In such cases, treat fish in a QT tank. Information above is intended for treatment purposes only and not intended for ongoing use in your aquarium.
     
    #1 Deanasue, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  2. shrimp_lass

    shrimp_lass New Member

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    Thank you very much for this info!
     
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  3. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fish Addict
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    Very useful information! I think there’s lots to learn from what you’ve stated above.

    Good job @Deanasue! :fish:
     
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  4. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Addict

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    Very useful information @Deanasue! Good job! :fish: :good:
     
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  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I will only add that this is using salt solely as a medication for a specific problem. There are issues where salt is indeed the safest and most effective, and aquarium salt or plain sea salt is safe for these purposes.

    In other words, salt should absolutely never be added to a freshwater aquarium (meaning, one holding freshwater fish species) on a regular basis at any level, as this is harmful to the fish long-term. There is no "preventative" reason for adding salt as it will not prevent anything...except healthy fish of course.
     
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  6. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Byron - I do agree. Thank you for pointing that out. This is for treatment purposes only. I do not use salt as on a regular basis in any of my tanks.
     
  7. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I added a note that this info is intended for treatment purposes only.
     
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  8. shrimp_lass

    shrimp_lass New Member

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    What type of salt should be used for a brackish tank? Aquarium salt, or reef salt? And, should the base water be RODI as in a reef tank, or is tap best?
     
  9. shrimp_lass

    shrimp_lass New Member

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    Ah okay. My question above is beyond the scope ;)
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    When keeping marine fish or brackish water fish, you should use the marine salt mixes, not aquarium salt, because the marine salts contain "salts" of various minerals as well as common salt (sodium chloride) and the fish and aquatic invertebrates need all these minerals.

    The rift lake salts are only used for rift lake tanks and in freshwater tanks such as those for livebearers where the GH of the water is too soft for these fish. Marine salts are not advisable here because they contain the common salt (sodium chloride).

    "Salt" can be a confusing term depending how one uses it.
     
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  11. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Addict

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    A very good point from you @Byron, bravo! :good:
     
  12. Moony42

    Moony42 Fish Fanatic
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    Wow. Lots of sciencey stuff going on. Lol :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:d:Dd:D
     
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  13. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Addict

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    Lol, same here brother, same here! :rofl: :D
     
    #13 PheonixKingZ, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  14. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    I agree with Byron on using salt as a medicine only as it has long been a common myth in the hobby that adding salt in a healthy aquarium is beneficial...when it is NOT.
    I'll add two other points:
    1) Salt is equally bad for plants so any treatments are best done in a hospital tank, or a tank without living plants.
    2) Seachem Purigen is reclaimed with 50/50 bleach/water solution that 'burns off' the organics, not with salt water. Salt water (non iodized) does reclaim nitrate adsorbing pads and resins (e.g. API Nitra-Zorb and others).
     
  15. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I actually got instructions with my Purigen pack to use non iodized salt. That’s how I knew to use it. :) Thank you for pointing out the plants. I added to above.
     
    #15 Deanasue, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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