Aquarium Salt for Freshwater Fishies?

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LnX

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Dear Group,

I'm new to keeping my own aquarium and I've been doing all sorts of reading, research, etc., and one thing that's confusing to me is the balance of praise / indifference / outright rejection of the use of freshwater aquarium salt. Its use was advised by one of the employees at the pet store and the reading I did seemed to endorse this view. On one of the other discussion threads, I read that this type of salt was okay for most fish, but not plecos, etc., which may explain why my new pleco died his first night in an otherwise healthy-seeming tank. What's the collective wisdom here? I thought I was helping my fish and their environment ... Help!

Thanks,
LnX
 

Isabella

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I do not see why a freshwater aquarium would need any salt, really. Unless your freshwater fish are sick, you do not need the salt. Aquarium salt should only be used in freshwater tanks when fish are sick to help eradicate a disease.
 
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LnX

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Thanks, Isabella! I'm going to stop adding the salt with water changes now. I initially thought it sounded strange because as a kid, I kept a healthy 10 gallon tank for years (with help from Mom and Dad!) ;D , but never bothered with it. Do you think it might've killed the Pleco?
 

0morrokh

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If you are taking out the salt be sure to do so gradually. Going from lots of salt to no salt all at once is a shock to the fish. Each water change add a bit less salt to the new water until finally you are adding none at all.

It's true there are varying views on salt. I have not made up my mind about it. Most fishkeepers just don't use it cause it's not necessary and it is just one more thing to hassle with.

While it is true salt can be very harmful to catfish (such as Plecos) and other scaleless fish, I doubt a bit of salt would instantly kill a Pleco. They are really hardy. Unless you add a TON of salt to the water there was probably another reason for your Pleco's death.
 
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LnX

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Hi, All -

Thanks for the wisdom. Perhaps I'll never know what killed the Pleco ...

I'll change the salt level to none gradually and see how it goes. I think I have a case of male guppy fin rot (nasty danios chomped him!) so I'll probably start reducing after I deal with this. Argh.

Love the fishies just the same (except the danios, who are on thin ice) ...

Cheers,
LnX
 

Batman

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It's my understanding that aqarium salt is good for mollies, platys and swordtails. I have a coworker who's been keeping these type of fish for a while and she swears by it. You shouldn't use it with scaleless fish like plecos, though, or live plants. The same coworker does have live plants in her tank and says she disolves the salt in water in a separate container before adding it to her tank, so the salt doesn't sink down to the plants' roots.
 

chickadee

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Plecos, catfish, sharks, otos and other scaleless fish have a problem with even small amounts of salt because it causes electrolyte imbalance in their bodies as well as burning their skins. Copper will do the same thing. We may not think a little will harm them but it dehydrates them as the salt in the water causes a chemical imbalance that MOST freshwater fish can handle but not like. It is not a recommended thing ever to add aquarium salt to the tank on a constant basis. Unless you have a tank of nothing but Mollies, I would not put any sea salt in there either. Freshwater fish are called that for a good reason. They are not Brackish Fish or Saltwater Fish.

The pleco could well have died not from the concentration of salt but from the length of time it was left in it. Unless the concentration was indeed too much for it.

Rose
 
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