Foster and smith claims about using salt

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jaysee, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    The catalog always has little articles in it on fish keeping topics. One of the new articles is about salt. The title is "salt benefits infreshwater aquariums." They claim that salt reduces stress, treats parasites, and protects fish from nitrite poisoning.

    The only negative presented was use with scaleless fish.
  2. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I've heard this from many sources and personally believe it to be true. I still don't use salt in my FW tanks though, as I don't cycle with fish and thus don't encounter nitrite poisoning.


  3. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    If that's the case harpua, and 1 teaspoon is all that's needed for 300 gallons... Why does API say to does their salt at  ?
    It's discrepancies like this that I think are part of the basis for the whole salt arguement...

  4. mathasWell Known MemberMember

    Same here.

    Because they enjoy making money.

  5. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Hehe, remember Red, I am NOT a salt user and I agree with you that prolonged use is detrimental to our fishes' health. However, I do believe it has its place as a treatment... killing ich is one, nitrite poisoning is the other. :p

    API says to dose the salt at that level as a general tonic, which IMO shouldn't be done at all, to keep people buying it! :p


    Sounds like the F and S article is touting the benefits of aquarium salt as a general tonic and disease preventative. We know that we shouldn't do this; that the long term use of salt is not good for FW fish. However, in the case of ich treatment or nitrite poisoning, IMO the benefit of treating the fish SHORT TERM with salt outweighs the detrimental effects. F & S is a retailer; they are trying to get us to use it all the time so they can sell us more salt. LOL
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  6. Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    Makes sense :p

    I'm not arguing that it's not something to keep around for treatment, but that it's something that has a big difference's between how it should be used (dosed) and how it's actually marketed.
  7. SnowdrifterNew MemberMember

    Perhaps my situation can be used as an example.

    I understand my naivity is admonishable....

    29 gal....still cycling after 5 weeks with fish....I check levels daily and I'm doing frequent 30-50% changes.

    ph 8
    ammonia .25
    nitrIte 5
    nitrate 5-10

    LFS highly recommended adding A.salt routinely to prevent illness and 'stress' .....after adding salt 1tsp-5gal as directed by API (Only to new water @changes) for a couple weeks...I was advised to stop....I did...

    I'm going through a nItrite spike pretty severely and I lost 2 fish (pictus cat, clown loach)...Perhaps there's more than 1 reason, but I suspect my water is a death trap.

    Is my situation one that would benefit from adding salt doses to reduce the damage caused by nitrite until I finish cycling, or should I just ride it out?
  8. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    One of the main arguments in the articles linked is that a very low concentration of salt is needed to achieve its beneficial effects for nitrite poisoning- much, much less than what your LFS has advised you to add. IMO it's possible that the stress from the concentration of salt could have contributed to the deaths of your pictus and loach- neither are fish that tolerate salt well.

    If you're going to use salt for nitrite poisoning, just a pinch should do. Dissolve it in a cup of tank water before you add it to the tank.
  9. David CWell Known MemberMember

    I've followed several threads on other boards that say Nitrite can be present in high concentrations (500ppm or so) in a SW tank with no adverse effects because the salt in the water neutralizes any danger posed. I'm personally not going to chance it, but it is an interesting thought and makes you wonder what problems people would be ignoring if they allowed their tanks to get to these levels.

  10. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Salt has definitely been proven to help certain types of fish, like bettas. However, the sites that claim salt is the end all and be all, in my humble opinion, do not tell the flip side of that particular coin. They don't address the situation about scaleless fish, such as loaches, not being able to tolerate salt.

    If you have a situation where your fish are in danger of nitrite poisoning, then you're making some serious mistakes anyway and using salt would certainly not correct that fact. Kind of like putting a bandaid on a broken leg.

    In all the research I've done since I took up fishkeeping, salt has been one of those topics that seems to ruffle feathers, or would that be fins, the most. So, I've put salt on the "opinion" shelf. Since I have scaleless fish in both of my tanks, and no longer keep bettas, I never use salt anymore. Never.

    It's all about the health, happiness and well-being of my fish. Period.
  11. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Cats and loaches don't do well with salt.
  12. TedsTankWell Known MemberMember

    I have used salt and it can be effective. I don't recommend it but have used it.

    It totally eliminated gill flukes in young discus but the treatement was for only 5 minutes.

    I treat my Koi pond every spring with a good dose of salt (they of course are tolerant of salt)...we occasionally get anchor worms and the one time treatment seems to temp clear it out.

    This is only my opinion on salt treatments and salt bath's.
    If you think you must use it on some species, please research the species first. It is not used as a long term treatment..
  13. Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    i feel that Salt as a drip treatment or in a quarantine tank is ok, but not for use in the main tank. As most of us know it hard enought as a newbe to understand the basics with out killing fish because someone told us to add salt to a tank that does not need it.
    and water changes only remove so much salt at a time. so what would you do with the scaleless fish (if they / you have them )while you try to get the salt out of the tank?...JMHO
  14. pepetjWell Known MemberMember

    I have read my share on salt use for FW. I even purchased a small box of Hagen's Nutrafin Aquarium Salt for FW tanks. After reading some more, I decided NOT to use salt in my FW tanks.

    My Brackish tanks I use Marine Salt Mix (e.g. Instant Ocean, Coralife).

    I have used salt in medicated baths in combination with Methylene Blue but recently I switched to Pottassium Permanganate instead.

    I have used Epsom salt for Popeye relief in hospital tanks. Other than that FW to me means zero salt.

    Santo Domingo
  15. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    great thread!!!

    and as per always, salt is going to be the ever ending debate in fishkeeping :)

    there are many other things available now, that salt isnt needed anymore IMO...although many will use it for illness's or quick fixes for something thats wrong , sometimes if you learn the new things with this hobby, you will see its just not needed anymore....imagine salt on an open sore for yourself? do you think the fish likes that feeling either? vita chem, fish protector, stress coat (+) are a few that are more fish friendly ....

    if you feel you need salt for ich, nitrites, or any other issue, maybe finding out why the issue happened , can alleviate the need for salt? I agree with will always read a ton of info on salt, and its always going to come down to a personal preference no matter how many debates are raised :)
  16. mathasWell Known MemberMember

    Where has this been proven? I'd be interested to read the reasoning behind the claim, particularly if explanations or real evidence are present, and not just "I put salt in my betta tank and the fish was healthy, so salt = good".
  17. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    There sure is a lot of misinformation about salt around. One of my local fish stores has labels that read "needs salt" on all the tanks with livebearers (mollies, platys, guppies). I have heard this said from other sources about mollies specifically, but I have had all these fish thrive and reproduce without, so I sure wouldn't want to experiment. And to a new fishkeeper I can so easily see them really overdoing the salt.
  18. Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    Buy healthy stock and keep a clean tank and there is no need for salt. IMO salt just masks the problem. high N02 needs more water changes... Ick means temp not right or cold air drafts. Fix the cause and it will fix the problem..
  19. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I couldn't agree more with evereything shawnie said.
  20. David CWell Known MemberMember

    Most of my research has turned up that salt dips can be used for FW for the treatment of ich in the same fashion that FW dips for SW fish work for the treatment of ich. I haven't had the necessity to try a drip for either instance, but the logic behind it seems sound. I would prefer to do my best to provide an "optimal" environment for my fish and prevent the diseases from manifesting themselves than try a quick cure.

    In the end, I'm definitely with Shawnie on this one, prevent the situation from developing rather than use bandaid cures.


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