Good advice.... Bad advice

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Jan, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. JanValued MemberMember

    I was at a local pet shop on the weekend and I was told that the WORSE thing to do to freshwater fish is to add salt. He said that it is not meant for them to live in salt and it could be deadly for them. I told him that I have read all over internet to put salt in the water for Ick. He said then you have to make sure to get the salt completely out which would mean a 100% water change and of course that is not a good thing to do. I was told by another pet store that I should put a handful of pennies in the tank and the tank would never get ick again.... would that not kill the fish as well though?

    It is good to be informed but it seems that the more people I talk to the more conflicting advice I get, I just don't know what is good advice and what is bad advice!!
  2. MarcWell Known MemberMember

    There are the correct kinds of salt which are beneficial to the fish... such as aquarium salt and epsom salt (or so I've heard). You shouldn't add alot though or it could be bad for the fish, though in small dosages it's seemingly good for them.
  3. JanValued MemberMember

    I hear you! That is what I thought as well but according to the expert he said that there is no way he would add ANY salt of ANY type to his tanks!
  4. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    So now I am wondering about "salt baths" again, lol. Read this:
  5. JanValued MemberMember

    Well, I asked him about that as well. I had told him that I had given my bala a salt bath and she was dead within the hour and he said YEAH it kills fish!!!

    I am slowly trying to get rid of the salt in my tank to see if it makes any difference but I just don't know what to do anymore either!
  6. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    Remember that most pet store people are not EXPERTS, just people who are selling fish. The experts are those who buy the fish and love them and care for them on a day to day basis and deal with their problems. Sometimes, you will find a LFS that really cares about the fish enough to treat them the way we would, but mostly they just want to bring them in from the dealers and sell them out the door with as little to do for them as possible.

    Please don't confuse pet store employees with experts they are only salespeople usually.

  7. JanValued MemberMember

    I totally agree with you about petstore people but this guy also makes fish tanks/breeds fish and has around $10,000 worth of fish at his home as this is a TOTAL hobby for him both at work and at home. I guess this is why I am not diregarding his advice so readily. ???
  8. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    that's why I said "usually". I too am lucky to have one of those great guys who do this for a hobby/living and love their fish as much as we do. I was speaking of the majority.

  9. JanValued MemberMember

    I am not too sure if I am lucky or not as I have read way tooooooooo much about the benefits of salt and he simply threw that theory out of the window in a matter of minutes!! But, I guess everyone also goes by their own experience, he also has very expensive fish and I guess he is not willing to take the chance of losing one and salt is possibly too risky??? ???
  10. vinWell Known MemberMember

    It depends upon the species. Most livebearers can handle the salt (Mollies, Platys, Swordtails) and some species of catfish can as well.

    I've read both cases where it's been stated that salt is deadly to corydoras cats, yet have read that they can tollerate as much as 2 teaspoons per gallon. That would make sense since many species of catfish are from brackish, salty water......

    For every person that tells you it's not safe, you're bound to find ones that tell you it is.....
  11. Faye RodValued MemberMember

    I was at the LFS yesterday and bought plants - I asked if there was anything she recommended for the plants. She asked if I treat my water with a water conditioner, use Stress coat and add salt. I know that is what they do there - but I have read on this forum that salt is not recommended. As you were told at your LFS! Different places - different advice. You might want to start a thread under another topic - or move this one to Freshwater Beginners. You might get more responses there. When I added salt at the beginning of my experience with aquariums (a long two months ago) all of the fish died. I'm sure there were other issues - but since I already have soft water I will not add salt again. Finding this forum has made all the difference for me - questions are answered and my fish are living.
  12. Faye RodValued MemberMember

    oops - this is under freshwater beginners! any advice from the experienced fish people about adding salt?
  13. angelfish220Well Known MemberMember

    I wouldnt do it. unless you are keeping brackish fish I think it is just to risky. If you shouldnt need to add salt for ick, just raise the tank temp to 82degrees. The only fish that I can think of that might benifit is livebearers, salt will make for more healthy young and a shorter gestation period. So unless you want a ton of guppies I wouldnt use salt.
  14. capekateFishlore VIPMember

    there are specific fish that need aquarium salt. There are tropical fish that do not need salt in their water at all, and are totally fresh water fish. Because we usually have 'community' tanks with an assortment of different species, its preferred not to use salt. Salt is over rated IMO. Unless the reason to use it is to treat a sick fish that is diagnosed to need the salt treatment. When doing that you should qt the fish and treat it. Or when you actually have fish in your tank that do require salt added.
    that is just my opinion in the salt debate... ;)

    :;bananapc ~ kate
  15. BlubWell Known MemberMember


    CapeKate is 110% right. With fish like Livebearers - it's best to have salt. However they don't need it and are fine in a community without it.

  16. SereneReynValued MemberMember

    when i kept fish years ago, i always used (a limited amount of) salt... i kept anything from oscars to hatchets to plecos and angels. i never had a cause of death that i could attribute to salt. my angels readily spawned in salt-treated water. i don't think it's as 'harmful' as people say, i think it can even be beneficial in certain circumstances (even ward off some illnesses). i also think you can overdo it easily - which is where i would say that all these reported deaths are coming from. i also don't think that a 100% water change would ever be necessary to get rid of salt in the water, unless you went so far overboard with it that you killed all the residents, in which case it wouldn't really matter. at most, i think a 50% change (at most) a week would get plenty out at a time, until you had such trace amounts in there that it wouldn't make a difference at all.

    that said, since getting back into the hobby, i've decided to go saltless... if i can keep my fish healthy without it, i intend to.
  17. NevilleWell Known MemberMember

    Salt helps to relax fish and helps with ich and is totally natural, it may be harmful for some plants.

    Scale less fish like clown loaches cant handle fish and will die when u add salt; also remember that salt does not eveporate so the only way to get salt out of your water is to do a water change; u cannot keep adding salt and not add water.

    The only problem with using a salt bath is that you may stress the fish and possibly cause more problems than it helps!
  18. DinoFishlore VIPMember

    Salt does NOT relax fish, it is an irratant.
    It causes excessive slime coat production so that the fish lessens it's exposure to the salt.


    Rift cichlids do better with desolved mineral salts, but this is NOT what folks are adding to their tanks.

    Livebearers do not need salt.
    We have 30 or so species of livebearers here ( mollies, swords, platies, guppies, goodeads, gambusa and h. formosa) NONE have salt added here and they do just fine.
  19. Angela_96Well Known MemberMember


    I have to ask about the rift cichlids and mineral salts, that is what we have in our 55g and I haven't added anything but water conditioner to their tank, they have limestone (from here in tn), and crushed coral, and sand for a substrate.... Do they need the mineral salts?

    Next the LIvebearers, the only time that I have put salt in my tanks w/ guppies is when we had brought home an infected fish w/ ich from a lfs so I have to agree that they do not need it either, after that I cleaned the tank out good to remove the ich completly and they have not had salt since...
  20. DinoFishlore VIPMember

    SA1, with the water we have here in east Tennessee, it really is not needed.
    Folks down in Atlanta, that get their water from a city, tend to have to add the mineral salts to get things back to the way the cichlids like them.

    Since most fishkeepers I talk to in person are from that group, I included the line about mineral salts.