Is Adding Salt To A Freshwater Tank A Good Idea?

adh/smile
  • #1
Hi!
I am new to fish keeping but I have kept freshwater betta fish before in 2 gallon bowels. I now have a cycled 10 gallon tank with 2 guppies. I was doing some reading about tank water and came across the idea of adding on Tablespoon of table salt for each 5 gallons of your tank. Does anyone have any opinion on whether to do this or not? The article said to do it for killing fish diseases or any parasites. I've added literally a pinch of salt to my betta bowels before and the betta fish never reacted to the salt negatively. Would my guppies be ok with some salt?
 
Aquaphobia
  • #2
Guppies would actually tolerate the salt better than your bettas but a tablespoon isn't that much salt. There already is salt in your water in fact unless you're using straight RO or DI water! Yes, salt does kill some pathogens but not all of them or not at the levels typically recommended for freshwater tanks. Plus any pathogens that do react to it can become habituated to it just like any other medication or change in environment. They adapt. And then if you really do get a problem then simply adding salt can't help.

In my opinion, it should be treated like a medication when it comes to freshwater fish and used only if necessary!
 
EricV
  • #3
The guppies would most likely be fine with some salt but I still wouldn't recommend using it unless you're actively treating a specific disease.

It can be irritating to some kinds of fish and your salinity can easily creep higher and higher if you aren't accounting for evaporation during water changes.

It can be useful for short term applications but it's not something I would do over the long term.
 
Lchi87
  • #4
Agreed with the above, I would only use salt if I was treating for disease. If you have a planted tank, some plants are sensitive to salt as well.
 
Aquaphobia
  • #5
Good point about the plants, forgot about those!
 
adh/smile
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you for your quick responses! I don't have any live plants in my aquarium though so it wouldn't matter in that aspect. I will do that!
 
Lchi87
  • #7
Thank you for your quick responses! I don't have any live plants in my aquarium though so it wouldn't matter in that aspect. I will do that!
HIGHLY recommend live plants if you can swing it...it turns into something worse than MTS sometimes!!
 
EricV
  • #8
Agree. Live plants are going to be exponentially better for the long term health of your fish than adding salt.
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #9
I will just add my agreement to the above posts. Adding salt (except for mollies) to a Freshwater tank is an outdated practice.
 
adh/smile
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
HIGHLY recommend live plants if you can swing it...it turns into something worse than MTS sometimes!!
I'm sorry, I don't know what MTS is. Explain please???
 
Lchi87
  • #11
Multiple Tank Syndrome It happens typically after you've gotten your feet wet in this hobby and the number of tanks in your home explodes in a short amount of time. Owning a python makes it even worse!!
 
Aquaphobia
  • #12
Yes, it's an incurable disease that must run its course. If you have one tank you are very likely to soon have 2 or 8 or whatever
 
adh/smile
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Yes, it's an incurable disease that must run its course. If you have one tank you are very likely to soon have 2 or 8 or whatever
2 or 8 tanks? My goodness!
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #14
It is incurable but not fatal....... Unless your spouse is not also afflicted.
 
adh/smile
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Ha Ha! Thank you all for your WONDERFUL help!
 
CindiL
  • #16
Hi, more importantly than sodium chloride for your guppies (and all live bearers) are the "salts" in your water that make up the total GH, general hardness reading. Do you know what your GH is? livebearers need a GH of at least 9-10 for proper osmotic functioning.

If I was going to use any "salt" it would be sea salt vs sodium chloride because it contains many mineral salts and carbonates that are good for all fish and will increase GH.
 
adh/smile
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Hi, more importantly than sodium chloride for your guppies (and all live bearers) are the "salts" in your water that make up the total , general hardness reading. Do you know what your GH is? livebearers need a GH of at least 9-10 for proper osmotic functioning.

If I was going to use any "salt" it would be sea salt vs sodium chloride because it contains many mineral salts and carbonates that are good for all fish and will increase GH.
Hi! Thank you for your response. Is the GH (general hardness) the same as PH? I have never tested my water for GH but several years ago I tested it on PH. I don't remember what the PH was off the top of my head but I think it was around 6-8, good enough for bettas to live in for many years. I know guppies are live bearers but I'm not planning to get a mix of genders. I currently have 2 male guppies and might increase that number but no females.
 
CindiL
  • #18
No, GH isn't the same as PH. GH is a separate test for general hardness. You can purchase a GH/KH test kit or ask your local pet store to test your tap water for you.
 
adh/smile
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Ok, thank you so much for that info!
 

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