Salt Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by tony, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. tony

    tonyValued MemberMember

    Hey all,
    My question is if I am going to add a small amount of salt to my freshwater tank, how much should I add -measuring in parts per thousand (ppt)

    Thank you
  2. Goldwing_Don

    Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    why would you want to add salt?
  3. OP

    tonyValued MemberMember

    because I work at a fish store and they want salt. I just need to know how much to put in.
  4. leeishom

    leeishomValued MemberMember

    add salt to a freshwater aquarium?

    the purpose?
  5. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    The purpose for adding salt to freshwater tank is that it a) keeps the fish calmer and b) most fish actually live naturally in water with atleast some salt. You don't really add enough to make a huge difference.

    Basically you need to go buy freshwater salt from the fish store or use kosher salt (NOT TABLE SALT, It will kill your fish or so I've been told) and the way the directions say on the bottle are 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons but you can only do it when you're doing water changes. You don't just want to add a ton of salt all at once add it when doing water changes until a certain point which you need a tool that measures salinity in water and I will figure out the salinity level you need in a bit haha.

    Do not put in salt if you have live plants it will kill them.

    EDIT: Also the ammount you add also depends on the fish for instance mollys like a LOT of salt but then there are some fish that do not really like it at all.
  6. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    With the exception of treating ich combined with heat as per instructions, or to combat nitrite poisoning which requires a miniscule amount to achieve desired effect, aquarium salt should not be added to a FW tank IMO. Long term salt exposure stresses FW fish. Following the directions on aquarium salt actually DOES add enough to make a huge difference. Also, table salt will not kill fish. LFSs and aquarium salt manufacturers want you to believe this so they can sell you aquarium salt. The iodine and anti-caking agent are not present in sufficient amounts to cause harm, apart from unnecessarily adding salt to the tank.

    Mollies do not necessarily like "a lot of salt". Due to their widespread distribution in the wild and overall hardiness in general, they can be kept in FW, brackish water, and even full marine conditions (given proper acclimation). However, aquarium salt does not replicate brackish or marine conditions; to achieve this, marine salt mix is needed as it contains trace elements that replicate sea water (or brackish water, in lower concentrations).
  7. OP

    tonyValued MemberMember

    Yea I understand all this but the store uses salt, the fish are not in there for long because it is a store and they get sold. I would just like to get a ballpark estimate of how much salt (ppt) I should keep in the tanks. Any estimates would be appreciated :) thanks
  8. Zenial

    ZenialValued MemberMember

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  9. Furallicah

    FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Ok look on the directions for the Aquarium Salt container it should list some messurments. I usually do half what it suggest usually 1/2tbs for a 5gal tank. But I only use salt anymore for treating illness. Other then that I keep my tank salt free. Though I can see the benifits but its still a risk you are taking. Even at a low level a FW fish going from slight/possible high saltinity and going to none to little can damage the fish. IMO
  10. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I don't think your catfish will tolerate salt too well.
  11. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  12. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    What you need to do prior to putting any aquarium salt in your tank, is to research each type of fish you have and see if they require (or can tolerate) salt. Many can't.

    I have to ask, in looking at how you phrased yourself above, how much experience you have with fish. Your phrasing was kind of defensive and didn't come across as due to having knowledge of the species you were referencing.

    You can learn so much here from these wonderful fishkeepers.
  13. jersey

    jerseyValued MemberMember

    if the fish store usually uses salt dont they know their amounts already?

    not to be rude just curious haha
  14. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Are you wanting to know how much salt for tanks at work or tanks at home.
    If it's for tanks at work they usually have little containers of salt that sit right in the tank.

    If your wanting it for your tanks at home you need to research your fish and see how much salt they can tolerate because some can't tolerate any.

    My local Petco salts all their tanks(little containers sit in each tank) and they lose all the loaches they get after about a day.

    To use salt or not to use salt in a freshwater tank has long and will continue to be a long disagreed upon subject. I personally do not use salt in freshwater tanks.
  15. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    I agree that you should research about the fish before you add. The only reason I started at all (and I still only have enough in there for maybe 10 gal according to the directions in my 50gal tank) is because I know all the tanks at the store have salt in them.
  16. OP

    tonyValued MemberMember

    Ok. LyndaB I am not defensive. Please read the entire thread. It's not my decision, the store I work at wants salt put in so I am following instructions. THEY ARE NOT MY TANKS.

    Thank you

    Thank you Carol, I do not practice using salt in my freshwater tanks either, but to answer your question the salt is for the tanks at the store.

    Jersey, no they do not know, the old fish manager who ran things is gone. Thats why this is so frustrating.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2010
  17. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Thanks for your patience and the answers to my questions Tony.
    If this is a major chain store I'm sure somewhere there is protocol for how much salt to add. Businesses just do not leave it to an employees discretion how much of any chemical to use.
    If by any chance you don't find something telling you how much to use I personally would use just as little as possible. Just enough when asked I could say honestly there is salt in it.
  18. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I always wondered what those little containers were! Thanks Carol!
  19. ppate1977

    ppate1977Well Known MemberMember

    I have noticed upon close inspection many times the salt is in a container at petco in the tanks. An emloyee once told me they are sealed up and just in the tank so people will buy salt as a product. As stated by others, I used to use half the dose of salt in my molly tank.... but I phased it out due to tankmates.
  20. OP

    tonyValued MemberMember

    Ok Carol, that sounds good. I think that's what I will do. Thank you very much.