Should you add salt to a livebearer tank or not?

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02 Jun 2011 12:46 - 02 Jun 2011 15:49 #1 by tsheehan (Tony Sheehan)
Hi
I have searched the net for an answer to this question but find very confusing info about it.

Should I add salt to the aquarium water for livebearers?
Last edit: 02 Jun 2011 15:49 by tsheehan (Tony Sheehan).

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02 Jun 2011 17:33 #2 by igmillichip (ian millichip)

tsheehan wrote: Hi
I have searched the net for an answer to this question but find very confusing info about it.

Should I add salt to the aquarium water for livebearers?


What have you managed to get as conclusions from the net?
which livebearers is this referring to...? mollies, for example, would stand apart from the other livebearers such as guppies, platies, swordtails in their water requirements.

I would be interested to see what cases are being made for or against the use of salt.

ian

Irish Tropical Fish Society (ITFS) Member.

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03 Jun 2011 07:17 - 03 Jun 2011 07:20 #3 by tsheehan (Tony Sheehan)
From what I read most say that salt in not needed but others say it is a benefit to the fish

www.algone.com/aquarium-articles/fish-he...freshwater-aquariums

freshaquarium.about.com/cs/treatment/a/saltiinfresh.htm

www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread...in-a-freshwater-tank

www.yamatogreen.com/salt.htm

These sites are typical of the advice and after reading a lot of articles like these I'm not 100% sure which is best so for now I will not add salt.

As for the type of livebearers it's guppies, endlers and swordtails.
Last edit: 03 Jun 2011 07:20 by tsheehan (Tony Sheehan).

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03 Jun 2011 08:16 #4 by sheag35 (Seamus Gillespie)
a little dose of aquarium salt for the electrolytes etc. they release every now and again does no harm imo, but as a general rule no dont add salt as they are not brackish fish as a rule(mollies being the general exception)

Fishkeeping the Only way to get wet and wild

currently 25 tanks, and breeding is the aim of everything i keep
location:Limerick

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03 Jun 2011 08:46 #5 by igmillichip (ian millichip)

tsheehan wrote: From what I read most say that salt in not needed but others say it is a benefit to the fish

www.algone.com/aquarium-articles/fish-he...freshwater-aquariums

freshaquarium.about.com/cs/treatment/a/saltiinfresh.htm

www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread...in-a-freshwater-tank

www.yamatogreen.com/salt.htm

These sites are typical of the advice and after reading a lot of articles like these I'm not 100% sure which is best so for now I will not add salt.

As for the type of livebearers it's guppies, endlers and swordtails.


The article 3rd down is about the closest to the truth, (the aquarium central one), on the basis that the author of that has taken a more (and he should do) holistic view of the water rather than just a single focus. There are, however, a few bits that I do not necessarily agree with.

Link 2nd down is also a good take.

Forget link 1.....it's an advert for something else by the looks of things: and it seems to have taken the headings from link 2 and attacked them.

Forget link 4.....the authors doesn't seem to know what they are talking about. Whilst some of the stuff is true....it comes across like the author has simply creamed-off some sentences from elsewhere and compiled a document.
In that it mentions adding salt for Malawi cichlids.....they would be one of the last fish that I'd add sodium chloride salt with (not even in a bag of chips !!).


Conductivity and Total Dissolved Solids are important for various reasons: eg osmotic regulation, RedOx potentials.
Adding salts will affect those. The fish will be affected by those.
But fish coming from high 'salt' waters do not necessary experience high sodium chloride salt.....it has been the mistaken notion of thinking that if the salt content is high in the water then it contain cooking salt (sodium chloride). The salts in those waters could well be other salts eg sodium sulphate, calcium sulphate, magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate etc.

As Sheag mentions.....mollies are a different kettle of fish. In my opinion, Mollies are specialist-water fish they require quite high conductivities.
The livebearers you mention would do fine in good old tap water with harder water with no added sodium chloride, or just a little......there is really no need to be adding sodium chloride for these fish if the water has a resonably high conductivity through the salts (not common cooking salt) that give it some 'hardness'.

I do, however, use sodium chloride in the water with fish that demand (I mean demand) low conductivity and low TDS, very soft water and quite acidic. eg certain gouramis and some species of killies. I also use it with discus fish.

It has medicinal benefits...despite what some of the links said.

The key, and this is where possible link 3 has touched upon, is balance within the water.

What is the first symptom of unbalanced water? sick or dead fish.

ian

Irish Tropical Fish Society (ITFS) Member.

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