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FAQs on Table, "Aquarium", Kosher, Sodium Chloride Salt, Use in Freshwater

Related Articles: Salts (Marine, Table/NaCl, Epsom): Use in Freshwater Aquariums & Ponds by Neale Monks, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, FW Disease Troubleshooting, Freshwater DiseasesNutritional Disease, Ich/White Spot Disease

Related FAQs: Using Salts in Freshwater 1, FW Salt Use 2,
FAQs on: Salt Use for Treating Ich, Salt for Treating PopEye, Salt for Treating Bloat, by type of salt: Epsom/MgSO4, Seawater, Rift Valley Salt Mix, &
Freshwater Medications, Aquarium Maintenance, Ich/White Spot DiseaseAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease

Seasalt, synthetic marine... is vastly superior for all uses

Re: Mollies  1/28/11
Thank you for your response!
<Glad to help.>
I'm sorry for asking so many questions; I'm new at this, and I'm getting so much conflicting information its difficult to sort through.
<Odd. The needs of Mollies, re: their preference for brackish water, is actually very well known and stated in every book I can think of. While some web sites might suggest otherwise, it's as well to remember the Internet is a hugely unreliable source of information. Always review carefully who says what and why. A retailer will tell you many things, but remember he/she is trying to sell you something too'¦ some retailers are wonderfully honest people, but others, a bit less so.>
So, I plan to separate my ADF's and my mollies; I purchased another small tank today for the ADF's.
<Do read up on the needs of these. Very small tanks, less than 5 gallons, aren't worth using.>
My question now is: What is the best way to go about transferring the frogs into the new tank?
<Divide the existing water out 50/50 between the new tank and the old tank. Move the frogs and Mollies into each tank. Top up both with dechlorinated water. In the case of the Mollies, I strongly recommend adding at least 2 grammes of marine aquarium salt mix per litre of water. Although splitting water does nothing to move bacteria between the two tanks, it will minimise shock through temperature and water chemistry changes.>
My original tank is still cycling, so the pH levels are a little low and the ammonia levels are unstable.
<Salt will help detoxify the nitrite, and this will help the Mollies immensely.>
Should I use some water from the original tank to transfer them into, or should I start over completely and begin cycling this new tank, then put the frogs in once its done cycling?
<You will need to divide the mature filter media between the two tanks. Around 50/50. Done that way, both tanks will be instantly mature. Top up both filters with new media, and that's that! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mollies, Aq. salts (FW) f'
Hi! Thanks for being so helpful...a little update and a couple more questions :)'¦.. I put the frogs in a 5 gal tank of their own. Now I'm trying to get the water right in the molly tank. I bought sea salt for it, but PetSmart told me to NOT use sea salt, to use aquarium salt instead.
<What do you mean by "sea salt"? Marine aquarium salt is precisely what you want. Sea salt used for cooking is not. As for generic "aquarium salt" as you'd use in a FRESHWATER aquarium to treat Whitespot is adequate but less useful. Your pet shop clerk is correct you don't want to use cooking sea salt, but absolutely wrong about using marine aquarium salt.>
So I put aquarium salt in my tank...it came in big chunks so I just put the correct amount of tablespoons in the tank, thinking the crystals would dissolve over time.
<No! Do not add salt this way! NEVER, EVER add salt directly to the aquarium.>
So, now how do I get the aquarium salt out to put sea salt in?
<You don't need to.>
Am I going to have to take out the gravel substrate and clean it or should I just wait a little while for the salt to dissolve completely then add sea salt to my water changes?
<Let's start again. Attend carefully! What you want is marine aquarium salt, for example Reef Crystals or Instant Ocean. PetSmart may even have their own generic brand. Ask the clerk for the salt used in marine reef tanks. That's the stuff! A small box shouldn't cost more than $5-10. Now, go home, and weigh out on kitchen scales precisely 5 grammes. That's how much you add to each litre of water IN A BUCKET. It should be a bit under one level teaspoon (which should hold about 6 grammes of marine salt mix). If your bucket holds 15 litres of water, then you add 15 x 5 = 75 grammes. Stir into the water until it's all dissolved. Add that to your aquarium with each water change. So if you take out 15 litres per water change, you add 15 litres of the water and salt mix. If you need to work in non-metric units, the concentration we're doing here is 0.65 ounces per US gallon. It's really very simple. Every time you take some water out, you replace that missing water with a new bucket of water to which JUST THE RIGHT amount of salt has been added FOR THAT BUCKET not the whole tank. Do that, and the water should stay very slightly brackish, about SG 1.002 if you have a hydrometer (well worth getting, a cheap glass one costs $5). If you need to, print this e-mail off, show it to the store clerk, and have them choose the salt mix and the hydrometer for you. Marine aquarium salt mix is BETTER than "aquarium" salt because it contains minerals that raise hardness and steady the pH, both essential to long-term success with Mollies. Hope this clarifies things. Cheers, Neale.>

Brackish water and Guppies?   9/1/10
Yesterday, my favorite very unique Platy showed the very beginning signs of sickness that leads to rapid death.
<I see. One problem with farmed livebearers is a certain tendency towards Mycobacteria infections, typically associated with red sores on the bodies, wasting, and then death. Not much you can do about that. But otherwise livebearers tend to be quite tough, if given the right conditions. In the case of Platies, cool, moderately hard, basic water is what you want; 22-24 C, 10+ degrees dH, pH 7-8.>
I have had many fish that have died and know the signs. But loosing this platy would of sent me over the edge so I took a bold step and added 2 gallons of Spring water that I put 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt in each.
<Okay. Now, do understand that while salt can help, it's not a miracle.
Among other misconceptions, recall that salt doesn't do anything to raise hardness. So if you have soft water, salt isn't what you want, at least, not on its own. Marine aquarium salt mix is somewhat different because it includes other minerals that do raise hardness and pH, and 5-6 grammes/litre would be easily tolerated by Platies and indeed all other livebearers too.>
Unfortunately this was my first time using salt so I was unaware to make sure it was completely dissolved and melted.
<It's not a big deal, so don't panic about this. A few grains of undissolved salt won't kill your fish.>
I than added an air stone to help circulate more oxygen into the tank.
<Good. In summer especially Platies can easily be overheated 25 C/77 F is really at the top end of their comfort zone, and they're far healthier kept cooler than that.>
This is a 10 gal tank that has been cycled along time ago.
<A bit on the small side for Platies, to be honest. Stress between fighting males, or males harassing pregnant females, can lead to "unexplained" deaths.>
All I have in the tank are 2 platy's and 1 guppy. Let me back up and say that I lost an additional platy that was in this tank, only a few days ago.
I did not have any nitrate/ammonia test strips at home so I had to make a quick guess.
<You should have these two test kits: pH and nitrite (nitrite with an "i", not nitrate with an "a"). If you give me these two pieces of information, I can be A LOT more helpful.>
Well the moment I added the salt & air stone the platy I love came out of hiding and looking sick, and started to soar all over the tank, and is doing just fine. I was so excited as this is the first time I have been able to reverse a death. However the guppy after only one night in the brackish tank, has taken fatally ill. The last time I saw him this morning he was shaking under a rock, and now I have come home 6 hours later and he is nowhere to be found.
<The amount of salt you added, 1 tablespoon/3 teaspoons per US gallon is not that much. I actually prefer weights because not everyone's spoons are the same sizes! One level teaspoon of salt should be about 6 grammes, which is very easy to remember. A tablespoon will be three times that, i.e., 18 grammes. Normal seawater contains about 35 grammes of marine salt mix per litre, or about 6 teaspoons. One US gallon is 3.8 litres, so that's 133 grammes per US gallon. The reason I'm telling you all this is to point out that your roughly 18 grammes of salt per gallon, or 4.7 grammes per litre, is about one-seventh (14%) the salinity of normal seawater. That's well within the tolerances of Guppies and Platies. So there's no reason at all to imagine the salt killed either fish.>
I have not removed everything yet to find him. As the tank was just cleaned and set back up and the air stone is just perfect.
<Okay. But you really do need to test the pH (to see if the water chemistry is right for livebearers) and the nitrite (to make sure water quality is good). You want a pH around 7.5, and a nitrite level of zero.>
Questions: Is the salt compatible with guppies (brackish water)?
<Yes. In fact Guppies are arguably happier and healthier in slightly brackish water. Certainly they do better in such conditions than they will do in soft water.>
And how long can I leave the guppy "lost" or dead before I have to find him?
<If he's alive, you should see him within the next day or two. Check he hasn't jumped out, swum into the filter, got stuck behind objects inside the tank, etc.>
Will disease travel throughout the tank if not removed promptly?
<Depends on the disease. Many are opportunistic, and they exists in most aquaria all the time. They only cause problems when we, the aquarists, stress our fish and weaken their immune systems.>
If I find him, alive but sick, is there anything I can do for the poor guy.
<Depends on what's wrong with him. You haven't really supplied me with any useful information on water chemistry or water quality. Without lists of symptoms, or a photo (no bigger than about 500 KB!) I can't say anything at all about disease.>
If I take him out of the brackish water the tank I put him in will not have cycled water in it?
<And that would be bad.>
I appreciate your help.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Update: Brackish water and Guppies?
In response to some of your questions below; first let me state none of my fish are female livebearers.
All 3 fish are MALE 2 small Platies and 1 guppy, so I thought a 10 gal was more than adequate.
<Not the case, unfortunately. Males will squabble in tanks this small.>
I was able to test the water today and it appears the Nitrate is in caution (20ppm) the nitrite is perfect! (0) The hardness is ideal (300ppm). The alkalinity is high (300ppm) and the PH is between 8-8.5 Please tell me what I should do to correct any of this?
<Nothing. That's all fine for livebearers.>
The guppy (which I found) is real lethargic sitting behind the filter canister, the platy that seemed to come back from the dead yesterday has been hiding under a rock ledge, and my other platy who has not showed any sign of distress is now inside the tunnel hole.
<Could be stress from fighting. But my gut feeling is Mycobacteriosis, sometimes called Wasting Disease. This is very common among livebearers.
For some reason juveniles don't often show the symptoms, but as the fish mature they start to waste away, getting thinner and often exhibiting poor colouration and sores on their flanks. It's essentially incurable and very contagious, so it's important to euthanise infected fish and isolate the affected tank from any others in your house, e.g., by not sharing nets or buckets.
Water quality seems fine, and water chemistry shouldn't be a problem either.>
Help! What do I need to do? Can I save them??
<Sorry I can't offer any better advice. A photo of the ailing fish would really help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Update and photos 9/3/10
I appreciate all your advice, but still you keep making reference to livebearers, which I thought were only females?
<Nope. "Livebearers" is the word given to species that produce fully-formed young rather than eggs. Both male and female Guppies and Platies are livebearers. Just the same way both men and women are placental mammals, even though it's only women who get pregnant.>
and my fish are male. They never fight. Because their is nothing to fight over.
<If you say so.>
No females ever in the house/tank. I have attached some pics however I am afraid they are not clear enough very hard to do.
<Indeed. With respect, blurry photos don't help me at all. I can't really tell anything about the fish from that photo. Do use the "macro" setting on your camera, and you'll find close-up shots easier to take.>
The yellow one is the guppy that is very sick, sits by back of filter, but will come out and swim all around and eat. The orange platy appears to be fine. The white spotted Platies (very rare gorgeous fish) is the one I love the most.
His color is very brilliant white not faded at all. but his gills are red and look a little swollen but seem to have always been like that. These 3 fish have been in this tank for at least 6 months if not longer. Other fish have passed on but it never affected them.
<Do understand that Guppies and Platies should live 3-4 years. If they only live for a year, then something may be amiss with the aquarium or the way you are keeping them. Review the needs of livebearing fish:
Also review the basics of fishkeeping:
Be under no illusion about this: 99% of premature deaths in aquaria are caused by the fishkeeper doing something wrong. In the right conditions, fish are much less likely to get sick than most other pet animals.>
This gut feeling you have about Mycobacteriosis does it affect males?
and will they still be so eager to eat, as mine are?
<Generally no. So that's a good sign. If Mycobacteriosis isn't the issue, review Finrot, which affects the fins and skin and looks like red or white patches. Finrot is almost always caused by either physical damage or poor environmental conditions. It's easy enough to cure if caught early, but you do need to provide the right living conditions for them to recover.
They come running out of hiding and scarf the food down. Very strange. I also thought maybe the airstone bubbles/noise could be spooking them or is stressful, hence making them hide.
<Possibly; Guppies dislike strong water currents, but at the same time, one small airstone shouldn't be a big deal.>
Won't more salt be helpful to stop the infection from spreading so quickly?
<No, salt doesn't have any effect on Finrot or bacterial infections. Marine fish can get Finrot, and they're kept in seawater! Anyone who tells you salt helps cure bacterial diseases is an idiot.>
Or other bacteria kill stuff?
<If by "bacteria kill stuff" you mean an antibiotic medication like Maracyn, or an antimicrobial product like eSHa 2000, then yes, that can help.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Pix too poor to be of use 

Re: macro pics   9/4/10
I am going to try one more time. I have attached 3 pix of Butter Cup the yellow guppy. I know it still may be hard to see the coat of his body.
<Still impossible to see anything. If the image isn't sharp, it's useless. Try, try, and try again, I'm afraid! Don't point the camera directly at the glass because then it acts like a mirror; angle the camera so you're pointing slightly below or above the fish. The flash won't bounce off the glass so badly.>
His fins look good to me no rot, however his gills are severely deformed and I think you can notice that a bit in the photo's, can you see it?
<Not really. But anyway, if the deformity to the gill covers have always been there, then the chances are they're not the cause of sickness. If the gills have suddenly become deformed, then that's another issue, and most likely an issue connected to water quality.>
Other than a slight bent posture which he always had that I thought was odd, the gills are the only thing looking really wrong. In the first pix as luck has it, there is a pretty good shot of Paprika the spotted platy with the orange tail. She looks okay to me, except as you can see the pix her gills are very red. Is this normal?
<Not normal. You shouldn't normally see the red gill filaments at all. In some cases inbreeding means that the gill covers are deformed and the gill filaments are more obvious. While such fish might be marginally more delicate, there's no particular reason deformed gill covers should cause sickness. But as stated before, if the gills have suddenly become deformed or more obviously red, then that's a problem.>
One more issue I do have a lot of direct sunlight from a sky light just above the tank, sometimes during peak time I will shade the tank with a towel. However I do have a lot of algae. I try and clean it off often. However I am wondering if algae can cause sickness?
<No, but overheating if temperature goes up dramatically can stress fish.>
What is the best way to control Algae?
<Read here:
Usually the addition of fast-growing plants under bright lighting is required. The addition of algae-eating Nerite snails may help, but every time you add an animal to an aquarium you make water conditions worse. Shops will sell you algae-eating fish, but mostly these are more trouble than they're worth, especially the cheap "Chinese Algae Eaters" and common Plecs.>
Lastly, if your advice is still euthanasia. Which is the most humane way? I heard to drop the fish in ice cold water, I also heard let it freeze slowly to death in the freezer.
<Not quite.>
the Internet says to smash its head with a hammer. I am afraid I could not do that one. If we are sure. I don't want to see the little guy suffer, so please let me know your preferred method.
<Do read here:
Once again Thank you very much, I appreciate all the advice you are giving me.
<Always glad to help. Cheers, Neale.> 


Fish Tolerance to Aquarium Salt   7/1/10
I discovered today that I have an Ich outbreak in my 20 gallon tank which I attribute to the mollies that I just added. As I am going away for the weekend on Friday, I would like to use the heat/salt method to treat the tank. I am worried, however, that some of my fish will not tolerate the salt. The tank is stocked with: 4 Mollies, 2 Platies, 3 Danios, and 1 Bristlenose Pleco. Is it ok to add salt to a tank with these fish or should I only raise the temperature and skip the salt? If the salt will work, how much would you recommend using? Also, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all good. Thank you in advance for all of
your help.
<At the low dose required -- 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt per gallon -- salt will not cause any stress to your fish. Indeed, the key thing about salt is that it is LESS stressful to freshwater fish that the more widely used alternatives such as formalin. That's why you use salt when medicating sensitive fish like stingrays and Mormyrids. In fact I just finished using the salt/heat method to treat an aquarium of my own that contained soft water fish including Corydoras, a whiptail catfish, a cherry-fin loach and Celebes halfbeaks. One quick tip though: add the salt it batches. Count up how many teaspoons of salt you need, add to a jug of warm water, and then add that to the aquarium in 3-4 batches across an hour or two. Cheers, Neale.>

Livebearers and Salt   5/2/10
I have a 40 gallon freshwater tank and in it is gouramis, swordtails, neon tetras and a Pleco.
<Most Plecs will quickly outgrow 40 gallons, assuming we're talking about Hypostomus/Pterygoplichthys type things.>
I have tested the water and had it tested by two different pet stores and both stores said the water quality is fine and it was fine when I tested
<"Fine" doesn't mean much; give me the numbers. Why? Because what's "fine" for Neons can be lethal for Swordtails. Neons come from soft, acidic streams and are happiest maintained between pH 6.5 and 7.5, hardness 5-10 degrees dH. Swordtails come from limestone streams, and they need much more alkaline water: pH 7.5-8, hardness 10+ degrees dH. You can't actually create conditions ideal for both species, so whatever you do, one will always be stressed to some degree.>
and there is <are> no signs of any parasites or anything on any of the fish they look fine but for some reason some of the swordtails have been sluggish, lethargic and sit at the bottom of the tank and I have lost a couple of them
<Swordtails need a bunch of things to be happy. Firstly, the water shouldn't be too warm: 22-25 C/72-75 F. Secondly, the water should be hard and alkaline, as explained above. Finally, the water needs a strong water current. Just look at their streamlined shape! Gouramis are fish for swampy habitats, so they have deep bodies. Swordtails have streamlined shapes, and need strong water currents. Gouramis would hate the sort of tanks Swordtails prefer, and vice versa. As we state repeatedly here at WWM, it's critical to choose fish that share the same requirements: water chemistry, temperature, and water current.>
however the gouramis, tetras and Pleco all seem perfectly fine and there has been no new fish added to the tank so I am at a loss as to what's wrong with them.
<See above.>
I went to a well known pet store and "knowledgeable" after telling her everything I just told you and testing my water witch <which> again came out fine told me that anytime they are sluggish or clamped fins and no signs of disease witch there isn't to add salt to the water and she even demonstrated for me she grabbed a handful of salt and threw it into the tank and said that's what you do so I bought a box
<Hmm... not really what you're meant to do. In some instances salt is therapeutic, but you have to measure the amount of salt you use, at least approximately.>
I however have not used it yet because after some reading around on the internet I have seen a lot of back and forth some saying no way !! Do not use salt !!!
<The addition of 2-3 grammes of salt per litre can be therapeutic when livebearers aren't behaving properly, especially in soft water conditions. But that amount of salt will stress soft water fish like Neons in the long term.>
And I checked with a smaller locally owned very good pet store that has been around for 40 yrs and I trust there knowledge and have had very good luck with any fish I have bought there...asked them about adding salt after explaining the situation and they also said no you don't need to add salt just put in a good water treatment/conditioner as that has worked very well for them over the years.
<It is certainly true that you do not need to use salt for Swordtails, Platies or Guppies if the aquarium has clean, hard, basic water. Mollies is more of a tricky one, since they really do seem to need at least slightly
brackish conditions to be "easy" to keep.>
So I am rather confused do I add salt or no as there is soooo much back and forth about it or add a some water conditioner and just let things be for a bit ?
<See above. Without knowing real details about your tank, I can't say anything sensible. In the meantime do read:
Any help or advice would be great. Thank you in advance.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Livebearers and Salt   5/3/10

It sounds like the best way to go is ether with gouramis or Swordtails and that they are not the best to mix together
Heh as far as keeping them both happy and comfortable ..can gouramis and tetras survive and be comfortable in the same tank ?
<Yes, so long as the Tetras you choose [a] need the same temperature water; and [b] they aren't a nippy species like Serpae, Black Widow, Colombian and a few other tetras species.>
And thanks a lot for the info you gave me it was very helpful.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Livebearers and Salt

Do you know of any good sites that give you some guidelines as to what are suitable tank mates for gouramis (gold gouramis) ?
<Do read here, and linked articles:
Female Three-spot Gouramis are basically peaceful and can be mixed with most community fish that require similar water chemistry, temperature.
Males are aggressive towards one another and other gouramis, and sometimes also similar-looking fish, for example Angelfish.>
Just so I know in future what fish to avoid mixing with them chances are for awhile at least I am not going to introduce any new fish for awhile but its still good to have something to refer to.
<Good choices would be Diamond Tetras, X-ray Tetras, Lemon Tetras, Penguin Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, Corydoras sterbai, Ancistrus spp. catfish, Horseface Loaches, Kuhli Loaches, Cherry Barbs, 5-banded Barbs, among others.>
Thanks again for your help :)
<Cheers, Neale.>

salt in freshwater aquariums -- 02/02/10
I'm curious if maintaining a salt level in a freshwater aquarium provides any benefit.
<Usually, none.>
I've read so many different opinions that I thought I ask would about my specific setups.
<Has been discussed to death, I agree. But aquarium health books written by vets and biologists all agree that adding salt to freshwater tanks -- except as a specific treatment to a certain disease -- is usually pointless.>
The first is a 29 gallon with several different goldfish and one albino chocolate Pleco. The second is a 90 gallon community with tiger barbs, panda barbs, green tiger barbs, counterfeit silver dollars, lyre tail mollies, Golden killifish, Siamese algae eaters, Albino dwarf catfish, bristle nose Pleco , African dwarf frogs and several live plants. I've read that many people put as much a one tablespoon per 5 gallons but that seems like a lot.
<Do understand the salinity of normal seawater is about 35 grammes per litre of water. That's about 6 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons of marine salt mix per litre. 5 gallons is about 19 litres, meaning normal seawater contains about 19 x 6 tablespoons = 114 tablespoons of marine salt mix. So your one tablespoon is less than one-hundredth the salinity of normal seawater. A can of soda will contain more salt than that. It's a useless, meaningless amount of salt that won't do anything much.>
I know the live plants don't tolerate much
<Actually, that's not true. Some aquarium plants will tolerate brackish water rather better than many fish!>
but I'd like to know if there is a level that will provide some benefit.
<None. Back in the prehistory of the hobby, adding salt was common. Sodium chloride does detoxify nitrate, and given people did water changes very rarely, this might have been helpful. It's the same reason carbon was used in the past. Like salt, carbon is obsolete now because we have better filters and above all do more water changes. At best, adding salt does nothing, but there are some specific situations where adding salt may cause harm over the long term. See, for example, Malawi Bloat, a syndrome particular to cichlids where constant exposure to salt is believed to be a triggering factor.>
There is so much conflicting info on the net about using salt in freshwater aquariums a good article by you guys would be great, if I missed something that's already posted please forgive me.
<A good idea for an article!><<I'll say! RMF>>
Thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Ick Problem/ Dilemma 12/23/09
I got home from work today to discover one of my platys has Ick. I'm going to visit my parents for Christmas and I leave tomorrow afternoon. I don't have another tank to put the platy in. Should I treat the tank for Ich ASAP and perform a water change right before I leave? (20 hours from now). My room mate was going to feed the fish while I was gone, but I don't think he's going to want/ be able to perform a water change. I will be gone for 10 days.
Thanks again WetWebMedia for the invaluable help.
<Just treat using the salt/heat method.
This will cause no problems for your Platies, and the Ick parasite life cycle will be broken. If you're keeping Platies on their own or with other livebearers, then you can raise the specific gravity up to 1.003 (5-6 grammes/litre). Otherwise, aim for about half that dose. Raise the temperature to 25 degrees C, maybe slightly higher (Platies as you know should be kept cooler most of the time, 22-24 C being the ideal, much above that being stressful over the long term). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ick Problem/ Dilemma

So performing a 50% water change with a good gravel vacuum before I go, treat with aquarium salt, and raise the temperature should be sufficient.
And hope for the best over the next 10 days?
<Well, they will need some food. Feeding blocks are useless, but a couple of blanched lettuce leaves and a wedge of courgette should keep them going, Platies being herbivores. Weight these down with that lead strip used to hold aquarium plants in place.>
I have 3 gouramis and a Pleco in the tank, will this change anything?
<Not really.>
Thanks again,
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: Ick Problem/ Dilemma

With a 25 gallon aquarium with fish other than live bearers (gouramis), am I right in assuming I should add 25-30g of salt?
Thanks again,
<In US gallons, you're aiming for 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt per gallon. One level teaspoon is about 6 grammes, or 0.22 oz. Cheers, Neale.>

How to turn brackish water to fresh water?  12/17/09
Hello crew ok I was told at Wal-Mart that all fish needed a little salt in there water
<Good gravy! They told you that! Very, very wrong of them...>
well now I have found out that my pictus catfish cant have salt in its water
<Depends how much salt you've been adding. A teaspoon of salt per gallon will make no real difference either way. This DOES NOT make brackish water, but NEITHER does it stress freshwater fish. Adding tiny amounts of salt like this is what people did decades ago. It worked because people didn't really understand about water quality and water chemistry, and in small amounts sodium chloride (i.e., table salt) reduces the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate. So adding salt was the lesser of two evils. The fish people kept in the 1950s and 1960s were pretty tough species, so they weren't too fussed about the salt, and without the salt, the dangerous levels of nitrite and nitrate would have killed them anyway. But nowadays we keep a wider range of fish, and many fish that were hardy in the 1950s are delicate now because of the inbreeding required to create "fancy" Guppies or whatever.>
so now I would like to know how to turn brackish water into freshwater?
<Just stop adding the salt.>
I have had him in brackish water for almost a year now and he has done fine but I imagine he is not very happy.
<Indeed not. Actually, most catfish in the family Pimelodidae are very adaptable, and some species at least do occur in brackish water (for some of the time, anyway). So tiny amounts of salt aren't likely to cause serious harm. But you are correct in believing that the correct water chemistry is plain vanilla freshwater conditions. Aim for 5-20 degrees dH, a pH around 7 to 7.5, and water temperature no higher than 25 C (77 F).
Naturally, you want 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. Pimelodus pictus is a schooling catfish, and best kept in groups of three or more specimens.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: how to turn brackish water to fresh water?  12/17/09

Ok well what Wal-Mart told me to use is aquarium salt and its directions for use is add 1 rounded tablespoonful for every 5 U.S.. gallons, or 1/2 rounded teaspoon for every U.S.. gallon of aquarium water.
<You do realise these amounts are different? One level tablespoon (and these are always done level, not rounded) is three level teaspoons. Ergo, one tablespoon per 5 gallons would be three teaspoons per 5 gallons. The fact these people can't even add up properly should be a clue they don't know what they're talking about.>
So I'm confused is this ok for guppies, mollies, Platies and swordtails?
<Guppies, Platies and Swordtails don't need salt. They need hard, basic water. In other words, high levels of general hardness and carbonate hardness. Aquarium salt (i.e., sodium chloride) DOES NOT raise either general or carbonate hardness. Salt changes salinity, not hardness or pH.
If you live in a hard water area, you should be able to maintain Guppies, Platies and Swordtails without adjusting water chemistry at all. Use your water chemistry test kits -- and I assume you have some -- to check, at minimum, the pH and general hardness. If you find the pH is around 7.5, and the general hardness somewhere in the "medium hard" to "hard" range, you're fine. Mollies are a bit trickier. They can be maintained in plain hard water just like Guppies, Platies and Swordtails, but they are EASIER to maintain in water that has some marine salt mix added -- not plain tonic/aquarium salt, but the stuff used in reef tanks. Add at around 5 g/l (about 0.8 oz/US gal.).>
Or do they need more salt? I also want to put albino Cory catfish, Pleco and zebra Danios fish in a bigger aquarium with my mollies Platies swordtails.
<You cannot add marine salt mix in the amounts preferred by Mollies in a tank containing Corydoras, Plecos, or Danios. On the other hand, if you don't add any marine salt mix, and you take a chance on your Mollies staying healthy, you can add whatever fish you want, assuming the water is moderately hard to hard and the pH around 7.5. Actually, let me modify this slightly by observing that whereas Danios, Corydoras, Swordtails and Platies are best kept somewhat cool, 22-24 C (72-75 F), Guppies and especially Mollies do better when kept much warmer, around 28 C (82 F).>
Is this amount of salt ok for all fish listed? Thank you so much.
<Do read up on the needs of fish PRIOR to purchase. Unless you have a darn good reason to believe otherwise, it is generally safe to assume that clerks in stores not dedicated to tropical fish do not know what they're talking about. Buy/borrow a book; e-mail us; read over the WWM site.
Anything. But just don't ever trust the word of someone trying to sell you something. You wouldn't when buying a car or choosing a new outfit, so why do so with livestock? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: how to turn brackish water to fresh water?  12/17/09

Thank you. I'm going to get a 75 gallon aquarium and I want to put Platies, swordtails, mollies, albino Corys and maybe a Pleco I'm not going to add any salt and hope for the best
<Not exactly the best approach. Much better to choose fish that require the same conditions (both temperature and water chemistry) and then optimise the aquarium to provide those conditions. Hoping for the best is, among other things, how the UK and US governments managed to screw up our respective economies.>
for my mollies but do u think they will be ok and also would a dragon goby be ok in freshwater or not?
<Absolutely not. Dragon Gobies (Gobioides broussonnetii) are BRACKISH water fish and the stores that sell them as freshwater fish are taking advantage of the ignorance of their customers. These fish rarely live long in
freshwater aquaria. In brackish water aquaria they are hardy and quite easy to keep, though they do need very specific types of foods (not flake!), a soft sandy substrate, and plenty of room (they reach 50 cm in length).
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: how to turn brackish water to fresh water?  12/17/09
Ok well definitely not getting a dragon goby. So will mollies do good in freshwater or will they have lots of problems?
<... ? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollies.htm
and the linked files above. Please search, and read before writing us. Bob Fenner>

To salt are not to salt? that's the question. Adding Salt to An Oscar Tank  3/14/08 At once I want to tell you that you have a awesome website. < Thank you for your kind words.> I recommend to all fish Hobbyists. It seems I'm very confused about adding aquarium salt to my Oscars water. I know they don't need to be brackish. At the same time I read on your website that some aquarium salt is beneficial. I recently received a 50 Gallon Bowfront tank from my brother. It came with a huge Tiger Oscar, ( He's a good 12 inches if not larger) I named him Sampson. He has a 404 Fluval pumping 340 gallons a hour. Good water quality as well. My brother said he kept the water somewhat brackish. I really never heard of that. The equipment reflects it though. There is salt on the light hood and full glass hood, this is an all glass tank. My brother left town and the fish was supposed to be cared for by someone else. It wasn't. I went to break the tank down and it smelled like sewage. Even at that the fish was very healthy. I couldn't believe it. Now, to the water change. Naturally I went to fresh water because that's how Oscars are cared for. The only thing about Sampson that looks unhealthy is nose hole erosion. I figure water quality can do this. The water pH is good, I keep it vacuumed and do my water changes. You all hit the nail on the head when you say a canister is tough to clean! It takes a lot of pressure to close it back once your done cleaning. My questions are: Aquarium salt are not? <The Oscar is a cichlid which is a secondary fish that evolved from salt water damsels. They can handle some salt. A teaspoon per 10 gallons increases the slim coat on the skin and gills and may prevent some parasites from penetrating the skin.> Why the nostril erosion? < It could be a start of Hole-In-The-Head disease. It is often associated with poor water quality and poor nutrition. That that you have improved the tanks conditions it should stop but may take awhile to heal.> And what do I need to have in my 6 compartment Fluval to continue to maintain Sampson's tank? (I'm new to a canister). < Go with the manufacturers' recommendations for now and see how it works.> Will white vinegar get the salt spray or lime build up off my exterior of the tank ? <Usually the calcium will slowly come off if you use the vinegar to soak the area over a few treatments with a saturated paper towel.> I want the best for my Sampson! I just Love Him! And you guys keep up the great work! < Thanks again,-Chuck>

Epsom salt vs. aquarium salt  10/2/07 I have read many articles on salt addition to the tank. I would like to know what is the best to use and why, Epson or aquarium salt Thank You Karen <Hi Karen. There are several reasons why salt is added to aquaria, but let me make this 100% clear at the outset: routinely adding aquarium "tonic" salt to your fish tank is completely unnecessary. Salt used to be added to tanks in the days before proper filtration and regular water changes because sodium chloride reduces the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate. Consequently the fish stayed healthier than otherwise. In the modern age of efficient filters and 50% weekly water changes, adding salt is redundant. People who recommend it are "stuck in the Dark Ages" in terms of aquarium care. At best, it's a waste of money. Having made this point, it is also fair to say that salt and Epsom salt do have certain therapeutic uses. Regular salt can be used (coupled with high temperature) to cure Whitespot/Ick on fishes that react negatively to the standard copper- and formalin-based medications. Salt can also be used to keep external wounds clean and to remove things like Fish Lice. Saltwater baths can be used to treat certain diseases including Slime Disease and Flukes. Marine salt mix (a mixture of regular salt with various other mineral salts) is used to make brackish water for things like Scats and Mollies, and obviously for making up the saltwater used in marine aquaria. Epsom salt is specifically a muscle relaxant, and gets used primarily to help with constipation, where, coupled with high-fibre foods, it will provide relief for constipated fishes. But beyond these specific treatments, there's no reason to add salt to your freshwater aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Aquarium Questions, FW lvstk. comp., salt use  -- 10/28/07 hello, I might start a 55 gallon tank soon and I was wondering if my conditions were right for the fish I want to include below. Also, if they can all get along and if its a good amount for the tank. Please also recommend some tetras for me that get along well with angels and if Cory cats or upside down cats are better. <Mmm, Hyphessobrycons in a group are some faves... And I would go with Corydoras over the Synodontis here>  The tank will have 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons, can they deal with it? <I would not add the salt... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm> Thank You! Tank Conditions: Size: 55 gallons Temp: 74-82 F PH.5.8-6.5 Current Inhabitants in my 10 gallon: 3 platys (might soon be 5 if babies live), 2 balloon belly mollies Salinity Level: 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt for every 5 gallons <Okay here, but not for Tetras, Angels...> Fish I want to add: Tetras-8 Platy-3 or 1 if the 2 babies live Balloon mollies-3 <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollies.htm> Angelfish- 5 Upside-down catfish-6 'or' Cory cats-6 Blue/gold gourami-2 Fish in total: 8 tetras 6 platys 5 balloon mollies 5 angelfish 6 upside down cats or Cory cats 2 blue/gold gouramis <Bob Fenner>
Re: Aquarium Questions... salt  10/29/07
thank you for all your help! <Welcome> I was going to add salt because I thought that it would prevent Ich. I guess its only good for treating it. <And only with certain livestock/species and settings. BobF>
Re: re: Aquarium Questions... reading, comprehension  10/29/07
So basically mollies wont do good and get diseases in the 55 gallon because I wont add salt? Thanks. <Something like this. Welcome. RMF>
Re: Aquarium Questions... still not reading re Mollies... salt... fixing English...   10/29/07
im sorry if I am bothering you guys a lot but im still pretty much a beginner so I need to know different things so there might be more questions later. Well, I still want to put my mollies in the tank. Do you think 1 tablespoon of salt per 10 gallons is okay for the fish and help prevent disease? I don't want my mollies getting sick so easily since they thrive with a little salt in the water. this is the number of the fish I plan on having in the tank: 8 tetras 6 platys 5 balloon mollies 5 angelfish 6 Cory cats 2 blue/gold Gouramis can u recommend some tetras for me that wont get eaten by the angels and wont nip fins? Thank you again! <Please understand this: Mollies are not good community fish. At the very least, they require hard (18+ degrees dH) water with high carbonate hardness (10+ degrees KH). Such water will have a very high pH (at least 7.5, and likely 8.0 upwards). Mollies also want water that has zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and as close to zero nitrate as is practical. The addition of salt isn't 100% essential, but it is something (in my experience/opinion, based on MANY years of keeping fish and discussing with other hobbyists) that makes keeping Mollies substantially easier. What the marine salt mix (not tonic salt) does is raise the hardness and pH and also reduces the toxicity of the nitrate. This latter effect is probably the critical one. By all means keep Mollies with salt-tolerant fish: Guppies, Swordtails, Hoplosternum littorale, Hypostomus plecostomus, Horseface loaches, Kribensis, Bumblebee gobies, Knight gobies, glassfish etc. Add marine salt mix at around 3-6 grammes per litre to the tank and your Mollies and your salt-tolerant fish will all thrive. Mollies under such conditions are robust and more colourful than otherwise. But don't both trying to keep Mollies in a generic community tank. Read over the Molly FAQs here at WWM, or really any other fish keeping forum -- you will see dozens and dozens of messages from people with Mollies plagued with Finrot, fungus, Mouth Fungus and "the Shimmies". Adding salt for the benefit of your Mollies will only stress all the other fish, so you're taking from Peter to give to Paul -- there's no net benefit! Choosing tetras to keep with Angels generally isn't difficult. Good choices including Bleeding Heart tetras, Lemon tetras, Emperor tetras, X-ray tetras, Head-and-tail light Tetras and Diamond Tetras. African tetras can be good, too; things like Congo Tetras. Avoid the small, reddish ones (Serpae tetras, Flame tetras, etc.) and the bite-size ones like Neons, Cardinals and Glowlights. Black Widow tetras (also known as Petticoat Tetras) are fin-nippers too. Avoid. Cheers, Neale>

Aquarium Salt 10/25/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Alan, Pufferpunk here> Can I add aquarium salt (according to instructions) to my aging water meant for water change? <There is no reason to add salt to a freshwater tank, unless treating for Ich.> By doing so, will it affect the beneficial bacteria that is already established in my tank? <It would require a great deal of salt to harm your beneficial bacteria.> Kindly advise and thanks in advance. <See: http://www.aquariumboard.com/forums/articles/4770.htm ~PP> Regards, Alan

Mollies & Salt 10/16/07 Hello! I have a 29g established freshwater tank with a variety of Mollies - Balloon Belly, Sailfin, etc. I currently keep 1 tablespoon of salt per 5g in the tank. I would like to add a Bristlenose Pleco to the tank but from what I've read they don't really like the salt. Would removing the salt - by not replacing during water changes - adversely affect the Mollies? -Chip <Hello Chip. This is a tricky question to answer. In theory, you don't need salty water to keep Mollies. So long as the carbonate hardness is high (10 degrees KH upwards); the general hardness is very high (20 degrees dH upwards); the pH is around 8.0; zero ammonia and nitrite; and nitrate less than 10 mg/l, you should have the water chemistry Mollies enjoy. An Ancistrus sp. catfish would also do well under such conditions. However, if you take you eye off the ball and any of those environmental parameters slips, for example the nitrates rise above 10 mg/l, then your Mollies will become significantly more likely to become sick. What salt does is reduce the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate, and this is one of the reasons it helps in Molly tanks. Marine salt mix also raises the carbonate hardness and general hardness providing much more stable water chemistry, which Mollies also need. Finally, marine salt mix or regular aquarium salt mix both increase salinity, and since Mollies are, at least in part, brackish water fish, this helps their overall healthfulness. The bottom line is this: Mollies are very hardy in brackish/marine aquaria, but rather delicate in freshwater aquaria. So what would I recommend? Keep the salt in the Molly aquarium. I'd actually skip the idea of Ancistrus anyway. Ancistrus eat algae, as do Mollies. Much better let the Mollies eat the algae, since it's an important part of a balanced diet. If you want a catfish, opt for one of the salt-tolerant species, such as Hoplosternum littorale. There are also some brackish water loaches, and for your tank, the Horseface Loach (Acantopsis choirorhynchos) would be an excellent choice. It's a good scavenger and basically peaceful. Both these suggestions would be very happy at SG 1.003 if acclimated carefully. Hope this helps, Neale>

Grr....pet store people! ... salt use/FW... cycling prod.s... Using WWM    9/12/07 Good evening to you all! I hope this finds you well. Thanks again for all of your help. I've searched your site for the last few days, reading everything that even remotely applied to my tank/fish in hopes that I can learn new things to watch for so I can head off any problems. I've even read things that didn't apply sometimes because it was just plain interesting. Since our last email, I've added 1 more ADF. The original one spent a lot of time hiding and now comes out to play. I guess he/she was lonely. (I also feel like I should name them.) <Go ahead> I know I'm pushing the limits on what is "too much", but they all seem healthy/happy with no trouble maintaining proper levels. I have been doing a 25-30% water changes with gravel vacuuming twice a week. I'm wondering if I'm doing too much? <Mmm, no, not likely> Also, PetSmart suggested that I add conditioning salt <No...> to my tank because their breeders use it so the fish are accustomed to it. <...> Well, everything I bought from them died. I've asked the nice people at SuperPet and they said that it wouldn't hurt, but they don't use salts. I also use Jungle "Start Right" when doing water changes to treat for chlorine/Chloramine. It has Allantoin added to it to "promote slime coat". Isn't that a bit redundant? <Can be> Should I continue with the salt and find another treatment for the chlorine/Chloramine? <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm> Or stop with the salt? Can I just stop using it? Or should I slowly taper the level off? AGH! I promise you (and my fish) that I will never visit PetSmart again! One more thing... Though my water looks clear from a distance, when you get right up on the tank, you can see a hazy kind of something floating all around in the water. I have no idea what this is and can't find any mention of it anywhere on your site. I know this is kind of vague, but any ideas? <Likely a matter of microbial population, lack of established biofiltration... best to not feed... overfeed...> OK, so this is the last thing...lol. Another pet store recommended using Cycle (which I can only assume is comparable to what you all call Bio-Spira <Ah, no... this Hagen product is inferior> (I can't find it anywhere here). It says to use when setting up new aquarium to establish beneficial bacteria, during water changes, and when introducing new fish. Is this a product that you are familiar with and is it needed since I did cycle my tank in the beginning? <Please learn to/use the search tool on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm> Again, thank you so much for all your time and effort. I am so thankful that I stumbled upon your site (and found it interesting enough to spend the last few days here). You all are a blessing. By the way, I referred to the nice people at SuperPet to your site when I asked them a question that they couldn't answer (but at least they TOLD me they didn't know instead of guessing!). Brandi <Happy to share... Bob Fenner>

Fish and salt   7/11/07 Hello, <Ave!> After haunting my LFS for several weeks, doing research, and asking questions I started adding fish to my tank. <Very good. Welcome to the hobby!> I have a 20 gallon tall with undergravel filter, a hanging filter with Bio-Wheel, and a bubble stick. The temp is 79 degrees, PH 7.5, no ammo or nitrites, correct amount of aquarium salt as per directions (I know I will get Marine Salt in the morning), and several live plants. I do 25% water changes weekly. I think I'm taking good care of them? <Just for reference next time: a 20 gallon 'long' tank is better value -- more surface area for oxygen exchange at the top and surface area for an undergravel filter at the bottom. Otherwise all sounds fine. Salt is questionable though, and depends on the fish being kept. As you have Mollies, it makes sense, but otherwise shouldn't be used in a freshwater tank contrary to popular myth.> In the tank are 2 Platies, 1 Molly, Molly fry, 1 Corydoras (LFS said I only needed one), 1 Kuhli Loach, and 2 Mystery Snails. According to my research and LFS a good combination. <A fair rather than good combination. Mixing livebearers is safe, because they are all salt-tolerant. So even though Platies don't *need* salt, they will tolerate small amounts just fine. Corydoras are not especially salt-tolerant and some species are definitely soft water fish that don't like salt at all. They are also *schooling* fish, and should at least be kept in trios, and ideally sixes or more. Apple snails/Mystery snails are questionable in any aquarium. Fish peck at them, and they also get stressed by high temperatures. Then they die and pollute the tank. Few Apple snails last long in aquaria because they are subtropical animals that need a "resting period" each year. Most Apple snails seem to die within a year, whereas they last for many years kept properly.> I was planning on adding a few more Mollies and Platies before the babies arrived. All the fish except for the Cory seem healthy and happy. The Cory mainly just sits on the bottom and now I know why. After reading through you site I realize my fish are not living as well as they could and are not a good combination. Help, who should go and who should stay? I know for the Mollies to thrive I need much more brackish water but which of the other fish can survive this change? <I like your attitude here. You've correctly established that the combo here isn't the best, and are prepared to make changes. I wish more people thought like this. Anyway, you're probably safe with the Mollies and Platies. Adding around 4-6 grammes of marine salt mix per litre of water will give you a specific gravity of about 1.002 to 1.003, which is ideal for Mollies. The Platies will be fine here. The Corydoras and Kuhlii loaches are more tricky. Corydoras do not naturally come from brackish waters and many species do not even like hard, alkaline conditions. But noted catfish expert David Sands makes the point in his "Corydoras Catfish" book that 'small amounts of salt will not harm catfishes'. So assuming you have a hardy species (like bronze or peppered catfish) gradually raising the SG to 1.002 should do no harm at all. I'm less certain about the Kuhli loach. Adding salt doesn't kill fish and they aren't allergic to it. What salt does is alter their osmotic balance, their ability to control the amount of salt and water in their tissues. All fishes can, to some degree, adjust this. What differentiates freshwater fish from brackish water fish is that brackish water fish (like mollies) can make these adjustments quickly and across a very wide range. So go slowly, observe, and ensure that the other life signs, like activity and feeding, are normal. Apple snails, by the way, are salt-intolerant, but *may* adapt to very low levels. If you have the option, changing the catfish are loach and snail for hard water or salt-tolerant species might be a good idea. Bumblebee gobies, guppies, glassfish, halfbeaks, x-ray tetras, Kribensis, etc. would all be good options.> Also I rarely see the Kuhli Loach. He seems to live under the undergravel filter and only comes out at night. I must admit to doing no research on him and just taking the recommendation of the fish store. Is this normal behavior for this fish? <Totally normal. They're a waste of money in most instances because they are resolutely nocturnal animals. They are also schooling fish, so when kept singly are very VERY shy anyway.> Thanks for all of your help and the great site, Melissa <Hope this helps, Neale>

Salt in FW tank 7/9/07 I just had a question about salt in freshwater aquariums. I was wondering if gouramis will do ok with salt in the aquarium. I'd like to keep my fish healthy with some FW salt. Thanks for all the help. <This is a simple one to answer. No. Do not add salt. The labyrinth fish group is a classic "primary freshwater fish" group, that is, one that has evolved in freshwater and has a low tolerance for salt. One a very few species naturally occur in brackish waters (the two I know of are Anabas testudineus and Osphronemus goramy). All the others require freshwater conditions, and mostly soft/acid conditions at that. Adding salt will be more or less stressful to the majority of gouramis. Now here's some more advice. There is no reason, none, to add salt as a matter of course to a freshwater aquarium. Tonic/aquarium salt doesn't raise the hardness or pH, so it doesn't help livebearers or African cichlids. Salt was used historically to compensate for poor water quality, because sodium chloride reduces the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate. But unless you have a really badly maintained aquarium, this shouldn't be an issue. Tonic salt is simply repackaged cooking salt sold at an inflated price to gullible and inexperienced aquarists. Even if you need salt to treat disease, as with Whitespot or fungus say, you could simply use non-iodised cooking salt for the same effect. And even then, you'd be using the salt as a short term treatment, not a permanent part of your maintenance routine. Unless you are keeping brackish or marine fishes, you shouldn't need to add salt to the tank, and in those situations you'd be using marine salt mix, not tonic salt. Cheers, Neale>

Salt in Freshwater -- 06/07/07 Hey crew, thanks again for all your hard work! <Hello, and you're welcome.> I was in one the chain pet stores the other day and noticed they had bowls of salt in almost every tank. Just small bowls full of undissolved salt. I was told it was a preventative measure, they were not treating anything specific. <Utterly inexplicable.> Since I'm currently treating a small case of Ich using salt and increased temps, I know the uses of salt in freshwater, how to mix, etc (plenty of great information out there on the subject). <Much information, but little value. Salt, that is, NaCl or plain old cooking salt, has no real value in freshwater fishkeeping any more. I cannot express in words strongly enough on a family web site like this how annoyed I get by the widespread use of salt in freshwater aquaria. It's a hangover from the past, when people didn't have access to medications and didn't understand the value of water chemistry. But that time has passed... frequent water changes make the value of salt as a nitrite/nitrate de-toxifier unimportant, and as a therapy for Whitespot and fungus it's less effective than proper medications and likely to stress soft water fish as well as fish adapted to Malawi/Tanganyika conditions. I shudder to think how many fish have died from Whitespot and fungus because people used a "teaspoon per gallon" salt instead of proper medication of some type.> But after hours of searching, I cannot find a reference to this practice of placing a small container into the tank. Everything I have found is very clear that you should dissolve the salt and slowly add it to the tank over a couple of days when treating a health issue. <Correct. Dumping salt in the tank "as is" sounds insane, to me.> What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of simply leaving a cup of salt sitting in the corner of the tank? It just seems like a bad idea. <There are no pros at all. Lots of cons. It's so obviously crazy I can't think why anyone would do this. For one thing, you end up with a bizarre salinity gradient from the freshwater parts of the tank to the hypersaline corner where the salt mound is. While a few brackish water fish might find this kind of funky, I dread to think what Neons and angelfish would make of it. If fish eat mouthfuls of salt for some reason, they're going to go into osmotic shock. To me, this is sort of like dumping a block of uranium in the bedroom and saying its preventative chemotherapy.> Thanks again, Billy <Cheers, Neale>

Salt for Livebearers  12/30/06 Hey there, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I was wondering what kind of salt I should use for a platy and guppy tank? (1 tablespoon of table salt or kosher salt, per 5 gallons should keep them happy.  Don't forget to replace what you remove after  your weekly water change.  Place into the filter, not directly into the tank, so it doesn't land on the fish & burn them.  ~PP><<RMF suggests unwashed sea-salt... in small quantities available as "Aquarium Salt" by various companies... Aquarium Pharmaceuticals is what we used to carry>>

Epsom salt vs. rock salt - not the same thing!  11/16/06 I see. About the Epsom Salt treatment: can we use rock salt instead?  We can't find a Epsom Salt in our area.  By the way, if rock salt would do, is the ratio  just the same 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of water? And how long will my FH be on salt treatment? Sorry for all my queries, I'm just worried about my little fellah. Kathy <Hi Kathy - you've got Jorie this time. Rock salt is not at all the same thing as Epsom salt - the latter is actually magnesium chloride.  Check out your local pharmacies for the Epsom salt - I'd be shocked if they don't have it.  It is used as a digestive aid in humans, as well as a soaking remedy for sprains, strains, bruises, etc.  With regard to how long to continue the Epsom salt treatment for, I can't give you an exact timeframe, start off with a goal of 3-4 days, then change the water.  See if there's improvement.  Can always repeat the treatment, but do remember that the Epsom salt won't evaporate, so you don't want to overdose.  Best of luck to you and your little fishy friend, Jorie>
Re: Epsom salt vs. rock salt - not the same thing!
 -- 11/19/06 Hi Jorie, Thanks for explaining the difference.  I found Epsom Salt and would do the treatment right away.  However, I have observed that his stomach is bulging and his waste is yellowish and he is not eating anything.  What medication should I apply for this? Please help me on what more I can do to save my fish. Kathy <Kathy, I believe Bob originally answered this query below...the Epsom salt was his initial suggestion, combined with good husbandry and time.  To quote, "only time will tell...".  Medication cannot solve absolutely everything, and sometimes can do more damage than good.  I'd listen to Bob - he's truly the "expert"! Jorie>
Re: Epsom salt vs. rock salt - not the same thing!   1/20/07
Dear WWM, Sorry for the delay. Me and my fish would like to express our sincerest thank you to all those who responded on my email as well as on the chatroom.  My Flowerhorn fish is ok now and seems not to show any sign of his previous ailment.  He's back to his old self...the Epsom salt treatment really helped him recover. Thank you and God bless you all! To Bob and Jorie my special thanks to you both. Kathy <Ah, congratulations on your success here. Bob Fenner>

Salt Is Salt  <Rock and Aquarium...> 11/21/06 I used aquarium salt, is that just as effective and/or the same thing as rock salt? Thanks < I think if you look at the list of ingredients on the box of aquarium salt it may say rock salt. Either will be fine except you will pay more for the aquarium salt.-Chuck>

Salt As A Medication  - 10/22/06 Dear Chuck: Thank you so much for all your help with my two goldfish with Finrot and Septicemia.  They are so much better now.  The water quality is  great!  I have learned so much in the past seven months. I love your forum and visit it frequently.  However, I have some  questions about aquarium salt and freshwater tanks.  The information I'm  getting from the forum is confusing. The standard answer for everything seems to  be "do a 50% water change and put in 5tsp of salt." 1) What diseases does aquarium salt cure? < Salt increases the slime coat on the exterior of the fish making it more difficult for parasites to actually get to the fish itself. Too much salt impairs the fishes ability to absorb oxygen out of the water because the slime covers the gills too.> 2) Should salt be the first thing I add to my tank when my fish is sick no matter what the symptoms are? < Adding salt may be beneficial to some fish but stressful to others. I would attempt a diagnoses instead of just adding salt.> 3) Does aquarium salt cure inner bacterial infections or  septicemia? < Salt may be beneficial but I would not call it a cure.> 4) Does aquarium salt raise or lower the pH, or make no difference at  all? < Salt is sodium and chloride so it does not effect the hydrogen concentration of the water.> 5) Isn't salt already an additive to most tap water? < No. Some waters have naturally soft acidic waters that can be corrosive to pipes. Water companies add minerals to these waters like calcium to increase the pH and make the water less acidic.> Trying to find answers to this question on the web as been fruitless. I would really appreciate your expert opinion. Thank so much! Sincerely, Marcella < Go to Marineland.com and check out Dr. Tim's Library for lots of interesting articles on water chemistry.-Chuck>

Salt in FW systems, feeding FHs, worms that are larval coleopterans   9/15/06 Hi, it's me. Again. <<Well, hello again, Cecille.>> Thanks for the fast response. And, yeah that will surely help. <<Glad to hear it.>> But, I just have another question. I've been browsing quite a lot in the net about aquarium maintenance and such and some suggests to use salt. I have this 15 gallon tank. How much salt should I put in it? And, what good would that give, actually? <<Good question, Cecille. What you've read probably suggests one tablespoon of salt per five gallons of water. In your case, I would suggest a total solution of 2 1/2 tablespoons per volume of tank water. If, for example, you remove three gallons of water for a water change, dissolve 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt in the new water to achieve the 'recommended' solution rate. Obviously, you'll have to do some calculations for subsequent water changes to maintain this ratio properly. To be safe, err on the side of adding less salt than more during your water changes. (Remember that salt will not evaporate with water, which means that any evaporation that takes place effectively increases the amount of salt per unit volume.) As to the 'good' of adding salt, you'll find this debated among reliable sources. Most freshwater pathogens don't tolerate salt well and salt helps to keep these under control. It doesn't eradicate them but provides them with less than desirable breeding conditions which keeps them at levels that the fish's own immune system can deal with. (Costia is an example.) Salt has also been cited as increasing a fish's ability to uptake oxygen from the water. This is true, particularly in the presence of nitrites in the water. Nitrites deprive the hemoglobin in the blood of oxygen and the sodium ions in salt (NaCl) combine with nitrite to become sodium nitrite which increases blood flow and provides oxygen to the oxygen-depleted areas of the body. Finally, salt increases the specific gravity of the water. In the event of physical trauma (injury) or, the like, swelling is caused by fluid build-up in the affected area. This fluid (low specific gravity) in injured area is released, via osmosis, to the surrounding water (higher specific gravity) relieving the swelling and increasing beneficial blood flow to the injury promoting healing. Now, is all of this enough to convince you to add salt to your tank? Possibly. Live plants are adversely affected by salt but, since Cichlids typically don't have these in their tanks, you might be inclined to give it a try.>> Okay, I have just another one more: I've been feeding my FH pellets for a few months now and a few brine shrimps whenever I could find them. But, the shrimps are really quite rare and a bit pricey, too. <<Your Flowerhorn definitely needs a varied diet. Good for you for adding the Brine Shrimp to its diet but I understand about price and availability. Just keep in mind that too monotonous of a diet can lead to problems no matter how high quality the food might be.>> A few days ago, my friend gave me a couple of worms. <<I tried that with my wife but she insisted on jewelry. :)>> Super worms, he said. Are those good food? <<They're beetle larvae, as you probably know. The exoskeletons of the 'Super Worm' (Zophobas morio) are reportedly more easily digested than typical mealworms and they grow larger. Beyond this, I have no specific knowledge of the food value involved.>> I haven't tried  feeding those to my fishes. He said it will enhance the "characters" in the fish's body. Is that true? <<I find that a debatable issue, Cecille. In my opinion, it sounds like "hype" though, again, I couldn't verify this for you, one way or the other.>> And, what do I do with them once they turn into beetles? <<If you plan on breeding them for more "worms", hang on to them. I've run across several sites that describe how to breed these. A simple 'Google' search will lead you in the right direction.>> Thanks in advance again. Cecille, <<Any time, Cecille. Glad to help. Tom>>  

Salt In A FW Tank   9/11/06 You folks are wonderful!!!!!! I'm using ro/di water and adding aquarium salt (1 tbsp/ 5 gal of water) with each water change. My pH is so low from the lack of buffers that it won't measure(<6.0). I'm now adding Kent's' R/O right to add some buffers and  including 1 gal of tap water with 4 gals of RO water during water changes on my 55 gal. I've also added some marble chips to add some carbonate to the mix. The question is, Do I still need to add aquarium salt with to the water with the changes? Thanks Bill < Salt aids in building a slime coat on your fish which will inhibit some diseases. If your fish are well established and disease free then I don't think the salt is needed.-Chuck>

Unwanted Salt In a FW Tank  8/29/06 Hello there. I just started a 55 gal freshwater tank.  Before starting the cycling process, I added some aquarium salt (1 tablespoon per every 5 gal).  I just added my first 5 platies to start the cycle going. However, I discovered that the fish I wish to add later on (zebra Danios, various tetras, and Cory cats) do not do well in tanks with aquarium salt. I'm debating doing a 100% water change to get rid of the salt since the tank is not yet established hoping that the new platies would survive. Is there a better way to remove the aquarium salt? Thanks, Aaron < When the tank is cycled you will have already done a couple of water changes and reduced the salt content of the water. Your fish will be fine.-Chuck>

Salting a FW Tank  8/14/06 Hi Folks, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have been reading articles and FAQ's for about 3 hrs. and am stumped. Re. 100 gal. FW aquarium and salinity levels. I have found hundreds of FAQ's on marine and reef but not much on FW. When I first set up this aquarium about 5 mos. ago, I added aquarium salt @ 1 tbls. per 5 gal. After doing many, many water changes I have lost track of salt content. I bought a salinity meter and can't find ppt for my tank. It currently houses 10 blue gouramis and 10 albino Cory cats. No live plants...yet. What would be a good target salinity? Also, regarding phosphates in a 75 gal. planted. Tap water is 1.0 ppm. Should I try to lower this before adding to tank. Thanks again for your help.....DR <FW fish do not need any salt at all & plants even less!   See: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/water/salt.html   ~PP>

Salt tolerance of Cory Cats   5/28/06 Hello Crew! <<Hi, Jasmine. Tom here.>> I understand that the salt tolerance of catfish in general is very poor. <<It's true that Catfish don't have a tolerance for salt at levels that other fish can tolerate quite well.>> I have some Otos, Bronze Corys and Panda Corys. <<I love these guys, Jasmine. The Pandas tend to be a little less "robust" than other Corydoras varieties but they're sure cute. :)>> For future reference when the situation eventuates, how much aquarium salt would you recommend for these fish for a) prevention of nitrite poisoning and b) disease treatment. <<Regarding (a), don't let this situation "eventuate". In a cycled tank, with proper maintenance, it simply shouldn't occur. As to (b), this isn't, unfortunately, an option because of the dosages necessary to be effective. The "cure" would be as bad as the disease, in a manner of speaking. Even with all of the benefits to be derived from the addition of aquarium salt, in your case, I'm reluctant to advise this. Neither of the instances you cite would lead me to recommend its use given that there are alternatives should the occasion arise. I hope it never does, though. ;)>> Thanks for your help! Jasmine <<Happy to, Jasmine. Tom>>

FW Compatibility Dilemma... Scats    4/4/06 Hi.  I have looked all over your site, Google, etc, and haven't found the answer to my questions, so hopefully they won't be too redundant.  I have a 30 gallon Freshwater tank with 10 Corydoras catfish (5 Trilineatus, 2 Paleatus, & 3 Bronze Aeneas) and 3 Dwarf Gourami (Colisa Lalia - 1 standard, 1 blue, and 1 sunset).  In addition I have 4 other tanks.  One is a 5 gallon with a spoiled rotten Betta (Splendens). <Heee!> A 20 gallon long sectioned into 7 spaces, containing 4 Male Bettas, 1 female Betta (also all Splendens), 1 Dwarf Gourami (Colisa Lalia neon blue), and 1 Honey Dwarf Gourami (Colisa chuna).  A 10 gallon sectioned into 3 spaces with, you guessed it, 3 male Bettas.  Finally, a 5 gallon corner tank with 4-6 Guppies in it.  Two of the Guppies are in sick tanks right now, so 4 is definite.  The other two, if they recover, will go back in as well.  They were in the 30 gallon, but the Dwarf Gouramis kept taking chunks off of their fins.  They also seem to really need the aquarium salt, which my Corys don't do well with. <Agreed to all> I had been using 1 teaspoon/5 gallons, but it wasn't enough for the Guppies.  The Corys were okay with it, but I wasn't willing to risk them on a higher dose. <You are wise here> The 30 is now salt-free, as are all the others, except the Guppy tank.  I consider the 5 gallon tanks full (stocking capacity).  I think 6 Guppies are max for the capacity of the BioWheel in the corner 5. <Agreed> The Betta in the other 5 gallon will not take any tankmates.  The last time I tried, he sulked himself into a lovely case of Velvet.  Long story short, he lives alone now.  The 20 long is full as well.  By water surface to air ratio I have space left, as well as by the inch/gallon rule.  However, with the extra filtration and dividers taking up space, I'm not comfortable with adding more fish into it.  The 10 is also considered full by both stocking ratios.  All the tanks are cycled.  I maintain the Bettas only tanks at 76/77 degrees.  The 20L and 30 are kept at 77/78 degrees.  My numbers are Nitrites 0ppm and Nitrates 0ppm (except the 5 gallon with the single Betta, which is 0 - 5ppm).  All the tanks are at 8.0 for Ph (stable), GH is 3 max, and KH is 9-11.  Ammonia is 0 in all but the 10 and 30 gallon tanks.  The 10 and 30 sometimes get a .25ppm reading, usually coinciding with my over feeding the little beggars (I'm working on that). <Ah yes> Water changes are 25 percent weekly in all but the 5 gallon tanks.  The 5 gallons get 50 percent changes weekly.  If I get an ammonia reading, I do an extra change and clean up the extra food.  Okay, by now I'm sure that you're wondering where-in lies the questions.  So here goes.....I wanted to get a couple fish to replace the Guppies in the 30 gallon, so I now have 2 Scat in quarantine. <Mmm, no... too aggressive, gets too large... needs brackish to full marine conditions> I made the HUGE mistake of not researching prior to buying, followed by the 'fish guy answered all the trick questions, so lets trust him' MAJOR screw-up.  Since bringing the Scat home, I have discovered that they are brackish fish, and I have no idea where to put them! <Another tank... or... back to the shop?> I think they are Scatophagus Multifasciatus.  They are silver with black vertical strips that run into/become spots on their sides.  They also have a bit of tannish color on the sides of their heads above and around the gills.  Their dorsal fins are similar to the Dwarf Gouramis, in that they (the fins) lay down and stand up depending on the situation.  Their dorsal fins are also black trimmed and pointed.   There were no Latin names on the tank they came from, just "Scat".  I'm praying I have the 5 inch fish and not the 15-18 inch fish.  Is there any way to tell for sure what they are?   <Mmm, are easily discerned... see WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/Scatart.htm or fishbase.org> Is it true that they have venomous dorsal fins? <Yes> If so, is it enough to kill a Guppy, etc? <Mmm, yes>   My husband wants me to put them with the Guppies (...already a brackish tank, problem solved.....).  Can I do that?   <No... too different temperaments> They're less than 2 inches right now.  They're smaller than my littlest C. Lalia, but bigger than the C. Chuna.  How fast do they grow? <Slow if not fed well...> We're talking about setting up a 55 gallon tank, but not for at least a year.  Can they be kept in a smaller tank that long? <No... will suffer, likely die from renal problems...> Are they even safe to have with our other fish? <See WWM re... yes, with other brackish to marine animals of similar temperament...> My quarantine/sick tanks are only 2 to 2.25 gallons each, so I need to figure out what to do with them when their 2 weeks are up.  Returning them is not a possibility.  They were purchased out of town (mistake #3).  I like them and would like to keep them.  They are quite personable already, and it doesn't take me long to get attached.  Any thoughts, words of wisdom, suggestions, or ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you, in advance, for any help you can send my way! <Great family of fishes... good with Monos, Datnoides, brackish to marine puffers, much more... all covered on... WWM. Bob Fenner>

Salt, Creep in a FW Tank - 3/5/2006 Hi, <<Hi John>> I have a 29-gallon freshwater tank and I have always kept a light concentration of salt (about a teaspoon of aquarium rock salt when I do a 1/4 tank change). <<Why, do your fish require this? Be careful not to add salt unless it benefits the species you keep.>> I always get a crusty formation of salt on the aquarium (filter cover, tank lid, etc.) Is there any way to remove and/or prevent this formation? The formation has proven nearly impossible to strip. <<There are commercially available products available for this. "Salt Creep Eliminator" by Coralife is a popular one.>> Thanks! John <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Adding Salt To A FW Tank  - 02/20/06 Hello Folks. Its been a while. How've ya been? I recently switched from a salt reef to a 60 gallon fresh water aquarium, with a decent amount of real plants.  I have been reading conflicting reports on whether to add, or not add aquarium salt (not sea salt).   The plant varieties are: Anubias, Cabomba, Java Ferns, Fox Tails, Cardamine, Dwarf Sagittaria, and a few other plant names that elude me right now,  (one is a short grass, one is red, and 1 has pink under the leaves). The tank is on its way to being an "aqua garden with a few fish in it". The Bio load is relatively light, with 8 or 9 Gourami's...Yes. They nibble on everything. I know aquarium salt is good for the fish, but I hear conflicting stories on how well/if at all; the plants tolerate it.  Also, I've read everything from 1 teaspoon, to 1 ounce of salt per gallon.  1 ounce seems like brackish to me. Any Experience or advice on whether to add salt for the fish benefit? Thanks John M. < When you add salt it usually increases the slime coat on a fish. Plants simply utilize the sodium and chloride ions as nutrients. Salt is not needed in a FW tank.-Chuck>

Adding Salt To a FW Tank  12/24/05 Hi, I would like to add some salt to my tank water to help my gravid female guppy, but I don't know if my other fish can tolerate the salt.  I have 4 zebra Danios and 1 mini Pleco (about 2 inches long) besides 3 guppies.  Will the Danios and Pleco be harmed by the salt? Thank you, and great site! < The Pleco will not like the salt but it can probably tolerate a little. The others should be fine.-Chuck>

Salt... and older goldfish  12/20/2005 When you refer to salt as in " Bacterial and fungal infections of goldfish are almost always indirect or secondarily caused by other factors, principally environmental or subsequent to parasitic attack. These are best "treated" with use of regular salt at the one teaspoon per five gallon rate and careful attention to aspects of husbandry (e.g. water quality). "...you are still referring to non-iodized, correct? Always? Judith <Best if this is synthetic salt mix, as in artificial marine aquarium mixes, not just sodium chloride... with iodide or no. Bob Fenner>
Older Goldfish, salt, blindness  12/20/2005
Thank you for the info on the salt. I bought some aquarium salt from the fish store and the salesman told me it was the same as the non iodized from the grocery store. <Some are, yes> I put it in the tank. Now I wonder if I shouldn't have. I am starting to think the fish with the tumor is blind. He doesn't seem to see food, nor my hand. I wanted to hand feed him. Usually he'd dart away. Is there something I could give him in a hospital tank for his eyes? Judith <Not as far as I'm aware. Blindness in fishes has several etiologies... pathogenic, nutritional, water quality... Bob Fenner>

Will my live plant die? <Salt, Betta Treatment> 9/8/05 Hi Bob (or whoever), <Jeff> I have a 3 gallon freshwater tank setup with one red male Betta that I just bought about two weeks ago. It's equipped with a 25-watt Visi-therm heater and a 15-watt incandescent light bulb (no filter). <Does need one> Inside is a substrate of 1/2" to 1" in depth (it varies), one plastic plant and one potted live plant. There's also a thermometer hanging in the tank.  Just a few days ago, I noticed that my Betta was acting rather odd, swimming erratically and scratching himself against the plants, the in-tank thermometer, and the marbles.  Then about 3 days ago, I saw small white dots all over his fins. <Oh oh> I researched this in your website and concluded that he was infected with Ich, and that a simply treatment is to add some (uniodized) salt and raise the temperature to mid-eighties. <One approach... I would remove the live plant...> So after I did my regular 50% water change, I added 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt (the carton recommended 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons) and then over the course of about 12 hours raised the temperature from 79 F to 86 F.  I read some more articles and FAQ's to learn more, and to my horror I discovered that salt treatments are deleterious to live plants. NO!  I don't want to lose my beautiful live plant.  It's been in the salt treatment for about 20 hours now, as I write this e-mail.  Can I still save it by changing the water to reduce the salt concentration? Or will it die? <I would place this plant in a "jar", container large enough... outside the tank during treatment> (I don't know the plant's name, sorry, so let me just describe it to you the best I can.  It's a rooted plant about 8 inches tall; its leaves are each about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide (at its widest part) and have an interesting pattern: in the middle of the leaves right from the root to the tip runs a wide, bright green stripe, which is about 1/3 of the width of the leaf. There are sharp dividing lines between the outer, darker green edges and inner, brighter green stripe, so that there is NO gradual transition from bright green to dark green edges.  Do you have any idea what plant this is?) <Perhaps a type of Echinodorus... Swordplant> Thank you for your help. T. J. Rexton <Please do add a purposeful filter... and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm Bob Fenner>

How Often to Salt FW Fish 8/4/05 Hi Chuck, Question about salt dips? How many times can I salt dip a sick swollen fish and what kind of frequency ..... daily, every other day, weekly.......... thanks again for your reply to my looong email on Popeye and dropsy and silver dollars. I love your web site. Thanks, Janet < Only when needed. Salt stresses many fish, so while it does have some medicinal properties, it does affect the fish too.-Chuck>

Residual salt in FW 7/28/05 Using advice from various sources I added salt, 1 level tsp per 5 gal, to my 29 gal FW aquarium. My question is after 6 months how do I check the level and do I ever add more? <Mmm, can use a hydrometer... there are other methods... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/spg_salinity.htm> I do 10-15% water changes twice a month but after reading some of the data in your FAQ's I intend to try using the nitrate level as an indicator of when it should be done. Forgot: Tank contains only livebearers. Thank You Clark <I would not (necessarily) add more salt/s purposely to an otherwise healthy freshwater system. I would routinely change, vacuum out part of the water and replace it. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm Bob Fenner>

Quick question on salt in mixed fish tank?? Hi Mr. Fenner <Oz> Thank you for taking time to read this and other questions sent before. <Welcome> I was just wondering if it was safe to add salt to a tank with 4 white mountain minnows, two sucking loaches and a couple of light glow tetra in? <Not the last> I have in the same tank (2 ft long x 1 and half ft deep x 1 ft wide ) 6 guppies and a female black molly, hence the salt question. Also I have a small fry trap with 3 molly fry and 5 guppy fry in (not staying in the tank once large enough to move, would the tank overload if I kept a couple??..) <Likely not> Also if it is safe how much salt do I add? <Not with South American Tetras, Characoids> I have another tank so I could move the minnows and light glow to that. <I would> It's a 1 and half ft long tank x half foot deep x half foot wide, Containing a lion head Ranchu, Betta, small algae eating cat fish (very cute little fella!) and two small zebra, I do feel there is enough in that tank  though. I do not want to cause any ill health by keeping to many in too small a tank. <... the Goldfish should not be kept with these tropicals> I also have a spare 6 litre tank with filter for the loach if needs be. Obviously both tanks are well planted with good filtration, large tank has undergravel. The smaller has a good internal filter. Both have aeration blocks  also. Many many thanks Mr. Fenner Take care Oz <Time for another tank... Bob Fenner> 

Frogs with Salt Hello, you're website has been a great help to me in many regards. I have one question that I haven't found an answer for yet. I have 2 African dwarf frogs in a 29 gallon tank along with some mollies, guppies, platies and some neon tetras. My water levels are all good. I have read that ADF's can handle some aquarium salt in the water but not much, but can't seem to find any specifics on exactly how much salt per gallon they can tolerate. Would you happen to know how much salt per gallon is acceptable for ADF's? Thanks. <Frogs really don't like any salt at all in their water. Frogs breath through their skin. There is a point in which salt will actually outright kill your frog and then there is a little amount that will weaken your frog and he will die from a disease before the salt actually kills him. I would try to limit the salt. I know your livebearers love it but the Neons and frog really doesn't. Start at a teaspoon per 10 gallons and what the reaction from your fish and frog. While the livebearers may thrive the others may come down with other problems down the road.-Chuck>

Ragged Goldfish Would that be just ordinary salt that we have in the kitchen for cooking or do we need sea salt? Thanks Karen <Always use salt sold for freshwater aquariums. Don>
Fresh Water Salt 3.16.05
Would that be just ordinary salt that we have in the kitchen for cooking or do we need sea salt? Thanks Karen <Hi Karen, non-iodized salt is what you will want to use, if you have kosher/cooking salt that is the stuff. I usually use "Aquarium Salt" from the local fish store, so far the goldfish have not noticed the difference. The salt will stimulate your fish's natural slime coat and help heal the damaged fins. Best Regards -Gage> 

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