View Full Version : Aquarium Salt and other beginner questions
05-10-2006, 03:33 AM
Hello, first time poster.
First thanks so much for this website and the E-Book, excellent information and everything I needed to get started in the aquarium hobby.
I just setup a brand new 29 gallon freshwater tank. I got the heater going (76f) the filter running (biowheel) and the bubble wand pumpin'. Now I'm going to wait a week then get a couple fish to start the cycling the tank.
So here's my question, at my local pet shop I was browsing the fish and I noticed that ALOT of the fish descriptions read; "Requires Aquarium Salt" actually just about every fish except catfish and tetra's. I've never heard of this before and was wondering what it was all about? Is it really neccessay? Or is the pet shop just trying to push the product just to make a easy buck.
My other question is in regards to fish, I know it's asked alot but what should I stock my aquarium with for a beginner? Ideally I'd like 1-2 schools of small fish, 1-2 med fish, and one larger one (3-5 inches)
Can my tank support that?
and finally, I'd like to get a red-tailed shark put in there. Will it be ok in a community tank?
05-10-2006, 05:14 AM
Welcome to the site and thanks for the kind words.
Regarding aquarium salt. No freshwater fish do not need salt in the aquarium however salt can prevent the outbrake of certain diseases. These diseases should however not be a problem as long as you keep good water quality in your tank. I personally never use salt in any tank with freshwater fish.
Your question about fish is a little harder to answer as it depends on how many fish you want in your schools etcbut the easy answer is yes. It would be okay to keep those fish in it including the red tailed shark.
05-10-2006, 09:18 AM
In his book Exotic aquarium fishes Dr. william T. Innes say that salt is nature medience. it should be in all tanks. Dr. Herbert R. axelrod, Dr Leonard P.schultz in all of their books, tell you to used salt. and the list go on. i have 55 tanks set up now, will have more. i put salt in every one. in the 20 gallon tank, i put 2 to 4 tablespoons of sea salt..i have salt in every tank. it in my live bearers , tetras, barbs. sharks, plec.eels, cichlids and in my catfish tanks to. you should never set the tank up wilh out salt in it. i been in is great hobby for over 35 plus years now. had spawn and raised over 150 plus breeds of fish and i not done yet. i have my own website if you want to find out more about me. it on the bottom of this page. USED SALT IN YOUR TANKS, IT THE MUST.
05-10-2006, 11:34 AM
NO IT ISN'T.
I have kept and breed every type of fish you can think of and never used salt. (freshwater morays being the exception) I also never have any problem with diseases. There are infact a number of species that can take damage from salt.
I don't deny that salt can be beneficial and that it can help cure diseases. I even recommend using it in certain situations and it can be good for beginners but it isn't necessary.
This is regardless of what those books say and i could list a lot of books that donšt list salt as a necessity.
05-10-2006, 11:59 AM
I too am still wavering on the salt issue...so here is another question...is it possible that my tap water may have a higher than normal salinity level? And if so, should I buy a kit, test it and where can I find the "safe" levels for freshwater? I know it probably sounds crazy...but here is the scenario I ran into the 2 times I tried salt, which was Doc Wellfish's aquarium salt.
My 4 yr old bought mollies. They delivered fry within a week of us owning them to my utter surprise! I then did some research and found that they should have salt in their water, so I added the recommended amount, and at weekly water change added the recommended amount to clean water before adding it to tank to keep it there. Within about 10 days all were dead.
Then when I ran into an internal bacterial infection from a new fish, it was in Q tank but I had to add a couple of dwarf gourami's that got beat up, I lost 1 of the gourami's. I added salt first, started melafix, and when I came home from work that night found my fish swimming back and forth like crazy, which was totally out of the norm for them. I did a quick water change and they all settled down. I am starting to wonder if my tap water has a higher than norm salinity level and this is why I am seeing odd behavior when I use salt. I know that the mollies should be able to take a higher level, but out of 2 experiences with salt, I have had 2 negative reactions. I am not trying to say it is wrong, but that I have had bad experiences, and don't know why. The only other thing is could the salt be too old? I didn't buy any, my sister had a bunch of stuff leftover from her daughter's goldfish and this was included, so it is what I used. I checked the water stats online last night posted by my water supply company for my area and there weren't any salinity levels.
This should open a whole new debate huh?!
05-10-2006, 12:14 PM
I would say that is unlikely that you have a higher salinity in your drinking water as that would make it less suitable as a drinking water. Not impossible but unlikely. And besides that would regardless not explain the mollies bacause mollies can be kept in saltwater. (if the salinity is raised slowly)
I don't know the reasons for your problems. Salt can not get old, could it have been polluted? Is it Iodide free aquarium salt. (I know you said that it came with a goldfish but that's no garantee)
How much salt did you add?
05-10-2006, 12:18 PM
Rollia. I should add that I find salt very helpful for someone in your position running a petshop which means a lot of tanks with a lot of fish. Salt is than very useful.
05-10-2006, 12:21 PM
salt is good, but it up to you what you want to do, listen to good advice or bad advice. if i lose 10 fish the year, that is a lot!! there could be something elec in your water causing the problem!! any fly by night can write a book., that do not mean they know anything. the peoples in my above post know more than we will ever know, when it come to fish.
05-10-2006, 12:45 PM
William, re your above post. Why should salt be good for me? But not for others. if it good for me, then it good for everybody. what you are saying do not make sense to me. i also have tanks set up in the back part of my house, which i do not sell fish from and they get salt to.
05-10-2006, 01:25 PM
The box does not say it is iodide free, but it DOES say "all natural-made from evaporated sea water". I suppose it could be contaminated, but with what I have no idea. Since the salinity in tap water is probably not the issue, I guess I will pick up a new box to have on hand in case I need it to see if that is the issue. Once the fish in Q tank are done there I can always try it again on some of my hardier fish (like the platy's that like to breed) and see what happens. It is kinda weird that I have these unexplainable problems with salt, when others don't seem to. As for what else is supposedly in my water, it checks out at ph 8.0 am 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0 on my home test kit. As for the other contaminants I will be back in a little bit with the info to see if maybe you guys can help.
05-10-2006, 01:25 PM
Rollie: I have never said that salt isn't good. I Have said that it isn't a must. There is the difference.
What I meant when I said that salt was good in fishstores (like yours) was that fish stores offen keep a lot of fish in the same tank which increase the stress on the water and make it harder to keep perfect water quality. Salt will than give a greater benefit than if you have fever fish and less stess on the water. It was in no way directed toward you or your skills as an aquarist.
Again: I agree that with you that salt can be good for many types of fish. (not all, there are fish that you never should use salt with) What I don't agree with is that it is a must and Richalds question was wether salt was a must when keeping freshwater fish.
If you say that salt is good I will agree with you in most cases.
If you say salt is a must I will strongly disagree.
05-10-2006, 01:30 PM
Kimmers318. Regarding your water. pH 8.0 is very high to keep german rams if you keep the same pH in your tank.
05-10-2006, 01:42 PM
then i guess we are going to have to disagree strongly on this subject.
i am going by the book and 35 plus years of keeping fish.
when i say that i had spawn over 150 breeds, what i mean is this.
i spawn them, grew their youngs up, and then spawn their youngs and grew them up.
i will keep telling pepoles to used salt!!
05-10-2006, 01:47 PM
Yes, I know the PH is too high....I lower it with RO water.
05-10-2006, 01:56 PM
Yes I guess we have to.
But Rollie, You are not going by THE book you are going by A book. There is no THE book with the regads to aquarium keeping.
And listing your experince isn't relevant because you know that I can match your exerinces (granted yours are over a higher number of years but I have on the other hand breed more species) and have never used salt.
Remember that salt helps prevent diseases etc that are a result of something being wrong in the aquarium and if you prevent those problems in the aquarium the salt isn't needed. (observe I am still not saying that salt isn't good)
05-10-2006, 02:01 PM
german ram, book say ph of 7.0 to 7.5.
05-10-2006, 02:08 PM
I am at 7.4
05-10-2006, 02:13 PM
i am not going by 1 book, but by many, manys books and alot of others peoples who know more than me and you put togerter.
05-10-2006, 03:14 PM
thank you for all the information. after some other research on the net it seems like alot of people disagree on this subject, more of a preference really. Maybe I should decide on aquarium salt if my water needs it.
I tested my water last night, but again this tank is only 2 days old, no fish still.
PH - 7.0
Akalinity - 120
Hardness - 150
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10 (was a best guess, it was very close to 0 but not spot on the "0 color)
Ammonia - 0
Is this water good enough, or should I add some salt in as an added security measure?
05-10-2006, 03:24 PM
salt will cure ick, fungus and a lot of others things. you must now decided for your self.
05-10-2006, 03:36 PM
Tough decision huh Richalds? It is something that is a wide area with a lot of opinions. I personally feel that all of the info I see is good about salt, especially as a dose in the tank when you first see illness...but I have had 2 bad experiences which has left me stumped so I am still wavering. If need be, I will try it again, and watch my fish's reactions.
05-10-2006, 04:21 PM
Seems like you have gotten a good grip on the situation with salt Richalds.
It should however be noted that all of us agree on the value of salt "as a dose in the tank when you first see illness" as kimmers318 but it.
05-10-2006, 05:11 PM
Thanks again everyone! I'll be sure to ost a picture when I have it all setup
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.