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Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Question about salt in freshwater aquariums

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  • ...Paul
    ... From what I ve read and heard, you won t get a definitive answer. :) I ve heard that you should always keep a small amount of salt in the tank, like one
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 28, 2002
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      On Sun, 28 Apr 2002, tn_x wrote:
      > I'm pretty new to fishkeeping (a couple of months now). I've read
      > that a little bit of marine salt in a freshwater aquarium helps
      > certain fish (e.g. mollies). My question is: is salt OK for all
      > freshwater fish? I currently have black mollies, silver mollies,
      > platies, tetras, and a betta.

      From what I've read and heard, you won't get a definitive answer. :)

      I've heard that you should always keep a small amount of salt in the tank,
      like one teaspoon per 5 gallons (if I remember correctly)

      Of course, for some fish, more is appropriate; mollies, platies, and
      guppies (basically, the livebearers) tend to do a little better with a
      little more salt, such as one tablespoon (three teaspoons) per 5 gallons.

      Of course, even there, there are some subtle variations; I think mollies
      are more affected by a lack of salt, whereas guppies are little more
      tolerant of low salt levels.

      This, of course, can make sense -- the fish have evolved and adapted to
      live in certain waters in certain areas of the world, where the chemistry
      is different. Some live closer to oceans, where the salt starts to creep
      into the water supply quite heavily (called "brackish water"). Some live
      way upstream, in areas fed directly by moutain runoff, and have very
      little salt at all, if any, present in their waters.

      Now, naturally, there is a lot of interesting stuff in natural water
      resources. In the ocean, there's something like a gram of gold floating
      in every 10 cubic miles of water! Likewise, salt, a relatively common
      material in the world, does end up in some very small quantity in just
      about everything.

      Looking at your list of fish... Mollies and platies would probably prefer
      more salt than your tetras and betta. This is one of the trade-offs when
      trying to put together a community tank using fish from more than one area
      of the world. That said, I'm not entirely sure if the tetras and betta
      would be that affected by some salt.

      I'm not entirely sure of my numbers for salt contents... I'm *pretty*
      sure it's 1-3 teaspoons per 5 gallons... You should definitely search
      around a bit more and double-check my numbers. Try looking at
      faq.thekrib.com for some insights...

      ...Paul

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