Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Question about salt in freshwater aquariums
- On Sun, 28 Apr 2002, tn_x wrote:
> I'm pretty new to fishkeeping (a couple of months now). I've readFrom what I've read and heard, you won't get a definitive answer. :)
> 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.
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
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...
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