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Old 11-16-2011, 01:23 AM   #1 
kitkatbar
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Aquarium Salt

All righty, so I have a question...perhaps it should be taken with a "grain of salt"...harr harr

I read online that aquarium salt added in with regular water changes (only 1/2 teaspoon to a gallon) helps prevent infection and disease in betta fish.

However, I seem to see a consensus on this site that say that doing this will cause liver and kidney failure.

I was hoping for two things: for one, could anyone explain how it causes liver and kidney failure?

And for two, are there any credible resources online or in books that claim this that you could direct me to? I'm thinking like educational or scientific resources or journals or books. But I know personal experience is valuable as well.

Thanks so much in advance!
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:55 AM   #2 
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I personally don't think that it causes liver or kidney failure because I too have never seen proof of this. However, I do believe that using it continuously will make it less effective in the long run when you really do need it. I think that clean water is better to prevent infection and disease, so I don't use salt. If I want a "boost" I use tannins.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:46 AM   #3 
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Salt will remove the water from their body over time.. just like with us. It will literally dehydrate them to death- by first affecting the internal workings that need fluids/water to function properly.

It doesn't help prevent infection- just the opposite, like with over exposure of anything you use to treat, you become immune to it, as well as the bacteria you are trying to keep away. The body, and bacteria continuously grows and adjusts.. soon it will take the salt as the "norm" and will not react to it as if it were just put in.. if I had more time I'd go into more of the scientific backing.. but have to head out now, late as it is :(
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #4 
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Thanks for the replies!

Tannins...I'll have to look into that.

It makes sense that it would be dehydrating. Is it just false advertising that the "for Freshwater fish" aquarium salt claims that it promotes osmoregulation and gill function?

It also makes sense that they could build an immunity to it, although i think the reccomended dose for water changes is much smaller than what I have seen people say to give sick fish...
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:12 AM   #5 
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I don't know if osmoregulation claims are false, but Bettas breath air directly from the surface. Their gills have to be taken care of so they do not become sick. So I don't ignore the fact that my fish have gills because of the labrynth organ, but I don't do anything that encourages gill function since they use their labrynth to breath (Does that makes sense? ^_^;).

Trust me, it doesn't take a large does to become immune or make bacteria immune to medication. That 1/2 tsp per water change would be enough to make salt the norm for any fish. I personally have Indian Almond leaves (IAL) in my tank to give my fish a boost because it's a good source for tannins, but I would never use salt unless I saw an external infection. IAL is like the multi vitamin I take every morning to help with my immune system. Aquarium salt is like the antibiotic I take when I have full blown infection. Vitamins are good as a precaution but you can't take antibotics, in any amount, unless you actually have an infection. That's where super bug come from.

I hope this helps. :)

Last edited by SnowySurface; 11-16-2011 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention why I'm using IAL. ^_^;
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #6 
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where do you purchase IAL, and what do tannins do?

Also, if i have been adding salt, how do i stop adding it without causing a problem for my fishy? I'm guessing you cant do it all at once. do i add less and less each water change until im adding none?
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:28 AM   #7 
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I purchased mine from Singapore. It came pretty quickly considering it had to come through customs. I've also heard about some people using dried Oak leaves and drift wood to add Tannins to water. Drift wood would look kind of wierd in my tank because of the decore I picked and my complex uses pesticides on the grass.

So mail order IAL leaves were my only option because of where I lived. I think other members who actually live near oak trees can give better advice on finding the right type of dried leaf. I brought mine from a professional to be o nthe safe side. There are a lot of sellers on ebay. The leaves I have are the C+ grade. I think the highest grade possible is A+, but I'm satisfied with my C+ leaves. It's not like they have to make it into Harvard. XD

Nah, it's not neccessary. Drastic differences in water quality/condition is the reason for acclimation. :D As long as the acclimation is slow, the fish shouldn't be shocked. I can write out what I do below, but it involves using a fish bag instead of a floating cup. It also takes a while because I only use it when I've just brought a new fish home from a pet store. If I'm doing a large water change for an established tank, then I don't bother repeating. I seriously doubt salted water versus unsalted water could be a more drastic change than Petco water versus my tank water. :)

I use fish bags because I can hold a total of 2 cups of water. At first, I only fill it with 1/2 cup and float the bag and fish in my tank. After 10 minutes, I add about 1oz of water. Then I add another 1oz every 5 minutes until I get to about a 1 cups. I take out 1/2 cup from the bag, dump the water in a waste water bucket, and then repeat acclimation one more time. After it is 1 cup again, I just dump the bag into the tank.

Total time is about 1 hour 30 minutes. It's a bit excessive, but it insures the transfer is gradual. :)
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:10 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkatbar View Post
where do you purchase IAL, and what do tannins do?
I ordered a batch of IAL from ebay awhile back. I've about run out now but I'm thinking I'm just going to go for a walk and collect some oak leaves and give those a try.
Tannins are good at keeping them less stressed and less prone to illness from what I've read

Last edited by mjoy79; 11-16-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #9 
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We buy our IAL from Amy on eBay too! We buy Grade D though, as I hope to make a IAL extract that I can add directly to the water, as well as some leaves for cover (Yoshe LOVES leaves). Sadly, I can't find any oak trees here!

I have to agree with everything Myates said too :)
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:10 PM   #10 
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Thanks everybody!

@Snowy Surface : that is a good point about the petco water, haha. So I guess I will be all right next time if I just don't add any salt. I only ever do 50% water changes anyway because I have a filter so I don't think he would be too shocked or anything...
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