Low Tech W/higher salt level.

Homer_Simpson

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Oct 11, 2007
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I was wanting to start another experimental tank. I don't know if you would define it as a true brackish tank or not as I don't plan to use true brackish water fish. The idea was to set up a low tech tank, and use aquarium salt consistently in amounts that would not harm the plants but be of therapeutic value to fish and possibly afford some protection against parastitic outbreaks. I was not looking at the tank as a substitute for good tank maintenance but just as something to afford greater protection to inhabitants.

It is said that : "Almost all aquarium fish can tolerate brackish water with one Tablespoon of Aquarium Salt per each five gallons of water. For example, all Livebearers, all Cichlids, all Goldfish and Koi, all Barbs, all Gouramis, and all Danios can tolerate this amount of Aquarium Salt. "
Source: Brackish Water Fish - Aquariums and Tanks at AquariumFish.net.

So, there appears to some flexibilty with choosing salt tolerant fish.

Now, that leaves the question of how tolerant plants would be to such a dosage. I heard that some plants can tolerate specific gravity up to 1.015 max.

Anarcharis, anubias, hornwort, java fern, waterm sprite, java moss, hygrophilia polysperma, are said to have this tolerance.

So, my questions, for anyone who has any experience with this are: (1) Besides Java moss, Java fern, and water sprite has anyone found other species that are more or less salt tolerant and up to what level. I am thinking of using 1 Tablespoon per 5 gallons. Can anyone confirm if 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons results in a specific gravity over 1.015. (2) Is this even doable with respect to its effect(s) on long term healthy plant growth. I am more looking to tear a Natural Planted Tank that is not doing so well(not blaming the method; I just failed with the method and want to try something else) and replace it with this type of setup. Fortunately, I have all the plants and additional clippings from other tanks if I need them. I also have some Leonardite and Seachem Onyx left over from another project to use as a substrate for this project, so cost is not an issue.

Any suggestions/feedback would be most appreciated. Many thanks.
 

Tom Barr

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I'd stick with 1.005 instead of 1.015.
Most of the plants that are tolerant, are not the prettiest weeds.

Regards.,
Tom Barr
 

gingerinaustin

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Dec 22, 2007
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Homer_Simpson;22610 said:
Can anyone confirm if 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons results in a specific gravity over 1.015.

Not by a long shot. I had a brackish tank for about 6 months. On average, it took 1/3 to 1/2 cup marine salt added to approximately 3 gallons water to achieve 1.005 on a floating hydrometer at 75 degrees F. The fish (mollies and bumblebee gobies) thrived in this environment, but the java moss I attempted to add to the tank quickly died. I eventually got tired of mixing up salt water every week and trying to target feed live food to the bumblebees every morning of my flippin' life (cuuute as buttons but D-U-M-B as fence posts and no match for hungry mollies), so I broke the tank down last week and gave the fish away via Craigslist to an experienced aquarist with 9 fish tanks. Life is soo much simpler now.

I don't believe most of the fish you listed would do well at a salinity of 1.015. Though they might well tolerate a much lower concentration of 1 tablespoon of aquarium (non-marine) salt per 5 gallons, I don't know that they would either need or benefit from it.
 

Tom Barr

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Homer,

I've had FW planted tanks for many decades, primary focus for 20 years.
I've never had parasites.
I've never had any reasons to use salt for health of the fish.

Some true brackish fish I'd say do much better with marine salts.
But few are really in that group.

Well run planted tanks that are taken care of, plants, and fish, well stocked, well fed etc, they do not suffer issues.

My clients lose very very few fish and if they do, because they meddled or neglected.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Homer_Simpson

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Oct 11, 2007
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Tom Barr;22640 said:
Homer,

I've had FW planted tanks for many decades, primary focus for 20 years.
I've never had parasites.
I've never had any reasons to use salt for health of the fish.

Some true brackish fish I'd say do much better with marine salts.
But few are really in that group.

Well run planted tanks that are taken care of, plants, and fish, well stocked, well fed etc, they do not suffer issues.

My clients lose very very few fish and if they do, because they meddled or neglected.

Regards,
Tom Barr

That makes a lot of sense and sounds like very sound advice. Thanks
 

Tom Barr

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Healthy plants = healthy fish.

Both Amano and myself have long believed this and we should know(and from very different backgrounds).

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Homer_Simpson

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Oct 11, 2007
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Tom Barr;22669 said:
Healthy plants = healthy fish.

Both Amano and myself have long believed this and we should know(and from very different backgrounds).

Regards,
Tom Barr

I absolutely agree with you. Prior to exploring planted tanks. I had no-nonplanted tanks. The 40 gallon still has many fish that are 9+ years. I just did the basics: regular partial weekly water changes, gravel siphoning, and a sprinkle of salt. Lol, I even have a peppered cory catfish at work that is still alive. He was only in a 2.5 gallon bowl and all I did was feed him every 2nd day, 50% weekly water changes, and gravel siphoning.

The current string of fish deaths in my 10 gallon has me really stumped. I lost a female betta to dropsy, a Bolivian Ram to God knows what, and a Bristlenose Pleco. I was doing 50% weekly water changes on the tank and there is even a UV sterilizer running in that tank. The plants appear to be doing well other than some green spot algae on some cardamine leaves. DIY c02 is at 30ppm as measured via drop checker. I have been testing water parameters monthly and nothing seems out of the ordinary.

Just curious Tom, have you ever had a run in with Mycobacteriosis, referred to the Stealth Disease by Diana Walstead.

For anyone interested, there is an intesting article from Diana Walstead on this guy's Natural Planted Tank blog, in which she speaks about her battle with this bacteria.
Adrian’s Aquarium Weblog
 

Tom Barr

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Yea, I have read that. She's a microbiologist by profession I believe.

Generally, I hold a more pragmatic beilef about diseases in fish(and plants, however we ain't got any really).

Pathogens of all types especially attack weaker individuals that are stressed.
So my goal has been to address reducing those effects.

If fish eat well, fed a good balanced and varied diet consistently, quarantined and fed well prior and stocked correctly, have the right fish added at the right time, lots of water changes, very low NH4, stable CO2 when the lights are on, lots of cover, plants, plenty of room, etc

You just do not get these mystery diseases of death.
And if so, very rarely.

She does not use UV's, micron filtration or much of anything as far as filter and water processing, mostly just a neglected approach which works well.

But that approach also is hardly one where they test, or can account for conditions in the tank, and if they neglect the plants..........how many neglect the fish or forget to feed them well and the correct diet?

Look, we get diseases, like Scurvy, colds, and other diseases, long term stuff like heart attacks when we do not take care of ourselves, no sleep or exercise and eat the right foods.

Now I think a method that's so hands off can lead folks to leave their care of the fish out of the loop as well, or at least has a very high, much higher potential to do so than other methods.

So did she get that disease due to that? Or it's just part of the bad luck she had?

I'd say the first choice.

She can disagree, I've worked at a fish store, I work with fish pathologists, been at those hobby for over 30 years, never had this issue. Maybe I'm just lucky and she got unlucky?

Perhaps, but probability is not on her side.

I might lose 1-2 fish out a school of a 100 I buy for a client.
That's normal.
Some loss is going to occur.

I've seen an extremely strong correlation between a good stable environment, good feeding and observation of tanks: and fish health.
Same deal with plants, crops, livestock or anything else you want to keep.

Regards,
Tom Barr