Salt, Salinity and everything you thought you knew but didn't

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
113
I'm mulling through the Na and Cl article that's coming up. :gw :gw

Several things like the differences between Chloride and chlorine have popped up by hobbyists, I refer to this as "chlorine hysteria".

Hopefully this article will certainly make clear the differences and misconceptions amongst the subscribers. We often hear a lot about plants and salt or brackish tanks and having plants. But few, other than a few anecdotal cases, really have gone into the issue much with aquatic plants.
There is a huge amount of research data and papers available though.

While useful, there are many other issues such as many aquarist assuming the Chlorine and chloride are the same and they are both "bad".

But on a basic level.......

I do know adding NaCl to my tank does not add chlorine and sanitizes the water/kills all my fish.

I also know adding sodium metal to water......well, let's say it does a great job burning like mad......I do not see that either.

The spelling is similar to make matter's worse.

Hopefully folks will ask that type of question when someone says excess chloride levels will hurt the fish, plants etc.

How much ppm of Cl-[aq] is needed to cause an issue? Na+[aq]?
Too little?
Research on the aquatic plants and salt?
Algae tolerances(they are very tolerant in general)?
How do plants keep the salt out?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Wet

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Aug 25, 2006
395
0
16
USA
Re: Salt, Salinity and everything you thought you knew but didn't

Too little?
Do plants use Na+ and Cl- for anything?

KCl is sold as sodium-free water softener. It lowers GH? KH? How? (MgCl2? CaCl?)

Thank you.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
113
Re: Salt, Salinity and everything you thought you knew but didn't

Well plants do use Cl for many things, Na less so, but you will see a number of researchers have shown a sligth enhancement effect for a small amount of Na.

When K+ is low, plants can use Na as a monovalent ion for osmotic balances.
But only so much before it becomes as issue.

Regards,
Tom Barr