Author Topic: Testing for Salt  (Read 929 times)

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Offline gsipj58

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Testing for Salt
« on: August 01, 2012, 10:19:25 AM »
Hi Everyone

Is there a way to test the level of sea salt in my tank? I only ask because if you test for everything else - GH, KH, pH, nitrates etc - don't you need to make sure you've got the right level of plain old salt too? And is aquarium salt the same thing as sea salt?

When you guys are all done laughing at my stupidity, thanks for helping.  :laughhard:

Sue

Offline Chris

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Re: Testing for Salt
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 02:12:22 PM »
There are two items you can get, called a refractometer and hydrometer.

They test for what is called as the specific gravity of the water.

From memory, pure water has a specific gravity of 1.000, and common sea water is approximely 1.026.

For a freshwater tank, you don't need to test for it as you don't add it. There are treatments using salt, but these are miniscule proportions.

In a marine aquarium, you would be testing for it regularly.

Then theres brackish aquariums, which lie in between. These are designed to simulate areas which get tidal flows from the ocean, but are predominantly fresh water. Due to the nature of the wild habitat, they are more fresh than salt water, and flucuations in salt levels are generally necessary for the health of the fish.
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Offline gsipj58

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Re: Testing for Salt
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 04:42:42 PM »
Thanks Chris. I understand hydrometers - my husband makes his own beer.

My fish are only Blackmoors so I do have a freshwater tank, approx 90 litres, to which I was advised to add about 2 tablespoons of sea salt. This is to ensure that the water the fish are in has the same salt levels as they do in their bodies, to prevent kidney malfunctions. My water is from a rainwater tank so I also add lake salts and alkaline buffer when I do water changes (see multiple previous posts with similarly stupid questions). What I'm really needing to know is when you add a bit extra sea salt because of some mild infection, how far can you go before it's too much?

Perhaps I need to visit my local LFS (thanks dogboy) and bring a questionnaire.

Kind Regards   Sue


Offline Chris

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Re: Testing for Salt
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 04:33:22 PM »
Blackmoors are a type of fancy goldfish, which are a line-bred decendant of carp. Generally speaking, they can hangle pretty crappy conditions.

1 or 2 teaspoons of sea salt won't hurt, but probably isn't adding anything that isn't in your rift lake buffer.

I would say 2 tablespoons in 90L is probably a little too much.

The key to any fish keeping is stable water conditions and regular water changes. You have the advantage with rainwater that it does not contain excess chlorine and is nice and 'soft' (meaning low dH and kH). You can easily add to it buffers to make it 'harder'. Going the other way is very difficult.

The difficulty you will have is when the fish get bigger. Even little blackmoors can grow to 10-15cm or bigger, and they will outgrow this tank. The old wives tale about goldfish onyl growing as big as their tank isn't true - they generally stop growing due to excess nitrates in the water.
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Offline gsipj58

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Re: Testing for Salt
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 12:10:27 PM »
Hi Chris

Thanks for the tips. I do change the water every two weeks or so, give or take a couple of days. Maybe I'll leave off the sea salt next time - just changed it yesterday. I am trying Melafix and Pimafix this time for the fungus, as it seems more like that than actual white spot. Maybe I am misidentifying the problem and using the wrong stuff and therefore being my own worst enemy. Anyhow the stuff smells nice!

I do know the fish can get quite large, my other guys were pretty big but it seemed it was mostly tail. I'll worry about that if they get that big - got a while to go yet. I have had them change colour on me too - into a lovely golden orange - but just the one.

Sue

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Re: Testing for Salt
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 12:56:24 PM »
The other thing they might like is a nice big pond. Overall, a 500 litre pond won't cost you any more than a 100L tank, but you just need to be smart about it.

Round precast ponds are cheaper than square ones, which are cheaper than the 'natural looking' ones. Pond liner is even cheaper still if you are happy to dig.

The pump system for a gold fish pond is simply to create movement and aerate the water, you can get all your biological filtration through pond plants. A few nice tubs of vallis will only cost you $20 (they're around $5 a pot), and you're set. The beauty of gold fish is that they are just as nice viewed from above than from the side, as in an aquarium. This is why the best Koi have intricate patterns from above, as they have been bred to be viewed from this angle. Gold fish are relatively the same.

Just a thought.
Looking for: Discus, Apistos, Rams (Neon Blue esp)