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View Full Version : Sodium in a Rift lake tank?



matt1066
02-08-2003, 08:09 PM
HI folks,

From all of the books I have read, adding Salt to a Rift lake set-up is not recommended. But on the "Forums" it seems that most hobbyists are using salt in addition to Kent/Seachem etc..buffers and lake salts.

Logically I can see both points of view. One from the purists and the other from the "not so purists"? I want to do what is healthiest for my fish.

Which way to go?? I would appreciate any suggestions on the use of sodium chloride.

Thank you,

Matt

MalawiMayhem
02-09-2003, 01:09 AM
IMO, I would only use NaCl as needed to rid of various parasitic and fungal infections/attacks.

jonah
02-09-2003, 08:32 AM
I don't use salt unless I'm treating a wound or illness which is pretty rarely. I don't even use the rift lake salts you mentioned. I like to keep it as simple as possible.

SGypsyMermaid
02-09-2003, 10:30 AM
i use sodium when i suspect a parasitic invasion, or if i am treating illness, torn fins/wounds...i don't use lake salts any longer, but instead pack my tanks with calcareous rocks and substrate.

tom
02-09-2003, 10:41 AM
I don't add NaCl, but it's in my tanks from the tap water anyway.

If by "purists," you mean those who try to match the parameters of a given species' native water, then I would think Tanganyikan keepers especially do add moderate (around 20-30 mg/L) amounts of common salt, although in the Lake Na and Cl occur in reverse proportion to common table salt. NaCl diassociates relatively quickly, so I wonder if that's a concern for such aquarists (I doubt it).

That said, other than to relieve osmotic stress, I'm not sure what benefits additional (again, check the tap) NaCl brings; it has no buffering capacity, for example. On the other hand, I'm unconvinced of the harm of <I>small</I> amounts of table salt.

I noticed that on the www.MalawiCichlidHompeage.com (good stuff there, by the way), the authors label the addition of NaCl as "essential," but unfortunately offer no corresponding explanation. Maybe you can float them an e-mail question, Matt. :wink:

SGypsyMermaid
02-09-2003, 10:46 AM
If by "purists," you mean those who try to match the parameters of a given species' native water, then I would think Tanganyikan keepers especially do add moderate (around 20-30 mg/L) amounts of common salt, although in the Lake NaCl occurs in reverse proportion to common table salt. NaCl diassociates relatively quickly, so I wonder if that's a concern at all for such keepers (I doubt it).


tom--i don't understand this paragraph--could you state it more simply? and are you sure that there's naturally occuring NaCl in lake tanganyika? i was under the impression that lakes malawi. victoria, and tanganyika were devoid of sodium. :confused:

tom
02-09-2003, 11:06 AM
Hi S.

According to what I would consider a reliable source (on the Web, at least), the Rift Lakes have plenty of sodium, although chloride is present in much lesser amounts, but it's found nevertheless, especially in Tanganyika: http://malawicichlids.com/mw01011.htm

(By reverse--or rather, inverse--proportion, I was referring to the fact that common table salt is around 40/60 Na/Cl.)

By "disassociation" I mean the the breaking up of a salt in water into its positive and negative ions.

SGypsyMermaid
02-09-2003, 11:44 AM
ok--i'm gettin' out of this conversation while the gettin' is good. scotty and cichlid jeans can talk to you on this one. :oops: :shock:

tom
02-09-2003, 11:49 AM
I'm right behind you off this discussion, S. :D

Let me consult a real chemist. :mrgreen:

SGypsyMermaid
02-09-2003, 12:03 PM
sorry, matt--but hard science gives me a headache! :( :shock: :?

matt1066
02-09-2003, 08:11 PM
Thanks for all the great info, passed chemistry in H.S. but don't remember jack.

I think the reason I brought it up was that I was viewing the Sydney Cichlid Forum, and they are always talking about all the rock salt they use down there. I will stick with the way I have been doing things. No NaCl.

I will only use it to treat disease; and by the way, what maladies benefit from the intro of NaCl.

Thanks again,

Matt

SGypsyMermaid
02-09-2003, 08:14 PM
parasites usually can't handle the salt.