Livebearers and Aquarium Salt!
Do Livebearers need Salt? – The age old question that is often asked but may never fully be resolved, but in my opinion the answer is - NO they do not, in general most common livebearers i.e. Molly, guppy, platy and Swordtails, with proper water conditions, diet & not overstocking, do very well without it, but what they do need is hard water to thrive, and do not do as well in Soft water. They are freshwater fish & the addition of salt isn't necessary.
Salt is best only used as a tonic for sick fish, which should always be done in a quarantine tank and not in the community tank.
Some species such as Sailfin Mollies do prefer salt YES, but again it isn’t really necessary. If you are going to use salt, it can only be used in a species specific tank – not a community tank, as most freshwater fish definitely don’t need or cannot tolerate salt and it will be harmful to the other fish if used continuously.
When first using salt for your Livebearers it is best to introduce the salt slowly over time to get them acclimated to it, and you need to remember to check the salinity of the tank regularly because the only way to remove salt from a tank is by water changes as salt doesn't evaporate or get absorbed, so when doing p.w.changes you need to make sure that the salt added is the right measurement for the amount of water you are replacing, or the salt will build up and become harmful.
The measurement of salt is usually 1 teaspoon per 3 ltrs or 1 tablespoon for every 5 galls. but Livebearers are a very diverse group and each species requires their own specific conditions to thrive, so doing your research into the particular species of Livebearer you want to keep is absolutely necessary.
Here is an interesting article that might shed some light on this question.
Hope this info. is useful !
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