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Questions About Snails And Salt In The Water


Tiffken813

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So here's a question for whoever knows the answer....since my tank is cycling, the nitrites are super high right now. I've been doing lots of water changes. I got to reading about how salt brings down the nitrites and might also be good just for the general well being of my fishies...so I am considering adding a low amount to my 55 gallon tank. My only concern is that we have two black mystery snails that my husband and kids love. Anyone know if they can tolerate a little salt or will it kill them? Do ya'll think it's a good idea to add salt while it's cycling to help out? I'm so new and don't wanna do anything stupid.

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Salt typically isn't recommended as a permanent additive to your water, but only for treatment of diseases/bacterial infections. If you keep it in your water at all times, the diseases might gain a resistance to it, so if something does happen, like Ich or Flukes, you won't be able to treat it with salt. As for whether salt is safe for your snail, I'm not sure; someone else will have to answer that question for you.

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Well, I have no experience with this, but I don't know how salt would reduce nitrite levels. Especially considered that during cycling you likely still have trace ammonia, which due to the presence of salt becomes even more toxic than it already is.

I wouldn't risk it, but instead upping the water changes if needed.

Aside from that, apple snails should never be exposed to anything higher than 0.1% salt. If you ever have to salt higher, remove the snails for the duration of the treatment :)

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^ I would have to agree with the above, if your tank is still cycling then there is still the possibility of ammonia being present and salt can increase the toxicity of ammonia, and ammonia is generally considered to be slightly more toxic than nitrite already, so it probably isn't a good idea. Water changes are unfortunately the best thing for reducing ammonia and nitrite :)

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ok, thanks. That's what I figured. We've been having to do water changes every night on our 55 gallon. The levels on the nitrites are just off the charts. Ugg. I hope this tank finishes cycling soon. Oh, my husband wanted me to ask......can you do too many water changes?

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OK, so a little update...I think we found the problem! I was reading on here about hollow ornaments. Now, I always pick up our castle and vacuum under it and clean it really well, but I didn't think about the other two things. I didn't even realize they were hollow! When I lifted up the big mermaid.....oh my goodness! The smell, the bleck! So I have now removed the ornaments for now until we can fill them in and cleaned very well where they were. Hopefully, this will now fix the problems and the tank will finish cycling. I'm just glad there are so many knowledgeable people on here, because I didn't even think to look under them until I read the post about it!

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I would do a water change after picking up that hollow ornament (if you haven't already of course) just to get whatever was in there out of the water. And no, you can't really do too many water changes :) Sorry you're having to do so many though, that's a pain. Are you at least using a vac that hooks onto the sink? (like the aqueon water changer). If you don't have one yet I would highly suggest it, it is well worth the investment!!

You could also try a bacteria in a bottle supplement to see if that moves your cycle along (sometimes they work, sometimes they don't). The one I've used and seen recommended is nutrafin cycle.

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Do you have ammonia in your tank?

Salt does not decrease nitrite levels in the tank, but it does decrease the toxicity of ammonia nitrites, by preventing the formation of nitrite-induced methemoglobin (brown blood). In a cycling tank that has fish, you may use tonic levels of salt (1 teaspoon per 5 gallons) to reduce the nitrite toxicity, once you have verified that there is no longer ammonia in your system. In a cycling tank, ammonia usually peaks, then disappears because enough Nitrosomas are present. You'll be getting bucket loads of nitrites, and adding a little salt here may be helpful.

However, as stated above, I would not use salt all the time. It brings about tolerance to salt, and also chronic exposure to salt can be very bad for fish, as salt is a corrosive substance, after all.

Edit: corrected an error above.

Edited by dnalex
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"Salt does not decrease nitrite levels in the tank, but it does decrease the toxicity of ammonia"

Just to clarify, should this be "it does decrease the toxicity of nitrites"? Salt makes ammonia more toxic right? (just want to make sure I understand :))

EDIT: sorry, Azlaier got there before me

Edited by tithra
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Alex, salt reduces the toxicity of ammonia? I thought it increased it?

"Salt does not decrease nitrite levels in the tank, but it does decrease the toxicity of ammonia"

Just to clarify, should this be "it does decrease the toxicity of nitrites"? Salt makes ammonia more toxic right? (just want to make sure I understand :))

EDIT: sorry, Azlaier got there before me

Sorry you guys. I corrected the info above, by crossing out the ammonia and putting in nitrites :)

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Do you have ammonia in your tank?

Salt does not decrease nitrite levels in the tank, but it does decrease the toxicity of ammonia nitrites, by preventing the formation of nitrite-induced methemoglobin (brown blood). In a cycling tank that has fish, you may use tonic levels of salt (1 teaspoon per 5 gallons) to reduce the nitrite toxicity, once you have verified that there is no longer ammonia in your system. In a cycling tank, ammonia usually peaks, then disappears because enough Nitrosomas are present. You'll be getting bucket loads of nitrites, and adding a little salt here may be helpful.

However, as stated above, I would not use salt all the time. It brings about tolerance to salt, and also chronic exposure to salt can be very bad for fish, as salt is a corrosive substance, after all.

Edit: corrected an error above.

Yes, we have ammonia in the tank. Long story short...it had cycled, we added fish, one was sick and we treated the tank. It caused it to cycle again and that's where we are at right now. That's good to know about the salt and ammonia. I will stop putting it in the hospital tank until the ammonia is reading zero. Thanks for all of ya'lls help. We did do a big water change on the big tank and cleaned the areas under the ornaments quite well. I think it will be better now with few more good water changes and some time. Oh and yes, we use the good bacteria starter stuff. =)

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