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RE: Salt in a planted tank

I have lurked on this digest for over a year, and finally I thought I might
chip in. I have found salt to greatly improve the chances of survival of
clown loaches and hypostomus sp. suffering from white-spot (ich). However, I
have always treated sick fish in a 'hospital' tank, and NEVER put salt in my
planted aquarium.
The hospital tank is filled with water from the main tank, and the amount of
salt is increased to full strength over the course of a few days. The filter
for the hospital tank (a small sponge) is kept in the bottom of my external
filter until required. This means that it is fully populated and ready to
go. It is also necessary to treat the main tank with your disease remedy
(not the salt) at the same time as the hospital tank.
Trace elements and electrolytes are best sought from a properly designed
fresh water supplement, rather than sea salt. Salt (in the quantities you
specified) has the effect of modifying the osmotic potential of the water
and ruining the balance of fluids in your plants.
Fish blood is more concentrated than water and hence water from outside the
fish is constantly osmosing into the creature. The fish expends a great deal
of energy pumping the water out of itself though various membranes. By
increasing the concentration of salt/electrolytes in the surrounding water,
this osmotic ingress is substantially reduced, enabling the fish to spend
the energy on fighting the disease. Too much salt, and the osmosis will
change direction, which would be fatal to most freshwater fish - the fish
would 'dry out'.
The salt also has the effect of making survival for the protozoan infection
a little harder, by again changing the osmotic potential across it's cell

Ben Thomas