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Re: Salt, Ich & Quarantine, Take 2
"However - all of that said - no one responded to my original question
regarding plants and their tolerance for salt - which I am still curious
about. I have spent over 2 hours reading most all of the prior posts
regarding salt and the opinions are all over the place, most are from
several years ago, and most had to do with using salt on an ongoing
permanent basis for specific types of fish."
OK, I've just spent some time going over several references I have at hand,
do you want the short answer or the long answer?
Oh Hell!, why don't I just give you the references and let you look them up
Horst Marschner, Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, 2nd Edition; pages
657-680; a discussion of saline soils and the effects they have on plants,
also deals with adaptations plants have evolved to deal with the salt;
mainly deals with agriculturally important species. The fact that salt
tolerance is species specific within genera is stressed. Also discusses the
how's and why's salt can cause problems and gives ideas about how some of
them can be overcome (at least at low salt levels) - probably the most
relevant to an aquarist is that plain salt (NaCl) is especially bad in soft
water - increasing the Calcium content of the water can increase the levels
of salt that can be tolerated by some plants. This could also be the
rationale behind Seachem's "Livebearer Salt", which is claimed to be "plant
friendly" (my italics).
C.D. Sculthorpe, The Biology of Aquatic Vascular Plants; pages 41-43
discusses salinity and its affect on aquatic plants. Numerous salt tolerant
species are mentioned, I recognize many of the genera (Hippuris, Butomus,
Elodea, Lemna, Nuphar, Sagittaria, Hydrocharis, Potamogeton, Ruppia,
Scirpis, Zannichellia, Enhalus, Halophila, Thalassia, Zostera, Halodule,
Myriophyllum) but the species mentioned are not necessarily ones we normally
encounter in the aquarium trade. The salinity level where problems exist are
different for each species, and listed in ppt for many of the species
Julie K. Cronk and M. Siobhan Fennessy, Wetland Plants, Biology and Ecology.
pg. 79 - a definition of "brackish" is given as 0.5 ppt (average seawater is
35 ppt NaCl). Also outlines the differences in ionic mix and problems it can
create for plants; how high salinity can block the uptake of many nutrient
ions, potassium and carbon dioxide being mentioned specifically. The book
contains lots of other information about the effects of salt and the
adaptations of plants in response to its presence, with many species being
mentioned - again, not necessarily species that are common in the aquarium
There are several books written specifically on brackish water aquariums,
you might want to check the plant species recommened in them.