In the subtitle commentary on The Abyss, as I recall, it is mentioned that the oxygen-rich fluid they used was clear, really not distinguishable from water at all. They added pink coloring for the film so that the fluid would look “special”.
As I mentioned in the other thread, the rats in the film were really breathing the stuff. You can see his little sides going in and out. They would have liked to have a really long shot of the rat breathing “underwater” to show it off, but the rats kept panicking and defecating in the fluid, and rat shit just doesn’t go over well in the movies. So, they had to put the scene together from several different takes so there wouldn’t be any distracting “floaters”.
Another problem with breathing the fluid is that it strips the protective mucus that coats your lungs, leaving you prone to infections after you go back to breathing air. They gave the rats antibiotic injections, and they were fine.
Ed Harris, on the other hand, never breathed the stuff. They filled his suit with ordinary water, also colored pink, and he just held his breath. Sounds amazingly dangerous to me, but apparently Ed is a perfectionist. They toyed with the idea of a two-layer mask and filling the space in between, but that was scrapped because it wouldn’t have looked real.