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Salt And His Many Uses!


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  • Regular Member

Salt is one of the cheapest and easily available medications, without causing the fish stress like it would do with stronger medications.

kinds of salt

Aquarium salt, rock salt, pickle salt, and solar salt. Latter provides essential minerals to the fish and comes in 20 or 40 lb back in Home improvement centers.

Table salt is NOT to be used at all, it is deadly to the fish due to the anti caking agents in the salt.....


A low concentration of 0.1% is 1 teaspoon per gallon or 1 tablespoon per 5 gl. This low rate will not do any damage to most water plants.

A medium concentration is between 0.1% and 0.5%, but personally I don't go higher than 0.3%. This rate should be obtained in 12 hour intervals, 0.1% salt for 3 times.

A high concentration is up to 0.9% is only recommended for very short treatments, like a dip or short bath, otherwise its deadly to your fish.

Salt dips

There are certain situations where you wonna expose your fish to a brief, but strong salt dip to knock off half a dozen parasites....

- bringing home a new fish from the pet store

- fish comes inside before winter from your pond into an aquarium

- flashing/scratching

- a huge amount of parasites discovered with a microscope

- persistant case of fin rot

A dipped fish will be so much more responsive to other medications added to the tank...

Exceptions: The fish is very small and weak, or you see dark bloody gills, which indicates ammonia toxicity or other kinds of toxins.

How to: Use 1/2 cup of salt from the above list per gallon of water, adjust the temperature, so the fish does not get stressed from temperature shock. Put the salt into the water. When the salt is dissolved, add the fish to the sater and start the timer. A dip between 30 seconds and 5 min is sufficient, as long as the fish does not show any signs of stress. Small fish of course do better in shorter dips.

The fish should be swimming around in the bucket, and start to float on top of the water. This is a normal reaction. Just poke the fish, and continue the dip IF the fish starts to move around again. If the fish does not react to your poking, take him out immediately. For bigger fish, even if they are swimming constantly for the whole 5 min, this is the maximum, anything longer than that can kill them.

If the fish, especially smaller ones, start to swim or roll around funny after being put into the dip, they need to be taken out right away, no matter how short the dip was. Then they are not able to handle the dip.

Of course, its not a good idea to put the fish back where he came from. The infected tank should be treated as well, while the dipped fish can house into some sort of hospital tank/tub.

Besides the parasite treatment, salt is also an excellent preventive for nitrite poisoning. Depending on how high your nitrite is and how long your fish has been exposed to it, a percentage of 0.1 to 0.3 is recommended to protect the fishies gill from the nitrite..... :)

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  • Regular Member

Andrea, thanks for this write up.

Is coarse salt the same as pickling salt? I have some, and it' says Coarse Salt, pure no added ingrediants, ideal for pickling.....LOL so is that ok to use.

I usually just us the aquarium salt, but I ran out in a snow storm and the petstore is in the next town.


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  • Regular Member

Jess, sounds okay to me. The bad part in the household salt is....let me see if I get this together without a chemistry degree :D ..... Sodium ferrocyanide?....

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  • Regular Member

as some of you have probably read, i have done some exploring in salt dips with my comet (lurch) who is about 8 inches long and 4 years old. ive put lurch through many different concentrations trying to help eradicate excess slime from a fluke infestation (twice). the majority of the white scuzzy matting was around the base of his dorsal fin, on his back. the rest of it was light and patchy along his sides. there also seemed to be some scuzz between the rays of his fins (pectoral, anal, caudal and dorsal) each different concentration was tried in conjunction with a malachite green/formalin treatment and a parasite clear treatment. the dips are as follows:

3% solution- once a day for 2 days. i was only able to keep him in the dip for 3-5 mins. he became lethargic pretty quickly. excess slime coat barely budged. he bounced back within 15 minutes. no noticeable adverse effects.

1.5% solution- once a day for 3-4 days. i was able to keep him in this dip for a full ten minutes. he never became fully lethargic. the slime coat started to break free after the first dip. he progressively got better as each treatment was administered. after the fouth dip i left him alone to purge the rest of the scuzz himself. and slowly, he did. until the flukes came back (2 weeks later). i then did another round of the dips.

.8% solution- i found this dip was way to weak for what i was trying to accomplish. it would have probably taken a half hour to do anything for him. if i run into trouble with the scuzz again, i may consider trying it for the full duration.

i hope this helps alot of people from being hesitant about using salt with their goldies. especialy at the levels i tried. it truely is and should remain the most widely used cure-all for many problems arising with the care of goldies! jmo. :hi

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  • 1 month later...
  • Regular Member

Sorry if this is a silly question, but just wanted to know if sea salt is ok? That's the only thing I have at the moment. Probably means the same thing as aquarium salt, but it'd be great to clarify this :)

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest poissonjaponais

just wondering, I read that you said Table salt is no way to be used.

I live in Japan and I bought table salt, do they all contain anti caking agents? how do I know if its ok or not?

its all written in japanese.....

I'm treating my fish at the moment for ick...

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