Aquarium Salt - A Healthy Prevantative




Have You Ever Salted Your Freshwater Aquarium?
It’s a measure you should consider if you like your fish to be healthy. If fish could toast their keepers for any good deed, they would raise a fin to you when adding sodium chloride to their water.
Aquarium salt is what we’re talking about. It does not contain iodine like ordinary table salt. It does not contain trace minerals like that of sea salt.
Using aquarium salt in your freshwater tank can have a number of positive influences. At best, it is an inexpensive health care preventative, and one that does not harm the beneficial bacteria bed in your tank.
Adding Aquarium Salt Can:
  • Aid in the treatment or control many parasitic populations (including Ich) when added to the aquarium if used properly.
  • Enhance your fish’s ability to produce a protective slime coat. This is especially helpful if your fish are recovering from a bacterial infection or an injury, such as a torn fin.
  • Prevent intake of lethal nitrites during the nitrogen cycle when starting a new tank.
  • Lessen stress by aiding gill function. Fish kidneys are designed to excrete the water absorbed through the fish’s skin and gills. This is a big job and a constant one necessary for your fish’s survival. By adding aquarium salt to the water, the fish’s kidneys do less work, because the amount of water absorbed into the blood by way of gills is reduced.
When and How To Add Salt
Products like Nutrafin® Freshwater Aquarium Salt give usage instructions on their aquarium salt packages. Some hobbyists use aquarium salt only as a general tonic or preventative. Others use it in higher concentrations to treat for existing parasites. It can even be used to hatch brine shrimp eggs.
As An Illness Preventative
It is not necessary to add aquarium salt all the time, although some fish like Goldish and Livebearers benefit from maintaining a constant level of one tablespoon for 5 gallons of aquarium water. Aquarium salt should always be pre-dissolved in a container of water before being added to the aquarium.
The salt concentration in an aquarium increases with evaporation. Do not add aquarium salt when replacing water due to evaporation. When you are performing a water exchange on your aquarium, you can add more aquarium salt. Only add the amount of salt based on the amount of water you removed while syphoning with your Gravel Cleaner.
Preventative Dosage
  • One teaspoon of Aquarium Salt to 1 ½ gallons of water.
  • Two teaspoons of Aquarium Salt to 3 gallons of water.
  • One Tablespoon of Aquarium Salt to 5 gallons of water. 
When Aquarium Salt is Used as a Disease Treatment
Salt is most beneficial when used in combination with other medications when treating ill fish. The concentration of aquarium salt used can slowly be increased for aiding ill fish. As a general rule, start with one tablespoon of salt for 5 gallons of aquarium water. This is a safe dosage for all fish. Observe the aquarium for 24 hours. The addition of aquarium salt increases the fishes' activity level, decreases laboured gill movement and the fish should show signs of improved coloration. If there is no improvement, the salt dosage can be repeated for up to four days. On the fifth day, perform a 25% water exchange. Repeat the water exchange once a week for four weeks without adding more aquarium salt to slowly reduce the salt concentration.
Aquarium Plants, Bottom-Feeders & Delicate Species
Although the benefits of aquarium salt are many, there are a few drawbacks that freshwater hobbyists need to consider before adding it to their tanks. Live plants cannot survive in treatment concentrations of aquarium salt. Some plant species should not be kept in aquariums containing aquarium salt. Fish spawning, as well, can be affected by addition of salt because it can dehydrate eggs and kill sperm emitted by male species. Some fish species, especially bottom feeders like Chinese algae eaters and Corydoras catfish, are sensitive to aquarium salt and may become distressed if concentrations are too high. These fish may adjust to a low concentration of aquarium salt in their water if the desired concentration of aquarium salt is added over several days. Therefore, hobbyists should avoid dumping all the aquarium salt into the tank at one time if delicate species are in the tank. Ask your Pet Counsellor if the fish or plants you select are affected by aquarium salt. 
Don’t Experiment with Different Salts
One final warning, many people think salt is salt. It isn’t. It comes in many forms. Iodized table salt, if added to an aquarium, has been known to cause ammonia levels to rise and then nitrites. It could severely upset an established aquarium’s biological filtration bed.
Sea salt is more expensive. The trace minerals in it probably won’t hurt your fish nor will they benefit your finned-freshwater friends.