have emailed and asked for an explanation of why
ordinary salt is useful in treating fish with Signs
of Stress and Disease. Here are a few more facts
about adding Aquarium Salt to the water in aquariums.
We are talking here
about Sodium Chloride with symbol NaCl, which is
the main chemical in table salt. Table salt also
usually contains small amounts iodine and calcium
silicate. The iodine prevents goiter in humans that
eat the table salt, and the calcium silicate prevents
the table salt from caking.
Some people have added
table salt to their aquarium water and had no problems.
But other people have had trouble after putting
table salt in their aquarium water. Therefore it
is usually recommended that table salt NOT be added
to aquarium water.
has no additives such as iodine or calcium silicate.
Small one-pound boxes of Aquarium Salt, like the
one shown at the top of this page, are sold in most
places that sell freshwater fish. A one-pound box
of Aquarium Salt is very inexpensive.
Salt, NaCl, does not
change the pH of water. It also does not change
A few fish do not tolerate
aquarium salt. Corydoras catfish and many live aquatic
plants do not do well with salt in their water.
n my aquariums both Corydoras and many
plants will tolerate 1 Tablespoon of Aquarium Salt
per each 5 gallons of aquarium water, and they do
poorly with 2 Tablespoons of Aquarium Salt per 5
Salt lessens the number
of pathogens in the water. For example very few,
perhaps only one or two groups, of freshwater bacteria
tolerate aquarium salt well. My experience is that
salt is slightly effective in preventing fish trouble
in freshwater aquariums but only slightly.
Salt is most effective,
when the concentration of salt changes. So I keep
my freshwater fish in water with very little salt.
If I see one or more of the Signs of Stress or Disease,
such as clamped fins, I immediately do all six steps
of the Recommended Treatment, which includes adding
1 Tablespoon of Aquarium Salt per each 5 gallons
of aquarium water.
here to read more about the Signs of Stress
and Disease, and click
here to read about all six steps of the Recommended
Marine Aquarists often
give their marine fish a freshwater bath, and this
is the same principle of changing the concentration
of salt, but in this case by lowering rather than
increasing the concentration of salt.