Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Salt can Cure Fish Stress and Sickness

Fish stress is relieved and the organism can fight off diseases easier which aides in the recovery. The concentration should be 4 teaspoons per Gallon and the duration of the bath about 30 minutes. This bath will also stimulate the protective slime coat, which will further enhance the fish's' ability to cope with the disease. Do not forget that a heavy concentration can make them loose their equilibrium and they simply "roll over". At this point the fish has to be moved to clear water very quickly.

Salt does not evaporate, it can only be removed by water changes and plants will not survive higher concentrations. The reason is similar to what we can observe with fish that cannot survive higher salt concentrations. Freshwater naturally moves from an environment with a low salt concentration, to one with a higher salt concentration (the water). As a consequence the diversity of plants and animals decrease. This is because they cannot keep the water and salt content of their bodies at the right concentrations for them to survive this environment. The lethal point for plants is reached at about 1000 mg/l of salt. One teaspoon of salt equals approx. 5500 mg.

Points to be REMEMBER:

Salt does interfere with the osmotic regulation of fish and plants. It should be left alone; nature regulated that part itself, by creating freshwater, brackish and saltwater fish.
The low beneficial amount of salt, mentioned above will not have any benefits in addition to water conditioners and/or stress coats already used for water treatments.
It is good to know about the benefits of salt and the understanding of the mechanisms involved. It comes in handy, should the nitrites get out of control or as possible treatment for parasites (salt bath). A first aid kid, for sure.
Parasite prevention? Yes - in theory. But it is not justified. The long-term use of salt in the aquarium will have more negative aspects then benefits. Use of salt as a first aid tool should be determined on an individual basis, as there are no real guidelines on how to use it safely and effectively.

And last, disease prevention and cure. This is largely if not mainly based on enhancing the slime coat or regulatory osmotic control, but again stress protecting additives and water conditioners have the same effect.