It’s always disheartening to see your cherished Koi fish suffering from infections. However, salting your Koi fish can sometimes help address minor issues they may encounter.
Many Koi keepers worldwide maintain a consistent level of salt in their Koi ponds, even when the fish are healthy. Salt plays a crucial role in managing parasites and harmful bacteria, as well as alleviating the stress experienced by Koi, particularly those in transit.
Adding salt to the pond also enhances the function of fish gills, thereby reducing overall stress.
Benefits of Adding Salt to Your Koi Pond
Which Type of Salt is Best for Your Koi Fish Pond?
The ideal salt to use in a Koi pond is non-iodized salt or rock salt.
Interestingly, Koi fish have bodily fluids with a salt content of 0.8%, which is comparable to that of humans. There are times when Koi can benefit from a dose of salt in the pond or a brief salt bath.
How to Administer a General Salt Bath and Determine the Right Amount of Salt?
Scheduled salt baths with a dosage of 20 grams per litre (2%) can be highly beneficial for your Koi. It’s advisable to perform this before introducing new Koi to the pond to prevent infections. During such treatments, ensure that the fish are not left unattended, and the duration of each salt bath should be less than ten minutes.
If you notice a fish tilting or struggling to stay afloat, place it in a well-oxygenated quarantine tank. You can repeat this process if necessary after two days using a fresh salt solution.
What is the Appropriate Salt Dosage for Salting Your Koi Pond?
For pond salting, a general salt dose is 0.15%, equivalent to 1.5 kilograms per 1000 liters of water. This can be added to your pond every two to three months. Adding salt at a level of 0.2% to 0.4% can help protect your Koi from the harmful effects of nitrites.
However, some Koi enthusiasts avoid using salt, believing that carp are freshwater fish and that salt is unnatural for them. There are also some drawbacks to using salt, which are listed below:
- Removal before treatment: Salt should be removed before starting any other treatment.
- Impact on pond plants: The usage of salt can affect pond plants.
- Affecting metallic items: Salt can corrode metallic items in your pond.
- Potential for overdosage: Overdosing with salt can be fatal for Koi fish.
- Effect on beneficial bacteria: Adding salt directly to the biofilter can eliminate beneficial bacteria.
Before treating any Koi fish with salt, it’s important to consider the following factors, keeping in mind that salt is not a cure-all for all Koi ailments:
- Age of your Koi fish: Young Koi are more susceptible to diseases and virus attacks.
- Duration of ownership: How long have you had the fish?
- Initial observation: When did you first notice that something was wrong?
- Feeding behaviour: Is the Koi still taking food?
- Behavioural changes: Is the fish behaving abnormally?
- Pond details: What is the water volume in your pond, water temperature, water parameters, type of filtration in use, and whether you have UV filtration, including its wattage?
- Recent additions: Have you introduced any new Koi fish to the pond recently?
- Medications: Have you started any medications?
The best approach to using salt is when quarantining new Koi, as described earlier.
How to Construct a Quarantine Pond/Tank?
A quarantine tank should hold at least 1000 litres of water or more and should be properly aerated with a 60LPM air pump. It may have a bottom or side drain for quick water removal. Source water should be tested in advance to determine baseline water parameters.
What is the Ideal Salt Dosage for Salt Therapy?
For salt therapy, a salt dose of 0.3% to 0.5%, which equals 3 to 5 kilograms per 1000 litres of water, will effectively control freshwater parasites and pathogens. Ensure that the salt is fully dissolved to prevent salt burns, administer medications away from direct sunlight, and always use dechlorinated water. Maintain dissolved oxygen levels above 6 mg/l, match the temperature of the holding tank water to that of the pond, and keep Koi in quarantine for 14 to 28 days, depending on their condition.
What is the Dosage of Salt for Disinfecting Koi Fish?
In cases of parasitic infestations and bacterial infections, a salt dose of 2.5% to 3.0%, which translates to 30 to 50 grams per litre of water, is recommended.
To disinfect Koi fish, place them in a small tub with the saltwater solution for 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer them to holding tanks for quarantine, recovery, or further treatment with stronger medications.
For all your queries and concerns, feel free to contact us. We’re here to assist you.