Salt As Medication
Salt is an under used treatment for many common freshwater fish parasites. Used properly, a saltwater bath can be very effective in eliminating ich, velvet, Trichodina, Chilodonella, and a number of less common parasites.
Advantages. Salt treatments are:
Very cheap - especially for large tanks or ponds.
Safe for many species of fish
Effective on many different parasites
Unlikely to push sick fish over the edge.
Unable to break down or get absorbed during treatment
Hard to overdose.
will not stain tank sealant
Measurable ( Salt Level Test Kit) if really needed.
Disadvantages. Salt treatments are:
Dangerous to most plants
Dangerous to certain fish (e.g. Corydoras catfish. Some loaches may tolerate short half doses - If in doubt please ask)
Ineffective against gill flukes
Removable only by water changes - will not get absorbed by carbon etc
Best uses. Salt is a treatment of choice for most pond fish keepers,large aquariums and systems.
It is very cost effective for use in large bodies of water. Also suitable for smaller bodies of water but of course scaled down.
Dosage. Use one teaspoon of non-iodized (aquarium, canning, Kosher, rock salt, etc.) salt per gallon (roughly 5 litres) of water every 12 hours for a total of three treatments (total dose: 3 teaspoons per gallon (5 ltrs)). In cases where parasites are overwhelming fish, full dose may be added at once.
Salt Dip - Add 1/2 cup of salt into 1 gallon (5litres) and place fish into the bath. DO NOT leave fish in for longer than 5 minutes or you may kill the fish. Time a few minutes (2 or 3) and remove the fish. Fish may float to the surface and tip on there side. This happens but make sure it is still moving. Remove fish otherwise.