Salt Bath?

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Isabella

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Listen to this: (from "The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" by David E. Boruchowitz)

" [...] Salt is a wonderful treatment for wounds, infections, and parasites. It stimulates the fish's production of natural protective slime, and it deters or kills many disease organisms. This doesn't mean you should start adding salt to your tank whenever your fish don't look right! If they have cottony white growths on them or open, gaping wounds, or creatures hanging from them, sucking their lifeblood, salt is a good remedy.

The best way to administer salt is to use a salt bath or dip. To do this, take a couple od cups of the aquarium water in a small container and add half a teaspoon to one teaspoon of salt. Mix it well, then net the afflicted fish and lower it, still in the net, into the salt bath. If the fish shows signs of distress (thrashing about), remove it immediately and dilute the bath with additional water from the tank before trying again. You can leave the fish in the bath for up to two minutes, provided it does not show signs of dostress. The dip can be repeated one to three times a day until the problem clears up. The salt can also be added to the tank in greatly reduced concentrations, but that is not the preferred method of treatment. [...] "

So, I am wondering, if dipping a fish in water with a highly concentrated salt is really safe for fish? Wouldn't it burn the fish's gills and eyes? Isn't it necessary to add (even a little amount of) salt to a tank very gradually? I have always thought it's best to add salt gradually to a tank and that a lot of salt can burn the fish's gills, etc ... and this new information has confused me greatly.
 

dano569

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I just keep salt in my 55 gallon aquariums.the only reason I don't keep it in my 20 gallon is because of my cory cats.I read it was bad for them.
 

chickadee

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As far as stimulating the production of the slime coat, aloe does that and I don't think it would have the irritating effect. Although I have used a very dilute solution of KOSHER salt water once when Azul had nicked himself on a piece of the decor. Needless to say that particular piece bit the dust in a hurry, but then the salt was added to the whole tank as he was the only fish I had in there and I believe I added 1 tsp. for 5 gallons and just let it be diluted out with the water changes gradually. I doubt I would use it again.

Rose
 

Jason

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I don't think I'd keep it in the net that would really distress them, wouldn't it be better to just put them in there for a few mins and then take them out again. I don't think the salt could do that much damage Isabella. A lot of rivers would have very a low salt content in them already. I might try using a salt bath if one of my fish gets a wound, because Ive also read that in many books and web pages
 

rob2uk

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I've actually used a salt bath;

one of my cichlids caught itself on one of the decorations (now removed!) and had a small cut on it's flank which over a period of a couple of days ulcerated quite badly.

I put him in a salt bath for ten minutes, then put him back in the main tank.

Repeated this every day for a week and he was back to normal
 
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Isabella

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Then it's great. If my fish ever get sick, I'd rather use a salt bath than some commercial medication that can disturb a biofilter. It's also better when you don't have to add salt to your tank (whatever you add to your tank, especially various commercial products, the osmotic pressure increases asnd stresses fish a lot).
 

0morrokh

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One of my Guppies, Chromie, was not doing too well, and acting sick, although I still do not know what was wrong with her.  I gave her two salt baths, with a lot of salt (more than you would normally use, as livebearers can tolerate more salt), and the multi-purpose medication Aquari-sol.  She was perfectly fine after a few days, and always seemed to perk up after a bath.  I would not use a small container and leave the fish in the net, though, as that would be very stressful.  I used the bucket I prepare water for water changes in, and Chromie swam around in there happily until I got tired of sitting there!
 

dano569

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does anyone else keep salt in their aquariums on a regular basis? :-\
 
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Isabella

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Dano I didn't mean keeping salt in a tank on a regular basis. The article refers to salt as a treatment during diseases. Neither do I add salt to my tank!
 

Jan

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I used a salt bath on my bala and she was dead within the hour! I am not too sure if I would ever do that again!
 

dano569

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I might not use it for a while and see what happens :-\ :-\
 

Jan

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I guess, using a salt bath on weaker fish is not the best idea. But the thing is how do you know 'how' weak they really are.....
 

0morrokh

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Sorry about your fish, Jan. Never give a salt bath to a catfish, loach, or shark, because they lack scales and are really sensitive to 'stuff' in the water, like meds or salt. However, most other fish, such as livebearers, tetras, barbs, cichlids, bettas, etc. should be just fine for short periods of time. I think salt baths are actually a better form of treatment, since you'd think natural salt would be a lot less harmful than dumping chemicals in the water.
 

Jason

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0morrokh said:
Sorry about your fish, Jan. Never give a salt bath to a catfish, loach, or shark, because they lack scales and are really sensitive to 'stuff' in the water, like meds or salt. However, most other fish, such as livebearers, tetras, barbs, cichlids, bettas, etc. should be just fine for short periods of time. I think salt baths are actually a better form of treatment, since you'd think natural salt would be a lot less harmful than dumping chemicals in the water.
A bala shark is a barb and they do have scales
 
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Isabella

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Omorrokh, thanks for that information. It indeed makes sense - better not to give salt baths for scaleless fishes.
 
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