Pond salt help and advice
A natural aid to sick fish and polluted water
Salt has been used for decades by pondkeepers, whether it's for treating fish that are sick, reducing the toxicity of pollutants, or as a "general tonic." While most experts no longer recommend using it as a tonic, it can be really useful to help fish with ulcers or parasites recover and it reduces the toxicity of nitrite, helping keep fish alive and reduce their likelihood of picking up a stress-related disease.
What is pond salt?
Pond salt is just regular salt, designed to be dissolved in pond water to help support sick fish, reduce stress, and reduce the toxicity of nitrite. It can also be used to recharge zeolite-based ammonia removers. It's very useful for dealing with water quality and fish health problems in ponds.
Why should I use pond salt?
When fish are sick with ulcers or parasites, they lose the salts present within their body to the surrounding water via osmosis, causing their health to deteriorate. Adding salt to the water helps reduce their salt loss, thus lowering stress levels, much like a saline drip does to hospital patients.
Similarly, if your regular water tests reveal the presence of nitrite, adding some salt to the water can help reduce its toxicity to the fish and reduce their likelihood of either becoming poisoned or picking up a stress-related disease, such as white spot or bacterial ulcerations.
What are the main types?
Most pond salts are fairly similar. The important thing is that you only use a salt designed for use in ponds or aquariums, as domestic salts - such as dishwasher salt - contain additional chemicals such as anti-caking agents that are toxic to fish.
What should I look for?
The main thing to look for is the quantity you require. If you're treating a pond polluted by nitrite then a 1g per litre dose is recommended, while for ulcers, parasites, and open wounds, a dosage of 3g per litre is needed. You'll need to calculate the volume of your pond using our Pond Volume Calculator to ensure you buy enough salt to get the right dose rate.