Will Aquarium Salt Help or Kill Your Betta Fish
By Eddie Waithaka @aquariawise
Aquarium salt is a priced weapon in a fish keepers arsenal. It has applications ranging from increasing water salinity, buffing water hardness, parasite, bacterial, and fungus treatment in fish.
Even so, too much salt in a freshwater fish tank can cause a range of problems, particularly for inverts and fishes native to soft, freshwater bodies.
One fish that’s pretty common in home aquariums and likely to get salinity shock in aquarium water with too much salt is betta.
Betta fish are native to Asia, where they live in shallow freshwater marshes, ponds, or slow-moving streams hence not used to heavy salinity.
However, compared to most freshwater aquarium fish, betta fish are decently hardy and perhaps can handle more salt than you think. Besides, aquarium salt is effective for treating fish rot and parasites in betta fish.
So, aquarium salt will likely not kill, but help your betta unless the amount exceeds what most freshwater fish can handle.
The ideal amount for salt in a betta fish tank is one tablespoon of salt for every 5 gallons of water unless it’s to treat ick or fin rot..
Do not add salt directly into the tank. Instead, use your tank water to prepare a saline solution before adding it to your betta aquarium.
Please see more insight below.
How Will Aquarium Salt Help Your Betta Fish
As we’ve seen above. a decent amount of salt will help your betta fish, but how will this happen.
Well, this will occur in a couple of ways. Aquarium salt will treat betta fin rot and fungus, can be used to quarantine new fish, and even aid osmoregulation in stressed and weak fishies.
Here is a quick list of the aquarium salt benefits to betta fish.
- Betta fungus
- Betta fin rot
- Betta swim bladder dieseas
- Betta Ick
- New Betta quarantine
- Osmoregulation in stressed, weak Betta
- Gill and kidney function
- Protection aganist infectiions
How to Treat Betta Fish with Aquarium Salt
Aquarium salt will treat several ailments and parasites in betta fish and most aquarium freshwater aquarium fish. By far, the most common application is in fin rot and ick treatment.
Coupled with other remedies, you can also use salt to treat swim bladder disease in betta.
So, how do you treat fin rot in betta using salt.
Well, most people do regular salt baths or dips, but if more than one fish is affected, some aquarists prefer to add salt in their entire fish tank.
Now, if you go the salt bath or dip way, make sure the amount you use is safe for your betta. Essentially, a lower dose and prolonged exposure to saline water in the tank is a bath.
A salt dip is a quick, one to three minutes dab of the fish in a moderately high concentration of saltwater.
A bath is less risky than a dip, but it’s also less effective in the short term. Luckily, you can repeat the bath every 24 hours for up to 10 days for better results.
I prefer (and recommend) a salt bath to most of my readers.
I add a tablespoon of aquarium non-iodized salt per gallon of water for ten days. I make sure to dissolve the salt in a cup of aquarium water before adding it to the tank to ensure my betta does not burn from direct contact with salt.
That said, betta fin is not the only betta ailment you can treat with salt. You can also apply it to a betta battling swim bladder disease, Ick, fungus.
An Epsom salt bath will give you the best result for a betta suffering from swim bladder disease.
Mix a tablespoon of salt in half a gallon of conditioned tap water and a half-gallon of aquarium water in a clean container, then dip the betta with swim bladder disease for 10 to 15 minutes .
Ick is a little more complicated to cure with salt alone. While it will help your betta, you’ll need to understand a lot more than just salt treatment.
Get more insight on treating ich with salt in this post.
Can You Use Salt in Your Betta Tank
Yes, you can use salt in your betta tank, both for spot treatment of ailments like fin rot and as a precautionary measure.
Adding a small amount of aquarium salt is recommended even in a disease, parasite-free betta tank to ensure the water remains pristine.
A little salt also helps your fishes’ osmoregulation, which in turn promotes better and healthier gill and kidney function.
You may be wondering how salt helps osmoregulation in fish!
Since betta body fluids are more (contain more salt) than the fresh water in the tank, the fish automatically absorbs water through the gills and excrete it through the kidneys process.
Adding salt to your water increases your aquarium’s salinity to better match your betta’s body, meaning your aquatic friends don’t need to consume too much energy absorbing and excreting water.
This is especially helpful for sick or stressed fish that don’t have much energy to spare. Plus, gills and kidneys will be less overworked thus remain in better condition.
For the well-being of your bettas, about a tablespoon of salt for every gallon of water you have should be enough.
Only add saltier concentration when dealing with parasites, ailments, and infections.
Can You Use Table Salt in Your Betta Tank
Iodized table salt is only ideal for culinary use but not in aquariums with fish. Most cooking salt contains many additives, that although safe for us, ain’t recommended for fish.
I would only consider using table salt with my fish in an emergency to help save its life. On other occasions, I’ll either use API aquarium salt or Natural Epsom salt for bloated bettas.
How Much Salt Should You Put in Your Betta Tank
The last item we’ll discuss in this post is the amount of salt you can safely add to your betta tank without hurting your fish.
I recommend a tablespoon of salt for every 10 gallons of water in a clean, safe aquarium with the salt only meant to keep parasites at bay.
But when treating your fish for an ailment, such as fin rot, fungus, or swim bladder, increase the concentration. Use a tablespoon of aquarium or Epsom salt for every five gallons of water in your aquarium.
Always remember not to add salt directly to your betta tank. Instead, mix the solution in a container or cup with aquarium water, then add to your aquarium.
Thats all for this post.
If you are located in the USA (more so Florida) and are looking to buy tropical (freshwater ) mentioned in this or any other post (and more), check out Consolidated Fish Farms Inc.
Also Consider usingAquariawise Coupon Code for a 10 percent discount on eligible purchase. They are a great source for healthy aquarium fish, plus we get a small commission with no extra cost to you.
Happy fish keeping🐠🐟🐡.