Posted: September 1, 2004
very elegant creatures, until they become sick, that is.
Finding a koi infested by a parasite or afflicted by a disease of
any sort is disheartening to every koi enthusiast.
Unfortunately, we all need to deal with disease or parasite problems
at one time or another.
first advice that a novice koi hobbyist usually gets when dealing
with a koi illness is to 'salt' the fish. Basically this can
either mean to add some salt to the hospital tank to aid the fish in
its recovery or to give the fish a short-duration salt bath.
Most, if not all, koi experts agree that salt offers some
benefits to koi. It is in the concentration and duration of
salt treatments as well as for what purpose it is used where
off, let's examine why the practice of 'salting' koi is prevalent in
the hobby. Salt is known to have mild bactericidal properties,
something that is very useful in controlling bacterial
infections usually triggered in poorly-maintained ponds. In fact, it
has been established that salt can indeed control certain ailments,
such as cloudy eye.
works well against many protozoan parasites such as Costia,
Trichodina and Chilodonella as well as flukes and other
ectoparasites. It can also assist osmoregulation problems caused by
bacterial ulcers; help clear congested gills as well as supporting
fish suffering from stress. Because it works in a different way to
most disease treatment, it is safer than many pond treatments and
will not adversely affect biological filtration in pond filters. It
is generally used at fairly high rates in short-term baths or dips,
but can be used as a long-term supportive treatment in ponds."
also believed to 'relax' the koi, relieving stress due to osmosis
and allowing it to recover more quickly. Simply put, osmosis
is the movement of water from an area of lower salt concentration to
an area of higher salt concentration. There's a higher salt
concentration inside the body of a koi than in the pond, so the
tendency of pond water is to move into the koi body through osmotic
action. The koi then has to expend energy to expel the extra
water through its kidneys. Salting the koi pond relieves the
osmotic stress on the koi because it contributes to the equalization
of the osmotic pressure inside and outside the koi. This
allows the koi to use its energy in building up its immune system
instead of expelling excess internal water.
from this, salt promotes mucus flow on the skin of the koi, which
adds protection against harmful life forms like parasites, fungus,
and bacteria. Mucus is that slippery layer that covers the entire
body of the koi. A damaged mucus layer can invite skin
an article by Norm Meck, the
presence of salt also helps counteract any nitrite toxicity. To a
certain extent, salt can therefore be used to counteract high
nitrite readings. In some cold climate areas, salt is also added in
the winter to lower the freezing point of the water.
and quite importantly, salt is very cheap and widely available.
Proceed to Page 2