Salt Bath

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I've never done a salt bath before, but since it seems to be often recommended over other meds, I'd like to learn more about it, and give it a try next time I have a sick fish.

I'm interested in your (members) personal methods and experiences...some questions I have:
1) What is your water-salt ratio, and length period of the bath?
2) Would you recommend a quick dip in higher salt concentration, or a bath?
3) Do you do a salt bath strictly as an attempt to cure, or also as a preventive method?
4) Would you recommend a salt bath for all new purchased fish?
5) Do most of your fish recover from their illness after the bath?

Thank you! :)
 

IPA

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A long time ago I worked in the aquarium business and it was common to recommend salt water dips for ill fish when the ailment was unknown. I also kept aquariums and knew it as common practice talking with other hobbyist and professionals. That said I have never done one. Why, because if the fish was ill I would want to know the problem and treat it.

link to the University of Florida IAF Extension paper on the use of salt in fresh water, though I might guess there has been some opinion change since its publication
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002495/00001
I have not read the entire article as of this post.

Another thought which was observable was that fish produced a thick slime coat after a dip. @Meyer Jordan posted a link to an article that dispelled this to some degree because after a salt dip and some time has elapsed the fishes slime coat was reduced compared to no treatment at all.

Also according to the University of Florida IAF Extension, a salt dip is the only legal treatment for some specific parasites in food fish.

Personally for me it's a last resort but if I am going to be stressing out an ill fish by catching it 2 or 3 times a day, I'd rather just do it once and treat it with something more powerful in an isolation tank.
 

Meyer Jordan

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The main reason that Salt dips/baths are so often seen recommended is the fact that salt is typically the easiest treatment, due to the fact that everyone (well almost) has salt on hand or can quite quickly secure some. Time is always a critical factor when treating any diagnosed health issue in fish.
Although salt may not resolve the health issue, it will normally slow its progress until proper medication/treatment can be administered.
 

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