Salt content - what’s the right level?


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As a relatively new koi keeper, I initially read that keeping salt levels at 200+ ppm was good for the fish. Then last year I saw that plants didn’t grow so well at that salt level. Just recently, I read that salt levels should ideally be at 100 ppm but I’m struggling to get mine below 170 ppm because of all the baking soda I’m having to add due to our super soft city water. What salt levels are acceptable, or even ideal? Getting a definitive answer about salt levels will help me triangulate my water softness issue (earlier post). Thanks!
 
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mrsclem

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Welcome Charlottekoi!
When we started keeping koi years ago we were told to add salt. Now, unless you are treating for a problem, most koi keepers do not add salt to their ponds. Constant salt levels make the fish resistant and it really does no good and as you stated, plants don't like salt!
I would try using the crushed oyster shells but rinse them first to remove the excess salt. I use them in my bog and they have not registered any salt level in my ponds.
 

j.w

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I never add any salt to my ponds unless their happens to be some in my well water. It never tastes salty tho. I read that it should not be higher than between 0.1% and 0.25% Best would be none!
A guy on koiphen forum wrote this:
No one should ever maintain a salt level in their pond at any salinity. The healthy fish needs no help with it's slime coat. maintaining a constant salinity does nothing but build pathogen resistance to it.

Salt use should be restricted to nitrite protection, stress/osmo-regulation or pathogens...that's it.
 
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maintaining a constant salinity does nothing but build pathogen resistance to it.
This is the information that I have read most currently. Even 8 or 10 years ago people were still recommending salt for ponds - now it's like antibiotics: only use when absolutely necessary and never in the pond. Salt baths for the affected fish are the best form of treatment.
 
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