What is the difference from pond salt and sea salt that is much cheaper

Donna Saverino MI

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I have sick fish. I thought I'd give all the them a salt bath. (So far I have 3 fish) What is the best salt to use? The expensive 'pond salt' or just plain sea salt. One more question... when measuring I have read referring to using 100 gal of water. How much salt for, say, 5 or 10 gal of water? When searching for these questions I always get info from companies that want to sell me their products. Grrr
 
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Mmathis

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I have sick fish. I thought I'd give all the them a salt bath. (So far I have 3 fish) What is the best salt to use? The expensive 'pond salt' or just plain sea salt. One more question... when measuring I have read referring to using 100 gal of water. How much salt for, say, 5 or 10 gal of water? When searching for these questions I always get info from companies that want to sell me their products. Grrr
From my understanding, the issue of salt dosing is that the ratio of salt to water is based on the overall weight of the salt. I have to look it up every time — I don’t have a recipe off the top of my head — but they are out there! And if a recipe says to use 100 gallons of water, just do some math to reduce the amount of salt needed. Your weight to volume ratio stays the same (like reducing a recipe meant to serve 100 guests, when you are a family of 4).

Remember this question? Which is heavier: a pound of lead or a pound of feathers? Of course, a pound is a pound, but you have different densities and volumes involved. I am just pulling this off the top of my head, but here’s what I think:
  • The expensive pond salt has been formulated in such a way that they know the weight to volume ratio. Since a lot of people don’t have a scale to measure the exact weight, they can “safely” say that xx amount of salt equals xx number of pounds of salt. Makes it easy to figure how much to use. And this salt probably dissolves faster and more evenly. Convenience.
  • Other salts, rock salt, sea salt, pool salt are made of larger “crystals” or chunks. They could probably be used (making sure there are no other ingredients mixed in), but it wouldn’t be as easy for you to calculate the weight unless you did use a scale. IOW, a cup of a finer grained salt (like table salt) isn’t going to WEIGH the same as a cup of chunky salt.
  • Maybe the expensive pond salt has other, added ingredients, which would raise the price, IDK. Quality control.
  • Because if you label it “for ponds,” you’ve created a niche product
 
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I know many people in the aquarium world use Morton Pickling and Canning salt in the green box. It's just plain salt. You can get a 3 pack of 4lb boxes at Walmart for $4.50. The ratio for a salt bath should be available via google.
 

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I know many people in the aquarium world use Morton Pickling and Canning salt in the green box. It's just plain salt. You can get a 3 pack of 4lb boxes at Walmart for $4.50. The ratio for a salt bath should be available via google.
And I use Morton’s non-iodized table salt. Since I don’t use it a lot, and it’s cheep, I don’t need large quantities. I’ll bet the Morton’s company could get rich(er) if they stuck the word “pond” on their labels, to capitalize on the pond market, LOL!
 

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Regardless of the brand used, I think the safest method is to have someway to test the salt level. Too little and its not effective, too much and you risk killing your fish.
 

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Regardless of the brand used, I think the safest method is to have someway to test the salt level. Too little and its not effective, too much and you risk killing your fish.
Totally agree, and there’s no issue there! But the OP sounds like he’s looking for general information related to a dip or a bath — temporary situations where getting an initial concentration is all that’s needed. Yes, if I was going to treat my entire pond, I definitely would want to test salinity levels.
 

Donna Saverino MI

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so you agree to just use plain salt and don't worry about it saying "Pond Salt" Let's start with that. I will try to make sense of the amount.
 

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so you agree to just use plain salt and don't worry about it saying "Pond Salt" Let's start with that. I will try to make sense of the amount.
Pretty much, yes. Plain, but non-iodized. There are places that give decent instructions, including ratios....such as xx tbsp salt per x gallons of water. Just try to be sure the instructions. (amounts) are calculated for table salt — otherwise, if it’s calculated by weight, you’re better off weighing it. I’ll see if I can find something. I used to dip all new fish, but haven’t had any new fish for a while, so......

Oh, place an air stone in the bucket with the fish and observe for any signs of distress!
 

Donna Saverino MI

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62 gal pond with a water fall. 2 gold fish now. I added this week sludge buster do to very high phosphates for a few weeks now. The rest, PH Nit and Ammonia, are very good. Because of one death I added for a week Pimafix just in case there was something in the water I couldn’t see. So far I do water changes every week.


I’ve been reading up on the benefits of salt to fish. Sense I lost one to an unknown reason and another one that seems a little lethargic I decided to see if it would make a difference. But don’t want to add too much. Update. I decided to buy the pond salt knowing it would also come with directions. Now I need to know what percentage it should be on my refractor meter. I want to keep adding the diluted salt in small amounts until I get to the majic number of ____?
 
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Ok, let's stop adding any salt for now.
You can't reduce phosphates with sludge buster.
Don't add anything else to the water for now. No feeding.
What are the numerical values for all the water tests you have done so far?
What do you have for filtration?
 

Donna Saverino MI

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Ok I stopped everything. Another fish mysteriously died. I looked at it up close and again saw nothing. I have one fish left in the 62 gal pond and keeping an eye on that one. So far just very spunky. Plants are doing well. I have a large pump with a carbon bag wrapped around the intake sitting at the bottom. Tests on three out of 4 are perfect. I ended up testing my faucet water and it has some phosphates in it so there is no way to get the numbers down to 0. Water is very clear. I read on my test kit to add sludge buster to lower the phosphate. That’s why I added it. I read a lot of articles on pond salt and how it is very beneficial to fish. I figured I had nothing to loose. So now my new question is what should I do to get the phosphates down. UNLESS! The chemicals are bad???

NEW UP DATE!!! Just before sending this my husband decided to power wash the brick patio with “biodegradable” soap. So I went out to check where the water was going. Sure enough all that water was seeping into the pond!!! Grrrrrr!!!! I freaked out. I did a large water change. So now I’m sure all the above is useless. (at least now I know that I do have runoff.)

May I suggest to everyone to educate your significant other that, unless your pond is a lake, the pond is a contained pond and what goes in the pond stays in the pond. Grrr…..

And now I have to worry about ‘Mr. Lonely’ surviving Grrr
 
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What is the name of the test kit that tells you to add sludge buster?
If your pond has surface water running into it, that makes it very difficult to control water quality.
Can you put a berm around your pond?
Can you post a picture of your pond?
 

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@Donna Saverino MI Have you ever posted a picture of your pond? I can’t remember. So, is your pond dug into the ground? For some reason, I was thinking it was a raised container pond. Maybe if there was some way you could raise it a little, you wouldn’t have to worry about run off.
 
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@Donna Saverino MI - You're trying to manage water quality, but every time you do a water change you're putting everything out of whack again. Now you say you did a "large" water change. Are we talking 10 gallons? Or did you empty the whole thing out and start over? What's "large" when you're talking 60 gallons total?

And are we talking about just one 60 gallon "pond"? Or do you have another larger pond? Pictures would be SO HELPFUL!
 

Donna Saverino MI

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to answer the questions: Test kit API "When high phosphate is detected steps need to be taken...The addition of API Pond-Zyme Sludge Destroyer help to reduce the organic matter..."

I felt I had to get out as much of the soap that leeched into the pond. I probably took out 1/3 or more. Now I know that I have to build that side up.

I think next spring I will redo all the sides. Unless between my busy life coming up I do it in October.
 
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Donna, nitrates and phosphates can only be removed by plants or water changes.
"Sludge-busters" aid in the breakdown of detritus buildup that accumulates at the bottom of the pond. As that detritus breaks down, it releases more nitrates and phosphates.
Salt will kill plants.

I agree with Lisa's sentiments, you have a very nice pond.(y)

.
 

Donna Saverino MI

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Thanks for answering to my questions and concerns. You can say it.... "It's cute"..... But it's all my yard can handle... I will stop water changes for a while sense I only have 'Mr Lonely' now. All the others are gone. Test the water again in a week or so. I think it's too late to buy more fish. Probable the store doesn't have any more in stock anyway. Why buy more just to put them to bed in frigid water.... I will reassess everything next (tears in my eyes) spring. It seems such a short season to learn so much guys. There are times I wonder why I would try such a feat. Until someone come into the backyard and say's how nice and 'cute' it is. Then I just want to learn more. If it wasn't for all you great people............. Thanks for your time.
 
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