Knowing how to check the salt level in koi pond is one of the key activities in keeping up with the water quality of your koi pond is a great way to help ensure your fish are happy, healthy, and thriving. Still, even with the best natural water conditions, your koi can sometimes need a little extra help, especially if they fall ill.
One option that is used to treat tons of different koi illnesses and diseases is the introduction of salt.
While koi are freshwater fish, a little salt added to the pond can provide a lot of health benefits and make a world of difference in the overall quality of your water.
Of course, the salt levels have to be monitored regularly to ensure they do not exceed a safe amount. Let’s take a look at how to check salt level in koi pond enclosures!
Why Use Salt?
Salt is used in koi ponds and other aquatic applications for a host of different reasons, ranging from simple maintenance to more complex parasite or other illness-related issues.
This cheap remedy is used as a broadspectrum treatment for a lot of different issues and is highly effective within ponds and tanks alike.
In fact, many pet stores will outright use salt in their tanks to help ensure all of the fish in their inventory are healthy while waiting to find their new homes!
Salt is especially helpful in gently and naturally treating illnesses, especially parasites.
Everything from common disorders like Ich to more concerning illnesses like Trich can be treated with salt in most cases, allowing you to easily handle most issues in your pond, especially if you always have salt on hand and at the ready to help wipe out sudden illnesses. Double points if you also have a quarantine area ready for your sick koi, as well.
Aside from that use, having salt in the pond actually increases the immune response of your koi by increasing the rate of osmoregulation.
Basically, your koi naturally has salt in its body from waste and regular bodily functions. While they are freshwater, if they are kept in a purely freshwater enclosure, they will have a harder time recovering from illnesses since their ability to pass this saline waste decreases, resulting in them not being balanced with the freshwater around them.
Adding a little salt will create a balance, allowing them to recover much faster, even when harboring extra waste.
This does not mean you should always have salt in the pond, though. Koi are freshwater, so it should be reserved only for sick koi or new koi entering into your pond for the first time.
A rule of thumb is to keep the salt only in quarantine ponds to help ensure you do not overexpose healthy koi to salt, which can be fatal in severe cases and cause lasting damage in more minor instances.
How Do You Use Salt?
If your koi is sick or quarantined and may benefit from salt, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you are using the salt properly.
Add the appropriate amount of aquatic salt into a bucket of water and let it fully dissolve. This will prevent certain spots from being more concentrated, which can happen if you just add the salt directly to the quarantine area. This can burn your koi and severely damage their skin and gills.
Add the saltwater gradually over two to three weeks, adding a small amount each day. This will prevent your fish from being shocked by sudden salt exposure.
If the koi is severely ill, you can add it all at once as a sort of hail mary but if possible, try to be gentle with the treatment and give everything time to work.
Once your koi is better, remove it slowly through several days of partial water changes, replacing the amount of saltwater removed with fresh. This will prevent them from being shocked by the lack of salt since their bodies likely grew accustomed to the slightly saline water surrounding it.
How Do You Check the Salt Levels in Koi Ponds?
If you are wanting to check the salt levels in your koi pond, the best and most fool-proof method is to opt into purchasing an aquatic salt monitor.
This handy tool is relatively inexpensive and reusable, providing you the ability to check the salt levels of your pond time and time again. It reads the salt levels and displays a percentage reading for easy comparison to acceptable salinity levels.
In most medical usages, koi ponds should be 0.3% to 0.6% salinity. This is typically enough to handle most common illnesses and should not be exceeded unless you are advised to do so by a veterinarian who is trained in handling aquatic animals or a reputable breeder whose opinion you trust.
In quick bath applications, you can increase the salinity to a very high level, essentially as much salt as the water can dissolve, then put the koi in for a very short period of time to allow a white film to form.
You then add the koi back into freshwater, killing surface parasites in the process. This is risky and should not be taken lightly; only do this as a last resort and in the presence of a koi care professional.
Can You Estimate Salt Levels?
It is not recommended you attempt to estimate the salt level of your koi pond.
Before adding any salt, you should always use a salt meter tool to check the salinity.
Sometimes, salt lingers in the water longer than anticipated, resulting in toxicity when you add even more without checking. This can cause koi to die, especially in pet store settings where they are held in the salt solution while healthy as a preventative measure.
It is always better to play it safe when it comes to your pet’s health.
Knowing How To Check Salt Level In Your Koi Pond Is A Powerful Tool
Salt is an incredible asset for those looking to help their koi recover from illnesses and parasites. It offers a wide spectrum treatment method that is simple and easy to access in a pinch.
Just be sure to keep an eye on the salinity levels and always err on the side of caution and you should be just fine! And finally make sure that you know how to check salt level in your koi pond