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Aquarium salt is a priced weapon in a fish keepers arsenal. It has applications ranging from increasing water salinity, buffing water hardness, parasite, bacterial, and fungus treatment in fish.
Even so, too much salt in a freshwater fish tank can cause a range of problems, particularly for inverts and fishes native to soft, freshwater bodies.
One fish thatâs pretty common in home aquariums and likely to get salinity shock in aquarium water with too much salt is betta.
Betta fish are native to Asia, where they live in shallow freshwater marshes, ponds, or slow-moving streams hence not used to heavy salinity.
However, compared to most freshwater aquarium fish, betta fish are decently hardy and perhaps can handle more salt than you think. Besides, aquarium salt is effective for treating fish rot and parasites in betta fish.
So, aquarium salt will likely not kill, but help your betta unless the amount exceeds what most freshwater fish can handle.
The ideal amount for salt in a betta fish tank is one tablespoon of salt for every 5 gallons of water unless itâs to treat ick or fin rot..
Do not add salt directly into the tank. Instead, use your tank water to prepare a saline solution before adding it to your betta aquarium.
What Is Aquarium Salt?
Aquarium salt has the same chemical make up as regular salt. Both of them have the same chemical formula, NaCl. which is a 1:1 ratio of sodium and chloride. However, where aquarium salt differs is the fact it doesn’t have any additives. The salt comes from evaporated sea water, and that’s it.
Salt is OK for some tankmates
The same can be said for other animals in the aquarium: some are tolerant towards salt, but you need to be certain of this before using it. Certain fish, snails and shrimp can cope with it, others canât. Bettas are hardy fish and due to their anatomy, they can handle salt pretty well. This can be said for some of the other tank mates that are kept with bettas, but do your research before hand. If, for example, you intend on using salt to treat ick and your betta is not alone in the aquarium, youâll need to treat the whole aquarium as ick is highly contagious. If your betta is in a tank with plants and animals that can also cope with Â salt, great! you can add salt to your aquarium, if not, then you have two options: 1. Medicate the aquarium without salt. This is possible, but may mean that it takes longer to cure the aquarium. 2.Medicate separately. You can medicate your normal aquarium without salt, and transfer the betta (and any other salt-resistant critters) to a hospital aquarium and medicate that with salt. Remember, if the betta is cured first, do not reintroduce it to the âhome aquariumâ until it has also been cured.
Can You Add Aquarium Salt To Your Betta Tank?
Although you can add aquarium salt to your betta tank, it’s not always recommended. If your betta is housed alone then it will be fine. However, you should avoid adding aquarium salt to your tank if it contains any of the following.
You should avoid using aquarium salt in your tank if it contains scaleless fish. Salt will dry out the slime coat on a scaleless fish, which is bad news. The slime coat on scaleless fish helps protect them from external infections.
When they lose their slime coat, not only are they going to be prone to external infections, but they’ll also have a weakened immune system as well.
You should also avoid using aquarium salt in your betta tank if you have live plants. Some of the more fragile plants won’t be able to handle the salinity. However, you may be able to get away with adding aquarium salt with plants such as Java Fern, Java Moss, Anacharis and Anubias.
But you should always be cautious, and it’s generally better to avoid adding aquarium salt altogether.
If you want to medicate your betta with aquarium salt it’s always best to do so in a quarantine tank.