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Thread: Can Salt Help Koi Deal With Cold?

  1. #31
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    Which reminds me, about the koi owner whose koi don't have nice skin because he frequently salts his pond, I don't think without knowing the details that it's fair to attribute to salt the poor condition of his koi's skin.

    Have you considered that he may have resorted to using salt because he needed to correct for poor conditions in his pond, that some of his koi may be sick often? If this were the case, salt isn't the cause of his koi's poor skin. It's poor care.

    There's the danger of using salt as a crutch to take the place of good koi husbandry, but I hope that isn't the impression I'm giving talking about the use of salt. But one could also get too shy of using salt, just because one hears of cases of using salt too often being the cause of salt-resistant pathogen.

    I know how very often in the past I've failed in keeping my pond clean enough. It has resulted in a few outbreaks and a few deaths. I wish I could be perfect, but for the imperfect, salt helps. Hopefully, as time goes on, and we get better at taking care of koi, by being diligent in upkeep or by improving the filter set-up, which could be a continuous activity for some, we won't have to resort to using salt as much. But, when the situation arises, salt is your friend, and can come to the rescue without so much as having lingering side effects. There are times we can over-worry and overreact, and our corrective actions turn out causing more harm. But we would learn that in hindsight. Using salt, for me, is being conservative, and not being impulsive.
    No its his regular instruction whenever there is a water change but that was several years ago.

  2. #32
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    I dont have problems when koi get sick or flash and some degree of salting helps but there is absolutely no need for salt if koi is not sick and in fact sometimes some sick koi need a a more specific chemical like MG/formalin, PP, antibiotics, etc. than salt.
    That goes without saying. But to each his own.

    At the end of the day, no one's going to grade us.

    If we're honest with ourselves, we'll know whether we're doing a good job raising our own koi.

    And may you win GC with a koi you raise yourself!

    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    No its his regular instruction whenever there is a water change but that was several years ago.
    Did he tell you how much he salts?

  3. #33
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    That goes without saying. But to each his own.

    At the end of the day, no one's going to grade us.

    If we're honest with ourselves, we'll know whether we're doing a good job raising our own koi.

    And may you win GC with a koi you raise yourself!

    Did he tell you how much he salts?
    No i was not able to ask how. That was a long time ago.

  4. #34
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    No i was not able to ask how. That was a long time ago.
    We'll leave it at that.

  5. #35
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Here is an article old-timers may have seen and I've read before, but it's always nice to go back to it, by Duncan Griffiths:

    Salt in the koi environment

    I think that what was brought forth in our discussion, for the most part, is in agreement with what he says.

  6. #36
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I have been gone a few days. This thread sure took a lot of twists and turns during that time. Dr. Griffiths' explanation of the uses for salt is well-grounded. There is no good purpose for a constant use of salt. There are good reasons to use salt on a temporary basis.

    The fundamentals of good koikeeping are very simple... Good water at a reasonable temperature plus good food produces healthy, robust koi. Nearly everything we do is about those 3 factors. On any topic that comes up, it is a good idea to keep focus on how those fundamentals are affected. Sometimes we can get so engrossed in little details that the fundamentals get lost.
    MCA likes this.

  7. #37
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    I hope everyone appreciates what this chart truly represents. It isn't that Aeromonas is "more" active at lower temperatures. It is that it has no competing bacteria at sub 50F to keep it in check. Since the Nitrifers are competing for the same food sources as the pathogens, warmer temperatures allow "good bacteria" (of all types) to compete with "bad bacteria" for food, which keeps their numbers in check. The fact that the Koi metabolism is at its lowest below 50F is why they are vulnerable, and no amount of salt will improve that.

    Where things take a significant turn for the better is in the 65-70F range, where good bacterial activity and Koi metabolism intersect. By now, Aeromonas (and most other pathogens) have already reached the apex of activity, so they aren't going to get any stronger unless you interfere with the good bacteria. That is why the rise in Koi metabolism and immune response along with the increased activity of good bacteria have such an impact. As the beneficial Autotrophs and Heterotrophs become active competitors for food with the pathogens, the pathogen population will decline. The pathogens still have an ideal temperature to thrive in, but the bioavailability of their food resources is being consumed by desirable bacteria thereby reducing their ability to reproduce in large numbers.

    The only zone on this chart that makes even a tiny bit of sense to add salt (0.1-0.2) is 65-75F, and even then it would only be if Nitrite levels are high enough to interfere with oxygen carrying capability in the Koi bloodstream. The O2 content of the water is good, and if your water health is well maintained adding salt is a waste of time chasing an illusion. If your Koi are experiencing skin degradation at 70F, look at your total water health instead of reaching for the salt shaker.
    MikeM likes this.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  8. #38
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    It makes a lot of sense that at below 50 F no amount of salt will lessen the koi's vulnerability to bacteria and disease, as you point out. However, can salt help by lessening the strength or ability of the aeromonas to stress the koi? Won't salt help significantly in this aspect up to 60F, the point at which competing bacteria starts to become active to mitigate the effects of aeromonas? At these low temperatures, koi would be most vulnerable, and it seems to me that some salt would be beneficial, although I would be conservative and just add a low level of salt. As the pond warms up, there would be no need for such salting, and the steady dilution of salt with water changes would be effected.

    Since in my area my pond low temp is at 22C, or above 70F, it would seem that what I suggest is not necessary in a tropical setting. But in a much colder temperate setting, wouldn't salt help?

  9. #39
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    It makes a lot of sense that at below 50 F no amount of salt will lessen the koi's vulnerability to bacteria and disease, as you point out. However, can salt help by lessening the strength or ability of the aeromonas to stress the koi? Won't salt help significantly in this aspect up to 60F, the point at which competing bacteria starts to become active to mitigate the effects of aeromonas? At these low temperatures, koi would be most vulnerable, and it seems to me that some salt would be beneficial, although I would be conservative and just add a low level of salt. As the pond warms up, there would be no need for such salting, and the steady dilution of salt with water changes would be effected.

    Since in my area my pond low temp is at 22C, or above 70F, it would seem that what I suggest is not necessary in a tropical setting. But in a much colder temperate setting, wouldn't salt help?
    For additional salt to be of benefit to Koi there must be a need.

    The only general benefits are for osmoregulatory relief when stress is already taking place, when Nitrite levels are high, or as a thereaputic bath at high levels for parasite eradication. Salt use, like any other "treatment" needs to be understood as an abnormal thing that must be used when needed, and purged from the system once the treatment has run its course.

    That begs the question, what would the benefit be?
    Does a mild increase in salinity increase a Koi's resistance to Aeromonas or any other pathogen in cold water? Unfortunately no.
    Does a mild increase in salinity help the Koi's immune system become more active in colder water? Also, no.
    Does it degrade the growth of Aeromonas or any other pathogen to a significant degree? Again, unfortunately no. Some pathogens may even like it.
    Is increased salinity part of an environment where Koi naturally "thrive"? No.

    The last question is the one that is key for me, whether the subject is salt or any other course of treatment one might think of as "preventive medicine".

    I do not live in the waiting room of a Dr's office to prevent myself from becoming sick.
    I do not live in a Hospital during flu season to stay healthy.

    I maintain my health at all times by doing what is healthy, and doing it all of the time.
    If I do unhealthy things, there is no artificial means to prevent the consequences.

    I do not take Aspirin to prevent headaches. It doesn't work. I take it to relieve the pain if I have a headache.
    I do not us bandages to prevent wounds from occurring. It doesn't work. I use bandages to cover wounds and promote healing.

    I do not use salt to prevent infections. It doesn't work. I use salt for therapy if there is a need for which it has benefit.

  10. #40
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    I've seen salt used to successfully treat 'sleeping sickness'. This was in below 60dF temps water.

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