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Thread: Can Salt Help Koi Deal With Cold?

  1. #41
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    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.
    According to the article by Duncan Griffiths Salt in the koi environment :

    "It is believed that in maintaining a constant low-level dose of salt helps with stress in the fish, maintains a good immune system (stimulating mucus production), and keeps bacteria both Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, to small numbers"

    Can you clarify, as Duncan Griffiths does not specifically state that salt "keeps bacteria both Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, to small numbers." He just states that "it is believed..."



    Is increased salinity part of an environment where Koi naturally "thrive"? No.
    Even if that were true, it does not really have much bearing. Many substances, whether they are man-made, such as anti-biotics, or natural but not endemic to the environment of the specimen, such as adaptogens, can be helpful in relieving stress.

    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.
    Understood. But I wear jackets, ear muffs, mittens, thermal underwear, scarfs, baklavas, to keep me from being stressed by the biting cold air of winter. I don't have to get sick before I start using these accessories.

  2. #42
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Aeromonas has many variants, with both salt and freshwater strains being equally infectious under the right conditions. All of the sub-species have varying degrees of sensitivity to or affinity for different levels of salinity, so using salt would tend to move the environmental favorability from one variant to another rather than suppressing the population.

    I suppose a better understanding of what Aeromonas is and how it lives is key, so here's the readers digest condensed version.
    Aeromonas works somewhat like yeast, in that it digests carbohydrates by fermentation.
    Most Aeromonas infections are visible as necrotic ulcers on an external wound, but the most virulent infections are found in the gut and commonly lead to sepsis.
    These are the reasons why maintaining a clean environment (free of undigested carbohydrates) and exercising caution when feeding in cool water (slow digestive activity in the gut) have always been the best practice for preventing infections. That, along with keeping rocks and other abrasive surfaces away from Koi in order to prevent wounds in the first place.

    Pseudomonas is the evil cousin, which in some ways is even more problematic as it mutates rapidly to adapt itself to resist antibiotics and other environmental changes (like shifting levels of salinity) or just about anything else you can think of. Another interesting thing about Pseudomonas is the most common vector for entry into the pond. Rain. It lives in the atmosphere and serves as the most common nucleator of rain and snow droplets, due in part to its ability to form its own biofilm.

    Since these bugs readily adapt to environmental changes and are highly resistant to antibiotics they are tough to deal with by any means other than depriving them of a favorable environment.
    Prevention is always preferred to intervention, and that is accomplished with water quality, not with salt.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  3. #43
    MCA
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    Best uses for salt: potatoes , pretzels, and the Margarita glass.

  4. #44
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    Aeromonas has many variants, with both salt and freshwater strains being equally infectious under the right conditions. All of the sub-species have varying degrees of sensitivity to or affinity for different levels of salinity, so using salt would tend to move the environmental favorability from one variant to another rather than suppressing the population.

    I suppose a better understanding of what Aeromonas is and how it lives is key, so here's the readers digest condensed version.
    Aeromonas works somewhat like yeast, in that it digests carbohydrates by fermentation.
    Most Aeromonas infections are visible as necrotic ulcers on an external wound, but the most virulent infections are found in the gut and commonly lead to sepsis.
    These are the reasons why maintaining a clean environment (free of undigested carbohydrates) and exercising caution when feeding in cool water (slow digestive activity in the gut) have always been the best practice for preventing infections. That, along with keeping rocks and other abrasive surfaces away from Koi in order to prevent wounds in the first place.

    Pseudomonas is the evil cousin, which in some ways is even more problematic as it mutates rapidly to adapt itself to resist antibiotics and other environmental changes (like shifting levels of salinity) or just about anything else you can think of. Another interesting thing about Pseudomonas is the most common vector for entry into the pond. Rain. It lives in the atmosphere and serves as the most common nucleator of rain and snow droplets, due in part to its ability to form its own biofilm.

    Since these bugs readily adapt to environmental changes and are highly resistant to antibiotics they are tough to deal with by any means other than depriving them of a favorable environment.
    Prevention is always preferred to intervention, and that is accomplished with water quality, not with salt.
    Very interesting and thanks for the explanation Larry. I know little of Aero and Pseudo, and with the little I know I try to steer clear of them. And I agree that the best way is by ensuring water quality. And with that, not having a need for any substances to assist in a crisis. Yet, sometimes we get busy and we forget, and it puts the pond in a crisis situation. It gets worse when the crisis occurs during these low temperature conditions. If salt, as you say, won't be of much use, then it wouldn't make sense to rely on its use to contain a pond crisis. If, as you say, salt is pretty muchuseless against these bugs, what would you in such a situation?

    I've been using beneficial microorganisms for a while already. I use it primarily to give the pond some microorganisms that prevent pathogens from becoming dominant. While use of such microorganisms (usually referred to as bacteria, but in reality other microorganisms such as fungi are included) is derided as snake oil by some, I am of the opinion that they could serve to keep pathogens from becoming dominant, especially when low temperatures are favorable for them. It is said that there are some products sold as good bacteria that don't work, and these products are pricey. But having used a good product myself (though not in cold conditions), I think a good product would do the job of keeping Aero and Pseudo from getting out of control, and may do a better job than salt.

    I've been using a product developed in Japan, and has been available for awhile, including the Philippines and the United States. It is called em-1. Since it isn't developed specifically for koi, its application would range from use in agriculture to aquaculture to sanitation such as in dissolving sludge in septic tanks. Because it is used in aquaculture, it lends itself easily to being used for our koi ponds. Being a product that can be used for a range of applications, its soundness for use in our koi ponds can easily be made to seem insignificant, given its "jack of all trades" persona. But if one were to see it in use, one can very well appreciate how cost-effective it is. In the Philippines, it only cost P600/liter, which can be used to make about 30 liters of an activated solution. This would cost only P20/liter. I apply 1 liter/week normally to my 20-ton pond. This translates to P1/ton of pond water weekly. At an exchange rate of P50/US$, it's 2 cents/ton of pond water weekly.

    Compare the cost to the various branded "bacteria" out there in the market, and you can appreciate how cost-effective this is.

    I'm not a distributor or anything, just a satisfied user of the product. I think that it's a product that's worth trying, not just for cold weather applications to jump start the pond from winter, but just as a regular part of caring for a koi pond. But not everyone can appreciate the salutary effect of having good microorganisms in a koi pond. Many are wedded to the idea of sanitizing their pond to the point of near sterility. For them, this product is not recommended as it is a clash of philosophy. For others that appreciate the benefit of having a living pond to assist in the developent of koi fully, I recommend this product for them to try.

  5. #45
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The idea of competitive exclusion is behind the product marketed in the U.S. as 'Koizyme'. The marketing pitch for it is:

    "KoiZyme is a biological formula of naturally occurring bacteria, enzymes and micro nutrients. When KoiZyme is introduced into pond water that is infected with Aeromonas, Pseudomonas or any gram negative or gram positive bacteria, the bacteria and enzymes in KoiZyme competes with these pathogens for the nutrients in the pond water. These nutrients are primarily a nitrogen based nutrient from fish waste. KoiZyme will consume these nutrients and thus starve Aeromonas and Psuedomonas. The bacteria counts (CFU's) of these pathogens will then be reduced to such a low level that they will not have an affect on your fish.

    When used as directed, KoiZyme will reduce the bacterial count of Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and other pathnogenetic bacteria to such low levels that they will not be a threat to the health of your fish.

    It is impossible to completely remove the Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria from the pond water, but KoiZyme, when used on a regular weekly basis, will keep the Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and other pathogens levels so low, they will not affect the fish.
    • KoiZyme comes in Gallons, Quarts(32oz), Pints(16oz)
    • Quart treats 48,000 to 96,000 gallons. Pints treat 24,000 to 48,000 gallons.
    • Cost of treatment: Initial 5 treatments (20 ml) - $1.45/1,000 gallons and "Maintenance" weekly treatments (10 ml) - $0.73/1,000 gallons.
    • Shelf life of KoiZyme: At least 8 to 10 months at room temp and 20 months if kept refrigerated."

    To figure out whether other bacterial additives have an exclusionary effect, you would have to do before and after CFU counts.... something no hobbyist I know is reliably competent to do. (The predecessor 'Lymnozyme' product was big news when first introduced about 15 years ago.)


    It seems to me that Koizyme gets purchased by folks who endured an outbreak of ulcers and gets used for a few months. Then the hobbyist stops using it, although the trumpeted effects require continuous weekly application. I am doubtful any hobbyist is in a position to vouch for it.

    No doubt the best way to keep harmful bacteria counts low is to have the pond designed to rapidly move waste and debris to the filter(s), and provide quick elimination from the system through frequent dumping of settlement and cleaning of mechanical filters.

  6. #46
    MCA
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    Are these the same consumers who also purchase: pond salt in expensive milk cartons, pond clay, tea tree extract, and fancy dechlor products?

  7. #47
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Does anyone here deny the theraputic use of salt for koi when the diagnosis warrants it? Clearly it can be mispurposed and misapplied, but so are many products. Seems like salt gets a bad rap, yet I see antibiotics used very loosely and no one makes a peep.
    ricshaw and yerrag like this.

  8. #48
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Are these the same consumers who also purchase: pond salt in expensive milk cartons, pond clay, tea tree extract, and fancy dechlor products?
    Hey, don't lump me into the KoiZyme category!

  9. #49
    MCA
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    the theraputic use of salt for koi when the diagnosis warrants it
    Which is precisely when?

    I can see doing a salt dip as a prophylactic against parasites/pathogens. And I can see salting a hospital tank to relieve osmotic stress for fish that are starting to retain fluids. Fish that ill should not be in a pond with the general population.
    PapaBear likes this.

  10. #50
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The idea of competitive exclusion is behind the product marketed in the U.S. as 'Koizyme'. The marketing pitch for it is:

    "KoiZyme is a biological formula of naturally occurring bacteria, enzymes and micro nutrients. When KoiZyme is introduced into pond water that is infected with Aeromonas, Pseudomonas or any gram negative or gram positive bacteria, the bacteria and enzymes in KoiZyme competes with these pathogens for the nutrients in the pond water. These nutrients are primarily a nitrogen based nutrient from fish waste. KoiZyme will consume these nutrients and thus starve Aeromonas and Psuedomonas. The bacteria counts (CFU's) of these pathogens will then be reduced to such a low level that they will not have an affect on your fish.

    When used as directed, KoiZyme will reduce the bacterial count of Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and other pathnogenetic bacteria to such low levels that they will not be a threat to the health of your fish.

    It is impossible to completely remove the Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bacteria from the pond water, but KoiZyme, when used on a regular weekly basis, will keep the Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and other pathogens levels so low, they will not affect the fish.
    • KoiZyme comes in Gallons, Quarts(32oz), Pints(16oz)
    • Quart treats 48,000 to 96,000 gallons. Pints treat 24,000 to 48,000 gallons.
    • Cost of treatment: Initial 5 treatments (20 ml) - $1.45/1,000 gallons and "Maintenance" weekly treatments (10 ml) - $0.73/1,000 gallons.
    • Shelf life of KoiZyme: At least 8 to 10 months at room temp and 20 months if kept refrigerated."

    To figure out whether other bacterial additives have an exclusionary effect, you would have to do before and after CFU counts.... something no hobbyist I know is reliably competent to do. (The predecessor 'Lymnozyme' product was big news when first introduced about 15 years ago.)


    It seems to me that Koizyme gets purchased by folks who endured an outbreak of ulcers and gets used for a few months. Then the hobbyist stops using it, although the trumpeted effects require continuous weekly application. I am doubtful any hobbyist is in a position to vouch for it.

    No doubt the best way to keep harmful bacteria counts low is to have the pond designed to rapidly move waste and debris to the filter(s), and provide quick elimination from the system through frequent dumping of settlement and cleaning of mechanical filters.
    I can't speak on Koizyme, but it appears to work similarly to EM1. However, EM1 comes as a concentrated solution, and requires the user to dilute into activated liter portions. My experience with EM1 is that it is exceptionally effective. It's easy to say we will keep our ponds clean and that we won't ever skip over our pond and filter cleaning chores. For those who are realistic about the reality of their situation, an added margin of safety can make the difference between safety and crisis for the pond's inhabitants. Just as some koi keepers allow for a higher dkH to lessen significantly the chances of a pH crash, so do koi keepers allow for some beneficial bacteria to keep pathogens from inflicting opportunistic damage to their koi.

    Science does not exclude practices that don't have the precision of advanced equipment. Many times, the use of markers have proved to be of great and practical use. If one were to exclude the use of markers in determining a state or condition, a large part of the world would cease to operate. Having advanced diagnostics tools certainly help, but oftentimes they become a crutch for clinicians who become so wedded to numbers that they fail to observe. In my case, I can rely on the smell of the debri at the filter bottom, when I siphon them off, to give me an indication of how putrified the debri is. With the use of beneficial microorganisms, I no longer smell the putrefaction, where I used to smell it. And this isn't because I don't religiously do my weekly cleaning of filters.

    If I say that I've been able to grow a 15cm mixed-grade tosai sanke to 81cm, over 4 years, with excellent conformation and color development, and if I attribute that to a healthy pond environment that gives my koi minimal amount of stress, so that it can develop very well, would I have the license to say that the use of em1 beneficial micro-organisms has been instrumental to that?

    I don't think we should be so tied to our inadequacy to have expensive scientific equipment to be able to share information of value to one another. It may not be perfect, but it's better than standing still and be frozen by a lack of absolute certainty.

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