Almost all aquarists have used salt in their aquarium. Salt is good for treating certain diseases such as Ich and others. It is widely used by all hobbyists to treat diseases.
But like any other aspect of an aquarium, it must not be mishandled. Salt must be used in optimal quantities. If used less, it won’t have any effect in the aquarium, if used too much, be ready for detrimental consequences.
In this article let us discuss about the symptoms of excess salt in an aquarium and how to bring it back to normal condition.
Symptom of too much salt in an aquarium
First off what happens when you add too much salt is dehydration. It must come as surprising because with water all around, how will the fishes dehydrate.
But the way salt works, it can dehydrate your fish. What happens is that the salt in the water content will slowly replace itself with the water content in the fish’s cell. So if this continues your fish will eventually die.
If there are high levels of salt in an aquarium, your fishes will become restless as well. Their fins and tails will appear to be clenched. They will also begin to swim toward the surface of the water for oxygen. The fishes can even go to the extent of jumping out of the tank to escape the high salinity environment.
Fishes don’t get affected by low levels of salinity. Although, the tolerance levels differ with the species of fish. So you should do a bit of research from your side.
How much salt to use in an aquarium?
Well now that you are aware of the effects of high salt content in the water, it becomes crucial you use salt in the correct amount. There are already instructions in the aquarium salt packaging. You can stick to it if you want. But the amount of salt you must use in an aquarium is 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water.
If you don’t see any improvement in the fish’s health with this level of treatment, then you can increase it to 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons of water. Similarly, if there is no improvement you can increase it to 1 tablespoon for every 2 gallons of water.
How to remove or decrease the salt levels if you have added too much salt?
Overdosing salt in your aquarium is easy to deal with. If you accidently overdose the aquarium with salt it is not something that is hard to counter. Water changes are all you need to reduce the amount of salt.
The only hard part is to know if you have overdosed your aquarium or not. You must observe the fishes very carefully and stay alert for symptoms.
It is quite easy to overdose salt in a freshwater tank. Salt is not necessary for a freshwater tank, so while using salt to treat diseases you must do it properly. You can do water changes of about 50 percent and with it, a great amount of salt will be removed from the aquarium. If you have overdosed on the salt in high quantities, you can switch to a 75 percent water change.
If the level of salinity is very high then it’s better you move the fish to another tank. Then perform water changes on your display tank. Then you can add your fish back to your tank. You must immediately take action in a freshwater tank, before anything bad happens to your fish.
You don’t have to worry too much about salt overdose in a saltwater tank. As the fishes are already built with high salt tolerance and you already have a salinity refractometer to test the water. There may be little possibility but sometimes overdose of salt can occur.
In saltwater tanks what you have to do is similar to that of freshwater tank. You must perform water changes, although in smaller quantity. A 10 percent water change is enough in a saltwater tank. Keep testing the water and perform water changes until you reach the desired level.
Just because salt can treat diseases in an aquarium, it doesn’t mean that you can use too much of it. Your fish can succumb to an overdose of salt, similar to how humans can die if they overdose on medicine. It is not something to have a headache about, you can easily reduce the salt levels in an aquarium. All you have to do is water changes. Although it is best to stick to the optimal salt requirements in an aquarium.