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Old 02-02-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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can a salt kill?

I have a bolivian ram that had consistently been spitting out any food, so I tried treating with Jungle Labs Parasite Clear and for a day or two, he was eating a little bit. Unfortunately, he went back to spitting out all of his food before I'd finished the treatments. A helpful forum member then suggested that I try a salt bath as this might help if he does have parasites (I honestly have no idea what might be wrong but others reported success when they had the same problem and used that anti-parasite medication).

A formula of 28oz tank water to 2tbs was recommended, so I tried that this evening. The sick fish wasn't even in the water for a minute when he began floating on his side at the surface, gasping. I could stand to leave him in there for the recommended 5 minutes. Once he tried swimming downward, towards the bottom of the bucket, but looked as though he was swimming into a heavy stream. Put him back in his home tank and an hour or so later, he seems to be doing fine.

Can anybody tell me what happened? Does salt cause some type of oxygen problem? Suggestions on better ratios for the salt bath treatment or other treatment options would be great!

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
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Can't tell you what happened, but yet salt can kill any fish, even saltwater fish. Each fish has an amount of salt they are evolved to live in. Salt baths may be used to detach some parasites (like freshwater can be used on saltwater fish), but I'd always rather treat a whole tank because treating the fish doesn't stop him getting re-infected as soon as he goes back into the tank.

Saltwater may have less oxygen than freshwater, warm water also has less oxygen. Other than that, it's hard to say not knowing full history and info on your tank and fish.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Are you sure there's something wrong with your ram? My GBRs like to suck up flakes and spit them out and they're healthy fish. It's just what they do. I think they like to break up the flakes this way, then eat the little pieces.

Salt can cause problems. A little salt can help because it provides electrolytes that help build slime coat. However, you really need to acclimate your fish to the salt. Too much salt actually dehydrates your fish.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wheatley View Post
Saltwater may have less oxygen than freshwater, warm water also has less oxygen. Other than that, it's hard to say not knowing full history and info on your tank and fish.
I'd wondered about oxygen somehow lessening the amount of oxygen in the water being the culprit, but I never did well in chemistry. I doubt it was that the water was too warm as I'd taken it out of the same aquarium about 10 minutes earlier to get the salt dissolved. I don't want to salt bath the entire tank as I have some cory cats.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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Are you sure there's something wrong with your ram? My GBRs like to suck up flakes and spit them out and they're healthy fish. It's just what they do.
Pretty confident that something isn't right. I was forced to euthanize another bolivian ram about a year ago who was doing the exact same thing and this is new behavior for this fish. When he spits out the little Omega sinking pellets they come out whole and not broken up, same with the Hikari carnivore pellets though in the past he would mash them up pretty bad. Same thing with chunks of frozen blood worms, brine shrimp, and flake crisps.
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