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Andres98789 02-11-2010 05:40 AM

Please help - Salt Treatment
Hi Guys,

I'm just wondering if anyone can give me an idea of how to treat a fish with salt. He's a goldfish and has been feeling a bit lethargic and his poop has been thin and white for the last couple of days so I think he's got a bacterial infection and today I spotted a tiny hole in his back fin. I'm gonna treat him with Myxazin from Monday for 5 days, but I would like to treat him with some salt for a couple of days ei today and tomorrow to help with the stress levels and help him fight any minor infections he might have before I treat him with the Myxazin on Monday. I have aquarium salt and I also have a tonic solution that contains Mangnesium Sulphate 33.33% and Sodium Choride 11.11%. I'm wondering what the best option is and if aquarium salt is the best option then how much salt per litre? He's the only fish in a 120 Litre tank and I'm thinking of treating the whole tank to give him as little stress as possible.

Any help would be great.

Thanks in advance.

jsoong 02-11-2010 11:37 AM

I would use the aquarium salt. The Magnesium sulphate is used for dropsy, or perhaps as a GH boost in a planted tank .... it is not going to do much for bacterial infection.

It depends on what goal you are aiming for as to the salt level used. For simple "stress relief" or for nitrite poisoning, a level of 0.05% is used.

<0.05% = 0.05 grams per 100 ml (0.1 liter). A 120 l tank therefore will need 60 grams. 1 teaspoon is ~5 grams.>

If you are treating diseases, you will need to go up to 0.3%. You need to get to this level slowly, increasing no more than 0.1% every 12-24 hours. 0.3% is good for most external parasites, and also some bacteria such as aeromonas. To treat finrot, usu. 0.1% is enough.

I sometimes use 0.5 to 0.9% for short period (15 minutes max) to stripe off the slime coat in heavy parasite infection, or for sedation when doing procedures to the fish. <A salt dip/bath.>

Before you contemplate salt or meds, however, you should check your water parameters. Fish usually get sick when the water quality had deteriorated. A largish water change will never hurt.

Also, white stringy poop & lethargy often indicates an intestinal infection. This is not well treated with meds in the water (or salt for that matter). The best treatment is antibiotic containing food. If you are in London UK, you will not be able to get antibiotics without a vet prescription.You can try the OTC stuff if you like, but clean water & salt is prob more effective.

More reading - although this talked about pond fish, it applies to goldfish as well:

Andres98789 02-12-2010 11:43 AM

Salt Treatment
Hi Jsoong,

Thanks for the advice.

He's seems to be getting worse as was sitting at the bottom of the tank doing nothing and he's normally always very acctive and looking for food in the gravel.

I have cleaned the gravel to make sure that the water is clean and did a 30 % water change and cleaned the filter (in tank water rinsed the sponges a little to get the dirt off) I didn't want to clean them too much because I didn't want to kill the bacteria, but I think the food I'm giving him is getting in the filter because it's frozen shrimp + garlic and it's very messy, but he likes it so I wanted to get any dirt that might be stuck in the filter. I will leave him over the weekend without salt or meds and see if the big water change and filter clean help him improve. If he's still the same on Monday I will give him the Myxazin or get antibiotic food from the vet. The thing that worries me and the reason why I wanted to treat him with Myxazin is becasue he's got the tiny hole on his tail and myxazin should treat that and hopefully also treat any other bacterial infection.

I also wanted to ask you if I should clean the ornaments in the aquarium (a rock and a piece of wood) They have never been cleaned in the 1 year that the aquarium has been running and I wonder if this might be affecting the water in some way.
The reading are Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5-10, Ammonia 0.25. I've tried to get rid of the ammonia with water changes, but it's always the same reading. I use the API master water test (drops) I wonder if it's due to the ornament not having been cleaned or maybe the filter not being cleaned often enough. I have been cleaning the filter every few months and only one of the the fine sponges at the time. Should I clean the filter and the ornaments more often? It's a stardart juwel filter btw.

I normally clean half of the gravel with every weekly water change.

I'd love to read your views.

jsoong 02-12-2010 03:28 PM

Bottom sitting is certainly very worrisome for a goldfish .... That usu. indicates something very wrong.

One other thing to check - what is the tank temperature? This is a long shot, but if the temp is under 50F the fish might just be hibernating.

Is there any other sign apart from the little bit of fin rot? any bloating, swelling, raised scale, redness in fins, etc...

That 0.25 of ammonia, is that right after a water change? I would suggest you test your tap water, and tap water with a proper dose of dechlorinator. Most city water has chloramines, and that reacts with dechlorinator to form ammonia & chlorine. The ammonia will show up in a test kit, but it (and the chlorine) are bound & so are harmless. Usually, the biofilter will get rid of the ammonia within a few hours.

I usu. clean the ornaments only when it is really algae encrusted. If the tank is healthy, there really is no need to clean the ornaments apart from aesthetic reasons. In a mature tank, there is a bioofilm growing on all the surfaces. That is where a large part of your good bacteria resides.

As for the filters, I usually just rinse out the filter in tank water once a week to get rid of the big pieces of crud. The decaying matter might contribute to a high bacterial count in the water. Some of the bacteria might be bad but most are just opportunistic pathogens so usu a fish that is healthy should have no problems.

Certainly watching for a day or 2, clean water, etc. is OK at this point. But I would start treatment sooner if the fish appears to be getting worse.

Andres98789 02-15-2010 08:04 AM

Hi Jsoong,

Thank you very much for your help. Unfortunately he passed away last nite before I could treat him with any medication. He was already dead when I saw him.

I aprreciate your help and time.

Many thanks and all the best.

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