It may sound odd, but freshwater aquariums can benefit from salt. Specifically, freshwater aquarium salt that is made from evaporated sea water and is safe to use in freshwater tanks.
You cannot use table salt or salt that is made for saltwater tanks because these contain different ingredients that will harm your freshwater tank fish. Using table or saltwater salt can also alter the pH balance and water quality of your tank.
Reducing Stress and Promoting Healing
Freshwater salt improves gill function in fish and also provides needed electrolytes to fish. These improvements are good for the day to day function of your fish. Freshwater salt plays an especially important role in stressed or sick fish.
Stress and illness can cause gill function to reduce in effectiveness, meaning the fish loose electrolytes, take in less oxygen, and expel less carbon monoxide. However, freshwater salt helps to counteract these symptoms. The recommended amount of freshwater salt will improve your fish’s ability to breath.
Freshwater aquarium salt also helps to block the negative and harmful effects of high nitrates in your fish tank. Nitrates are a natural by product in your fish tank, but sometimes nitrate levels can become toxically high. Freshwater aquarium salt can help to block the effects until you get the nitrate levels balanced again.
Many fish are sensitive to stresses and changes in their environment. Freshwater salt helps to stabilize your fish when their environment, or bodies, are somewhat unstable and stressful.
The brand I use is API Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Salt. I like this brand because I have had success with their products and they sell the Aquarium Salt in different sized containers, so you can purchase the amount that you need.
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!