Does Aquarium Salt Treat Ich On Goldfish?

By Jamie Boyle

Lots of fish owners have asked me “Does aquarium salt treat ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) White Spot Disease on goldfish?” The answer is yes! You don’t always need to treat ich/ick with fish medications. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and I will talk more about them.

Treating ich on fish using aquarium salt is a much safer approach to eliminating ich from your aquarium. The only thing is that ich can only be killed in high temperature levels. Ich commonly known as white spot disease can not survive in temperatures of 86 degrees Fahrenheit as they cannot reproduce. Channel Catfish With Severe Ich Infestation Noticed On Fish As Like Small Grains Of Salt Which Are Attached ParasitesBy using aquarium salt and heating up your aquarium water using a heater, you can speed up the life cycle of ich so that the aquarium salt can kill the parasites. This combination of heat and salt treatment for ich works great but be aware that sometimes you can find a resistant strain of ich which can survive temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. In such cases that heat does not kill ich, you will need to use salt or an ich treatment medication. So really heat can actually kill ich from your aquarium alone, as well as salt and fish medications.

Destroying Ich With Heat

Aquarium HeaterIn order to treat ich using heat you will need to gradually heat up the water in your aquarium not too fast to eliminate white spot disease from your aquarium. To do so you will need an aquarium heater to increase the temperature in your tank. You can buy various size aquarium heaters at your local pet store or you can buy them online. Buying aquarium supplies online is a lot cheaper most of the time then pet stores. When you have your heater all set up and begin raising the temperature in your tank, make sure that you have maximum oxygen in the water by the use of an air pump. What happens when the temperature of water is high there is less readily available oxygen for your fish. At high temperatures with less oxygen fish can become stressed, so make sure your air pump is working efficiently and slowly raise the temperature of the water about 1-2 degrees an hour. You don’t want to raise the water temperature to quickly which can shock your fish and stress them. Raise the temperature of the tank to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and keep it here for approximately 10 days to make sure all ich has been eliminated. When treating fish always observe your fish for any signs of stress and correct them if needed. Getting rid of ich using heat alone should work unless you found a resistant strain able to withstand higher temperatures. In case of such event you will need to try another form of ich treatment medication to cure your fish from ich.

Treating Ich Using Aquarium Salt Treatment

Aquarium SaltThere are many methods of treating ich on fish and aquarium salt is just another way it can be done. What you would want to do here is do a combination treatment of both aquarium salt and heat. Heating the water in your aquarium will speed up the life cycle of the parasite making the treatment quicker using aquarium salt. The reason for wanting to speed up the life cycle of ich is that ich can only be killed during the free swimming stage. By heating up the tank it will make them reproduce faster speeding up the time when they are vulnerable. You should add about 2-3 tablespoons of aquarium salt per every 5 gallons of water. What you should do is mix the aquarium salt in a container of water first then slowly add this to your aquarium. You should keep the temperature up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit along with the aquarium salt for 10 days to make sure all ich has been killed in your tank. If by chance that ich is still there you should try treating your fish with an ich medication.

Treating Ich With Fish Medication

Kordon Aquarium Rid Ich Preventative - Ich Treatment MedicationSometimes the above methods for ich won’t always work. In this case you will need to treat your goldfish with ich medication. Treating ich with heat and aquarium salt are safer for your fish as it’s more of a natural way to treating ich. Using ich medication can sometimes add more stress on your fish and can sometimes harm the biological filter depending on fish medication. Myself I’ve always used Malachite Green to treat ich as it’s very effective. The only thing is which ever ich treatment medication you decide to use always observe your fish for any signs of stress. If you see stress, such as gasping at top of the water immediately add activated carbon back into your filter and perform a water change right away. Never add more then recommended dosage for treatment of white sot disease. Adding more is not better, and can actually kill your fish. There are many ich medications on the market to choose from. For more information on what medications to use to treat ich and other fish diseases and parasites please visit this post Goldfish Medication Treatments For Illnesses, Diseases and Parasites Including Ich Treatment Medications


Jamie Boyle
The Goldfish Guy
“Helping Goldfish Owners With Advice, Fish Care and Fish Medication Treatments for Goldfish Diseases, Illnesses and Parasites”

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5 comments on “Does Aquarium Salt Treat Ich On Goldfish?

  1. Hi my goldfish has white salt like stuff on his tail but now it’s all over his body. So I just put him in salt water with a heater with no filter or air pump it’s a bucket. I also used the reguler salt will he get better ? Please help me and thanks

  2. Hi my goldfish has white salt like stuff on his tail but now it’s all over his body. So I just put him in salt water with a heater with no filter or air pump it’s a bucket. I also used the reguler salt will he get better ? Please help me and thanks

  3. Anonymous on said:

    NEVER use regular salt! The iodine in it will harm your fish!

  4. Christina @ Complete Goldfish Care on said:

    Wow – very thorough! I’ve heard that raising the heat was an effective method to increase the life cycle of ich. Normally I would have used a medication first, but now I think I’ll try the heat/salt treatment instead.

    I love how you break this piece down into steps. Terrific read!


  5. Pingback: Week 2 in Gold Articles: Treat Those Goldfish Diseases

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