If you want to enrich your garden pond with koi, you will find the noble fish with the shimmering scales in a salt tank in specialist shops. Coincidence? No, adding salt to the koi pond is a secret care tip. Even professional breeders from Japan, the country of origin of the fish, recommend adding salt. What are the benefits of salt in the koi pond? And what is the species-appropriate dosage?

positive effect

  • Prevention of algae formation
  • Stress reduction of the fish
  • Sliming and rinsing of the gills
  • increased energy metabolism of the fish
  • faster recovery of fish after diseases
  • Faster recovery of fish from long journeys

Salting for regeneration in abdominal dropsy

At the first signs of ascites, adding salt to the koi pond is the first aid. Often this form of treatment is the only natural therapy to avoid medication. However, if the owner is already administering medicines, he must under no circumstances increase the salt content. The combination causes serious interactions.

Not only sick koi benefit from a short-term increased salt concentration in the water. The addition creates an osmotic pressure. Here the salt content of the water is higher than that in the fish body. This leads to salt depletion of the fish body. This gives the animals new vitality. Especially after a cold winter, the owner can enjoy the increased zest for life of his fish with this method. Heat further amplifies this effect. The following instructions must be observed:

  • Prepare quarantine tank
  • Increase water temperature by 1 to 2°C
  • Increase salt concentration to 0.5 to 0.6%
Note: To treat diseased fish, the keeper should not add salt to the entire koi pond. If possible, the therapy takes place in a separate quarantine tank and lasts no longer than three to five days.

Salting the koi pond against algae?

Salt in the koi pond prevents the growth of algae. However, the owner should not exceed a dosage of 3 kg per 1000 liters of water. Contrary to what many people think, adding salt does not help with a parasite infestation. There may be a short-term improvement in the health of the fish, but the owner cannot eliminate the actual cause in this way. It should also be noted that an increased salt concentration has a harmful effect if the breeder is already administering potassium permanganate against fungal attack.

Different types of treatment

The duration of the salting of the koi pond depends on the application. Breeders distinguish between three different options:

The short-term bath

  • Duration: around 20 minutes
  • Salt concentration: 1.5 to 2%
  • Effect: mucus removal, formation of new mucous membranes

The permanent bath

  • Duration: 3 to 5 days
  • Salt concentration: 0.2 to 0.5%
  • Effect: Stress reduction after long journeys, reduction in nitrite levels

The long-term bath as a healing bath

  • Duration: 3 to 5 days
  • Salt concentration: 0.5 to 0.6%
  • Effect: recovery from ascites, promoting wound healing


type of salt

Never use the Halter iodized salt. Iodine causes severe damage to the gills of fish. Instead, the following are suitable:

  • iodine-free table salt
  • sea-salt
  • pond salt
  • cattle salt
Note: Special salt is also available in hardware stores. However, the purchase is not worthwhile, since conventional table salt is in no way inferior to this product. However, there may be a price advantage, since special salt is sold in larger quantities.


Dosing should not be done by eye, but always with care. Too high a salt content not only harms the health of the koi but also the aquatic plants. Breeders recommend the following dosages depending on the planting of the garden pond:

  • Koi ponds with plants: 1.5 kg per 1000 L of water
  • Koi ponds without plants: 3 kg per 1000 L of water

The keeper should treat sick koi with less than 2 kg per 1000 liters of water.

Note: Although salting a koi pond has a positive effect, the treatment must not last too long. Koi are not saltwater fish and will sooner or later urgently need fresh water.


  • Prepare quarantine tank
  • Be sure to install an aeration source (salt deprives the water of oxygen)
  • Determine the salinity of the pond with a test device from the hardware store
  • Scoop water from the koi pond into the pool
  • Do not dissolve salt, but add it directly to the basin
  • Put koi in the tank
  • cover with a cloth as a precaution (fish may try to jump out of the narrow tank)
  • as soon as a koi swims on its side, stop treatment immediately
  • Place koi in fresh water after 5 days at the latest
  • first prepare a freshwater tank
  • Let the koi swim in it for 20 minutes
  • only then put it back into the pond

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