Salt Bath For Koi – The Ultimate Guide

Koi Salt BathSalt bathing koi immediately helps to fight bacterial and parasite infections. It has other benefits too.

I this article I will show you how you can give your koi a salt bath properly. Before that let’s see how salt bathing works for Koi.

How Salt Bathing Koi Works

Salt bathing your koi fish works following the principle of Osmosis.

It is a process where the solvent moves from a less concentrated region to high concentrated region through a semi-permeable membrane.

Generally, your pond water has a salinity of 0.05% and koi bod has a salinity of 0.9%. So, pond water is less concentrated with salt than the koi body. Here, the koi body and its gills work as a semi-permeable membrane.

Therefore, as per the rule of osmosis, the solvent, in this case, water will try to move toward the body of the koi. As a result, the koi especially its kidneys have to put more effort to remove the water from its body.

But if we give the koi a salt bath where the salinity of bathing water is higher than the koi body, water will easily come out of the koi body due to higher salinity outside.

This means less effort for the koi and it can use the energy to deal with other things such as fighting illness.

Also, the chloride ion in salt solution kills bacteria and parasites immediately.

Why and When You Should Salt Bath Your Koi – The Benefits

Salt bathing your koi has several benefits. However, you should only salt bath your koi when you want to treat an individual koi fish, not all of your koi. Remember, a salt bath is only good as an immediate treatment for parasite and bacterial infection.

If you want to treat all of your fish then it is better to add salt to your pond than salt bathing your koi.

There are many myths surrounding salt bathing koi fish. However, salt bathing works excellent for the following cases –

  • Kills microparasites such as Ich, Costia, trichodina, and flukes.
  • Reduces osmotic shock by reducing water intake by osmosis.
  • It increases mucus production and strengthens the immune system.
  • Kills bacteria.
  • Heals wounds.
  • Protects from ammonia burn.
  • Neutralize the toxic effect of nitrites.
  • Increase defense against the virus.

Things You Will Need for Salt Bath Your Koi

For salt bathing your koi, you will need some basic things. You will be better prepared if you arrange the following thing –

  • A Koi bowl that is larger than the koi.
  • Rock Salt without any impurities.
  • Bucket with the measure.
  • Pond Water.
  • A koi scoop.
  • A scale to measure the amount of salt.

Which Salt and How Much Salt You Should Use

For salt bathing your koi, you should always use plain rock salt. Although some may have told you to mix other agents like Formaldehyde Permanganate etc. you may have some adverse effects if you mix them with salt.

Don’t ever use table salt as it contains Floride and Iodide. For Koi bath only use pure NaCl.

The amount of salt needed depends on the concentration of the solution you intend to use. It is recommended that you use a 2.5%-3% solution for bathing your koi. The following table shows the salt requirement for different concentrations and volumes.

If you are intended to use salt for treating the whole pond water, you can use our koi pond salt dose calculator to find out the right amount of salt needed.

How To Salt Bath Koi

Prepare the Salt Solution

Take the required amount of pond water in the Koi bowl. Measure the required amount of salt using the balance.

Now add the required amount of rock salt with water to it to prepare a 2.5% to 3% solution. Stir until the salt is mixed with the water.

Give the Koi Salt Bath

Take your koi out of the pond. Let it be in the saline water for 2-5 minutes.

If you use 3% concentration and the fish condition is weak, bathe it for 2 minutes. If the fish condition is good and the solution is dilute, say 2.5%, you can bathe the koi for up to 5 minutes if it doesn’t lose its balance.

Transfer the koi to the pond immediately using the scoop if it loses balance.

Repeat the process after 24 hours.

Cautions to Take

Although salt bathing your koi fish is not a hard task, there are some cautions to take to be safe. Therefore, always check the following things –

  • Don’t use household salts for bathing your koi. Use plain rock salt that doesn’t contain any anti-caking agent like yellow prussiate of soda that is harmful to koi
  • Never use dishwasher tablets.
  • Never leave the koi unattended when you salt bath it. Always be there because it can lose balance at any time.
  • When the koi lost its balance, immediately transfer it to the pond.
  • Make sure you use the exact amount of salt.
  • Always check the concentration of salt before bathing the koi. High concentrations can be deadly for koi.


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