How to add salt to goldfish aquarium

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people mistakenly believe a pet goldfish is one of the simplest pets to care for. However, without proper aquarium maintenance goldfish become distressed, leading to sickness and even death. If used properly, ordinary table salt can kill a number of parasites, viruses and bacterial infections that routinely affect goldfish. Salt is an effective and inexpensive solution to common goldfish problems such as swimming erratically, fungus, sores, ich (white spot disease) and more.

Get the right kind of salt. Regular table salt may be used to treat problems with your goldfish as long as it doesn't have any additives, namely Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS). Also, watch out for anti-caking additives and extra iodine in some brands of salt. Although in large quantities, these additives are harmful to fish, the amount that is in table salt is unlikely to do any harm.

Dissolve the salt. This is the recommended practice by the Goldfish and Aquarium Board. Take a few cups of water from your tank and put it in another container to dissolve your salt. Add 1 tsp salt per gallon of water in your tank to this smaller container. Stir and wait for all of the salt granules to dissolve.

Add the salt mixture to your tank. Pour the salt mixture in to a high water flow area so that it will be evenly mixed in with the rest of the water in the tank.

Repeat salt treatment. You will want to add this same amount of salt to your tank three times, leaving 12 hours between treatments.


You may want to purchase aquarium salt that has been specifically manufactured for use in aquariums if you cannot tell what amount of additives are included in the table salt. Always contact a veterinarian before treating your fish.

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About the Author

Edward Cox began writing and editing legal articles in 2007. He served as a note editor and author on work published in the "Journal of Agricultural Law." Cox writes about legal issues as a Drake Agricultural Law Center fellow. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School.