How to Use Aquarium Salt for Betta Fish- Effective Methods

After several years of testing, most aquarists now understand the true power of aquarium salt. Mind you, aquarium salt is medicine.

However, many people don’t know the correct time and dosage to use on their fish. But worry less. Today, we will walk you through how to use aquarium salt for betta fish.

Luckily, aquarium salt is readily available in most countries. Secondly, it’s cheap, just like the regular salt. And finally, it never expires—great news for aquarists.

Note that aquarium salt is good medicine, and on the other hand, it can be dangerous or lethal to your betta fish.

To clarify, it can turn out to be dangerous if you don’t know the correct aquarium salt betta dosage. So, how much aquarium salt per gallon of water?

Read on; I will loop you in.

What is Aquarium Salt?

should i put salt in my betta fish tank
Betta fish

If you wonder what aquarium salt is, it’s just a type of salt with the same chemical formula as regular salt.

As such, you will notice aquarium salt has a NaCl formula, and both are in a ratio of 1:1, just like the ordinary salt we use at home.

However, the only way aquarium salt differs from the usual table salt is that it has no additives. It comes from evaporated seawater, and the lack of additives makes it best for treating betta fish illness.

Its benefits make sense if you know how to use it. In addition, you should know the type of diseases to treat because not all are treatable with aquarium salt.

For instance, aquarium salt for swim bladder disorder is wrong. The salt will mainly treat mild external conditions.

How Aquarium Salt Works

Aquarium salt kills microorganisms by dehydration. When you raise aquarium tank water salinity, it kills fungus, bacteria, and parasites.

How does the fish react? The betta fish balances the concentration on the skin, and as a result, the condition becomes unfavorable for the microorganisms.

To clearly put it, these microorganisms dehydrate faster than the fish because the fish has more mass.

Note that some microorganisms can survive on high salinity. So, salt may not be 100% effective. Sometimes, chemical medication is preferable.

On the other hand, treat the tank water with salt if you have kept betta fish alone. This is because aquarium salt can affect some fish breeds or plants.

Take a look;

Scaleless Tank Mates

Aquarium salt dries the slim coat on scaleless fish that protects them from external infections. Additionally, it weakens the immune system making them prone to diseases.

Ideally, transfer your betta fish into a separate tank if you want to treat them with aquarium salt. This is if you have kept them with other fish species.

See also: Betta fish breeding tank size

Live Plants

Some aquatic plants are fragile to handle salinity. However, plants like java fern, anacharis, seaside brookweed, Anubis, and java moss can survive in water with salt.

Ideally, put betta fish in a separate tank if their tank has weaker plants.

Does Aquarium Salt Help Sick Fish?
White betta

How to Use Aquarium Salt for Betta Fish

Before using aquarium salt to treat your betta fish, consult on the methods to treat various infections.

Methods of Treatment for Various Infections

Fungal infections

Step 1: Heat tank water to around 77°F.

Step 2: Have a separate container filled with water to dissolve the salt.

Step 3: Add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 1 gallon of water and pour the water into the tank.

Step 4: Change around 80% of the water daily.

Continue with the treatment for 10 days. If the fish still suffer infection, opt for specialized treatment.

Fin rot

Step 1: Fill a separate container with water and add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 1 gallon of water.

Step 2: Stir the salt and add the solution to the aquarium tank. Note that the tank water should be around 75°F.

Step 3: Change about 90% of the water daily and carry out the treatment for 10 days.


Step 1: Heat the tank water to around 85°F.

Step 2: Cover the tank to prevent light and discontinue carbon filtration.

Step 3: Add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 2.5 gallons of water and stir.

Step 4: Add the solution to the tank together with copper sulfate. Then, continue with the dosage for 10 days.


Step 1: Add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 1 gallon of water in a separate container and stir.

Step 2: Add malachite green solution to the tank as a principal ingredient and pour the salt solution into the tank.

Salt Bath Treatment

Step 1: Fill two separate containers with water. Then, add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 1 gallon of water in the first and ¼ in the second containers.

Step 2: Heat the water up to 78°F. Then, place your betta fish in a plastic bag and let it float in the first container for 10 minutes.

Step 3: After 10 minutes, let it swim in the water for 5 minutes

Step 4: With the same plastic bag, let it float for 10 minutes in the second container and allow it to swim in water for 5 minutes.

Step 5: With the plastic bag, let the fish float on the aquarium tank for 10 minutes, then add it to the aquarium water.

Letting the fish float for the first time minimizes shock once added to the new environment.

So, can aquarium salt kill betta fish? The salt may be lethal if added incorrectly. Ideally, observe the fish’s behavior when carrying out the treatments.

If betta fish seem stressed, swimming sideways, or laying on one side, return them to the aquarium tank immediately.

Be keen to observe possible signs of betta fish dying afterwards.

FAQs on Betta

Is Aquarium Salt Good for Betta?

Aquarium salt in the betta fish tank will help in the following ways;

1. Inhibit parasite growth
2. Reduce nitrates and nitrites
3. Improve betta fish slime coat
4. Improve gill function and respiration

When Should You Not Use Aquarium Salt?

If you have scaleless fish in the tank, avoid adding aquarium salt. Secondly, aquarium salt will not treat the following conditions;

1. Swim bladder disorder
2. Bloating
3. Dropsy
4. Popeye

Does Aquarium Salt Help Sick Fish?

Aquarium salt can treat mild fungal and bacterial infections in betta fish.

However, you should have clear information on how to use aquarium salt for betta fish. Failure to do that may expose your fish to danger.


Academia: 3 Betta Fish Diseases You Need to Know

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