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Hi all, I have my first system up and running, It is fully cycled using a fishless cycle and I have a lot of plants growing.   I am about ready to add some Catfish and Bluegill and was wondering if anyone does the Salt Treatment that Murray explains in his video.   I understand from a number of other post that Catfish will not handle the level of Salt that Murray uses, but was interested if anyone does do the salt treatment before they add new fingerlings from the Hatcher



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I don't know what Murray recommends, but I personally recomend that bluegill be transported and quarantined in a 5 ppt salt tank for at least a few days, and a few weeks if there is any visible damage to fish. TC knows her catfish, she'll advise.

Hi Bubba,
I have to say I was primarily thinking of Australian native freshwater fin fish when that DVD was made.  Most if not all our native fish do well in a salt bath. It is a great way to make sure the new fish don't bring any unwanted little problems with them from the hatchery.  Our Ell Tailed Catfish species we use here tandanus tandanus is ok in salt bath and our Murray Cod does really well if the AP system is lightly salted all the time.
Tilapia are fine with a salt bath but some of your (US) species I do not know about I am sorry. I think it is pretty safe to say that there would be very few species that cannot tolerate some salt.

Salt treatment is one of the very few treatments available to us in AP to deal with the common disease or parasite problems our fish may encounter....and it is good and easy to administer and deal with.  Having said that, it is not all that often there is fish disease in a well found AP system, unless it is brought in with new fish from elsewhere,  and why should we be surprised....AP is an ECO system.  Nature in beautiful balance.

Indeed, TCL is the most experienced US aquaponicist on this site, and has considerable experience with US fish species...


Be aware of the difference of salt treatment... typically 1ppt - 6ppt.... and a "salt bath".... which is typically 10ppt - 12ppt, and usually only used for extreme disease treatment.... and usually only for short durations, with vigorous oxygenation, and constant observation...


Bear in mind... 6ppt is about as much as most plants will tolerate... and some, like strawberries, beans, peas.... don't like anything beyond 2-3ppt...


I would advise a hospital/quarantine tank for any salt treatments beyond 3ppt...


From my personal experience, and from what others have related to me.... the Australian native catfish (Tandanus)... has a similar disliking ot any salt levels above 2-3ppt...

As Rupert Says.

The channel catfish I use will show signs of distress at higher salt levels.  Still salt is a good tonic even for them but I would only go as high as 3 ppt for them if I'm seeing signs of disease or injury.  Quarantine in a smaller system when you get new fish is a good idea (if it is cycled up and able to filter for your fish of course.)  My big system I usually won't salt much beyond 1-2 ppt unless the fish are really showing signs of illness.  I might salt to that 1-2 ppt if I'm preparing to move the fish or putting new fish in since the salt will help the slime coat and protect some from net damage to the fish and hopefully speed healing when there are injuries from fish bashing into the net.

As far as how much salt to use with bluegill, I recall reading that 5 ppt is max for both bluegill and channel catfish.  Now from my personal experience I know the catfish can't take salt that high or above gracefully.  I've never salted over 3 ppt for my bluegill either so I can't say much about the 5 ppt recommendation.

Many fish can survive a quick salt dip (I'm talking 30 seconds or less while you stand there and watch them and if they start to tip over you remove them from the high salt immediately.)  Or as Rupert notes the 10-12 ppt salt bath is probably used for 15-30 minutes or less and lots of aeration and you probably still have to sit there with the fish to make sure they don't roll over from too much salt.

I am a bit supporter of quarantine systems however, it is really hard to keep a quarantine system up and ready for a big fish load so it is often impractical for small backyard systems.  Sometimes it makes more sense to simply have two smaller systems (like two 300 gallon systems instead of a single 600 gallon system) so that you can alternate stocking them so if you bring in fish with a disease and have to treat with high levels of salt, at least you don't kill all your plants or if you can't treat, at least the new fish don't infect your other fish and you only loose half the stock instead of all.

Thx all for the responce

Looks like I need to set up some way to  Quarantine fish, but I do not have the time to do it now.

So I think I am going to use Murray's approch of using a Salt Bath  for this first batch of fingerlings.   

So do you think that a 6 -10 ppt for 15-30 min with a lot of Air will be OK for the Catfish?   I also my salt the whole system to about 1 ppt.  


I have 2 300 gal fish tanks my my system that could  be isolated if needed.  But ight now they are all hooked togather in one big system.  So I will work on a plumbing so that I can isolate them if needed.    Also I will put in a small hospital/quarantine tank to quaranitne new fish.  

Hope this all works


Another question .  The fish breader I know suggested keeping some Kordon Ich-Attack on hand in case I had a breakout of ich.  Has anyone used this product before?  I is all natural and organic.  


Thx again for all the help.

If you have quarantined properly then there should be no Ich-Attack, but once again alternate salt treatments in a hospital tank will take care of that problem too.

I would be very cautious about higher salt levels even briefly for channel catfish (they are the only ones I know.)  I wouldn't do it to them as a bath but maybe just a quick dip in the high salt levels before placing into the system.

However, if they are coming from un-salted fresh water, then if you salt your whole system to 3 ppt and keep it there for for the first 3-6 weeks the fish are in, that should stop Ich, especially if your water is already fairly warm.  It will mean no strawberries but they are not usually all that good in a new system anyway unless your pH is already down.

I don't know this Kordon Ich-Attack product.  Is it safe for food fish?  Is it safe for bio-filters?  Is it safe for you to eat?  Since whatever you put in your system can be taken up by the plants and then you eat it.  Just because something is "all natural and organic" does not equate to SAFE.  Lets face it many poisons are also derived from all natural organic sources.

How do you get the salt out of the water if you don't want the concentration to be so high once you're done quarantining (or treating) the fish?  A water change?

Or, if you give them a 30 minute soak in a salt solution do you just scoop them out and put them in your system when they're finished soaking?

Right, to get rid of salt, you would have to do a water  change.

If you are just doing a short soak, bath or dip, do it in a separate container with an air stone so you are not having to change out your water in the system.

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