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I heard salt is good for my pond. Can I run my water softener discharge into my pond? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Q: I heard salt is good for my pond. Can I run my water softener discharge into my pond?

Q: I heard salt is good for my pond. Can I run my water softener discharge into my pond?

Chris – Eureka, MO

A: No, that’s not a good idea. Resourceful, but it’s not safe for your fish. Water softening products often have additives in addition to the salt. Even at low doses, these additives can be harmful to your pond’s inhabitants.

Believe it or not, there’s a lot to know about salt. Here’s a quick primer about the different types of salt and what’s best for your fish.

Salt 101

Salt comes in several forms, including rock salt (halite), solar salt (sea salt), evaporated salt (refined salt), iodized salt and packaging salt. The first three are the kinds most commonly used in water softeners.

  • Rock Salt: The most popular salt used in softeners, rock salt, or halite, is mined from underground deposits by drilling and blasting. Being raw and unrefined, you can imagine the other kinds of minerals and impurities that hitchhike along with the sodium chloride.
  • Solar Salt: Commercial solar salt is produced by natural evaporation of seawater or brine in large, diked, earthen concentration ponds called condensers. Though the end product can be up to 99 percent pure sodium chloride and has become a favorite among food gourmands, the sea salt also contains minerals and other impurities.
  • Evaporated Salt: The purest grade of salt, evaporated salt is manufactured using a system of pans that boil away the water from salt brine. The brine, which can itself be purified, is crystallized under controlled conditions often in plants that resemble food processing plants. The process has two steps: obtaining the brine, usually from a solution mine, and then thermally reducing it to crystallized salt.

Salt for Your Fish

Pond Logic® Pond Salt, which is a special form of evaporated salt, is the purest form of sodium chloride and is created specifically for use in your pond.

Adding pond salt to the water reduces the stress on the fish by assisting the fish’s osmoregulation, making it easier for the fish to maintain itself physiologically in the water. It reduces fish stress, adds essential electrolytes, improves gill function and protects against common pond toxins. In fact, most diseases suffered by fish can be cured and prevented by simply adding pond salt.

Salt is a great addition to your pond, but careful to only apply as directed, particularly if you have plants in the water. Be sure to monitor your salt levels by using a salt tester, which will instantly measure your water’s salinity.

Pond Talk: How has pond salt helped your fish? Do you have a story to share?

Instantly Measure Salt Levels - Salt Level Tester

8 Responses

  1. HI CHRIS, MY POND HAS A LINER. IT HOLDS 3,000 GALLONS OF WATER. THERE IS 8.5 TONS OF ROCK IN IT. I CLEAN THE POND EVERY YEAR, DRAINING HALF OF THE WATER OUT. I ADD A 25 LBS.
    BLOCK OF SALT TO IT EVERY YEAR. IT HELPS TO CONTROL ALL DIFFERENT TYPES OF DISEASES, MAINLY I LIKE IT TO KILL ANY DISEASE ON THE ROCKS. IT KILLS & PROTECTS FROM FIN ROT.
    THE FISH SCRATCH THEM SELVES ON IT.

    NEVER ADD SOFTENER SALT TO A POND. ANIMALS EAT SALT BLOCKS, NOT SOFTENER BLOCKS, WRONG KIND OF SALT CONTENT. ALWAYS READ OR ASK BEFORE ADDING ANYTHING TO YOUR POND. IF ADDING WATER DO IT SLOWLY, MINE TAKES ( 3 – 4 ) HOURS !!!!! YOUR FISH WILL LIKE IT & HELPS TO CONTROL BACTERIA !!!

    YOUR PONDERING FRIEND — GREG JOHNSON

  2. can I use pond salt if I have snails in pond ?

  3. Anyone who puts salt in freshwater needs to do a little research and get an exam. Salt on freshwater fish? something is wrong here. Research some of the articles written by leading koi vets. Salt eventually kills the livers of the fish, not to mention creating “superbugs”. Bacteria and parasites that become resistant to salt treatments.

  4. I have only recently noticed small goldfish swimming around with the big ones. I guess the fish stork showed up over the spring, my question to you is will they survive the cold northeast winter in the pond

    • Hi Declan – If your large fish overwinter in your pond, the babies should do just fine. You will likely see fewer come spring time but that is nature’s way of keeping things in balance.

  5. Salt does come in many forms and the only one you mentioned is sodium chloride. There are calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate salts as well which are better additives than sodium chloride especially if your fish prefer hard water as my African cichlids do.

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