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#47080 - 03/11/04 08:38 AM Salt?
Bill Duggan Offline

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 624
Loc: Flatrock, Ga.
Friend of mine has a 2.5 acre pond about 50 miles from my pond. It is about 10 years old. I have seen pictures of some of the fish caught and they are impressive.

Many of his management tools are different than what we usually see posted here, such as he has never added AG lime to his pond but does add 50 pounds of hydrated lime twice a year. He also adds cottonseed meal along with fertilizer each spring. Says he manages the pond the way his grandfather did.

He told me something yesterday I have never heard of, each spring and summer 50 pounds of cow salt is added to the pond. I called my local feed and seed store to ask about cow salt. It is added to cow feed as a supplement, but he mostly sells it as a rack building salt to deer hunters. He has never heard of its use in a pond.

Here is what is in it
Vitamins A, D-3, E

Cost is about $12.00 per 50 pound bag.

Anyone ever heard of this and does it make and sense?

#47081 - 03/11/04 10:52 AM Re: Salt?
Dave Davidson Offline

Registered: 04/22/02
Posts: 1892
Loc: Hurst & Bowie Texas
Bill, I talked to a local catfishing operation where people fish for catfish and pay by the pound. He also sells stocker fish and furnishes a lot of tilapia to local eateries. He says he uses a lot of salt in his ponds. He says it cuts down on diseases. I don't recall how much he uses but remember that it sounded like an awful lot. As he put it, one sick ten pounder costs him a lot of money. Then, when he has tilapia illnesses, it can really hurt.

#47082 - 03/11/04 10:57 AM Re: Salt?
ken Offline

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
have to see what the pro's have to say. i use 2 50# bags of hydrated lime in arce pond twice a year, spring and fall. it kills filamentous algae on contact. same here oldtimer told me to use it lol. he said never use it when the fish are spawnig. it helps on all the leaves i get too. which i'm gunna reduce alot of that problem this spring, left way to many trees by the pond. for $12 for 50# if it makes the fish healthy sounds like a deal. \:\)
i only wanted to have some fun

#47083 - 03/11/04 10:59 AM Re: Salt?
Bill Duggan Offline

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 624
Loc: Flatrock, Ga.
Dave, I think the purpose of the cow salt is the nutrients provided which would not be in plain salt.

Hydrated lime kills filamentous algae, thats a whole new topic!!!!

#47084 - 03/11/04 08:34 PM Re: Salt?
Cecil Baird1 Offline
Hall of Fame


Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Salt is considered the "aspirin" of aquaculture. It is used for everything from being added to hauling water to reduce osmotic stress, to treatment for disease and parasites, to determining very accurately the volume of water in a pond. It's one of the few compounds that is considered safe to be used on fish raised for food (GRAS - Generally Regarded as Safe).

However, even though I have used salt in my hauling tank, dip treatments, and a very small holding pond, I am skeptical that 50 pounds would be significant at all in an average size pond although I have no doubt the catfish farmer uses it at much higher rates.

One drawback I found to treating some crappie fingerlings in my small holding pond, is some small trees around it started having problems. However they did not die and I will be moving them soon.

Here's a good publication to read regarding the use of salt in raising fish:

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.

#47085 - 03/16/04 10:05 PM Re: Salt?
harvey dupriest Offline

Registered: 11/03/02
Posts: 187
Loc: Ben Wheeler Tx.
Bill - what's the difference between Hydrated Lime & regular AG Lime

#47086 - 03/17/04 06:29 AM Re: Salt?
Bill Duggan Offline

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 624
Loc: Flatrock, Ga.
Harv, hope I have this right. Hydrated lime is Calcium Hydroxide(mostly used in construction), AG lime is Calcium Carbonate. Both will raise alkalinity but in different ways. AG lime binds to the soil and is slow to disolve into the water, Hydrated lime is disolved into the water as soon as it is added.

AG lime
Pros; Only needs to be applied every 3-5 years
Cons; Need special equipment to apply

Hydrated Lime
Pros; Easy to apply
Moderate yearly expense
Will quickly raise alkalinity

Cons; Will last only about 6 weeks
Too much Hydrated Lime=fish kill

The only use I can see for Hydrate Lime is if it not feasible because of location or access to apply AG lime.

#47087 - 03/17/04 03:37 PM Re: Salt?
Ric Swaim Offline

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 1902
Loc: Surry Co NC
I'd say you got it right.
I've heard of some local trout pond owners throwing a 50# block of salt in their ponds once or twice a year. This is the same blocks that are placed in cow pastures. Is that what your friend is talking about?
Pond Boss Subscriber & Books Owner

If you can read this ... thank a teacher. Since it's in english ... thank our military!

#47088 - 03/17/04 09:39 PM Re: Salt?
jbrockey Offline

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 293
Loc: South Central VA
Just in case anyone might find it usefull, I looked up the method for using salt(NaCl) to measure water volume. Applying 45 pounds of NaCl into one acre-foot will raise the chloride concentration 1 ppm. So for example if you had a chloride concentration of 20ppm, you added 900 lbs of NaCl, and you ended up with 25ppm, then you would have 4 acre-feet of water. (amount applied/45)/(final chloride ppm - original chloride ppm) = acre-feet of water

It is also used to protect fish when nitrite levels rise too high. Concentrations of about 5 or 6 ppm of chloride to every 1ppm of nitrite can help prevent nitrite from entering through thier gills.
Take great care of it, or let someone else have it.

#47089 - 03/17/04 11:30 PM Re: Salt?
TyW33 Offline

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 310
Loc: Mankato, MN
One thing that no one mentioned is that salt reduces the amount of dissolved oxeygen in water. Also salt does not leave your pond. I have heard of a freshwater lake in canada that has such a high salt concentration that it experiences winter kill every year. Some salt in always present in fresh water, and salt is very useful in holding and transporting tanks. A basic salinity meter (the type that measures the water's density) is availabile at every aquarium store, this would easily give you an idea of the salt concentration in your pond and holding tanks or any where else you use salt.

Here is a MSDS for Ca(OH)2, note that it is toxic to rats (in fairly large doeses) and can cause burns. Ofcourse after it is dissolved in water is a completly diffrent compound, that shouldn't hurt a fly. http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/CA/calcium_hydroxide.html

Does anyone know How it kills algae? Once it is in solution it should just be "OH-" ions and "Ca++" ions, which should already be in your pond.

#47090 - 03/17/04 11:42 PM Re: Salt?
ken Offline

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 350
Loc: ohio
i think the salt Bill is talking about is really a type of feed for cows NO i'll ask my buddy who raises beef cows.
i only wanted to have some fun

#47091 - 03/18/04 07:05 AM Re: Salt?
Bill Duggan Offline

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 624
Loc: Flatrock, Ga.
The cow salt I am talking about is granular not a "salt lick" and is an additive to feed. I am not saying my friend is correct but he is adding it to the pond more for the minerals and vitamins than the salt benefits.

Yesterday I did buy a bag but not for the pond, this weekend a handfull goes in my deer feed.


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