FISH HEALTH & BIOSECURITY
BIo VX Net Dips

The protection of your valuable stock is essential for the future of your business, club or fishery. 
The provision of net dips at the entrance of your site is one way you can help to safe guard you fish from viral, bacterial and other pathogens.
Bio VX is a fully CEFAS tested disinfectant that is effective against bacteria and viruses including Koi Herpes Virus (KHV).
The powder when mixed with water makes a bright pink liquid which allows you to monitor the dips effectiveness, when the colour starts to fade its time to change your dip.

The dose rate is 1:100 i.e. 1kg of Bio VX powder per 100l of water.
Once the colour has faded the old dip can be disposed of to ground or drain. The scientists at Bio Link, the Environment Agency and CEFAS are happy for this type of disposal their advice given (if drains are not available) is to tip the spent dip onto the ground 50m away from the waters edge. The active ingredients are rapidly degraded in contact with the soil.
The Bio VX is available in 1kg, 5kg and 10kg buckets the prices are £25, £47.50 & £78.00 plus postage and vat.
There are good discounts available for bulk orders.
Do not hesitate to contact us with any queries about Bio Security.

Net Dip Signage

We have two designs of signage to encourage your anglers to use the net dips. 
The large full design with instructions; £25.00 each plus delivery and vat. 
The smaller designs; £15.00 each plus delivery and vat
 
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Rock salt, a chunky substance, comes from underground mines. It's in its natural state and hasn't had impurities removed. Pond salt is a finer grade of sea salt. Its target use, as its name suggests, is in fish ponds.

Ponds and Aquariums
According to the Aquascience Research Group, salt can be a useful additive to ponds and aquariums for the treatment of nitrite poisoning and osmoregulatory stress, the latter being unlikely in a freshwater environment. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, osmoregulation is the "maintenance by an organism of an internal balance between water and dissolved materials regardless of environmental conditions." Osmoregulatory stress occurs when a fish is unable to maintain this internal balance and its system is taxed by a change in the environment. Additional salt can help rebalance.

It is necessary to remember, however, that the addition of salt to a freshwater environment can kill plants and some sensitive fish. 
Many pond supply stores recommend the use of pond salt for maintaining healthy ponds, suggesting that the salt protects the fish from parasites and restores electrolyte levels for healthy gill function. However, Aquaworld Aquarium recommends the use of a salt bath outside the pond or aquarium to address external parasites on fish. Salt can also be used in a quarantine tank to help injured fish with osmoregulation while healing.
Either rock salt or pond salt will work in ponds and aquariums, but pond salt will dissolve more quickly.

Next time your fish is sick, the remedy might not be farther away than your kitchen table. Ordinary salt is a useful remedy for the prevention and treatment of several freshwater fish diseases. It assists in the healing of injuries, promotes formation of slime coating, improves gill function, reduces the uptake of nitrite, and is effective against some parasites.

Before you go overboard using salt, be aware that some of the same benefits can be achieved by using a stress coat product. Furthermore, some plants and species fish cannot tolerate salt, so it must be used with care. In other words, salt is a double-edged sword.

When To Use Salt
Nitrite Poisoning - The addition of one half ounce of salt per gallon of water is beneficial in the prevention of nitrite poisoning in a newly set up tank. Keep in mind that scaleless fish cannot tolerate much, if any, salt.
Parasites - Many parasites can be effectively treated with the use of salt, particularly Costia infestations.

When Not To Use Salt
Live plants - If you live plants in your aquarium, avoid using salt. Plants can be damaged with a relatively low dosage of salt, which is one reason it's best to treat sick fish in a hospital tank rather than your regular tank.
 
Scaleless fish - Scaleless fish, particularly Cordydoras, are very sensitive to salt. Even a small amount could harm them. Tetras are also somewhat sensitive to salt.

Contrary to popular view, it is not advisable to add salt to your aquarium on an ongoing basis unless the fish require brackish water conditions.

Type and Quantity of Salt
Common table salt is suitable, however it should be non-iodized and contain no additives. Rock or Kosher salt are excellent choices, as they are straight sodium chloride with nothing else added.

The quantity will depend on how and what it is used for. A dip is a short exposure that is useful for the eradication of parasites. For dips a 3% solution is generally used for up to a half hour.

Baths are essentially treating the entire tank, and are useful for treatment of stress, nitrite poisoning, as well as some parasites. Salt concentrations for a bath are lower, 1% or less, and are used for up to three weeks.

Performing a Dip
When treating parasites, a dip is the method of choice. Place four teaspoons of salt in a clean bucket, then slowly add one gallon of water from the aquarium, swirling it to dissolve the salt. Once the salt is completely dissolved, place the fish in the bucket for five to thirty minutes. Observe the fish closely, and if any signs of distress are observed, return the fish to the original aquarium immediately.

Performing a Bath
A bath is ideal when treating an entire tank for prevention of nitrite poisoning, or for reduction of stress.

For stress treatment, measure out one teaspoon of salt for each gallon if water in the tank. Using a small container, dissolve the salt in a small quantity of water taken from the tank. Once it is completely dissolved, slowly add the solution to the to the tank.

For treatment and prevention of nitrite poisoning, measure out three teaspoons of salt for each gallon of water in the tank. Using a small container, dissolve the salt in a small quantity of water taken from the tank. Once it is completely dissolved, slowly add the solution to the tank.

When using bath treatments, weekly water changes of 25% should begin one week after initial treatment. Do not add additional salt once bath treatments have begun

I have and still am using several different kinds of water filters some commercial and some homemade. By for the best way to clean water is to run all or part of the water through a gravel bog containing a good number of aquatic plants. (more info on filters) The Illinois River is the best example - gravel - plants - and running water equals clean water. Pollution of all kinds are removed from the river within 1 mile or less.
Another product I use is plain old noniodized salt. Salt starts killing algae at 2 pounds per 100 gallon of water. That is 2 tablespoons per 5 gallons.
The thing to remember is that salt can build up to a toxic level with repeated applications.  Salt is removed only with water change, not by evaporation.

A simple test for salt is to touch your finger to your pond water and then to your tongue. The taste buds cannot detect less than 7 parts per 1000. If you can taste salt there is enough to kill algae.

Fresh water fish need some salt. Salt contains potassium which is a necessary part of fertilizer for the plants. Potassium is not natural in fresh water. Parasites that get on fish go through 3 phases or life cycles. First is the egg, next is a free swimming larvae, and third is the adult that gets on the fish. Salt kills the free swimming larvae.

Salt is a tonic for weak or stressed fish. And is recommended when transporting fish. Salt can be used to disinfect new fish and plants before putting them in your pond. A 10-15 second dip in a 5 gallons of water with 1 pound of salt will kill parasites and algae on fish and plants.
2 - 2 1/2 pounds of salt per 100 gallons detoxifies nitrates (fertilizer). Even Clear water can contain dissolved fertilizers or nitrates. This comes from fish waste and decayed organic matter in the pond. 

When the weather hits 80 º F the water can turn green overnight. A good biofilter will slowly put things right. Salt kills the algae and neutralizes nitrates that feed the algae. This speeds up the bio-filtering process and does not harm the bacteria in the pond.
For string or blanket algae broadcast dry salt directly onto the algae.

Another problem we have is good old black muck on the bottom of the pond. That does not get pumped into the biofilter. One thing I do is put a small catfish in each one of my ponds. They don't compete (or eat) goldfish or Koi. Catfish are night feeders and they plough thru the muck looking for food like bloodworms (1/2 inch aquatic red worms). The pump picks up the stirred up muck and the biofilter catches it.

Another good product is a dry enzyme that works in winter and summer. It is also sold as Rid-X for the septic tank. It eats dead organic matter and does no harm to fish or plants. It should be applied at a rate of 2 oz one time per month. If there is a lot of muck the water will be tinted brown when the black muck is dissolved back into the water it will clear up on its own in a week or so.

For worse than normal problems with dirty water or algae a good solution is to replace the water. Pump out 1/4 - 1/3 of the water and refill the pond one time per week for 3 - 4 weeks. When you pump out 25% of the bad water you get rid of 25% of the problem. It is safe to refill with chlorinated water at this rate

Sodium chloride
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge) [Wikipedia, definition of “Salt (chemistry)”]. There are mineral salts for most minerals. But for the purpose of this article, we are dealing solely with common salt—what we know as table salt, or rock salt, or aquarium salt. This salt is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but it is harmful to animals and plants in excess. Marine salt has other minerals in it too, but it is still “salt” for the purpose of this discussion.

Salt is an irritant, which causes the fish to secrete more mucus particularly in the gills where osmoregulation is occurring. And if salt is not predissolved carefully, it can give fish bad burns; this is especially true for scaleless fish, such as loaches, many catfish and some types of eels. [9]
Salt makes the water denser than the same water without salt. The aquarium contains water. The bodies of fish and plant leaves also contain water, just as we do—humans are approximately 70% water. The water in the aquarium and the water in the fish/plant are separated by a semi-permeable layer which is the cell. Water can and continually does pass through this cell; fish do not “drink” because they don’t have to in order to take in water. When either body of water is denser, the other less-dense body of water will pass through the membrane to equalize the water on both sides. The fish must control this process through what is termed osmoregulation.

Freshwater Fish Physiology
Salt definitely interferes with the osmotic regulation of fish and plants. It should be left alone; nature regulated that part itself, by creating freshwater, brackish and saltwater fish. The vast majority of freshwater fish live in waters having no measurable salinity, and this has been crucial in the evolution of their physiology. Fresh water fish differ physiologically from salt water fish in several respects: their gills must be able to diffuse dissolved gasses while keeping the salts in the body fluids inside; their scales reduce water diffusion through the skin; and they also have well developed kidneys to reclaim salts from body fluids before excretion.

Freshwater fish have physiological mechanisms that permit them to concentrate salts within their bodies in a salt-deficient environment; marine fish, on the other hand, excrete excess salts in a hypertonic environment. Fish that live in both environments retain both mechanisms. Freshwater fish concentrate salts to compensate for their low salinity environment. They produce very dilute but copious urine—up to a third of their body weight each day—to rid themselves of excess water, while conducting active uptake of ions at the gills. [2]

The kidneys of freshwater fish have two functions: osmoregulation [discussed below] and hematopoiesis, which is the formation of blood celular components. Each fish species is adapted to the range of salts in its habitat water, and the kidneys function well within that range. The kidneys have to work harder whenever the salt content of the water in which the fish is living is greater than that of the fish’s preference, i.e., the natural habitat. The closer the water is to the species’ requirements, the easier it will be for the fish to maintain proper osmotic levels. One of the myths about the “benefit” of regular addition of salt is that it allegedly maintains an osmoregulatory balance; in point of fact, regular use of salt has the exact opposite effect and can cause bloating due to an osmotic imbalance. [3]

Osmoregulation is the technical term for the physiological mechanism fish use to control the amount of salt and water in their bodily fluids. As the name suggests, it’s based on osmosis. Water is constantly passing through the cells of freshwater fish by osmosis in an attempt to equate the water inside the fish with the water in the aquarium. Freshwater fish regularly excrete this water through respiration and urination; the average fish will urinate 30% of its body mass every day. The more salt in the aquarium water, the greater the strain on the fish’s kidneys, which in turn adds to the fish’s stress in attempting to maintain their internal stability.

And salinity affects the amount of energy the fish must spend to maintain the physiological equilibrium—the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of the fish’s blood steady, its tissues fed, and the immune system functioning. When salinity increases beyond what the fish is designed by nature to handle, the fish must work harder and use more energy just to “keep going.” Laura Muha [4] likens this to driving a car up a steep hill—it takes more energy (gas) to maintain the same speed as driving on level ground, and it causes more “wear and tear.” This increased energy output is wearing down the fish, and the fish is not able to expend this crucial energy on other important functions. The growth rate is affected, a shorter lifespan will usually result, and there will be increased risk of various health problems along the way.

Fish and plants from mineral-poor waters do not appreciate being kept in slightly saline water conditions. Many of the most popular fish today, like Cardinal Tetra and rasbora, come from soft water habitats. Short term exposure to low salt concentrations across a few days or a couple of weeks may not do them major harm, but constant use of salt in their aquaria could cause problems. [5] In Weitzman et al. (1996), the authors mention that 100 ppm of salt is the maximum that can be tolerated by most characins, and some species show considerable stress leading to death at a level of 60 ppm. [6] To put this in perspective, 100 ppm is approximately equal to 0.38 gram of salt per gallon of water. One level teaspoon holds approximately six grams of salt, so just 1 teaspoon of salt in 16 gallons of water will cause stress, and in some species lead to death.
Another problem is that salt increases the total dissolved solids [TDS] in the water. An aquarium treated with one teaspoon of salt per gallon of water will have an established dose of 2400 ppm. Add to this the TDS occurring from calcium and magnesium salts [these make water “hard”], water conditioners and other additives, and you can end up with over 3000 ppm of TDS. [10] This is intolerable for most fish; even the very hard water in the African rift lakes does not contain more than 600 ppm TDS. And for fish from naturally soft and acidic water environments, this is very dangerous, for nowhere in nature does acidic water exist with a level of TDS anywhere near this. And the deviation from normal osmotic pressure that this creates is very harmful to all fish.

Keeping the tank salty all the time will not help with disease resistance in freshwater fish; in fact, it will actually increase the fishes’ susceptibility to disease and parasites by keeping the fish somewhat stressed all the time, and this weakens the immune system. And at the low level of salt generally recommended for these so-called benefits, there will be no benefit that cannot be achieved solely with regular water changes using a good conditioner.

Using salt to increase water hardness
Although plain aquarium/tonic salt (sodium chloride) is sometimes suggested as a good way to increase hardness and improve buffering, it in fact provides very little of either. Marine salt mix, on the other hand, will raise the pH and carbonate hardness quite significantly. But it also raises the salinity, something most freshwater fish do not appreciate. If you live in a soft water area and want to keep hard water fish, using marine salt mix is not really a viable option. Rift Valley cichlids, in particular, seem to be peculiarly sensitive to salt, and elevated salinity levels have been identified as one factor responsible for the dropsy-like disease known as Malawi Bloat (Andrews, et al. 1988). [7]

Fish lore also has it that salt is good for use with mollies, other livebearers and Goldfish. David Lass [8] notes that the vast majority of livebearers, including mollies of all types and colors, and sailfins, come from the Far East. They have been raised for generations in water that is moderately hard, and of neutral pH. These tropical fish are very far removed from the wild mollies that came from brackish water. All of the sailfin and lyretail mollies, balloon bellies, blacks, reds, and dalmations do fine without salt. The same with Goldfish. The main confusion is that tropical fish need alkalinity. Salt is just one part of alkalinity.

Although NaCl is not composed of any truly “hard” ions, it does raise the total dissolved solids in the water, and these contribute to raise general hardness. This is not well tolerated by a number of fish, especially true softwater fish from places like the Amazon River basin, where there are very few electrolytes of any kind in the water. Salt can have an unpredictable effect on softwater fish, since there are no bodies of water in Nature which are naturally saline (high in NaCl) while being very low in “true” hardness ion concentration (calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc.). [9]

Salt and Plants: When salt is added to the aquarium water, the water inside the plant cells is less dense so it escapes through the cells. The result is that the plant literally dries out, and will wilt. I’ve so far been unable to find a measurement of how much salt will be detrimental to plants; all authorities I have found do note that some species are more sensitive than others, and all recommend no salt in planted aquaria.

Domestic water softeners: Domestic water softeners do not produce soft water in the sense that aquarists mean. What domestic water softeners do is remove the temporary hardness (such as carbonates) that potentially furs up pipes and heaters by replacing it with permanent hardness (such as chlorides) that does not. While you can pass this softened water through a reverse-osmosis filter to remove the permanent hardness as well, until you have done so, you shouldn’t consider the softened water as being suitable for soft water fish.

In fact, aquarists are divided on whether the resulting softened water is safe for keeping fish at all. The odd balance of minerals in softened water is not typical of any of the environments from which tropical fish are collected. While the chloride levels are much higher than those soft water fish are adapted to, the levels of carbonate hardness are too low for the health of hard water fishes like Rift Valley cichlids, Goldfish, and livebearers. So the safe approach is not to use it in any aquarium, and instead draw water from the unsoftened drinking water source in the kitchen

Used by some the UK's leading carp anglers under the radar for years, and now available to all. Nash Rock Salt Crystals provide a baiting edge like no other. Carp naturally require minerals found within Rock Salt and absolutely crave the stuff.

Check out Kevin's DVD The Final Account to see the results of some mind blowing feeding responses. Add one crystal to a PVA bag, catapult a single crystal over your rig every few hours, or add a crystal to spod mixes.

GUIDELINES FOR SAFE USE OF ROCK SALT
ONLY use Nash Rock Salt or human grade Rock Salt (edible for humans) and not the types used to clear roads. The road friendly versions are loaded full of harmful chemicals and should not be used for fishing.

Be considerate when using Rock Salt. As with some other baits such as maggots excessive use can be detrimental to the aquatic environment. Use it as an edge, not to turn freshwater lakes into salt-water lagoons