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Old 04-05-2011, 05:54 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
AQ Salt vs Epsom Salt, What's the difference?

First off I am a Salt Newb (never purchased salt for fish), so just curious as I notice lots of Salt related topics daily. In my casual readings I come upon posters recommending these salts as a cure or maintenance routine.

So based on my readings, AQ salt is bought at the fish store and Epsom Salt is sold at the pharmacy, what's the general rule of thumb regarding the usage of these salt varieties? Why use one or the other when it relates to our betta's?

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Old 04-05-2011, 10:23 PM   #2 
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From my understanding (I am no salt-expert) AQ salt is used for common ailments. It kills of some fungus's, bacteria and other nasties. Some people use it to prevent disease because of these properties, others say using it this way will cause kidney disease and causes using it if your fish does get sick to be much less effective. I don't use it as a preventative for that reason. I have successfully used it for tailrot and fungus.

Epsom salt is not actually salt (NACl) but magnesium sulfate. It is used to treat humans for swelling and bruising. It is not studied very deeply for fish, so it is not at fish stores. I have only seen it recommended for fish with popeye. It pulls out the fluid causing the swelling to go down. It has worked and shows no ill effects to my knowledge. I have used it with success for popeye.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:03 AM   #3 
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I believe epsom is also used as a laxative, for fish and humans
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:08 AM   #4 
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Aq is sodium chloride, which is used to cure open wounds. In addition, out is a de stressor. Considering its salt nature, it discourages bacterial and some protozoan and parasitic growth.aquarium salt is usually dosed at 1 tsp/gallon, with a te dose after each 100% water change, which should be done frequently if your fish is ill in order to keep bacteria, etc at bay. It can be done in much higher doses, up to 3tsp/gallon in serious situations, but only under recommendation or when experienced.
It should not be used for more than ten days.

Epsom (unscented) , like in humans, is a natural remedy for constipation. It is dosed, like Aq, at 1 tsp/gallon the first one our two days, then dosed higher. I can't remember what the dosing schedule is right now, but ofl shares the directions frequently in constipation/dropsy threads.

Also, aq's salt crystals are much larger than the epsom, which are very fine. Both need to be pre dissolved in tank water before added to the water.

I believe cory cats or catfish on general are sensitive to either both kind or just Aq.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:43 AM   #5 
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Thank you for the responses all.

What about plants, does salt kill live plants?
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:54 AM   #6 
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Salt can and will kill live plants if used long term.Some plants are more sensitive than others. I have used a few live plants in a few of my quarantine tanks..I usually add one plant in there for the fish to rest on..I have noticed if I am just doing 1/2tsp-1 tsp for 7 days the plant will normally survive ( I normally have wisteria and anubias in there.). It will look a bit wilty but it normally perks up afterwards with fresh water and fertilizer. I plan on getting a few fake plants for my QT. tanks for this reason though. I know salt is not good for plants. I don't recommend using aquarium salt with live plants.I just hate seeing my fish in an empty tank with nothing to rest on, and I don't have any fake plants yet. I wouldn't add aquarium salt to my 10 gallon planted tank though..That would be disastrous! I know cabomba, mosses and hornwort MELT with even the littlest bit of salt.
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