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Old 09-27-2012, 08:22 PM   #1 
toad's Avatar
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Location: Connecticut
Lightbulb Differences in salt treatments?

Hi guys. I don't have any sick fish right now, but for my own future reference, I am hoping someone can tell me the difference between aquarium salt and epsom salt treatments, and why you'd choose one over the other.

I've read on here that epsom salt is safer for the fish, while aquarium salt can only be used for 7-10 days before it causes organ damage. Why would we not opt for epsom salt treatment in all cases, if it is safer?

Thanks :)
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:34 PM   #2 
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Epsom Salt- It is used for internal issues for fish and humans. You actually just need magnesium sulfate in use. This can be used to 12 days maximum as it won't hurt the organs as much. As said, this is used for INTERNAL problems.
Aquarium Salt- It is used for external issues such as parasites and fungal infections. This can be used up to 10 days maximum as this has an ingredient that will somewhat damage their organs.

OFL told me that Epsom Salt is better than Aquarium Salt for sickness as it has a anti fungal properties. Or at least that's what I remembered.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #3 
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Thank you very much, Lebron! :)
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #4 
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Aquarium salt (Sodium chloride)-I like to use this more for external problems and external parasites with salt tolerant fish-I like to limit the use to 10 days with 14 days max in special cases. Some plants and fish can't tolerate salt.
It is a great product to use for the right reason, duration and dosage. I use it in dosages of 1tsp-3tsp/gallon depending on what I am treating.

Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) I like to use this for internal problems and internal parasites, however, it will work for external issues as well-If the Betta has both internal and external issues I will use Epsom salt. Epsom salt is plant tolerant and it is safe to use long term with both Bettas and plants if needed. I dose it 1tsp-3tsp/gallon.

Both have antibacterial/fungal properties
Filtration will NOT remove salts from the water-only manual removal from water changes will remove it.

When I treat with either-I also like to use a tannin source-either IAL (1 large crushed/gal) or Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal)
The tannins also have antibacterial/fungal properties, help ease stress, toughen fins/scales and can lower pH a tiny bit over time.
The longer the tannin source steeps-the more tannins released-the darker the water-the more the Betta will like it.
*Note-water temp over 110F can kill the antibacterial/fungal properties in the tannins

I like to use small QT containers and premix treatment water for treatments-this give you more control, ease of water changes, observation and to provide the therapeutic dosage when making partial water changes-
Premixing the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water also allows the tannin source time to steep and the salts to dissolve-control....

Tannin source-
IAL (Indian almond leaf)-usually you have to get this online

Oak leaf-naturally dried and fallen from the tree....This is what I use since I have lots of native Oak trees in my yard.

*Note-since tannins are a natural product-you can't overdose it

Nutrition is really important and often the one thing that is neglected-You want good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals and if you have access to live mosquito larva-this is even better since it can provide nutrients that can help boost the immune response.

I like to treat in water temp of 76-77F with the max of 78F due to bacteria development-except with external parasites.

I like to cover the QT with plastic veggie wrap to help retain heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ with internal problems-especially buoyancy-Often labyrinth organ problems S/S will be the same as swim bladder, bloat and constipation.

Too cool/dry air over the water can cause problems for some Bettas-especially Betta that are already compromised.

When using natural treatments it is important to treat the Betta and environment as a whole-By giving them the tools to support the immune response.
Since stress is one of the biggest factors that can compromise the immune response-I limit water changes to no more than 50% for the treatment period-except with external parasites like Ich and velvet.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #5 
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Thanks, OFL! I will be copy/pasting this to a file on my hard drive in case I ever need to find it quickly :)
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