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Old 11-02-2012, 02:48 PM   #1 
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Location: Tampa, FL
Aquarium vs epsom salt?

There's so much information on aquarium salt, but I'm having more trouble finding anything on epsom salt (even on this forum).

I know the chemical differences, what I'm looking for is what exactly each treats and how much epsom to use. It seems to be agreed that aquarium salt is a tsp per gallon, but for epsom I've seen everything from 1/8tsp per gallon to 3tsp per gallon.

I'm asking because I'm not entirely certain what is wrong with my fish, and figured that a salt bath or just adding a bit to his tank would be a good way to try and treat him without jumping to every medication out there. I posted a thread a little while ago showing concern, but nothing seemed to be wrong so I let it go. Over the past two days it's gotten to the point where all my fish does is lay on the bottom of the tank, usually on his side, occasionally coming up for air. He doesn't look bloated but he won't eat. His color also doesn't seem any paler and his fins (from what I can tell since he isn't swimming much) are intact.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 81F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None (other than the plant)

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets once per day

How often do you perform a water change? One 30-50% change once every 5 days or so, full cleaning twice a month.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? See above.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner, currently aqueon.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
See above.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? See above
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3-4 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure of age, owned since June after old fish died.

By this information and the S/S....IMO-it might be related to the water movement and possible water quality issues.

With some of the long fin males the filter/water movement can be the cause of behavior you are seeing-along with a sexually mature male Betta being a species that generally isn't that active to start with. Adult males generally are not in constant movement-they should respond to you by perking up, swimming, begging for food, waging their tail...etc.....On occasion they will patrol their environment hunting and looking for intruders-but generally they are not all that active.

With water movement-especially with the abnormal long heavy fins-can sometimes make it harder for them to swim and it can sometimes cause fin damage. Kinda like the flag in the wind effect. Some males can be more sensitive than others to the water movement regarding activity level, feeding, nest building, stress and fin damage. The stress can often cause immune response issue that can change activity levels as well.

Then water quality-in 2.5gal filtered tanks-I recommend twice weekly 50% water changes to maintain water quality. Of 1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate cleaning by vacuum or stir and dip method.
Filter media needs a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month.

Without a filter-water changes of twice weekly-1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality.

While the 2.5gal filtered tank can establish a nitrogen cycle-due to the limiting factors of the beneficial bacteria the cycle might not be stable and why twice weekly partial water changes are still recommend-regardless of cycling stage/completeness.

What I would recommend- remove the filter and make a 50% water only change for a couple of days and see if this will perk him up and get him eating...

I wouldn't treat at this point with either aquarium salt or Epsom salt-Both of these products are great to use for the right reason, duration and dosage.

Keep us posted

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 11-02-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:46 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the info. He used to be so energetic and would constantly swim and explore...
Unfortunately I posted that question from my phone while I was out today and when I got home he had already passed.
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