I think she got it from my question about how to change the water properly with salt.
I had mentioned that for treating a fish with ick, you use a little salt, (1 tsp per gallon) and do a 100% water change every day along with ramping the heat up. You should not do this for more than 10 days. Salt is for short term only.
Google it it will clearly says it can cause kidney problems.
Dear betta fish girl, truth is the internet sources are never to be trusted a 100%, many people say different things but trust this forum when we say that AQ salt has been a proved method for curing or helping against certain diseases.
The person who knows this best is none other than OldFishLady, she uses conservative methods of curing betta fish, never medication and she has always used natural remedies like aq salt, indian almond leaves and temperature to help the betta's natural defense system to fight against the illness.
It is indeed a proven fact that Aq salt increases the production of slime coat, and makes it hard for bacteria and fungus to reproduce. Thus why it is used for conservative methods against fungus and fin rot. Or even parasites.
But like anything, in excess is bad, thus the 10 day limit and 1 tsp per gallon rule.
I have used Aq salt, during severe fin damage to avoid infection, and my betta is fine.
First, answering the OP's original question - salt baths tend not to do much, what you are wanting would be having them in the salt solution for a certain extended time. The quick "baths" that you dip them in really do not do much.
For AQ salt, 14 days is the maximum amount of time they should be in for, 10 days is the average of what is recommended. AQ salt is for external problems such as ich, external parasites, fungus, fin rot, etc..
For Epsom salt there is no time period as it is very gentle on the fish, they can be in it indefinitely. Epsom is best for internal problems such as SBD, popeye, bloating, constipation.
Both are used the same way - 1-3 tsp per gallon, daily 100% water changes readding in the salt + water conditioner. You don't want to mix the two salts together. Some medications do not do well with AQ salt when used at the same time.
Bettafix is a watered down formula of Melafix - which has an ingredient that has been known to harm the betta's labyrinth organ. Many believe it should never be used (both Bettafix and Melafix) on a fish that uses the labyrinth organ.. there have been many cases of bettas becoming ill or even passing when exposed to the medication.
I am leaning more towards improper use rather than the medication itself is deadly- as it's very easy to overdose on it as most people use smaller containers to house the ill betta in, and measurements can easily be wrong. It's a harsh medication, so one has to be very careful when using it.
Bettas are sensitive when it comes to medications, as are most all fish... so it's recommended to be very careful when using any medication. Why most will tell you to try Epsom or AQ salt first as they are safer and easier on the organs.
Bettafix is a huge debate in the betta world - I personally would never use it as there is just too much controversy to ignore.. no other medication (involving bettas) have this large debate going on.
The salts, General Cure and the Maracyn products are all safer to use, and do the same (if not more) that bettafix does. So do research before using medication, as there is usually always a better alternative.
Bettafix is like those "betta water conditioners".. not any different than a normal water conditioner, but was created to get people who did not know any better to purchase their conditioner.
The medication may not be ideal, but it was created to bring money to the company rather than to help fish - they just wanted a different source of buyers as they were seeing people who owned exclusively bettas were not purchasing their Melafix.
So all in all = AQ salt has potential to harm the kidenys/liver, but that is when they are over exposed, or exposed constantly. When used properly, AQ salt is very helpful and safe.
Melafix is not ideal.. it may not directly kill your betta, but it has potential to do some serious harm if not extremely careful.
wow bettagirl, so harsh! i personally have used aqsalt to heal my betta. he had swimbladder and something else ( i don't know what it was but i thought it was ick). I read the articles that you posted and they say nothing against using the salt for medication. it warns against prolonged usage. if you treat the fish properly, then there is no need to fear the aqsalt. and thank you myates, it was time for someone to actually answer the question at hand.
Just throwing in my experience, my ONE TIME experience with Bettafix......
Betta was clamped for days, floating on his side at the surface. I had no idea what was wrong with him. Being a newb, I bought the Bettafix and AQ salt. I put him in 2 gallons with the correct amount of salt AND Bettafix both at the same time. He lived in this for 2 days and recovered beautifully. Has been fine ever since.
I have no idea what he was sick with. I will keep the Bettafix and use it again if I feel it necessary.
From reading the forum I learned that epsom salt, not AQ salt, will be better to use if your betta is having bowel problems.