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Old 02-12-2014, 09:04 AM   #1 
Kiara1125
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Thumbs up Epsom Salt Bath Guide

I didn't know where to put this, but I thought people should be able to find the recipe for salt baths a lot easier. Why not post the directions for your betta(s) here instead of having them look elsewhere? Feel free to share your own personal recipe for epsom salt baths and share your accomplishments.

Directions

Epsom salt can be added to the tank but only a VERY small amount and not for longer than 7-10 days. A small amount as in 1/4-1/2tsp per 10g. For a bath, add 1tsp/g for 15-20 mins then remove the fish back to the tank. Long term use of epsom can cause anemia which is why baths are preferred.

What I do for epsom salt baths is take a 1g bowl and fill it with clean, luke warm water (so it doesn't shock the fish) and then add 1tsp of epsom salt to the bowl. Let it mix and then dump the fish in and leave him there for the appropriate amount of time. Then, empty out 2/3 of the water and add 2/3 of new water and do not add salt. After 5 minutes or so, you can just net him out and put him back into the tank. Do not dump the water from the bowl into the tank.

Fish will have different reactions to the epsom salt bath. I've heard how some fish will lay down, which is very common. It will be stressful/unnerving for the owner, but the fish is fine. My bettas have always continued to swim around normally. They may relax at the bottom, but they never lay on their sides. It varies from fish to fish. I've cured bloat, SBD, and even dropsy (TWICE!) with this method.

I hope this helps a lot to anyone and everyone who owns fish. Happy fish keeping!

Pictures

Bloat


Swim Bladder Disorder


Dropsy



Well, that's all I can think of right now. If anyone has any more to add, then please do. I hope this helps people out, whether new into the hobby or experienced. It's always good to have this recipe for epsom salt saved somewhere.

None of the pictures are mine. Copyright goes to original owners.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:43 AM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Epsom Salt can also be used to elevate fluid build up in tumors similar to the way it does for Dropsy mode fish. Epsom salt being a laxative will draw out the fluids in tumors (and Dropsy) making it more comfortable for the fish. It is, in no way, a cure for tumors or for the most part, Dropsy but it helps the fish be more comfortable as it lives out the rest of its life.

For fish with tumors Epsom can be used at a dosage of .5 teaspoons per gallon, indefinitely. Frequent water changes will help keep minerals in the fish while the Epsom draws out the fluids. I would recommend for most larger tanks (3-10 gallons) for water changes at least twice weekly of 50% if not more to help keep the fish comfortable. This is a general guideline, as Kiara has pointed out each fish is different and will react differently to every situation so you will have to tailor this to your own fish if this time comes.

Also it is easy to mix up tumors with other diseases such as cysts and Lympho at times, be sure to consult others before deciding on a medication or salt in case that it is something treatable where tumors generally are not treatable. In larger fish it is easier to draw out the liquids with a syringe but obviously with Bettas being so small, this is a difficult process and should ONLY be done by a practiced vet, never yourself as you can harm your fish.

Also on the note of Dropsy and salt, I just felt it would be a good place to put this here. Dropsy is not a disease in an of itself but a symptom of something else. In MOST situations this is organ failure of either the liver or kidney's or both. Both the liver and kidneys are essential for the fish to live and when being overloaded with medicines, chemicals and other unnatural things these two organs can shut down; causing fluid back up that normally flows through the organs. The liver and kidneys both help to purify the water as it passes through the fish, think of them as filters that make the water healthy for the fish. But if they are bombarded with medications, chemicals, salts and other things they can shut down.

Now rarely this is not the case but Dropsy can also be caused by bacterial infections, this is why we throw in KanaPlex or some other broad spectrum medication in case that it is not organ shut down. I know this can seem counter productive if it is indeed the other part of Dropsy; the organ failure but there is still chances that it is not organ shut down and just bacteria. KanaPlex is recommended for this process because it is not as harsh of a medication as opposed to Furan-2 or the Maracyn I & II combinations. KanaPlex is also newer to the market making it more effective on most bacterial infections than the other three medications mentioned here, it is not the all cure unfortunately though so it should still be reserved for serious illnesses and diseases. Overuse can cause bacteria to eventually become resistant to the medication rendering it useless.

So a dose of KanaPlex, preferably 3 teaspoons per gallon of ES (built up over gradual time, do not put it in all at once!) and daily water changes to keep the fishes minerals in them is what is recommended for Dropsy.

(Sorry for the novel here Kiara, just seemed like a good place to place it. We can move if you'd like Kiara!)
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:47 AM   #3 
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No, that's fine. Very nice and descriptive/information addition, lilnaugrim!
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:02 AM   #4 
Alphahelix
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This is odd to me, because I use 1tsp per gallon of Epsom salts in my quarantine tanks for up to a week + at a time to deal with severe bladder infection and internal parasites. In my experience it's very mild and does not to long term harm. In fact I thought it was much better to dose like that long term than with medication

I've never done a bath, just dosed tanks with it

Also in general on this forum advice is 1 tsp per gallon, as a constant dosage. I've also had great luck with SBD and this method over the last few years
Where did you get your information about doses/it only being good in small amounts?

Last edited by Alphahelix; 02-12-2014 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #5 
lilnaugrim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphahelix View Post
This is odd to me, because I use 1tsp per gallon of Epsom salts in my quarantine tanks for up to a week + at a time to deal with severe bladder infection and internal parasites. In my experience it's very mild and does not to long term harm. In fact I thought it was much better to dose like that long term than with medication

I've never done a bath, just dosed tanks with it

Also in general on this forum advice is 1 tsp per gallon, as a constant dosage. I've also had great luck with SBD and this method over the last few years
I agree with that. The only thing I've used for baths was Meth Blue now and PraziPro but always dosed ES straight to the tank. You are right, it is much less harsh than medications and IMO should be used first unless in severe cases like Dropsy or things like gill flukes.

Also and interesting fact for you all! Epsom salt is often used in gardens are fertilizer so it can be used in a planted tank, however not with scaleless fish such as Pleco's and cory's. I am uncertain the effect to inverts with this since it is still similar to a salt, it's not a real salt like AQ salt but it should have the same effect on them, I've never tested it though and haven't read anything about it....hmmm, maybe I should give this a try on my infested 10 gallon....lol But anyway, if used in a planted tank you may see some melting of the plants but overall they should look a little more perky in the time that you use it. I wouldn't use it all the time as a fert since it will draw out all the liquids in your fish causing them anemia as Kiara pointed out, but just when needed.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:11 AM   #6 
lilnaugrim
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Also, another point to baths. The idea behind baths are, amped up doses but in a smaller amount of time. Where you may use 1 teaspoon per gallon over a week, you can use 3 teaspoons in a bath for 30-60 minutes. This decreases most stress over the long run of things, however it is still stressful for a fish to enter into a bath without much acclimation before hand, especially for salt since they are indeed freshwater fish.

And as always, just a reminded to ALWAYS dissolve your salt first before putting your fish in! Salt, when it dissolves, creates heat which can burn your fish. It is safe after it melts though.

(And sorry for the double post >.<)
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:40 PM   #7 
Erin3
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Is it ok to use epsom for longer than 10 days for a fish with dropsy? I've been putting about 3-4 teaspoons in a 2 gallon.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:43 PM   #8 
Suresh S
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Where to get the Epsom Salt from? Petco / Petsmart? I searched online in their store website but didn't get any hits....before going to the store want to check the availability
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by Suresh S View Post
Where to get the Epsom Salt from? Petco / Petsmart? I searched online in their store website but didn't get any hits....before going to the store want to check the availability
Just go to the drugstore. It's in the medication aisles.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:41 PM   #10 
Kiara1125
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It's at places like Walmart. Epsom salt is for humans, yet it can be used with other animals.
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