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Old 05-25-2011, 02:42 PM   #21 
Mrs S Class
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Sorry that pic is so huge!


That picture showed up humongous! Hahaha! Dont let Alex scare you!
And, please dont yell at me about the algae- this was a PRE-clean tank and pre-betta education picture!
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:42 PM   #22 
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Originally Posted by Mrs S Class View Post
Hi! I did end up removing the undergravel filter thing when I cleaned the tank out really well last week.

Alex is still very bloated. Hasnt been given food since I first posted to you all. Someone mentioned a possible Epsom Salt remedy? Anyone know what that is and what I need to do?

I still cant figure out how to post the pics. When I hit the 'picture' button above to add one- it wants a URL address? No clue what that would be!??

Mrs S Class
Originally Posted by Mrs S Class View Post
I dont have a schedule. It will be better from now on though! School is almost out and he will be at home for the summer! :)

How often SHOULD I clean it out?
I am answering both of your questions in as much detail as possible for you right now :)

To answer both of these, without an 85-90% planted tank (meaning plants cover 80 to 95% of the bed of the tank and there are also floating plants for him) you should be doing a water change of 50 to 100% every day. Meaning you should take out half of the water making sure the gravel has been vacuumed with an aquarium vacuum every day or up to all of the water every day with a gravel vacuuming.
The reason you can't just vacuum the gravel every day is because doing that only takes care of the solid waste (poop) at the bottom of the tank and not the liquid waste (pee) which lets ammonia build up in the tank and burns the fish because it is acidic just like human pee.
(sheesh it feels weird saying things like pee on the forum, lol)

I would personally recommend a 50% change one day and a 100% change the next. AKA 50% every other day and a 100% on all the other days.
I would definitely make sure you do the 100% changes on Monday-Wednesday-Friday since leaving him in dirty water over the weekend is bad for his health.

For your question about epsom salt:
Aquarium salt can also be used, and is safer IMO/E because you never know if the epsom salt you are using is just the pure salt or has an additive.

You can buy aquarium salt at any petco, petsmart, or any pet store that sells fish. It is usually under 10 dollars, even for the larger containers almost as long as your fore-arm. The one you should most likely get only costs 1 or 2 dollars and is a little bigger than the size of your entire hand.

Here is the easiest and safest way for you to treat your fish and change his water:

I would buy several cheap store brand gallons of drinking water. I would empty these out (drink them, use them on plants, just not for your fish) and then once they are empty fill them with tap water and add dechlorinator to it per the instructions on the bottle (ver batum).
Next I would add 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon to each jug of dechlorinated tap water and put the lid back on and shake it until the salt has been dissolved. After that take the cap off and tap the jug with something like a pencil or a spoon so that the toxic chlorine gas can escape the water (you'll see bubbles rush to the top). Next let this sit over night (anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, your choice... the longer the better) and return after the period of time and tap the jugs again to make sure all the gas has left the water.

Next cup the betta fish in the cup you bought him in (or in a safe piece of cylindrical tupperware making sure the plastic is absolutely smooth on all sides and without placing a lid on it because bettas breath air and if you seal him in he'll die) avoiding a net at all possible costs since they damage the fins, eyes, and scales of the fish. Once the fish is safely cupped make sure there is only enough water for him to swim in. Remove the debris from the gravel using a gravel vac and then empty the container of all the old water. After all the old water is gone remove the gravel and set it in a container. Rinse the aquarium with tap water and dry it with a paper towel. This will remove ammonia from the walls of the tank. Place the gravel back in and add the dechlorinated tap water from the jugs. Float the betta in the cup/tupperware for about 15-20 minute, making sure to add tiny bits of the new water into his container over safe periods of time. when the cup/tupperware is almost entirely full of new water he's safe to swim on in to the tank again.

And yep, the longest period of time you can use this treatment is 10 days as mentioned earlier.
*thanks jkfish!* :) But even after you stop using the salt this is a very efficient way to change the water in your tank.

Last edited by LucyLoofa; 05-25-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:57 PM   #23 
Guppie luver
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OK that is one FAT fish he looks like my female betta full of eggs and she is huge.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:40 PM   #24 
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Aquarium salt and epsom salt are different and made of different elements. Since he is bloated use epsom salt, not aquarium salt. Use the same amounts and directions, but use the epsom salt.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:42 AM   #25 
Mrs S Class
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Hello again

OK- clean tank, and now Ive tested the water. Nitrate is 0, but the hardness is HARD (150), the alkalinity is HIGH (300), and the pH is 8.4!

SO- knowing this- and how bloated Alex is - any new ideas to help him? He is even more bloated than he was last week! :(

I did feed him a tiny bit of freeze dried bloodworms this morning- he hasnt had any food in a week. I just felt bad- lol.

I bought aquarium salt last night- but then just read the latest post that said to NOT use it, and use Epsom salt (something I had been told first NOT to get,....)

Im a bit confused. Will the aquarium salt procedure harm him? I bought it already...

Mrs. S
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #26 
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Aquarium salt is really more for ensuring that wounds do not get infected or dirty or any of that sort.

Epsom salt, however, helps with bloating. Say you sprained your ankle and needed to soak it. You wouldn't soak it in a tub with AQ salt, right? You would use epsom salt to reduce the swelling and inflammation.

I've personally never used epsom salt, but I do understand that it works.

Good luck! I hope your betta feels better!
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:48 AM   #27 
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epsom salt also works as a laxative, the container I have has instructions on drinking it for constipation. probably a good bet that if you find one that has human consumption instructions on the box that it won't have extra additives that will harm fishies

Last edited by Tisia; 05-26-2011 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:51 AM   #28 
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This is how I think about it...

Aquarium salt for external issues like wounds or fungus

Epsom salt for internal issues like bloating, swim bladder and dropsy...
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:12 PM   #29 
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Please see this thread about how to use Epsom salt. AQ Salt probably wont do your fish too much good. He looks to me like he's been overfed and is having trouble passing his waste. Old Fish Lady is a wonderful resource and you should not be afraid to take her advice :)
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:17 PM   #30 
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Also, don't feed him freeze dried foods! Freeze dried will just make him even more bloated. You should only feed freeze dried once a week. They are very low in nutrition and are basically the equivalent of potato chips.

I think you should fast him for a few days while you do the epsom salt treatment.
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