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Old 11-04-2011, 09:00 PM   #1 
titusthebetta
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Epsom Salt Treatment

It seems like Nero has swim bladder right now. :/ He's struggling really hard to swim and he swims on his side, not to mention that his stomach looks unusually bloated. What is the proper way to do an Epsom salt treatment? And how can you tell if the salt has any added dyes or stuff that would harm a fish?
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:44 AM   #2 
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Read the label-this should tell you what is in it.....

Epsom salt treatment for swim bladder/buoyancy problems-premix a jug of treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water Add-Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source-either IAL or dried Oak leaf-let this steep for 30min to start the tannins releasing and salt to dissolve...Shake well before use and use this premixed Tx water for 50% water changes every 15min for 1hour today-to total 4 water changes...
Then start 100% water changes in 24h...daily for 10-14 days....

It is also important to QT in a small bare container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-78F range and cover the QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Feed a good quality varied diet in small frequent meals....

Sometimes this can be a chronic problem and he may need to stay in low dose Epsom salt 1tsp/gal long term in the display tank....

Do you know what cause the swim bladder problem?
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:26 PM   #3 
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Thanks, this is really helpful. I don't have a QT tank yet but I do need to get one for future use.

I'm not sure, but he was bloated last night and was swimming on his side. When I woke up today he looked fine, and I didn't add any espom salt to the tank. He's swimming normally and his stomach definitely looks smaller. He probably just had a bowel movement.

For the past few weeks I feed him 3 times a day, one pellet per feeding, so I don't think that'd be a problem. Whenever I tried to feed him a freeze-dried bloodworm, he wouldn't blink twice at it (which I find odd). So he might have been constipated. On the safe side, I haven't fed him today just to make sure he's okay.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:54 PM   #4 
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Those small temporary cups a lot of Bettas are sold in-make great QT containers...if you bought him in one-you can use that or anything small that can be floated in the heated tank-attached so it doesn't sink.....

Some Bettas can have buoyancy problems due to genetics and/or deformities-often the shorter body types like the doubletails and some CT can have these issues, also-too cool dry air over the water can cause buoyancy problems related to the labyrinth organ......the food can be a big issues for some-especially if the buoyancy problem is in relation to enlarged tummy after a meal-often this is due to a poor quality food, too old food (over 1yr) or spoiled due to being kept improper.

I would change brands of food to see if this may be the cause and if it is cold in your area or the room is cold in general (room air cooler than the water) and the tank is not fully hooded-cover the top to help retain heat/humidity over the water

Poor water quality and stress can also be a big cause of buoyancy problems-what size is the tank, how much and how often are the water changes, water temp, additives used, filter, live plants, tank mates, how long have you had him and his age if known.....

Can you post a pic.....
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:27 PM   #5 
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He's in a 2.5 gallon, heated, unfiltered tank. Water changes are done twice weekly (1 50% and 1 100%). I have one of those Marineland tanks with a full glass hood, but I keep the level of water low enough for him to come up for air. He lives by himself, has some plants and a rock cave that he likes. I've had him for about a month now, and he was probably a few months old when I got him. He's a VT, and his tail isn't fully grown yet.

I use the Omega betta pellets, and the expiration date isn't for a while. I can try to change foods as soon as I get out to a store, which might not be for a few days (college student whose also an athlete). My room generally I'd say is cooler than the tank temp, but not by much. I always have the heat on and a window cracked slightly so the air isn't too dry. And the water temp is always right around 78*-79* (My heater is set for 81*).

I don't have any good pictures of his stomach, but if it happens again I'll be sure to try to get some.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:01 AM   #6 
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It sounds like you are doing everything right....so it is either... hopefully...just acute issue due to food, constipation.....or a genetic issues that you can't do a lot about...but at least they generally can still live a normal life.....
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