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Discussion Starter #1
Since the crash with the shrimp Lakitu has not been the same. He is listless and lethargic. But he was trying to eat. He is losing weight now, hasn't eaten in 2 days.. I tried garlic soaked pellets, peas, bloodworms. Just now I thawed some bloodworms and he just very lamely struggled away.
I did a 3/4 change yesterday with salt water. Nothing..
Now I noticed the top of his head is lighter and I'm worried! What else can I do?! :(
 

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Now I might be worried he had an underlying issue all along and the shrimp crash just brought it out. What kind of salt are you using?
 

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epsom salt does not cure anything except constipation and possibly chemical poisoning. Otherwise what is does is pull excess fluids out of the body buying more time for actual meds to work.

I'll look up your last thread and see what's up..
 

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Yes, with metal poisoning epsoms may help but you don't want to stress him to boot. If you go this route would start with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per gallon. Dissolve it fully in a bit of aquarium water first before adding to tank. If he does okay you can up to as much as 1tsp but I would not go beyond that, and personally never used past 1/2 tsp. Up to 2 weeks is safe on this amount. Be aware these can effect ph so if you're doing large water changes you do need to test and carefully acclimate.

Also couldn't help but notice that he came bloated from the store? Now won't eat.. can't help but wonder if he has an internal infection.. Which would call by bathing and/or feeding a good internal antibiotic. Losing weight could be sign of parasite infection instead but how is his poop looking?
 

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In my personal experience and many others, bettas can go up to 3 tsps per gallon indefinitely. :/ This is generally the advice given and I believe most people have experienced no problems with doses of epsom salt higher than 1 tsp. It is true it does not cure anything but pulling out the excess fluids can help belay the symptoms of dropsy (ascites), which can complicate conditions.

Laki, I'd try taking Lakitu out of his tank and putting him into a QT in 1 tsp epsom salt to begin with. Add a conditioner such as Prime in double doses. This will help take care of any possible metal poisoning. If his symptoms don't improve after being in QT for a while, then we can look into possible treatment.
 

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Sakura can you share your source of epsom salt info please? I am really interested to see where people on this forum are getting their info on the high epsom salts for long periods of time. To be honest, this is the only site I have ever seen suggest epsom salts in the quantity it does and in all (and numerous) others I have seen that salt dips this high should be no more than 15-20min and from my experience salts are stressful on my bettas.
 

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Oldfishlady recommends this dosage, as does DarkMoon17. I know it seems high but for many people, it does work. OFL has been in the hobby for decades and is very knowledgeable about holistic treatments and DarkMoon17 is a veterinary student so I trust their credentials.

Because epsom salts aren't true salts but magnesium sulfate, they don't have the same damaging effect on the organs that aquarium salts do. I know the dosages seem high but very few, if any, bettas have ever experienced difficulties in these dosages.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@callistra: It might be metal poisoning but people are thinking the shrimp died as a result of ammonia spike, which, in turn messed Lakitu up.. The metal was on a live plant so they're thinking it was invert.
- Also, no, Lakitu never had bloat the entire time we had him. I brought Bowser home with bloat! ^.^ It'so okay you got them confused!!
Thanks to you and Sakura! I'll try epsom salt. At this point, since we still have no definite cause of his illness it can't hurt.

***Should I dissolve them in his tank and leave him in there or should I do a dip?
 

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Leave him in the tank. A quick dip won't have as much time to work.

Judging from the way Petsmart keeps their ghost shrimp, it's highly possible the little things were sick and just up and died.
 

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Sakura ok, just wondering.

Epsoms can help with ammonia poisoning too.

Don't dissolve in the tank. Fully dissolve in small amount of water outside what he's in regardless if you add to the tank or dip outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
okay! I'm going to cup him after Bowser's done in it (darn, I should have asked for an extra one!) and then I'll do a 3/4 change again [to keep beneficial bateria in the gravel] and dissolve epsoms in the filler bowl. Hope it helps! I just think he'd be okay if he was able to swim better and eat!
 

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Callistra's right, it's always best to dissolve in a bit of tank water outside of the tank.

Callistra, I know, it seems like a high amount, doesn't it? But it has been known to work. *shrugs*
 

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1 tsp per gallon, so 2 1/2 tsps of epsom salt total. If you do a 3/4 change, then put back maybe 2 tsps of epsom salt.
 

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To alleviate guess work I age water in 1 gallon milk jugs and add whatever dechlorinator or salts straight to that and then when I do a partial water change I know I have the correct measure. Just an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Since I don't have a milk jug (it's been on my list for a while) I just do a wrist test, like you would with baby formula, and then float them. He's in the betta cup at the moment and I see he's actually got a problem with floatation. I put enough eater in there to be tall as he if he stood in it, he tried to dive down and floated to the top slowly. But is able to go around the cup at the surface. Could explain his head sticking out of water a bit. I'm also soaking more pellets in garlic water to try and get him to eat.
 

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Poor guy. Hopefully the epsom salts help with that. Otherwise, we may need a change in treatment in the next few days.
 
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