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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! My poor male betta (about 1.5 years old) has been sick for about five days, and I'm assuming it's swim bladder disease due to constipation (I fed him a bloodworm without soaking it well enough and he was on his side within the night; he's currently giving me the stink eye.)

Tank size is 5 gallons
Temp. is 80 degrees
Great filter system going
Water levels seem good minus hardness (the cheap kit I bought is indicating hard water levels)

I have tried:
Fasting him for three days and feeding him the pea
Adding epsom salt to his tank, although not sure I did this right as I put very little in
Changed the water, added aquarium salt to his tank

He still has an appetite and swims around occasionally, but only briefly before returning to his log and laying on his side. He's had fin rot for several weeks that I've been working on treating, but it doesn't seem to be getting any worse (not sure if this is adding to his SBD) or better. Haven't seen him poop but I never do. He's a shy pooper.

Any help would be appreciated! Not sure what hardness levels entail, I'm no water chemist. I use tap water and condition it with BettaBowl Plus. I know epsom salt is big when it comes to this, but I get confused whenever I read about it. How much am I supposed to put in? Can I put it directly in the tank or does it need to be dissolved beforehand? Can it be used when there is aquarium salt in it? Would an epsom salt bath be better?

I'll name my firstborn after whoever saves my fish! (Jk, but I'd be eternally grateful.)
 

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Don't feed bettas peas. They do more harm than good. feed frozen daphnia instead.

How much Epsom Salt did you add? You should have added 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! Noted on the pea thing, sorry fish!! As for Epsom salt, I think I put in a measly 1/8th of a teaspoon cause I chickened out...So 1 tsp. per gallon, can I add that directly to the tank or does it need to be dissolved first? Also, is it okay that I already put a little aquarium salt in a few days ago or do I need to do a full water change before adding epsom salt?
 

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you cannot have AQ salt and Epsom salt in at the same time.

You need to do a full water change and then wait 2-3 days.

Then dissolve the Epsom Salt in a cup of tank water and then over the course of an hour slowly add it to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have him in a one gallon hospital tank (temp. controlled) with a tsp. of epsom salt. He's been in there for almost twenty-four hours, although there hasn't been any change. Yesterday morning I noticed he started pineconing. Any thoughts on what to do now or could the epsom salt still work? I'm planning on doing a complete water change in a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good news I think!!! Day 3 of epsom salt in the tank and I noticed while changing his water that he's pooping a little!
 
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