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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. One of my rescued boys nearing 2 years old(rough estimate) has had SBD since I rescued him. He never had it this bad since before I rescued him. He sits at the top of the water flat and has the 'S' shape SBD is known for. I fasted him 2 days ago and have him the tiniest pellet yesterday seeing that he pooed. His poo is white and stringy which leads me to believe his SBD was brought on by parasites maybe?I put some aquarium salt in his tank yesterday( very small amount) and I would have preferred to put in some Epsom in his tank but have never tried it although I have some on hand. Not sure if this brand is safe, the ingredient is: Magnesium sulfate USP (heptahydrate)100%. It's the only ingredient so I assume its probably fine though. I just wanted your opinions on which route I should take in treating him as I'm going away very soon and want him to feel better! Thanks.
Betta Rescuer
 

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I'm not sure one the white stringy poo part. I feel like it might sound like a parasite but I don't have any experience with them. However I have had a few bettas who have had SBD. One chronicly. Epsom salt is what you wanna use to treat it. First id do a 100% water change to get the AQ salt out of there. The epsom salt you have sounds correct. It doesnt sound like yours is but just make sure to never used scented or dyed epsom salt.
What you want to do is use 1 teaspoon of epsom salt per gallon of water. I suggest taking a cup of water out of the tank and disolving the salt in it then slowly adding it back into the tank over 30 minutes.
The next day just let the betta rest in the solution.
The 3rd day do a 100% water change then add 2 teaspoons in using the same method has before. add it slowly over about 45minutes.
Day 4, just let him rest in the water.
Day 5 do a 100% water change then add 3 teaspoons of epsom salt, again using the same method as the 1st time. Slowly adding it over 1 hour.
Day 6. Rest
Day 7 do a 100% water change and add in3 teaspoons again.

Just keep up the rest/3 teaspoons rotation until he gets better or 10-14 days have passed. personaly I dont like doing the treatment for longer than 10 days.


I wanted to pass on to you how to treat sbd but there is a questionair type forum you should fill out before starting treatment so we can make sure this is what needs to be done.

I hope that was helpful and not too wordy lol :)
 

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Here are the questions you should answer..

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply and advice😉I will gladly fill the questions out:
Housing
What size is your tank? 0.5 gallons (quarantine)
What temperature is your tank? 75 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets daily

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None (my water contains no chlorine or contaminants-proven)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: None
Nitrite: None
Nitrate:None
pH:high
Hardness:low
Alkalinity: high

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He is bloated and has a white belly with semi clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is more lethargic than normal, can't swim properly, doesn't greet me and he is less hyper than normal( he loves to dart around happily when he sees me, but not now...)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 3 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, fasted him 24 hours, gave him a small piece of a pea today and put small dose of aquarium salt in.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, he has had Swim bladder problems before, but never had it again until now.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Around 2+
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh and would it be safe to just add the Epsom salt without doing a 100% water change to remove the aquarium salt? It's not that I can't be bothered, but more of fear because he looks pretty bad off in terms of trying to stay upright and I wouldn't want to stress him by taking him out :-/
 

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I know you don't wants stress him more but I'd go ahead and remove the AQ salt. A while back I created a thread on the differences of AQ salt verses Epsom salt. Here is the link...
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=279618

I had some people post some pretty informative stuff you might want to check it out.

Also I wouldn't try the pea. I've read somewhere on here, if I can find it again I'll post a link, that bettas are insectivores and can't digest veggies as well as other fish will. You're thinking right though, peas are great for a lot of other fish. I'd try some daphnia if you can find any. A lot of pet stores carry it frozen.
 

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Hi, I have a question about the Epsom Salt treatment and the water changes. I have just started my girl betta, Infra Red, on the treatment, she is in a one gallon tank with one tsp ES. When I do the water change two days from now, do I put her in one gallon of clean water with no ES and then add two tsp gradually, OR do I put her in one gallon of clean water with one tsp of ES already and then gradually add one additional tsp of ES? It seems that taking her from ES water to non ES water would be a shock to her system.

Thanks in advance, Linda and Infra Red
 

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White poop can be caused by parasites, or by stress. If it's a one time thing, assume it's stress-related. If it continues, especially if he has other symptoms, let us know.

I would start by using Epsom salt at a dosage of 1 teaspoon per gallon. (I would not go higher than this amount right now.) The brand you have on hand, which contains magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is perfect. (This is the formal "chemical name" for Epsom salt.)

I would not use Aquarium salt. It is high in sodium, which can cause bloating, constipation and buoyancy issues. These are exactly the issues that he's already dealing with.

Do not give him any freeze dried foods. These absorb moisture from the system, leading to constipation.

Also, do not feed a pea. Bettas are insectivores. Giving them quality protein-based foods should be enough to get their digestive system functioning well.

Aqueon food is decent, but it contains a lot of grains/fillers. These can cause bloating, constipation and buoyancy issues in some fish. Instead, I would switch his food to a good protein based pellet, such as:
-- New Life Spectrum
-- Omega One Betta Buffet.

If this was my fish, here's what I would do:

1) Prepare a "treatment solution" by stirring 1 teaspoon Epsom salt into 1 gallon of water. Be sure the water is within +/- 2 degrees F of his current tank water. Add conditioner!

2) Remove 25% of the water from his tank. Replace it with the new "treatment solution."

3) Wait at least 15 minutes. Then, repeat Step 2. Do this two more times, until you've done a total of four 25% water changes.

This will get him to a dosage of 1 teaspoon Epsom salt, and it will remove the Aquarium salt in the process.

4) If he's in the 0.5 gal tank, then I would do a 50% water change, using the "treatment solution" every day. (Prepare more of the mixture, if you need it.)

I would fast him for 1 or 2 days. This means no food at all. Doing this will give his digestive system a chance to clear out.

Then, you have a choice:
If he's still having SBD issues, feed him small meals of frozen daphnia. It has a laxative effect on them.
If the issues seem better, feed him small meals of either New Life Spectrum or Omega One foods.

Keep him in the Epsom salt solution (1 tsp per gal) during this time.

Keep us updated.
 

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BettaBeau -

IME, a dosage of 1 teaspoon per gallon is usually enough to treat most conditions. Increasing the dosage beyond this is something that often isn't needed. In fact, using too much Epsom salt can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Assuming that you really do want to increase the dosage, then I would pre-dissolve the correct dosage of Epsom salt into the new water. Then use this new water for the water change. This will allow a more consistent dosage, and avoid the fluctuations that you mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thank you so much LittleBlueFishlets! I am definitely going to buy him a better quality food when I get a chance!

I have great news actually. He is doing much better since I did the Epsom salt treatment you mentioned.His swim bladder went away almost completely an I am starting to see his playful side again.I'm so glad he is better, swim bladder makes them look so helpless. I now will now rely on aquarium salt so much now that I know the difference between the two salts. I learned a lot from everyone's help so thank you!My happy and now healthy Betta , Hope, also thanks you!;-)
 
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