Have you also heard your fellow fish keepers talk about Epsom salt baths? Are you curious about its uses? And are you interested to give this magical bath to your lovely Betta? In this article, we will talk about what is an Epsom salt bath. We will also discuss how to prepare it for your betta. Finally, we will discuss how it is useful for your precious Betta.
An epsom salt bath for Betta fish is used for the treatment of diseases like swim bladder disease and dropsy. It is also used as a laxative, because of this bath Betta fish comes back to its normal size by expelling all the excessive fluids and wastes.
Keeping your Betta happy and healthy is the goal of every Betta owner. To keep your aquarium beautiful and charming to entertain everyone at home. Betta fish are loved and are found in almost every aquarium. The well-being of your Betta should be your prime priority.
What is Epsom Salt?
Beware! It is nothing like table salt! Using table salt in your aquarium is like signing the death warrant for your Betta. Remember Betta are freshwater species and cannot survive in brine water.
Epsom salt is named after its town of origin. Chemically it is Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4).To the naked eye; it is almost similar to common salt which is NaCl sodium chloride. The chemical properties are however totally different. Betta fish can survive in Epsom salt, unlike common salt. For this reason, it has various uses in the aquarium.
How is Epsom Salt Useful for Betta?
Since ancient times Epsom salt has been used to treat humans and animals. It is a centuries-old home remedy that many people have tried and tested. Epsom salt is also used to treat health problems in Betta. There are various health conditions and diseases that can be tackled by using them. One should keep in mind never to substitute Epsom salt with marine salt or table salt since Betta cannot survive in them.
We will now discuss various conditions for which Betta can be treated using Epsom salt. We will discuss these conditions one by one below;
Betta fish often get constipated. No one wants a constipated Betta. This problem must be treated immediately.
Betta can suffer from constipation if they are overfed. They can also suffer from it if their diet consists of dried items mostly. Underfeeding will also cause constipation in your Betta. You can spot constipation in your Betta if you observe them closely. There are a few symptoms that can help identify a constipated Betta. Lethargy, Bloating and loss of appetite are the most common symptoms.
Most Betta owners use the technique of fasting their Betta for 24 to 48 hours to get rid of constipation. But if this doesn’t work then giving the Betta an Epsom salt bath is also a great option.
Epsom salt relaxes the muscles of the Betta and removes stress. Because of this reason, the passing of waste from the digestive tracks becomes easier. In short, constipation is cured by the muscle-relaxing ability of Epsom salt.
2. Pop Eye
Popeye is an all-inclusive term for eye-related problems in Betta fish. The eyes could appear bulging out, cloudy, and strange overall. Popeye can occur due to different infections and also if your Betta gets hurt physically. Popeye resulting from physical harm can be treated using an Epsom salt bath. Unfortunately, other types of Pop eye might not always be treated by an Epsom salt bath.
Dropsy, also known as edema is a very serious condition caused by bacteria. In this, Betta’s belly gets abnormally swollen. It is highly obvious whenever the Betta is going through this condition. In Dropsy the kidneys along with other organs of the Betta stop working. Dropsy is very dangerous and it can even kill the Betta.
Treating Dropsy is not very successful. In the later stages of Dropsy, chances of survival are next to impossible. However, if it is identified in the earlier stages then an Epsom salt bath can definitely help in reducing the swollen belly of the Betta. It basically comforts the Betta overall.
Related Post: How to Properly Acclimate a Betta Fish Successfully?
4. Swim Bladder Disease
This is a condition in which the swim bladder of a Betta is affected. The swim bladder is the organ that helps the Betta to float. If you notice that your Betta is not swimming properly or is tilted to one side or is upside down then it could be facing swim bladder disease. Some causes of swim bladder disease are as follows;
- Constipation and other gut issues.
- Bacterial infections
- High nitrate levels in the tank.
Luckily swim bladder disease is not very dangerous and can be treated easily. An Epsom salt bath can greatly help in treating swim bladder disease in the Betta.
5. Fin Rot and Mouth Rot
Such infections can also be treated using an Epsom salt bath. We need to identify the root cause of these problems too. Infections treatment is aided by Epsom salt but proper medication must also be used.
You can read more posts: Why did my Betta Fish Turn Brown?
How to make an Epsom Salt Bath for your Betta?
Now that we have discussed what the uses of Epsom salt bath are for Betta and what diseases it can treat, it is now time to get into action! We will now tell you how to construct an Epsom salt bath for your precious Betta. A relaxing bath needs to be prepared properly so let’s get started.
Preparing the Required Tanks
To give your Betta a proper and safe Epsom salt bath you need to prepare two separate tanks. If you don’t have tanks then containers can also be used depending on the size of the Betta. The two tanks which need to be prepared and one already present;
- Quarantine tank.
- Revival tank.
- Main tank.
We will now discuss how to prepare both of these and also what is their purpose.
1. Quarantine Tank
This is the tank where the action actually takes place. This is the tank where the Epsom salt bath is given to the Betta.
We will now discuss the procedure to prepare the quarantine tank for your Betta.
- Take water from the main tank and add it to an empty Quarantine tank.
- The amount of water can be between 1 to 5 gallons
- Make sure that the temperature of the quarantine tank is the same as the main tank to avoid temperature shock.
- If the bath is to be used just a few times then use a small container instead of a separate tank.
- Make sure that there are no plants present in the quarantine tank. The reason is that Epsom salt can kill plants.
- Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per gallon into the Quarantine tank.
So by following these steps the actual bath is ready for the Betta.
2. Revival Tank
So after giving the Epsom salt bath to your Betta in the Quarantine tank you cannot straight away put it back in the main tank. We need to make it used to the conditions slowly and for this purpose, we use a revival tank. The purpose of the revival tank is to make the Betta used in less salty conditions before it goes into the main tank. So the steps which need to be followed are;
- Add water to this tank in such a ratio that ¼ of it is Epsom salt bathwater and the remaining ¾ is normal water from the main fish tank.
- Keep the tank temperature the same as the quarantine tank and main tank
- Use a small container instead of a complete tank if you don’t need to give the bath multiple times.
So this is how the revival tank is made.
Steps to Give the Betta the Bath
Now we will discuss the step-by-step procedure of how to give the bath to your Betta. The procedure is as follows;
- By using a fishnet put your Betta in the Quarantine tank.
- Keep it there for 5 to 8 minutes. You can move it to the revival tank earlier if it shows unusual behavior.
- After % up to 8 minutes move the Betta to the revival tank.
- Keep the betta in the Revival tank for 5 minutes to let it get used to the less salty environment.
- Finally, move the Betta to the main tank.
You can repeat this procedure for 8 days.
You should avoid using an Epsom salt bath on scale-less fish because it is not good for them as too much salt can be absorbed.
The Bottom Line on Betta Epsom Salt Bath
Just like humans, Betta too loves a relaxing bath. Epsom salt can be used to treat many problems in your Betta. One thing which must be kept in mind is that in some diseases Epsom salt is an addition to the treatment and not the entire treatment. So, proper medication must also be given to Betta in this case.
So I hope that now you are clear about what an Epsom salt bath is and what it is used for. You must also have understood how easy it is to prepare it. So these were our two cents on Epsom salt baths. May you and your Betta always be happy and healthy! So till next time happy fish-keeping folks!