Epsom Salt Bath for Betta: Betta Fish Care Essentials

Epsom salt bath for Betta fish can be used as a simple, natural remedy for Betta diseases, and it’s also the perfect way to add that extra sparkle to your fish tank.

Epsom salt or also known as magnesium sulfate and originates from a town on Epsom in the United Kingdom. Even though it has a similar look to common salt it mustn’t be mistaken because the compounds are different. It has been used for curing people for years. Even nowadays it is used as a bath salt to stop aches and pain in people. 

You can use Epsom salt in the tank for two reasons. The first is to keep the concentration of magnesium and the second is to treat some health conditions that arise from fungus, bacteria or parasites. 

What can you treat with Epsom salt?

There are different conditions you can treat with Epsom salt and we are going to tell you more about it.

  • Constipation

Constipation is a common condition with Bettas that is caused by different reasons. In most cases, it is caused by overfeeding but there are other reasons too. Just to remind you that Bettas have a small stomach, the size of an eye. So, if you feed them more than two to six pellets more than two times a day you are going to overfeed it.  Improper feeding can cause constipation too because your fish isn’t getting enough high protein food. And two more reasons for constipation are an unbalanced diet and lack of exercise. 

How to notice that your fish is suffering from constipation. These are the symptoms: 

  • Your Betta fish poops white or pale and stringy
  • It stops eating or spits food
  • A Betta becomes lethargic
  • Its belly is swollen
  • It has trouble swimming

After carefully observing and identifying any of these symptoms you need to take action and help your Betta.

Epsom salt is something that can help because it will work as a muscle relaxant. First, you will quarantine your Betta and use 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt per 5 gallons of water. After it dissolves, keep the fish in it for a week until the condition gets better. 

  • Dropsy

Dropsy should be taken as a very serious condition which in many cases can be fatal. It attacks the Betta`s kidneys and other organs, the belly becomes swollen with fluid. The fish starts looking like a pinecone. If the disease is in an advanced stage the fish will certainly die. If you notice the symptoms in an early phase there is still something you can do. 

The best is to quarantine your Betta immediately. Add one teaspoon of Epsom salt per gallon of water. Antibiotics are a must with this disease and Epsom salt is just the first aid. 

  • Swim Bladder Disease

When your Betta behaves lethargic or starts swimming awkwardly up and down and in different directions, it is often a result of a disrupted swim bladder. Swim bladder can also cause lopsided swimming, struggling to maintain normal position, curved back and distended belly. 

The most common reason is overfeeding and, in most cases, it goes away without any special treatment. It is not contagious so you do not have to quarantine your fish but it is safer if you do it so. If the cause of the swim bladder is overfeeding then simply feed your Betta less. Offer your Betta 2 to 4 pellets two times a day. Everything more can cause overeating. 

Another reason for swim bladder disorder can be the shock that can happen for a number of reasons. But it can cause low immunity and the third reason arises – Infections by bacteria or parasites. If shock is the cause, you simply need to exclude stressors if you can identify them and your Betta will be fine in a while. If not, it will attack the immune system and other serious diseases will occur. 

Bacterial or parasite infection causes swim bladder usually due to poor water quality. You need to check the water quality periodically so that all the parameters stay within limits. 

Epsom salt can be a very effective cure if your Betta suffers from a swim bladder disorder caused by constipation. In most cases, it helps within a few minutes just be careful and observe your fish right after the bath. 

How To Give Your Betta an Epsom Salt Bath

This is how you can treat your pet. Mix one tablespoon of Epsom salt in a separate container where you pour half a gallon of water. Let it dissolve and pour another half a gallon from the tank. Take your Betta out of the tank and put it in the prepared bath leaving it for ten to fifteen minutes. This should help the constipation problem but if it hasn’t put the Betta back in the tank. Observe the Betta for a while to check if it excretes. 

How often can I bathe my Betta in Epsom salt?

If the reason for the Epsom salt bath are dropsy symptoms you need to repeat the procedure two or three times a day and also treat the main tank with medications for dropsy. 

If you treat constipation, you could repeat the procedure dipping your Betta two or three times until it poops. 

Will Epsom salt kill my Betta?

Epsom salt is safe for your fish if you follow the procedure. It is used in the conditions mentioned above as a laxative and helps to reduce bloating and swelling. If you use one tablespoon per gallon of water you can’t harm your fish. 

Final thoughts on Epsom Salt Bath for Betta

Epsom Salt is used as mentioned above for treating many conditions in Bettas, mostly constipation problems, dropsy and swim bladder disease. However, you should be careful when using it not to overexpose your Betta to Epsom salt because it can harm it. If Epsom salt doesn’t help your Betta you should consider treating the condition with medications. 

You can also use Epsom salt to increase the hardness of the water in a tank. Epsom salt can be very beneficial to your Betta because it is a warrior against constipation, bacterial and fungal infections and significantly contributes to the healing process so feel free to use it following the suggestions mentioned in the text.  

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