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Old 04-15-2005, 05:56 PM   #1
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constipation? egg binding? and epsom salt

Have a cherry barb that seems to have gotten swollen over the last couple of days and is breathing quickly and not swimming with the others...pH is about 8,nitrate 40, nitrite 0, ammonia 0, temp 28C/84F. Tank is 10 gallons and has been set up for 3 months. I am using an aquaclear mini with charcoal and sponge filter. I have 4 cherry barbs (not sure if male or female), 1 male betta and 2 female bettas (yes for you betta lovers, things are working well with a mixed tank like that..just the odd flaring at times and occasional fin nipping. I'll have to post a picture). The cherry barbs are about an inch long, the bettas are full grown. I did a water change yesterday. I vacuum the gravel weekly and usually take out about 25% of the water. I have had the bettas for the full 3 months. I added the cherry barbs about a month ago. I feed them flake food and betta pellets. I haven't added anything recently. I have been looking around the internet about epsom salts. I used to have goldfish as a kid and occasionally added epsom salt to the water if my fish seemed off. I cannot remember the dosage though and I'm not sure if it will help my chubby fish. Anybody know what could be wrong with my cherry barb? Has anybody else had luck with epsom salt in the aquarium?
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:37 AM   #2
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I would not treat the entire tank with epsom salt. This may be a blockage that is causing bloating. Do not feed tomorrow and the next day, feed peeled, blanched peas. For more information on feeding veggies, there is an article in the Articles' section.
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Old 04-16-2005, 05:20 AM   #3
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You can safely add 1 tbs of epsom salt per 5 gallons. It works like a laxitive and will help any fish having digestive problems. I routinely use it for my discus.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:40 PM   #4
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Any brand of epsom salt is ok for fish?
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Any brand of epsom salt is ok for fish?
As far as I know, it is.

dozer, is your fish 'pineconing' or have their scales sticking straight outward, instead of flush with the body? Sounds just like constipation, but if the scales are sticking out, this is a sign of dropsy, and is a little more serious.
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:27 AM   #6
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oh no...this morning I noticed she is starting to pine cone!!!! I did put a little epsom salt in the tank this morning. I'm at work right now...I hope she lasts until I get home.....I know the prognosis isn't that good for dropsy....any advice?
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Old 04-17-2005, 12:59 PM   #7
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I know the prognosis isn't that good for dropsy....any advice?
Get some anti-fungal meds on your way home, and start treating asap. In most cases, when the 'pincone' effect is visible, it's too late, but not always. If you have a QT, put her in there, and treat in there. I have had dropsy 2 or 3 times, and saved the fish in all of them but one, so it is possible.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:27 AM   #8
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well my first round with dropsy was fatal....I had hopes, 'cause when I put her in the QT, she seemed to relax and was breathing a little easier, but woke up yesterday morning and she was out of her misery.....Now at least I'll know the first signs, so I can start treating earlier, before the pineconing starts.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:06 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about that, dozer. Don't feel too badly, very rarely does the dropsy subside when the pineconing starts. Keep an eye on your other fish to make sure they are all ok and don't start showing signs.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:10 PM   #10
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Cae

My chinese algae eater is getting the same thing, breathing hard, and bloated, but not protruding scales, but now he is getting black spots all over him, this is frusterating, because I was treating him for bacterial infection, and it must have came back. And I lost my elephant nose 2 days ago, he died from not eating and looking skinny, boy there are days when I feel like giving up, and not having a tank.

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Old 04-28-2005, 02:46 PM   #11
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I can relate fish lover. It seems very difficult for me to go any significant amount of time without losing fish. If you medicate that will help some fish but harm others. If you overfeed then your fish die, yet if you underfeed some may starve. It is frustrating but just keep with it and try moderation. I have found given my limited experience that often the best thing to do is nothing at all, dont try to mess with medications or water params and sometimes they can beat it on their own. I dont really know though, sorry!
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