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Question about Epsom salt and magnesium for Mojoreef and others.

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Terry B

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Mar 6, 2004
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I would like to know your opinion about something. Espom salt contains magnesium sulfate right? Natural and artificial saltwater contains magnesium sulfate right? I see people suggesting that popeye can be treated in saltwater fish by adding epsom salt to the water. The suggested dose runs anywhere from on tsp/gal to one tbls/10 gallon. Do you have any thoughts about this?

Terry B
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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Hmmm...Terry, I'll have to do some checking. I wonder what it is about the Epsom salts that helps. Depending on dosage, I suppose a hobbyist using this method would need to check for magnesium, however, in a QT I don't know that this would be an issue.

Isn't Popeye a condition and not necessarily the disease? If that's the case, then maybe the Epsom only works on one type of cause, and won't work in every situation. Hmmm.....I'm definately interested.
 

FishyinKy

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Hey Terry, I know that epsom salts are used to relieve the swelling and pressure behind the eye. Usually if there is the possiblity that the fish has some type of contusion and not necessarily if its was cause by a parasite or by infection. A single eye afflicted usually indicates a simply bump (blunt force trauma, contusion) and can be treated with Epsom salt at a dose of 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons in mere days. I know that when I treat reef tanks I generally advocate 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons just to be on the cautious side. Both eyes afflicted would indicate a bacterial infection. Is usually the rule of thumb. I can speak from personal experience and it has been a great help to me. I have also used it in combination with antibotics or other remedies.
 

NaH2O

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When treating a reef tank, are you at all concerned with Mag levels? I'm unsure of what the concentration is, but Epsom salts are used to increase Mg levels. What about the sulfate issues? I suppose short term it may be alright.
 

mojoreef

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Terry as per adding epsom salts for the cure or aiding of a fish condition I really don't know, so I have no opinion. In trying to raise magnesium content in your water chemistry you have to be careful on the amount of mag. sulfate used, usually it is a 10 to 1 ratio between mag chloride.


sorry


mike
 

FishyinKy

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Nikki, I haven't done a lot of research on this, usually when you do a treatment with the epsom salts its very short term. Three days or possibly six days at the most and the recommendation is to always do a partial water change at the end of treatment. My guess is that the partial water change is to eliminate problems with the magnesium levels. I've been reading over Wetwebmedia faq's to see if Anthony Calfo or Bob Fenner says anything about the magnesium or overdosing and all I have found so far is a comment that there are really no worries about overdosing and to always do the water changes. I believe that Anthony is out of town and I hope he addresses this. I always wondered whether adding it in large doses could send your tank out of ionic balance. But again just speaking from experience it has worked for me and others numerous times.
 

Terry B

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Mar 6, 2004
Messages
162
Epsom salt has been used as a treatment for popeye in freshwater fish. I have to wonder how adding salt to a saltwater tank would help a saltwater fish recover from popeye. When popeye is caused by trauma to the eye, the swelling usually goes down in a few days to a week (provided it is not a serious, permanent injury) without any treatment at all. If the eye is not cloudy then the chances are good that the popeye was caused by trauma. If the eye is not cloudy then it probably does not have a bacterial infection. I usually just recommend a water change and to wait and see if it heals on its own. If the eye is cloudy then I suggest an antibiotic and/or a formalin or FW dip (for possible external eye parasites). I am not saying that Epsom salt cannot help a saltwater fish with popeye, but I would like to see some sort of reference that verifies that this method has been scientifically tested with saltwater fish.

Cheers,
Terry B
 

mojoreef

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Mac overdosing mag can screw up your ion balance for sure. Mag like to bind up alk (well it binds to everything but alk the most) its a bit of a bear to bring back into play specially if your trying to bring it back down or if it is severely depressed.

Mike
 
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