Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on (Aquarium, Epsom...) Salts/Use in Freshwater 2

Related Articles: Salts (Marine, Table/NaCl, Epsom): Use in Freshwater Aquariums & Ponds by Neale Monks, Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks, FW Disease Troubleshooting, Freshwater DiseasesNutritional Disease, Ich/White Spot Disease

Related FAQs: Using Salts in Freshwater 1,
FAQs on: Salt Use for Treating Ich, Salt for Treating PopEye, Salt for Treating Bloat, by type of salt: Table/NaCl, Epsom/MgSO4, Seawater, &
Freshwater Medications, Aquarium Maintenance, Ich/White Spot DiseaseAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid Disease

Aquatic Gardens

Ponds, Streams, Waterfalls & Fountains:
Volume 1. Design & Construction
Volume 2. Maintenance, Stocking, Examples

V. 1 Print and eBook on Amazon
V. 2 Print and eBook on Amazon

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Can Epsom salt be used for Ich?       4/12/18
Dear WWM.
Hope you are doing fine. Thanks for maintaining an incredible website, it is so helpful.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
A quick question: Along with heat, can we use Epsom salt instead of NaCl to treat freshwater ich?
I am not getting a definitive answer from the interweb. In case we can, what will be a ballpark gm/US gallons mixing advice?
<No idea.>
I was wondering if the osmotic pressure difference between the Ich protozoan's tissue (in the free swimming stage) and the water is what kills them. In that case any salt that is not detrimental otherwise should work.
<In theory that sounds fine, but Epsom salt has other properties, such as its laxative effect, that sodium chloride does not; therefore the two are not interchangeable.>
Or is there something special about NaCl and ich biochemically?
<Might well be, but the research is lacking. If you visit Google Scholar you'll find much research involving Ichthyophthirius and sodium chloride, but so far as I can tell, none at all re: Ichthyophthirius and magnesium sulphate/sulfate.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: For Neale Monks (Salt Use, article)        12/9/15
Byron; please excuse the kibitzing, but am on this side of "the pond" (Neale's in the UK), and have scanned your msg. (the rising pH is okay...) and want to know if you'd consent to our posting your attached article (on WWM) for others edification. Bob Fenner
Re: For Neale Monks

Hello Bob,
I would be very honoured. Is anything therein amiss...need any corrections I mean?
<I don't think so; do run grammar/spell-checks on everything in time though>
<Again, thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: For Neale Monks        12/9/15

Hi Neale,
Well, after a week, I think I have some success to report. I have no method to weigh salt, so I used your 1 tsp = 6 grams and over several hours increased the salt content accordingly a week ago Sunday (Nov 29), having earlier raised the temp to 82F/28C as well. I lowered the water an inch so the filter return splashed quite a bit, to ensure good oxygen exchange.
Aside from increased respiration, no abnormal effects, so stayed with this until this past Sunday (Dec 6) when I turned down the heat to 25C and did a 50% water change. I saw almost no flashing during this past week, and have observed none yesterday or this morning. Respiration has slowed but is still a bit more than "normal," but the barbs and lemon tetra are no longer remaining directly in the filter stream with clamped fins. I will continue to monitor. Obviously there is some salt still present, and I will do the next water change next Sunday, as normal, unless something develops in the interim.
On the pH buffering...it was 6.2 before any treatments, and after the aragonite I mentioned, it went up to 6.4 and has remained in the 6.4 to 6.6 range now for over a week, tested daily at the same time. I assume this is OK.
I understood about the water volume and had calculated accordingly. This is a 90g, and I assume there is probably about 70-75 gallons of water taking into account the substrate and wood and rock. I use the 70g for medication purposes as it is probably safer.
I also fully accept about the uselessness of salt on a general regular basis. I wrote an article on this a few years back for a forum I was on, when the issue kept coming up. I used your articles as some of my references.
I've been lucky in my 25 years of fish keeping, with no disease issues until quite recently. I've dealt with ich a couple times, and Velvet once, many years ago, but otherwise nothing. I never quarantined fish. As I say, it was just luck, coupled with good sources. But all this changed about four years ago when some internal protozoan came in with new fish, twice in
three years. I cured both with Metronidazole in the food. This present problem that turned up over a year ago and has persisted on and off is only my third real disease issue in 25 years, and all three have originated with fish from the same source store. Since that second protozoan issue, I have been quarantining new fish for several weeks, at least five, sometimes more; this last "parasitic" whatever got through my quarantine. I won't even enter that particular store, and now only deal with direct importers or two local independent stores, and I have never had any disease with any of their fish.
I QT regardless, as I say; I learned the hard way, as many do.
I will let you know of any developments with this particular issue. On a more general note, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss some things with you now and then, if that is agreeable. I have read most of your articles, and regular advice in PFK, and I have often used your name and advice in threads on Tropical Fish Forums where I am presently "living." I don't want to be a nuisance though.
Kind regards, and thank you so very much for your continuing assistance.
<Hello guys,
Yes, am on the Old World side of the Atlantic… at the moment rather sick as well, so not been checking in to WWM as often as possible.
I assume adding the salt caused no apparent stress in your fish? I hope not. It does sound as if the infection has cleared up a bit if the flashing has stopped. It will take a few days for fish to regenerate damaged gill tissue, so slightly laboured breathing may persist. I’m wondering if Velvet was your problem here. Velvet seems to go for the gills first and often remains in tanks at a below-obvious level (unlike Whitespot) stressing the fish without killing them. It’s also slightly more difficult to kill compared to Whitespot in my experience. Also note that there are some strains of “super Whitespot” out there that resist standard medications and need two or three rounds of treatment to be eliminated.
As Bob rays, the rising pH is fine, and as ever, a more neutral pH is rather better than a pH closer to 6… better for the bacteria, I mean, which prefer alkaline conditions, and if the filter bacteria are happy, then the fish tend to be happy too. Outside of specialist tanks (Discus, blackwater, etc.) and breeding tanks, there’s little value aiming for a pH of 6.2, say.
Thanks for your kind words.
Cheers, Neale>
Byron Hosking's Salt for FW Use Article         12/10/15

Byron; would you please re-send your salt use article? BobF
Here it is Bob. B.
Posted w/ credit to you: Salt and the Freshwater Aquarium by Byron Hosking
Bob F
Re: For Neale Monks       12/11/15

Thank you indeed.
<Thank you Byron. BobF>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: