Treat Sick Betta Fish with These Salts

Posted on July 03 2024, By: Aquarium Dimensions

Treat Sick Betta Fish with These Salts

Do Betta Fish Need Salt?

Betta fish don't need salt, but salt can offer an important boost to their health when given at the correct dosage. Bettas are still freshwater fish.

Types of Aquarium Salt for Betta Fish

Epsom Salt 

Magnesium sulfate (aka "Epsom salt") is often used to reduce swelling in humans. It has positive effects on betta fish, too. Epsom salt...

  • Helps treat swim bladder disorder
  • Works as a laxative
  • Helps the fish to swim
  • Helps the fish sink

However, the dyes and scents that accompany Epsom salt for humans should be avoided for fish.

For bettas, use 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per gallon of water, poured into a tank separate from the main tank. Betta fish should stay for 10-15 minutes in the Epsom mixture (10 for less severe need and 15 for a more severe need, but no more than 15). You should also acclimate your fish for 2-5 min before returning it to the main tank avoid shock.

Basic Aquarium Salt 

Sodium chloride is similar to table salt, but it should be purchased exclusively from aquarium/pet retailers, where it's typically labeled as "aquarium salt."

Don't get this salt at the grocery store! Table salts for humans often come with additives. Dedicated sodium chloride for fish is made with evaporated sea water, and is free from additives.

Use 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water. Bettas can stay for 5-8 minutes in this salt mixture depending on the severity of the need, but do not exceed this time. Acclimate your fish for 2-3 minutes before going back to the main tank.

Benefits for betta fish include:

  • Treating fin rot
  • Healing wounds
  • Fighting infection
  • Preventing parasites like Velvet and Ich from sticking to the fish
  • Enhancing your fish’s capability to produce a protective slime coat 
  • Aiding gill and kidney function

When Not to Use Salt for Bettas

Avoid sodium chloride when you want to treat bloating in your betta, because doing so can make the ailment worse.

Avoid Epsom salt for your betta in any case except bloating, swelling, and wound infections. 



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