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I brought this up on another thread but didn't want to hijack the thread so I'm starting a new thread for the question.

I know that Epsom salt acts as a laxative. Could it help to prevent bloat?
 

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i have been told it does, i have started using it as a regular salt additive, i use one tablespoon of epsom salt and one teaspoon of NaCl

i recently used jungle labs parasite clear (i think that's the name) from walmart and it worked great
 

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I know that Epsom salt acts as a laxative. Could it help to prevent bloat?
I've never been convinced that it acts as a laxative in fish, so not convinced either that it would do anything for bloat. But, I tend to be on the skeptical side about a lot of things. :)
 

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epsom salt is cheap though, and it's part of the buffer recipe, so i assume it's soemhting that is good to have in the tank, at least not harmful
 

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Epsom salts work as a laxative by creating an osmotic load to draw extra fluid from the body into the colon to make the stool looser. If you add epsom salt to the water in an aquarium, it isnt the same as swallowing it directly and I would not expect it to have any effect as a laxative.
 

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cjacob316 said:
epsom salt is cheap though, and it's part of the buffer recipe, so i assume it's soemhting that is good to have in the tank, at least not harmful
No, it's not harmful. Adds to total hardness and raises GH. Some debate though as to what rift lake cichlids really need in our tanks. It's varied in my tanks. To some I add, to some I don't, to some I used to and don't any more. I've never seen any difference between one tank and another.

jevans89 said:
Epsom salts work as a laxative by creating an osmotic load to draw extra fluid from the body into the colon to make the stool looser. If you add epsom salt to the water in an aquarium, it isnt the same as swallowing it directly and I would not expect it to have any effect as a laxative.
That's what I've always suspected, but I remember someone telling me that it works it's way into the gut somehow. I know fluids pass through a fish's system, but I'm still skeptical as to whether the magnesium sulfate has any effect on a fish's stool. If it did, then we'd have to watch that we didn't overdose, wouldn't we?
 

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prov356 said:
I know that Epsom salt acts as a laxative. Could it help to prevent bloat?
I've never been convinced that it acts as a laxative in fish, so not convinced either that it would do anything for bloat. But, I tend to be on the skeptical side about a lot of things. :)
I have seen it work.

I have had a few constipated Leleupis from feeding to much blood worms. They bloated out and started swimming funny.

I added a bit of Epsom salt ( more than you usually would for a buffer ) and within a half hour the tank had lots of poop on the bottom, the fish were pooping at the moment and they were swimming normal again.

I also have a small indoor pond at work with gold fish that tend to get blocked up from time to time and I know the salt helps them as well.

Epsom salt is a saline laxative.
 

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Epsom salt is a saline laxative
That's understood and I don't question that. What I do question is whether it gets into a fish's intestines in order to work the same as it would by swallowing it.

I'll stay skeptical until someone can post some links that explain how it's effective in fish. Maybe it is, but I've got to see some science behind how fish that don't swallow water can get magnesium sulfate into their intestinal tract in sufficient enough of a quantity to act as a laxative. If we're just going by experiential evidence, that's fine, but if there's no science to back up the experience...
 

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Well all I can do at this moment is give you my words that I witnessed it with my own eyes. Maybe it was irony,... it is a grand scene after all.

It is a known age old technique for bloated fish do to constipation but I guess for ages it never was fully understood and had no scientific background.

How ever a simple google search would give you loads of research to look into.

http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/disease-prevention/fish-constipation-food.aspx

SNIPPET*
Treatment
Constipation is treated primarily by providing high-fiber foods that can act as a laxative. During the treatment phase, no other foods should be given (and certainly not pellets, flake or freeze-dried foods). Tinned peas are the classic laxative for most fish, either whole (in the case of species like goldfish) or squashed (for smaller species, such as bettas). Other good foods include plants (particularly Elodea and Egeria) and chitinous live foods (such as Daphnia and brine shrimp).

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a mild muscle relaxant used when treating moderate to severe constipation. Depending on the severity of the case, a dosage of 1 to 3 teaspoons per 5 gallons is recommended.
 

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Not doubting you and what you saw at all. Experience can be valuable and credible. But, I have googled this thing to death already and found nothing. Even in the link you provided, there's still nothing. How does it act as a laxative in fish? Anyone got anything? I can become a believer, really I can. I just need to see the science. There are a lot of 'age old' aquarium methods out there. Some effective, some myth. So, which is this one?
 

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It has always worked for me.
As soon as I add the epsom salt I notice that the fish begin to pass waste.
I usually see this within the first 20 minutes.
Also, it is very consistent, I continue to see good results whenever I use epsom salt.
 

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Fish don't need to swallow to take in "stuff".
They are pretty much an open system and use diffusion to regulate their body fluids.
If there is epsom salt in the water it can diffuse over a very permable membrane in the fish's tissues.
It enters the body fluids thus exposing the contents of the fluid to organs such as gills, gut, and intestines.
 

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prov356 said:
Not doubting you and what you saw at all. Experience can be valuable and credible. But, I have googled this thing to death already and found nothing. Even in the link you provided, there's still nothing. How does it act as a laxative in fish? Anyone got anything? I can become a believer, really I can. I just need to see the science. There are a lot of 'age old' aquarium methods out there. Some effective, some myth. So, which is this one?
I think some people are taking it in the wrong way. It is also muscle relaxant, it acts to relive the bowls on a fish in the same way it relaxes us in the tub if we use it. Therefore for a animal with such a short digestive tract it relaxes the bowels helping trigger movement.

I must say when I witnessed it work the stool from the fish did still appear firm so thats just my guess. I am sure that it does some way or another find its way in some sort of small amounts into the digestive tract as well.
 

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smellsfishy1 said:
Fish don't need to swallow to take in "stuff".
They are pretty much an open system and use diffusion to regulate their body fluids.
If there is epsom salt in the water it can diffuse over a very permable membrane in the fish's tissues.
It enters the body fluids thus exposing the contents of the fluid to organs such as gills, gut, and intestines.
I agree and understand all of that. But, that differs from the amount that'd be ingested from swallowing it. Diffusion and direct ingestion are two very different things. The question still is then, does enough of the magnesium sulfate get into the fish's gut to act as a laxative as it does in humans?
 

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prov356 said:
smellsfishy1 said:
Fish don't need to swallow to take in "stuff".
They are pretty much an open system and use diffusion to regulate their body fluids.
If there is epsom salt in the water it can diffuse over a very permable membrane in the fish's tissues.
It enters the body fluids thus exposing the contents of the fluid to organs such as gills, gut, and intestines.
I agree and understand all of that. But, that differs from the amount that'd be ingested from swallowing it. Diffusion and direct ingestion are two very different things. The question still is then, does enough of the magnesium sulfate get into the fish's gut to act as a laxative as it does in humans?
Think about using/dissolving salt to detoxify nitrite in fish.
Why do some people use it in the effort to prevent/treat nitrite poisoning?
Obviously the diffusion is sufficient enough to provide relief to this organ(blood).

We can expect other salts, fluids, or particles to be subject to the same behavior.
This is why I tried using epsom salt in the first place, I anticipated a response similar to that of the above treatment.
There are some factors that come into play such as concentration gradients( higher the cg the higher the diffusion rate) and movement or flow of water.

It would be nice to find a link or a study on this but I can't find one.
The only thing I have to go on is the actual physiology of fish including their biological activities and processes.
Fortunately, through my own trials I have found it to be an effective treatment when I needed it.
 

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Think about using/dissolving salt to detoxify nitrite in fish.
Why do some people use it in the effort to prevent/treat nitrite poisoning?
Obviously the diffusion is sufficient enough to provide relief to this organ(blood).
But I can find an explanation for how that works here.

The chloride ion of rock salt simply acts as a specific block to the uptake of nitrite

And that happens at the gills. So instead of the nitrite attaching itself to the hemoglobin at the point of that exchange, the fish's gills, it gets blocked from doing so by the chloride ion in salt. Whether any of that's true or not is here nor there, the point is it's an explanation that sounds plausible that I can get my mind around.

Just looking for the same with Epsom salt and digestive troubles in fish. And not doubting anyone's experience. Experience alone can be enough. Maybe if I ever get a fish with digestive troubles I'll give it a shot and see for myself and become a believer. :wink:
 

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Epsom salt works as a laxative in humans because most of it stays in the intestines and then will draw water from the body into the colon to balance it out. The extra water from the body that moves into the stool will make the stool softer and more watery - thereby relieving constipation.

If you add epsom salt to the water of an aquarium, it is the same concentration in the surrounding water as it is in the intestines of the fish and cant draw any extra fluid into the stool to relieve "constipation." It works by an osmotic gradient.

For example - I don't know if any of you ever put salt on a slug when you were a kid but the salt will draw the fluid out of the slug and cause it to shrivel up and die because there is a higher concentration of salt on the outside of the slug than there is on its inside.

Is that making sense?

I'm not an expert in fish physiology so its possible that it could work differently in fish but it cant possibly be by the same mechanism as in humans.
 

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this is age old chemistry and medical science, magnesium sulfate works as a laxative and a fluid reducer. i've used it and recommended it with several hundred patients with success.
 

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thevein said:
this is age old chemistry and medical science, magnesium sulfate works as a laxative and a fluid reducer. i've used it and recommended it with several hundred patients with success.
We're talking about it's effectiveness in fish, not people. Give us credit for someting here. :)
 
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