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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11433
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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I have a female blood red cichlid, 3-4 years old. In a 35

Customer Question

I have a female blood red cichlid, 3-4 years old. In a 35 gallon tank with a smallish pleco. Has previously laid eggs successfully. Very swollen on right side, believe she is egg bound. Treating with epsom salts and kanaplex. My question is I've been putting epsom salts in her tank, did that for 4 or 5 days until kenaplex arrived. Put charcoal back in filter for a couple of days before treating with epsom salts and kanaplex. Does charcoal get rid of the epsom salts? I've been doing 25% water changes, 1Tbsp es per 5 gallons. Am scared of overdosing the tank with epsom salts. Don't know how long it lasts in the tank.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the cichlid. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cichlid?
Customer: She's behaving pretty much normal, not much lethargy. Have her light off like was reccommended for kanaplex.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in fish. I'm sorry to hear your cichlids is having a problem.You are right that Epsom salts are the treatment for egg binding. However, we don't usually put them in the tank. If you treat the tank with a high enough dose to do any good, it would poison the fish to be in that concentration all the time. Instead, we use a bath.The goal with baths is to have the fish lay the eggs or reabsorb them. Epsom salts are the only thing that has been found to help with that. Most fish keepers use 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts per gallon of water, in a separate tank or container. Leave the fish in the bath for 15 minutes each day. If she becomes distressed, remove her sooner. The Kanaplex in the tank will help prevent any infection from retained eggs.Charcoal does not remove Epsom salts. The only way to do that is with water changes. At this point, I would start water changes to get rid of the Epsom salts in the tank, begin using Epsom salts baths once per day instead, and treat with the Kanaplex.If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope your cichlid will either pass or resorb her eggs.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!