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Cavalier

Can pineconing be a symptom of anything other than dropsy?

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I don't need any help on this, I'm just kind of puzzle over what happened. A little over a week ago I was feeding the fish and I noticed one of the orandas was pineconed. This happened overnight. I immediately transferred it to a quarantine tank and started treating it with kanaplex and epsom salt. I was expecting the worst. During this time, and before, there were no other symptoms of dropsy. There was no bloating, very active and playful, no bulging eyes, eating well, pooping or any of the other symptom. As of this morning there are only a few scales sticking out on one side, the rest have returned to normal. 

The only problem I have had with my tank is a temporary over crowding. Because of this I have been doing a 50% water change and testing the water every 2 or 3 days.  One time the nitrate was up to around 20 but it's are normally 10 or below. Everything else has been 0. They have been showing no sings of stress and have been very and active and playful with each other.

Any ideas?

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Dropsy is fluid retention in the abdomen, and is a symptom, not really a malady in and of itself.  It usually shows the kidneys are struggling, or an area of localized swelling.  I have had a fish who intermittently dropsied and resolved and he did live quite a few months with his symptoms until he deteriorated.

 

You can treat with Epsom salt and kanaplex as you have been doing, run it for fourteen days total and see where you are at.  But don’t be utterly shocked if it comes back, since it is a symptom of the internal issues, not a cause.  But yes, fish can and do recover from dropsy.  Sometimes it reoccurs, sometimes it doesn’t.  It’s hard to tell more than that as it is very individual to the animal.

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Dropsy is a symptom, not a disease, and it shows as raised scales, usually with bloating.  Dropsy can result from internal infections or from toxic water.  The immediate recovery suggests toxic water as the cause.

Describe your "overcrowding"  -- how many fish is how much water?  How often do you do that 50% water change?

 

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Thanks for the quick replies.

There were 7 goldfish in a 55 gallon tank. There are 4 of them that are 2 inches or less and the others 3 are 3 1/ 2 to 4. I have been doing the 50% water changes every 2 to 3 days. The water parameters have all been good during this time but I still did the water changes just to be safe. The water I use is well water so there is no chlorine problem. 

I normally keep 3 in a 30 gallon tank and 4 in the 55. I used the 30 gallon as a quarantine tank a while ago so all the other fish had to go in the 55. Life got a bit busy, and a little laziness thrown in, and I haven't cleaned and set the 30 gallon back up yet. The thing that puzzles me is that there has been no other symptoms whatsoever. 

A few weeks before this happened I found a nice piece of driftwood and added it to the tank after washing it off good with just water. Maybe there might have been some kind of bacteria on it? I removed the driftwood right after I found this fish pineconing.

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Posted (edited)

No, I doubt it was the driftwood.  It was assuredly the water maintenance and overstocking.  What are your full water parameters, please? If you can’t upsize the tanks or split the fish up more (like, two of the little in the 30 gallon, MAX) we may be able to help you with a better water changing schedule :)

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Please read our guidelines for healthy goldfish.   As Taryl pointed out,  you can keep the fish healthy in too little water, but you need a rigorous water change schedule.  

What test kit do you use?  What filter(s) do you have?

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I just tested the water now for you. pH -7.6, ammonia - 0, nitrite - 0, nitrate - 5. I'm using the API master test kit to check my water. This is how the water parameters have been right along. I try to keep the nitrate at 10 or below and everything else remains at 0. The pH in my well water runs about 6.6 so I have to add pH plus to bring it up after a water change.

I use a canister filter with a UV light that can handle up to a 150 gallon tank.

The directions on the kanaplex say to do 3 doses every 2 days. It's been 2 days since the last dose. I have read that if you start another round of the kanaplex you should give it a few days break in between. Should I wait another day or start the next round today?

I do intend on splitting them up again after I' done quarantining this fish.

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In the quarantine tank I removed the carbon filter but not the biological one. I have been doing a 70% water change every 2 days just before the next dose of kanaplex. Does the kanaplex kill the bacterial in the biological filter? I seeded the filter this morning with some media from the main tank canister filer just to be sure. Should I remove it befor the next dose of kanaplex?

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Posted (edited)

"The directions on the kanaplex say to do 3 doses every 2 days. It's been 2 days since the last dose"

I meant to say dose every 2 days for a total of 3.

Edited by Cavalier

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3 hours ago, Cavalier said:

I just tested the water now for you. pH -7.6, ammonia - 0, nitrite - 0, nitrate - 5. I'm using the API master test kit to check my water. This is how the water parameters have been right along. I try to keep the nitrate at 10 or below and everything else remains at 0. The pH in my well water runs about 6.6 so I have to add pH plus to bring it up after a water change.

I use a canister filter with a UV light that can handle up to a 150 gallon tank.

The directions on the kanaplex say to do 3 doses every 2 days. It's been 2 days since the last dose. I have read that if you start another round of the kanaplex you should give it a few days break in between. Should I wait another day or start the next round today?

I do intend on splitting them up again after I' done quarantining this fish.

Your plan to test and change the water when the nitrates climb is a good one.

 

When dosing kanaplex in QT itneeds to be in the water for 14 days.  I know the instructions say 10 but that’s hasn’t proven as effective.  I change the water completely in QT once or even twice a day and redose the full amount of meds every time.  But as long as you’re keeping it in the water with at least the recommended frequency you’ll be fine.  

 

From what hat I am hearing you has six full days of kanaplex and a two day break?  Please keep it in another full week and see where you are at.  Just six days of it is too little.  They don’t need a break between these two rounds but we will NOT want to use Kanaplex for several months after this.

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Thank you so much for your help. I'll keep you posted on it's progress.

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Kanaplex kills nitrifiers.  That's why we keep fish under treatment in a small -- like 10 gallon -- tank and use large water changes rather than a filter to keep the ammonia and nitrite under control.  

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Yeah, I kinda figured it would kill the beneficial bacteria.

The pineconing had all but disapeared on the fish after the first round of Kanaplex. Soon after starting the second round it has returned on one side and is now faintly starting on the other. I was optimistic and had hopes that it would recover but it doesn't look like it will now. I'm disappointed but not surprised. The fish is still very active and showing no other symptoms for now. I guess all I can do for now is try and keep it comfortable.

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Yes, he may still have many months of good health despite the dropsy.   I wouldn’t euthanize unless his symptoms progressed or he stopped eating, in which case it would be time.

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