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mawgui

Does My Goldfish Have Dropsy?

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This seems to come out from under a scale. Yesterday it was several times as long. Is this "cotton wool fungus"  Have had the goldfish for years and not seen it before. 

Thank you!

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Hi! Would you please be able to fill out this form? It will help us to help you

 

Test Results for the Following:

 Ammonia Level(Tank)

 Nitrite Level(Tank)

 Nitrate level(Tank)

 Ammonia Level(Tap)

 Nitrite Level(Tap)

 Nitrate level(Tap)

 Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

 Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

 Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

 Water temperature?

 Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

 What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

 How often do you change the water and how much?

 How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

 How many fish in the tank and their size?

 What kind of water additives or conditioners?

 What do you feed your fish and how often?

 Any new fish added to the tank?

 Any medications added to the tank?

 List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

 Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

 Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

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Hi there!  Definitely fill out the form Mandy linked, and a closeup out of water or in a shallow bowl under bright light would help us see what you’re worried about a bit more clearly :)

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Thank you for your responses.  The situation has evolved... probably because I did not leave well enough alone!

I treated the fish for three days according to the recommended dosage of Pimafix fungal treatment.  The oddity on the side went away.  That is the good news.  

The bad news is that both goldfish (about 4" long) are now hanging at the bottom of the tank.  One is gulping water.  One is twitching his/her tail and fins a bit, tail curled a bit to the right. 

I just did a 20% water change after doing another 20% water change yesterday to the 20 gallon tank.  Usually 25% change per week.  

The water stats are as follows (before second 20% change):

*  Temp ~70 degrees

*  Ammonia ~  0.30

*  Nitrite ~0

*  Nitrate ~60 - 80  (tap water Nitrate ~0)

*  pH ~6.5

My guess is stress and water temp change was not helpful and Nitrates especially need to come down.  But I understand that Nitrates need to be brought down over a day or two.  Other helpful comments are appreciated!

 

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Oh no, definitely do massive water changes yo bring those nitrates down.  You won’t stress them, it’s like breathing smoky air and getting into fresh - all good! Your weekly water changes should be 70-80% minimum, to really stay on top of your waste products in the water.  Make sure to knock the crud out of your filter at least monthly too, into a bucket of tank water (the chlorine in tap water can kill some of your beneficial bacteria).

Your pH is really too low though, have you thought about buffering it with baking soda? Do you need some info on how to properly do that?

Let’s try the filter maintenance and increased water changes for a few days first, before adding any medication for treatment. Most of what you’re seeing would be helped with just improved water quality.

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Thank you, Arctic Mama.  I completed a change out that brings today to 80%.  The filter was replaced yesterday and the housing washed out last week.  I may not be understanding your remark about "knock the crud... into a bucket of tank water" - am I to keep the crud?

The fishes were happy until I put the castles and such back into the aquarium.  I noticed that those were not "dug in" to the gravel and so organic goop was accumulating underneath.  The gravel has been thoroughly "sucked out" during the water changes.

I don't know about buffering pH with baking soda.  How is that accomplished?

Thanks again!

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Update:  Swapped out about 80% of the water.  The goldfish are both very quiet on the bottom of the aquarium.  Please, any additional suggestions on returning them to happiness?

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A few days ago I posted regarding What is this?  Is this fungus?  because one of my goldfish had a strange cottony "thing" on its side.  Water changes have gotten the levels under control.  However, the goldfish has gotten worse.  It is sitting at the bottom of the aquarium (along with its partner).  Photos attached seem to show today's development: "pine coning" of the scales on the lower body.

Is this dropsy?  What can I do to help the fish?

Thank you!

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I should mention that there are 2 4" goldfish in a 20 gallon aquarium.  Both fish are at the bottom of the aquarium and not eating.  The pH was low but otherwise ammonia and all other measures are "in bounds."    The fish started to behave particularly badly after treating the water for Pimafix antifungus.

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Wait, did you entirely toss your old filter media?  That is where your beneficial nitrifying bacteria are housed - it needs to be rinsed or literally whacked against a bucket or sink to shake loose the poo and mulm, but the actual filter floss or ceramic media or whatever needs to remain in the system and not tossed unless it is literally falling apart. The pads in my filters have been in there since I started used them, as an example :)

That pH is still not great.  This is experiment time - take a gallon of your tank water and begin adding baking soda by the teaspoon until you hit a pH you are happy with (7.2-7.4 should be a good start).  Once you figure out how much baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) that took, multiply the amount times your full tank volume and slowly add it in over the next day or three. That should help improve the water chemistry, and every time you change the water just replace that amount of baking soda.  Every three months do a 100% water change to get the excess sodium out of the system, though :)

Adding some crushed coral or aragonite sand to your system will also increase the pH and help buffer it, but just keep an eye on the system to make sure the pH stays up because the calcium in those materials gets exhausted in the tank and need replenishing every once in awhile.  @koko has used crushed coral, if I recall, and might be able to give you more specific instructions :)

You made a new thread about new symptoms in your fish.  I’m going to delete that and we will deal with it on here to keep the threads together and consistent.  You say you’re seeing dropsy now?

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Okay; threads merged over :)

That little guy does look dropsied.  I need to you obtain Kanaplex or Oxytetracycline from eBay or Amazon, they are gram negative antibiotics and exactly what we need to try sure begin treating your fish.  They’re difficult to find locally as many fish stores have stopped carrying antibiotics, but if you have a small local fish store you may have luck there.  Here are some links:

https://angelsplus.com/collections/fish-flake-food/products/medicated-antibiotic-flakes

You could feed the Antibiotic II food, because oxy powder is expensive, or pick up some of this water borne kanamycin:

https://www.thatpetplace.com/kanaplex-02oz

We will be treating both fish in a separate hospital tank though.  A plastic storage bin will work just fine, but it can’t really be the main tank because a) that uses up way too much medication and b) all the organic matter in the substrate and filter can interfere with the medication’s efficacy.  So a 10 gallon tank or plastic bin with a heater and an air stone is where we like to treat. Can you obtain all that and then check back in with me?
 

Please use NO other medications in the meantime, just clean water in your main tank that has been buffered up with baking soda to make it a bit more stable and a bit higher pH.

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Good evening,

Thank you for your detailed advice.  I ordered Kanaplex through Amazon.  You were right that it was not available at the usual stores, even the independent that I expected to have everything.  The Kanaplex will show up Friday.  I don't think feeding the antibiotic flakes will work as the fish don't seem to be eating.  Will the kanaplex in the water be sufficient?

I have a small pump and long air stone.  I found a 78 degree fixed temperature heater among the miscellaneous stuff in the basement.  Unfortunately the old 10 gallon aquarium leaks!  So I have a plastic 10 gallon bin.

Should I move the fish now or wait till the Kanaplex arrives?  

Thank you again!

 

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I should mention that I have been dropping boiled and skinned frozen peas into the aquarium.

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Oh yes, in my reading I have seen mention of Epsom salts in the water. Is this contraindicated?

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You can do epsom salt - 1/2 teaspoon per ten gallons should suffice :)  and yes, the water borne kanaplex should still be very effective, especially if he isn’t eating well.  You can feed normal food or even blood worms if he is interested in eating, the peas are more of a constipation treatment and that isn’t what is going on here :)

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And yes, you can move the fish now.  Especially if you’re trying to get the water chemistry in the main tank straightened out, it’s less stressful for the fish to be in quarantine than in a tank where things are bouncing around.  But whatever level you buffer the main tank be sure to buffer the quarantine too.  Let me know how many teaspoons of baking soda per gallon you end up with to get the pH up closer to neutral.

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Thank you.  I am waiting for the temperature of the hospital tank to get to room temperature.  Should the water in the tank be all new or a mix with water from the aquarium?

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All new, just great it for chlorine and buffer it to the same amount you got the main tank to.  If we don’t get that pH under control I feel like you’re going to be fighting a long term, uphill battle against systemic stress in the fish.  But other than the clean water your hospital tank just needs a heater and airstone, no filter or anything from the main tank.

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Alrighty, here is the update.

I have established a hospital tank of about 10 gallons.  Added about 1/2 teaspoon Epsom salt.  Both fish are in the hospital tank (they did not want to go!).  Hospital tank pH is at room temperature, same as the aquarium - around 72 degrees.  I have plugged in the fixed temperature heater so it will eventually get to 78 degrees.

The pH of the hospital tank was equalized to the pH of the aquarium.  Interestingly, the aquarium pH was no longer at ~6.5 but around 7.4/7.6!  This made no sense to me until I tested the tap water.  Tap water is at about 8.0 so, when I did the 80% water change, I unwittingly (as in too many things goldfish related) raised the aquarium pH.  The good news, at least, is that the pH is now around where I understand that it belongs.  (As an editorial, I hate the API water tests: how brown is brown and how blue is blue?)  I needed to add API "pH Down" to the hospital tank to get pH below 8.0.  

The hospital tank is unfiltered, has a long air stone bar in it, and has a light on the top.  Kanaplex has shipped.

Incidentally, the one fish seems to have gotten more lively over the past day or so; the one with dropsy has seen happier days.  

I gather that I need to do daily water changes to make up for the lack of filtration.  About what percentage needs to be swapped out each day?  And what other orders can you provide the nursing staff?

Thank you!

 

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Keep testing the water daily and post the results, I’m trying to figure out what may have been causing the low readings and instability.
 

Also get a bucket of tap water and test it fresh out of the tap, and then the next evening after it has sat for a bit.  Let’s see if the readings change :)

 

Tank set up looks good. Do a 100% change of the water each day - I leave the fish in and drain it down until they’re barely covered, refill it halfway with some dechlorinator added, and then drain it down again to until they’re barely covered, before treating the tank again and refilling to the top.  Then wait about ten minutes before adding any medication, as the water treatments can bind with some of the antibiotics as well and make them less effective. Redose your kanaplex and epsom salt completely, each time you water change, and keep the treatment going for 14 days :)

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I am afraid that I am losing "Dropsy."  He/she is still moving her mouth etc but on her side.  Both fish seem to gravitate to the air stone.  

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I’m sorry, you may be.  Without treatment in hand the wait could do them in, but dropsy sometimes moves fast and isn’t reversible, even with treatment. It just depends.  Unfortunately we can’t do anything more until the meds come but keep the water as clean as we can and keep their stress low.  
 

In the future definitely try to have our main meds on hand - I use a lot of methylene blue, furan 2, metronidazole, and kanamycin.  Those, plus epsom and aquarium salt, make a solid fishy first aid kit to keep available for quick use :)

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Good evening.  Not good news, I am afraid. 

The sick guy appears dead or dead-ish.  Eyes not clouded over but not moving.  The antibiotics have not yet arrived.  I ordered these from Vector Aqua / Super Cichlids with guaranteed Friday delivery - based upon my email correspondence, they appear rather fuzzy on the meaning of "guarantee."

The other guy is not happy.  I expect that he water changes and excitement have not been the high point of his week.  I am not sure how much he is eating.  He does not show physical signs of dropsy.  I am keeping the pH around 7.6 and the heater running at 78.

Should he continue in the hospital tank through 14 days?

 

 

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Feed him carefully and watch what he does, if he spits or shows any interest.

 

Do you have pictures or a video of his behavior? Definitely keep him in the hospital tank as we may end up treating him too.  Warm, clean water is the best you can do for him until meds come.  If you got your hands on some methylene blue please add a half teaspoon of that per ten gallons as well.

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