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How to Prevent Dropsy?


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  • Regular Member

Hello!

I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but I couldn't find it anywhere.

I was looking through D&D threads, and I noticed how many people's fish were suffering from dropsy! :( It's really sad, stressful, and difficult to treat. So...how can dropsy be prevented? I'm sure many others on this forum would love to know the answer to this question, if there in fact is one.

I found this quote by Helen:

i do not believe that waiting 10 days to do a water change will result in dropsy. it's bacteria related and often a bacteria that the fish is being exposed to over a period of time. so you will need to check things like hollow ornaments, gravel/sand if any and particularly filters. not cleaning the glass on the inside regularly can trap bacteria in the biofilm also.

is that all there is to it? so if we clean our filters regularly, keep the gravel/sand clean, and clean the glass regularly, our fish won't get dropsy? That couldn't be it, right?

What do you think?

-Mandie

Edited by pandamanda111
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  • Regular Member

LOL. This is a million+ dollar question. Given that dropsy is multi-factorial and not well understood, I doubt that anyone can give you a satisfactory answer.

Having said that, the only way to try to minimize (not prevent) problems in the tank is to be disciplined with your maintenance routine, keep water always in excellent conditions, and don't overstock. :)

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  • Regular Member

Mandie, like I said before, and as Helen posted, the things you can do is to make sure that there aren't places/pockets in your tank where you can harbor pathogens and to maintain a low stress tank. That includes the elimination of hollow ornaments, removing thick gravel, regular and thorough maintenance of both tank and filter, and not to overstock.

Bacteria are certainly big components of a lot of cases of dropsy, and there is likely to be a parasitic component as well. That could perhaps explain why metronidazole, which attacks both anaerobic bacteria and protozoal parasites, remain the gold standard for dropsy treatment. I think a past Koko's mod, Ranchugirl, did her fair share of dissecting fish with dropsy, and found there to parasites in these fish as well. To me, the idea of a parasite/bacteria combo for dropsy makes quite a bit of sense, and explains why dropsy is recurrent. Internal parasites, whether protozoal or worms, are extremely tough to treat, in any species ranging from fish to cats and dogs to humans, and in a lot of cases, we can severely reduce the number of the parasites, but not completely eliminate them.

In any case, I don't think that we know enough to be able to prevent dropsy, especially because some of the causes may have already been put in place long before the fish came to you. However, you can do your part to perhaps decrease the risk.

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  • Supporter

Hello!

I'm sure this has been asked many times before, but I couldn't find it anywhere.

I was looking through D&D threads, and I noticed how many people's fish were suffering from dropsy! :( It's really sad, stressful, and difficult to treat. So...how can dropsy be prevented? I'm sure many others on this forum would love to know the answer to this question, if there in fact is one.

I found this quote by Helen:

i do not believe that waiting 10 days to do a water change will result in dropsy. it's bacteria related and often a bacteria that the fish is being exposed to over a period of time. so you will need to check things like hollow ornaments, gravel/sand if any and particularly filters. not cleaning the glass on the inside regularly can trap bacteria in the biofilm also.

is that all there is to it? so if we clean our filters regularly, keep the gravel/sand clean, and clean the glass regularly, our fish won't get dropsy? That couldn't be it, right?

What do you think?

-Mandie

and pray like hell it never happens. we don't breed and raise our fish, we will never ever in a million years know what they've been exposed to. we can only try to maintain life for them as we know and as best we can. that's about it hun..

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I also have found that a drastic change in PH can trigger this in fish. I had a fish Pongo that got this. The ph that the fish was in was about 1ppm higher than mine. I did a slow dip with this fish too, but the other problem is my ph at that time was fluctuating.

Also sometime when you get an older fish, you dont know what conditions these fish where in before you got them :( This can be scary, as you dont know if they have had this problem in the past :o

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