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Hmmm... so either I recorded their treatment wrong or I made a grave mistake. I do remember, however, knowing full well the two week treatment time and making it a point to treat them. I'd like to think I made a recording error but I am extremely forgetful... unfortunately.

Because of financial constraints and a fear of his digestive tract grinding to a halt, I put them both in the same tank since I only have one heater. I did add both filters, though. So now they're both in a 20gal with two filters, a heater, and an air stone.

Should I continue the 50% daily water changes or increase them? *sigh* This is so stressful. All because some lady didn't stop to think if she knew enough about fish to keep them. Fish are treated like a throw away pet, a decoration. She genuinely seemed to care about their well being in the end, though.

As promised, pictures. Here is the set up.

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Now I'm going to take a moment to complain, because I have not had the chance anywhere else. Feel free to ignore this.These tanks are in my basement, I have to go down a flight of stairs with each bucket of water. That's 4 trips, at least. I've been working 40+ hours weekly because of my two jobs. Also because of them, Christmas was my first day off in over a month. Some days I work 5 hours at one job only to work 4 hours at my other with literally no time in between. So no breaks. I don't think I've had one break this entire time, aside from Christmas eve. I also have birds, fish, snakes, and a dog to tend to in my free time.

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:( I am sorry things are not going well.

I have asked some others from the mod team to take a look at your thread and see if we can get a different perspective/input.

Could you please answer if they are currently in epsom salt and if so how long they have been in epsom now?

Also, how many pellets of MMs are you feeding a day? are you feeding 1% of body weight like we talked about previously?

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They've been in Epsom for 11 days now. With, unfortunately, no swelling reduction that I can see. Should I just stop it? No weight either, I'm very sorry. I did, however, inspect their gills for any paleness and they look healthy.

As for how much I feed them... I would have to say about 10-15 pellets? If I had to guess. Pretty much as much as they would eat in a normal sitting.

Once again, I'm really sorry I didn't get their weight yet. I've honestly had this scale for years and once the batteries ran out I just never got new ones.

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Yes you should get all the epsom out of the water. Epsom treatment is only supposed to be for 8 days.

Based on their size you should probably be feeding closer to 20-25 pellets each a day.

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I have consulted with the rest of the mod team, and unfortunately the general consensus is that these two likely will not ever fully recover. Even if the dropsy symptoms disappear, they will likely be stuck to the bottom on their side like that permanently :( I'm sorry.

The side laying position is likely due to permanent swim bladder damage. And you will continue to get the sores etc. that you are seeing now due to being on the tank floor all the time.

I am really sorry :( I was hoping the initial round of MMs would be enough to pull them out of this, but I believe there was just too much permanent damage already done before we started treatment.

You have a couple options, and we will certainly support you in whatever you choose. You can continue with this second round of MMs and see if anything changes, or you can consider euthanizing them. I know this is a tough decision :hug You have done a good job caring for them, but it may be time to let them go. Please let us know what you decide. If you choose to let them go, clove oil is the most humane way to do this. I can walk you through this if you choose to go this route.

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You know... I would just like to say thank you so much to everyone here. You've all been incredibly helpful and kind, especially you Tithra.

I am familiar with dropsy and it's mortality rate... I just thought maybe if I caught it fast enough and treated it they may have had a chance but... I have been considering euthanasia for a while, especially with the pearscale. The fantail though... I was hoping maybe to build a harness, and fingers crossed a vet visit to see if he can live a normal or at least healthy life.

I have read up on the clove oil method, I had a beautiful betta who developed a tumor and eventually very aggressive dropsy. Unfortunately he passed before I could find any clove oil around me. So I am at least a little familiar with the procedure, but I've never done it.

I will let you guys know when I decide what to do.

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I'm sorry, Vicky! I wish there were more we could do to help.

This forum has a rather astounding success rate with treating dropsy, especially because of its reputation. However, sometimes, it just does not work out. :(

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I just want to say that having tried many different slings I would never recommend it to anyone. They fish just cant adjust to any kind of constant contact and it can bring back a dropsy relapse. They can only spend short periods in slings of any type (I've tried nearly 15 designs using different materials) but they just don't handle them well over time. They'll exhibit lifted scales or red irritation at any signs on contact, which can lead to infections. So in a sling they need nearly hourly monitoring and you'll need to handle them a lot in order to build one and then take it on and off every time the fish reacts to it. I'm not telling you what to do, but having gone through this before with a side sinker if it happened again I would euthanize right away... They just can't live a normal life and they deteriorate slowly. Even a vet will not be able to restore the fish's ability to control itself in the water column, you can't fix a broken swim bladder. It's a possibility for floaters, but not sinkers.

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Miracles are real. I admire that you took them in and have cared for them as much as you have. Cross your fingers, and hope for the best!

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