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Does my fish have dropsy?


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My little ranchu has always been "lazy" in that she's kinda hung out at the bottom of the tank. When she sees me she'll usually start swimming around and begging for food. Lately though I've noticed her doing it more and today when I fed her she wasn't that interested. Now that I've had a much closer look I think I may have spotted some of her scales sticking out.

She finally got the food I dropped in for her and ate it and then started swimming around again. I'm not sure if she's just being lazy or if she really does have something wrong with her. I hope you guys can let me know if it's dropsy or not and if so what I can do to help her.

Thank you!

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Unfortunately, it does look like your beautiful Chu is pineconing. :(

Do you have Metro-meds on hand?

Could you please refer to the D&D form in my signature, and answer all the questions? Thank you!

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Hello, your fish does appear to be pineconing, if you could answer all of the questions below, it will help the mods to help you :) good luck! :hug

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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and it looks like you noticed it quite early! that's great fishkeeping :hug see if you can answer all the questions as quickly as possible so we can get treatments happening asap & hopefully we can get good results for her :)

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Test Results for the Following:
* Ammonia Level(Tank) 0
* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
* Nitrate level(Tank) 20
* Ammonia Level(Tap) Between .50 and 1
* Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
* Nitrate level(Tap) 0
* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6
* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) Higher than 8.8 (the highest reading)
Other Required Info:
* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API freshwater master, drops
* Water temperature?
* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20 gallons, running for about 5 months
* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? marineland biowheel 150 and aqueon quiet flow 10
* How often do you change the water and how much? Once a week, 100%
* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 1 week ago, the WC is due for today
* How many fish in the tank and their size? 2, The one with dropsy is 2 1/2 inches and the other is 1 1/2 inches
* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Seachem Prime
* What do you feed your fish and how often? Repashy soilent green mixed with some frozen bloodworms. I feed them once a day, 4 days out of the week. I fast them one day then feed them a pea the next. On the last day I either feed them frozen brineshrimp or bloodworms exclusively
* Any new fish added to the tank? Not since Haru, the smaller one. That was about a month ago
* Any medications added to the tank? Not at the moment.
* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. I have done salt and prazi pro for both my fish. I did 5 rounds of the prazi for both of them, salting the whole time. For Fuyu (dropsy) that was when I got her about 4 months ago.
* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? I have noticed the pineconing and what looks like a milky whiteness near her gills.
* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? She bottom sits throughout the day but during other times she'll swim around like nothing is wrong. She will usually perk up when I show up. She was kind of hesitant about eating last night but she did end up eating her repashy.

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and it looks like you noticed it quite early! that's great fishkeeping :hug see if you can answer all the questions as quickly as possible so we can get treatments happening asap & hopefully we can get good results for her :)

Thanks. :) I'm glad to hear it's not a really late stage of the illness. I hope I can get her back to normal soon. She's such a sweet girl :(

Poor girl looks very thin, too. I hope she pulls through for you. :k055:

Does she? I was worried she was. She eats like a horse too. :(

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I would recommend upgrading to at least a 29 gallon (preferably a 40 breeder) when you can as it is recommended 15-20 gallons per fish.

Did you test with the high rang pH?

I agree, she is pretty skinny. They can't live off of frozen food and repashy in my opinion. Well not very easily. Get a good pellet food such as hikari lionhead, omega one, and new life spectrum. Make sure they are sinking. You should be feeding 3-4 times a day with pellet foods. My feeding schedule is

AM- 1mm NLS Thera a

Mid- either repashy or more NLS

Night- hikari lionhead or bloodworms. I alternate feedings between the two. So one night lionhead re next bloodworms.

Do you have a 10 gallon tank you can set up as QT? It doesn't need a filter as long as you do daily 100% water changes. It will however need an air stone for oxygen. You will need Epsom salt, a gram scale that can weigh down to .1 grams and metro meds from godlfish connection.

Edited by Mikey
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Do you have MetroMeds and Epsom salt? You may want to look around and see if you can find powdered metronidazole and kanamycin also if she's not eating really well.

Have you tested your KH? That is a big difference between tap and tank ph and if it's dropping quickly that is cause for concern also . . .

I would put her in a QT. Doesn't need to be fancy. A 10 gallon tank or Sterilite bin and an airstone will do. :D

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I would recommend upgrading to at least a 29 gallon (preferably a 40 breeder) when you can as it is recommended 15-20 gallons per fish.

Did you test with the high rang pH?

I agree, she is pretty skinny. They can't live off of frozen food and repashy in my opinion. Well not very easily. Get a good pellet food such as hikari lionhead, omega one, and new life spectrum. Make sure they are sinking. You should be feeding 3-4 times a day with pellet foods. My feeding schedule is

AM- 1mm NLS Thera a

Mid- either repashy or more NLS

Night- hikari lionhead or bloodworms. I alternate feedings between the two. So one night lionhead re next bloodworms.

Do you have a 10 gallon tank you can set up as QT? It doesn't need a filter as long as you do daily 100% water changes. It will however need an air stone for oxygen. You will need Epsom salt, a gram scale that can weigh down to .1 grams and metro meds from godlfish connection.

I'm in the process of setting up a 55 gallon for them now, they'll be going in when it's set up. I did use the high range pH for the test. I will get some pellet for them, didn't realize they couldn't just live off gel food.

I don't have a 10 gallon, only a 2.5. I'll get one today though. Also, does it have to be epsom salt? Can I use canning instead? I also have a scale and metro meds.

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Do you have MetroMeds and Epsom salt? You may want to look around and see if you can find powdered metronidazole and kanamycin also if she's not eating really well.

Have you tested your KH? That is a big difference between tap and tank ph and if it's dropping quickly that is cause for concern also . . .

I would put her in a QT. Doesn't need to be fancy. A 10 gallon tank or Sterilite bin and an airstone will do. :D

I have the MMs but no epsom, I can get some today. I have never tested KH, have never been able to find a test kit for it in the store. I'm gonna get the 10 gallon today for her. Do you think there's anything else she needs? Do I need a heater?

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I would recommend upgrading to at least a 29 gallon (preferably a 40 breeder) when you can as it is recommended 15-20 gallons per fish.

Did you test with the high rang pH?

I agree, she is pretty skinny. They can't live off of frozen food and repashy in my opinion. Well not very easily. Get a good pellet food such as hikari lionhead, omega one, and new life spectrum. Make sure they are sinking. You should be feeding 3-4 times a day with pellet foods. My feeding schedule is

AM- 1mm NLS Thera a

Mid- either repashy or more NLS

Night- hikari lionhead or bloodworms. I alternate feedings between the two. So one night lionhead re next bloodworms.

Do you have a 10 gallon tank you can set up as QT? It doesn't need a filter as long as you do daily 100% water changes. It will however need an air stone for oxygen. You will need Epsom salt, a gram scale that can weigh down to .1 grams and metro meds from godlfish connection.

I'm in the process of setting up a 55 gallon for them now, they'll be going in when it's set up. I did use the high range pH for the test. I will get some pellet for them, didn't realize they couldn't just live off gel food.

I don't have a 10 gallon, only a 2.5. I'll get one today though. Also, does it have to be epsom salt? Can I use canning instead? I also have a scale and metro meds.

No, it must be epsom :)

Edited by jmetzger72
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Should I be giving her food besides the MMs?



I would recommend upgrading to at least a 29 gallon (preferably a 40 breeder) when you can as it is recommended 15-20 gallons per fish.

Did you test with the high rang pH?

I agree, she is pretty skinny. They can't live off of frozen food and repashy in my opinion. Well not very easily. Get a good pellet food such as hikari lionhead, omega one, and new life spectrum. Make sure they are sinking. You should be feeding 3-4 times a day with pellet foods. My feeding schedule is
AM- 1mm NLS Thera a
Mid- either repashy or more NLS
Night- hikari lionhead or bloodworms. I alternate feedings between the two. So one night lionhead re next bloodworms.

Do you have a 10 gallon tank you can set up as QT? It doesn't need a filter as long as you do daily 100% water changes. It will however need an air stone for oxygen. You will need Epsom salt, a gram scale that can weigh down to .1 grams and metro meds from godlfish connection.

I'm in the process of setting up a 55 gallon for them now, they'll be going in when it's set up. I did use the high range pH for the test. I will get some pellet for them, didn't realize they couldn't just live off gel food.

I don't have a 10 gallon, only a 2.5. I'll get one today though. Also, does it have to be epsom salt? Can I use canning instead? I also have a scale and metro meds.

No, it must be epsom :)

Ok. Where can I buy that? Do they sell it at the pet store?

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I would recommend upgrading to at least a 29 gallon (preferably a 40 breeder) when you can as it is recommended 15-20 gallons per fish.

Did you test with the high rang pH?

I agree, she is pretty skinny. They can't live off of frozen food and repashy in my opinion. Well not very easily. Get a good pellet food such as hikari lionhead, omega one, and new life spectrum. Make sure they are sinking. You should be feeding 3-4 times a day with pellet foods. My feeding schedule is

AM- 1mm NLS Thera a

Mid- either repashy or more NLS

Night- hikari lionhead or bloodworms. I alternate feedings between the two. So one night lionhead re next bloodworms.

Do you have a 10 gallon tank you can set up as QT? It doesn't need a filter as long as you do daily 100% water changes. It will however need an air stone for oxygen. You will need Epsom salt, a gram scale that can weigh down to .1 grams and metro meds from godlfish connection.

I'm in the process of setting up a 55 gallon for them now, they'll be going in when it's set up. I did use the high range pH for the test. I will get some pellet for them, didn't realize they couldn't just live off gel food.

I don't have a 10 gallon, only a 2.5. I'll get one today though. Also, does it have to be epsom salt? Can I use canning instead? I also have a scale and metro meds.

I like using the normal range one. Test it with that one and tell us what the results are for tap and tank :) and also try and find the kH kit. Most if the time, it's the gH and kH kit combined.

Not big enough. Like Lisa said, a storage tub can work just as well :)

Nope. It has to be pure plain Epsom. My hat reduces the swelling and fluids. The regular salt traps keeps ten in the fish and they will pinecone even more.

It's not not doable for them to live off of gel food and frozen food, it's just hard to do. It's easier to use pellets as a main staple.

Edited by Mikey
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Should I be giving her food besides the MMs?

I would recommend upgrading to at least a 29 gallon (preferably a 40 breeder) when you can as it is recommended 15-20 gallons per fish.

Did you test with the high rang pH?

I agree, she is pretty skinny. They can't live off of frozen food and repashy in my opinion. Well not very easily. Get a good pellet food such as hikari lionhead, omega one, and new life spectrum. Make sure they are sinking. You should be feeding 3-4 times a day with pellet foods. My feeding schedule is

AM- 1mm NLS Thera a

Mid- either repashy or more NLS

Night- hikari lionhead or bloodworms. I alternate feedings between the two. So one night lionhead re next bloodworms.

Do you have a 10 gallon tank you can set up as QT? It doesn't need a filter as long as you do daily 100% water changes. It will however need an air stone for oxygen. You will need Epsom salt, a gram scale that can weigh down to .1 grams and metro meds from godlfish connection.

I'm in the process of setting up a 55 gallon for them now, they'll be going in when it's set up. I did use the high range pH for the test. I will get some pellet for them, didn't realize they couldn't just live off gel food.

I don't have a 10 gallon, only a 2.5. I'll get one today though. Also, does it have to be epsom salt? Can I use canning instead? I also have a scale and metro meds.

No, it must be epsom :)

Ok. Where can I buy that? Do they sell it at the pet store?

No, only feed her the Metro Meds. You can get Epsom at any drug store.

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Once you get her in QT and deal with the Dropsy, I would address the diet. I like that you are giving them Bloodworms and Repashy Solient Green. But, with one day of fasting, one day of a pea and another day of just frozen food...they are not getting complete nutrition for almost half of the week. So, I would recommend getting a small 1mm sinking pellet like Omega One, New Life Spectrum or Hikari Lionhead and feeding them this once daily. Then, give them a second meal of either the Repashy or the frozen food. If you want, you can even go to 3 meals a day once they're in the 55 and it is cycled.

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But Mikey, if he tests with the normal range ph test and he gets the darkest blue color (7.6) then he needs to test with the high range pH . . . .

That's why I used the high range, it was way off the regular pH range. I have a storage bin but it's full of stuff so I'll go with the 10 gal. I'll grab the salt too and hopefully find a KH kit.

As for how I've been dealing with the pH range, I guess I haven't? I just add the new water with prime into the tank and place them both in there. I figured the prime took care of any issues with the tap.

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It's not not doable for them to live off of gel food and frozen food, it's just hard to do. It's easier to use pellets as a main staple.

Mikey, can you explain this to me please?

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Since the pH is so crazy what should I do when I set up the 10 gal? Is there a way to bring the pH down? I don't want to stress her out any more than I already have been. :(

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Prime will not deal with any pH issues. If you cannot find a KH test locally (it's often in a kit with GH), check out amazon. It's usually around $8 for both tests. :D

I'd like you to do an experiment for me. (Get QT set up first . . . ). Set up a bucket with 2-3 gallons of tap water in it with an air stone. Test the pH at the time of set up and again 24 hours later. If you could test it somewhere in between 0 and 24 hours that would be great also, say 6 and 12 hours or 8 and 16 hours. Whenever . . .

This will give us an idea of how quickly that pH is diving which can be very stressful on a fish. :D Once we find out KH, we can deal with the pH drop. :D

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It's not not doable for them to live off of gel food and frozen food, it's just hard to do. It's easier to use pellets as a main staple.

Mikey, can you explain this to me please?

I quoted, but I guess it didn't go through?

I just find it easier to feed with pellets than it would to feed frozen/repashy only. It is in my opinion harder to figure out how much to feed to equal the fat and protein etc. that the pellets have. They also last longer then a pack of frozen food would. It's also cheaper.

Edited by Mikey
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Since the pH is so crazy what should I do when I set up the 10 gal? Is there a way to bring the pH down? I don't want to stress her out any more than I already have been. :(

Ideally, if you could get 2 10 gallon bins/tanks, you could set them both up with her in one and just an airstone in the other, letting the ph drop naturally over 24 hours. Then day 2 you'd move her to tank #2 which has been sitting out and therefore temp and ph are matched to the tank she was in . . .

If that's not feasible, I think we should buffer the water with baking soda. While you're out, you could pick up a box of pure baking soda (Arm & Hammer, for example) and we can help you buffer the water so the pH doesn't drop too quickly. When you initially set up her QT, you might want to use half tank water, half tap water. The rise in pH is easier on them than the drop.

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