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Swollen Abdomen On One Side


fishywomble

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We are a bit worried about our comet goldfish. He has been with us for over 5 weeks, and the tank fully cycled with his help.

Our water parameters all look good, 0 ammonia and nitrites, and very low nitrates (0-10).

The goldfish appears to have a swollen abdomen, on the right side. The left hand side of the fish looks completely normal. Is this the first sign of dropsy? Or some other bacterial infection? It is also listless... although it still eats food when it is dropped into the tank, and livens up a little after it is fed. But after 15 mins or so, it goes back to being lethargic and hides at the back of the tank.

Is this thing contagious and should we remove the fish to another tank asap? We have another fish in the tank and that one is behaving normally and shows no signs of illness.

We are going to the LFS today to try and pick up some medication for it, but being in the UK, we can't get hold of stuff like Metromeds. We salted the tank to 0.3 last night to see if it would help. :( This is very upsetting.

fishywomble

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Hi fishywomble - i'm so sorry your fish isn't faring so well :(

Would you say it's a deformed swelling from within the abdomen? How long has he had the swelling? Unfortunately when the abdomen swells and no scales are raised - it may be due to problems with either the liver or kidney - not something easily treated.

I'm hoping someone else can jump in here with a less dire possibility but in the meantime, just keep a close eye on him and see if the salt helps at all.

So sorry i couldn't be of more help and i pray he does recover from this soon.

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Hi Jen, thanks for the quick reply!

The swelling developed over the last 5-6 days. I thought it was possible he was constipated, because I have not seen him poop for quite some time now! We don't feed him a very varied diet, partly because the other fish tends to grab 80% of the food. Just rich pellet food from the LFS. But he is only a small fish and he gets about 2 small pellets a day.

His scales are not sticking out, and only one side of the belly is swollen, the other side looks completely normal. Not sure if constipation causes this. :( After eating, he is disinterested in searching for more food, and is really sluggish and doesn't move much.

fw

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Have you tried feeding peas? All you need to do is remove the shell from a couple (or enough to feed all your guys) and see if this helps with some movement.... Constipation will cause abdominal swelling although the entire abdomen tends to swell. At least this will help rule out whether constipation is the underlying cause.

Then keep an eye on him - with a bit of luck, this may be the reason... i'm certainly hoping so :)

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Thanks Jen.

I went to my LFS anyway and got some medication just in case. I came back, and the swelling seems to show a little on the other side as well. The swelling is not very severe at all. The LFS guy has suggested that it could be pregnancy, but can a 3-inch goldfish be really full of eggs???! Isn't it a bit young? We bought it when it was about 1.5 inches long and it has grown a bit in one month.

Anyway the other fish does chase it around a bit.... that's why the LFS guy asked the question. I don't want to put meds in the tank if the fish is just full of eggs. However, how long do we have to wait before we KNOW for sure if the fish is just pregnant, or sick? :(

fw

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His belly started to look swollen on the other side too. We starved him for a day, and added a new airstone to the tank, as I didn't think there was enough aeration at all. Today, he is looking a LOT better - he is swimming around a lot more, and the swelling appears to have decreased somewhat. We fed him part of a pea today but do not want to overdo it. He is looking so much better, but is not out of the woods yet. We also did a partial water change. The water is very cloudy from the Aqualibrium salts we added (0.3%) to the tank. Perhaps increased filtration will help? I have a Juwel Rekord 60 tank and I've heard that the built-in filtration isn't wonderful.

fishywomble

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That's great fishywomble :D

Does Aqualibrium (love that name) salt have added electrolytes? If not then it should settle. Filters won't remove salt which is good if you want to keep it in your tank for at least 21 days. Each time you do waterchanges, just calculate the amount you removed (which i do by measuring out how many gallons i remove - then adding back 3 teaspoons per new gallon - which gives you 0.3%)

Then after that, if you're happy your fish is back to full health, waterchanges will remove the salt...

Hope this helps

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This is awful. On the second day we weren't feeding him, because we thought it was constipation (he did get better and look less swollen after we starved him for a day), he looked REALLY listless. I wasn't sure what to do, but by the afternoon, he was dead! :(

I think we removed him from the tank fairly quickly, but now we're worried about the other fish. She's still really lively, and was lively throughout the duration of his illness (barely a week) but we're worried she might have caught the infection too.

Is it advisable to dose the tank with anti-internal bacterial liquid? Or this "general tonic" called Liquisil which we bought the other day? It says it "removes background bacteria, fungus and parasites in aquariums" but is not a treatment for infections.

Any help would be appreciated. :(

fw

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I'm so sorry fw :cry1

You see - a distended or deformed abdomen can be a symptom of either liver or kidney cancer which isn't contagious.... but without an autopsy - it's hard to say what it was exactly...

If it were me - i'd just keep a close eye on your fish and check for changes... I don't know of any other disease which causes abnormal swelling.

Hopefully someone else can jump in here with another suggestion and again, i'm so very sorry :(

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