Jump to content

Please Help! Bette's Got Dropsy Maybe?


Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

We just got home from a convention out of town. Yesterday a friend who was coming over to feed the cats and fish noticed Bette, our Butterfly GF laying on the bottom, alive, but not moving around, and she didnt eat when the tank was fed. We told her to put her in the 5 gallon tank we have, and we'd have to deal with it when we got home. She put one capful of Maracyn Plus (the liquid) in that tank. We got home today, and she's still staying primarily on the bottom. The info on the tanks are as follows:

Test Results for the Following: (I'm putting both tanks params since she's only been in the 5 gallon for a few hours)

Ammonia Level? 0 in both the 50 gallon and the 5

Nitrite Level? 0 for both

Nitrate level? 5-10 in the 50 gallon, 0 in the 5

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7.4 in the 50 7.2 in the 5

Ph Level out of the Tap? 7.2

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 50 gallon, 2 months running / 5 gallon 6 months running

What is the name and size of the filter/s? 50 gallon - Emperor 400 + Penguin 150

The 5 gallon is an eclipse.

How often do you change the water and how much? 50 gallon: once a week appx 20% / 5 gallon, daily 20%

How many fish in the tank and their size? 50 gallon: 4 two small, two large goldfish. 5 gallon - one, Bette, the sick one.

What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime when there's water changes

Any medications added to the tank? 50 gallon treated with maracyn plus liquid by the pet sitter.

Add any new fish to the tank? no

What do you feed your fish? live brine shrimp, lettuce, occasional flakes. Starting today, medi-gold

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Slight pineconeing, some bloating

Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..? Yes! Staying on bottom, not eating, listing to one side.

Here are some pics I just took of Bette:


In this one, you cant see it, but her pupil seems to be cloudy. JUST in this eye - not in both eyes!


Please, any suggestions would be SO helpful! Is this dropsy?? The other fish dont seem to be affected at ALL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

It could be dropsy.

To treat that you will need epsom salt, for the bloating.

Maracyn and Maracyn 2

Metromed food from goldfish connection ( i hope you are in the states ).

A heater on the tank.

To treat dropsy you will need to heat the tank to 80 degrees, do this slowly 2 degrees an hour.

Add 1/8 tsp of epsom salt per 5 gallons of water.

Start the fish on Metromed food and feed for a full 21 days, nothing else.

Next start Maracyn 2 and run the full treatment.

Then run carbon in the tank to rid the water of the med, wait 24 hours to give the fish a break of medication and then start a full round of Maracyn and do it to the full treatment.

Now the meds may make the cycle in the tank crash or raise ammonia quickly so you will have to do water changes daily to control the levels.

Make sure to replace what meds and epsom salt you remove with the changes.

Sorry to hear about your fish, dropsy isn't a disease it is a symptom of something that is hurting the fish. So you will need to figure out why the fish's immune system was compromised. This is often the hardest thing to pin down, so good luck with that.

Also know that a fish that survives dropsy lives "compromised and disabled" to a certain degree. The fish may never live in a temp lower than 80 degrees, and will be prone to dropsy again.

Keep us posted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

She's in a 5 gallon tank, so I put 1/8 teaspoon epson salts in the water. I also put in one tablet of maracyn 2. I did this last nite. I had the Metromed food onhand, but she wont eat. She's laying on her side, floating at the top, and I dont know how (or if I should) force feed her.

The temp is exactly 80 degrees. stats are 0 ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. PH 7.2

We noticed just before we left for the convention that her eye looked ..... odd. Sort of like a cataract in the pupil. The clear part, the lens of her eye is crystal clear, but the black pupil is solid grey. ONLY the pupil tho. The cloudy issue isnt like when they get sick and their complete eye goes cloudy.

We'd noticed this for about a week before, but since everything else seemed 100% normal, we just attributed it to the nature of the telescope GF's eye, and assumed she was blind for some reason. Now I'm wondering if this is all somehow FROM an infection or something in her eye.

This sucks. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Could be, however with the metromed it should help.

You will need to force feed her though, she needs that medicine to boost her immune system.

Just keep close eye on her, in a 5 gal tank the water will get bad really quick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Pandaeyes, thanks for linking that thread.

Getting her to eat is very important, not only does she need the medicine, you don't want her to become weak from lack of nutrition.

I would test the water before changing any out, that way you can adjust what needs to be replaced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thank you guys for helping, but she passed this afternoon. :(:(

I HATE when something like this happens out of nowhere. I'd almost RATHER have ich or some problem that you can identify and treat, than be treating blindly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Tinker I am sorry to hear this. I too have had a fish go sick in one day and me scramble to help all to lose her the next day. It is very hard to take. I hope you feel better soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...