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Mav

Dropsy? Heat?

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I've noticed that my redcap Oranda Sir-Talks-A-Lot, has been somewhat listless for the last day or two.

He's had a few float-y problems, but is still happy to eat [either his normal gel food, or peas].

I'm just not quite sure what is going on with him. Being listless isn't totally surprising -- our weather has been very un-Montana like lately, and we've had a long stretch of the upper 90's. The tank was OK during that; it maybe got a degree or two warmer than normal.

It's been near 100 the last two or three days, and I have a fan going, and put ice in their tank [no, I don't have air conditioning. A lot of houses in MT don't have air conditioning, particularly not old buildings like where I live.], but the temperature has gone up more than I'd like [which means, more ice].

So, being listless is not that unusual -- the humans are listless when it's this hot, and we don't live in water!

When I have caught him the last few days, his tummy has felt a bit more squishy than normal. Or at least, what I remember of normal, as I don't try to catch him all that often.

In this picture, he's in a blue bucket, having a brief Epsom salt soak, and he doesn't like the bucket much. Also, I took the picture at an angle, to try and reduce glare off the water. So that partly explains it looking funny.

He's almost 4 [september], and I haven't had to deal with dropsy before, but I know it's such a big, bad problem, I thought I'd be paranoid and ask if that's what this is the first sign of. Or if he's just a fat fish, who tends towards a regular problem with constipation issues [he gets peas about every 2 weeks] who's just hot, and getting fatter.

I'll try and post params. later this evening/tomorrow. I'm still trying to ice the tank and get things cooled down a bit closer to normal at present.

--Mav

I will concede, it's a crummy pic. Cell phone cams just aren't always that good.

If anybody thinks they need to see a better picture, let me know, and I will borrow the family's digital camera and try and get a better shot.

Thanks,

Mav

post-2049-1153718483_thumb.jpg

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Besides putting ice int he water - or a frozen water bottle, etc - have you increased the aeration of the water?

Hot water holds less oxygen. As the temperature goes up, the water hold dramatically less oxygen. The main killer of fish in warm/hot water is lack of air.

When the oxygen levels drop, the beneficial bacteria cannot process ammonia waste, either. They require oxygen to combine with the waste to create the nitrite and nitrate that makes up the nitrogen cycle. Without proper aeration, your biological cycle may shut down - or become very sluggish and bump. Your ammonia or, more likely, your nitrite levels may climb. (Those second tpye of bacteria that make the nitrIte into nitrAte are so finicky!)

I would suggest carefully testing Sir's water EVERYDAY. Add another aeration device or two - bubble bars or stones. Lower your water level a bit so an overflow filter input splashes and agitates the surface of the water. Forego turning on any lights for now - even a flourecent light imparts heat. Take the hood off and set a fan blowing across the surface of the tank. Change out the water every day - using water that you pour in the tank with a bit of splashing - this will add more oxygen to the tank and Sir should perk up a bit.

This heat can be troublesome, huh? :blink:

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Daryl,

Thanks for the advice. I just got a new bubble bar yesterday, so I'll get that rigged up and put in the tank.

I ran the basic tests last night:

Ammonia: 0 ppm

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: Somewhere between 20-40 ppm; it's impossible to tell those reds apart on the Aquarium Pharm. test cards.

So that's all pretty much normal, which is good.

Their tank temperature at present is about 81. My apartment is about 83. (And it's not even hot yet today!) I live in a building that's about 85 years old, and it's great, except for about 3 weeks of the year. Then again, consistent upper 90s for this long of a stretch is not exactly typical Montana weather, either.

I'll work on lowering the water; and I was wondering about the water-changes. I think I was going to start that anyways, just out of not having any other good ideas about what to do.

Thanks, and I'll keep you posted.

--Mav

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Guest Goldielover1981

Hello, are the fins on your fish raised or pineconed?? I've had dropsy appear in my tanks before. If your fish has dropsy then I recommmend Maracyn-Two. For freshwater tanks, use two packets or tablets per 10 gallons the first day and 1 packet or tablet per 10 gallons thereafter. Works very well, by the way epsom salt really doesnt do any good. If your going to use salt then I would use aquarium salt, 1 teaspoon for every five gallons.

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Daryl,

Your suggestions were really helpful. :) I've been able to keep the tank temperature between 78-80 pretty consistently. I know 80's a bit high [i usually keep the tank between 76-78], but when you consider it's between 95-100 degress here lately, 80 looks really good. I wish I could keep my apartment between 78 and 80!

Sir Talks-A-Lot is still interested in his food, and sociable as ever. A large part of his problems stem from the fact that he does not realize he is a fish. He has always hung out at the top of the tank, mainly for the purposes of yammering at me [He does not 'beg' for food. He demands it, as in "You! Feed me! Now!"]

I wish I could cure him of this habit, as it has the side effect of him gulping in more air than he should. Had he not been doing this forever, I'd be concerned, but it's more or less normal for him, and the other fish in the tank has never mirrored this behavior, and the water params. have been good, so I don't think it's an illness thing, I think it's just an I-have-a-very-weird-fish thing.

His body certainly doesn't look pineconed; if there's anything, maybe (?) the scales toward the back end of his body (the back edge of the ab area, before the tail) are a tiny bit less flat than they should be. But it's hard to tell. Nothing so obvious you say, "Oh, yes, he definitely has ______________." Then again, he also has the silver-white scales, so sometimes they just look different on his body than the matte scales look on my calico oranda, if that makes sense.

I'll check params. later, and see if there've been any changes.

--Mav

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