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Dropsy Or Swimbladder Or What?


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Last summer (August 2006) a goldfish of mine got swollen... maybe a bit of pineconing too but im not sure.

Immediately i put it in quarantine. I thought it was dropsy and I followed a medical treatment. It got a bit smaller, pineconing (?) stopped... but fish has been swollen for almost 9 months now. It moves and eats and behaves ok. But sometimes I see some instability.. like swimmin upside down for a while..

>> water test results seem to be ok.

>> main tank size 30 gallon (2 goldfish) >> EHEIM 2080 (450gph)

>> quarantinte tank size 13 gallon (1 goldfish) >> EHEIM 2222 (132gph)

>> 30% water change practically every 10-15 days

>> i feed em progold and some tetra bloodworms. sometimes rice.

Please have a look at the video below! What do you think??

Any comments more than welcome!

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He is quite the cute!

Firstly can you give the exact readings of the water? So often problems go back to this and it's important to know specifics. If you do not personally own a test kit covering the basics id really recommend it. Its invaluable to understanding the health of your tanks.

The question of swelling is a difficult one, to be swollen for 9 months would be pretty hard going. Could this be his natural shape that came on in a growth spurt or was it literally something that happened overnight? Some goldies are naturally very rotund. His tail is set quite high too.

Does he always swim this way? Like is this how he is all time, and has been for quite some time? If thats the case then I think you could prob. rule out a cause like bacterial infection as those certainly wouldn't go on for 9months and he'd have other symptoms. Diet can easily be ruled out if you feed him veggies exclusively and see if it makes a difference. What are his stools like? If nothing does help then the most likely assumption would be thats a physical defect, ie. his swimbladder is malformed, or perhaps it is even as a result of an infection that he had previously leaving the swimbaldder in some way damaged.

If thats the case then there wouldn't be anything you could do to help him, but he looks a pretty happy active fish who can get around OK. He's also able by the looks of it to just stop and chill out, without floating or sinking which is good.

If he were mine i'd change his diet for a short time, feeding him only veggies/gel food. If that makes no difference at all id just leave him be.

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First of all I want to thank you for your answer! It's really important for me and I appreciate it! :)

Firstly can you give the exact readings of the water? So often problems go back to this and it's important to know specifics. If you do not personally own a test kit covering the basics id really recommend it. Its invaluable to understanding the health of your tanks.

I'll get a test kit and let u know asap!

The question of swelling is a difficult one, to be swollen for 9 months would be pretty hard going. Could this be his natural shape that came on in a growth spurt or was it literally something that happened overnight? Some goldies are naturally very rotund. His tail is set quite high too.

At some point I think i saw some pineconing too which worries me. The swelling didnt come overnight. If it wasnt for this instability or disability for him to swim normally, maybe i wouldnt have noticed. But this swelling looks like that doesnt let him swim properly...

Does he always swim this way? Like is this how he is all time, and has been for quite some time?

He swims that way from when he got swollen... And he's that way all the time. Though it's easier to see this when i feed him and he kinda runs to get the food.

If thats the case then I think you could prob. rule out a cause like bacterial infection as those certainly wouldn't go on for 9months and he'd have other symptoms. Diet can easily be ruled out if you feed him veggies exclusively and see if it makes a difference. What are his stools like? If nothing does help then the most likely assumption would be thats a physical defect, ie. his swimbladder is malformed, or perhaps it is even as a result of an infection that he had previously leaving the swimbaldder in some way damaged.

If thats the case then there wouldn't be anything you could do to help him, but he looks a pretty happy active fish who can get around OK. He's also able by the looks of it to just stop and chill out, without floating or sinking which is good.

I dont want him to get worse... And I dont want to put him in the main tank. My other 2 fish are healthy and dont wanna take the risk... But you think there is a risk?

If he were mine i'd change his diet for a short time, feeding him only veggies/gel food. If that makes no difference at all id just leave him be.

Ill start with veggies. Can u recomend some good recipe that could help him?

Thanks a mil!

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At some point I think i saw some pineconing too which worries me. The swelling didnt come overnight. If it wasnt for this instability or disability for him to swim normally, maybe i wouldnt have noticed. But this swelling looks like that doesnt let him swim properly...

He's a funny looking shape, for sure but if he has been this way for months and months then i'd prob. assume this is the shape that nature intended for him. It may well be that it is the problem in that internally his swimbladder is squashed into an unsual shape.

Pineconing is always a worry. When was it that you thought he pineconed? It's associated with infection and in particular the failing of the kidneys. It's quite unusal but certainly not unheard of for a fish to recover from dropsy.

I dont want him to get worse... And I dont want to put him in the main tank. My other 2 fish are healthy and dont wanna take the risk... But you think there is a risk?

B/c he is a poor swimmer and would have difficulty competing for food, I wouldn't really want to put him in the main tank either. Has he been living separately for 9months? I think there is always the risk of mixing fish even when they all appear to be healthy.

As for getting worse, I think its impossible to say. If it is due to some kind of internal deformity it's anybody's guess how that might change as he grows.

Ill start with veggies. Can u recomend some good recipe that could help him?

Sure, if you go to the goldfish food forum there are some really good basic gel food recipes. All you do is blend up some cooked veggies, melt some plain gelatin in a pan according to the instructions on the packet, mix up the blended veg with the melted gelatin in a bowl, leave it to set for a min and then refrigerate till it becomes like a jelly. Cut it in to cubes, keep what you will use for the week in the fridge, the rest you can pop in the freezer and defrost when you need it. If you want to just feed straight veg. you can give him lightly cooked de-shelled peas. Lettuce, brocolli, the list goes on... :)

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