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Sakura

Sophie Is Swollen And Pineconing

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I'll start off with tank stats:

ammonia:0

nitrite:0

nitrate:5

pH: 7.6

test kit: API drops

water temp: about 78

tank: 29 gallons, running about 1.5 months

filters: three HOB filters with carbon and bio-wheels, each is rated for 20 gallons

water changes: still working out a routine, but generally when nitrates get high (10ppm)

fish: three fancy goldfish, each at about 1.5 inches body length

water additives: just API stresscoat

food: Saki-Hikari and freeze-dried bloodworms with occasional peas/zucchini

new fish: none (but they were all acquired about 2 months ago)

medications: just Jungle antibacterial medicated food

I don't know if this is full-blown dropsy or not, because I don't have much experience with it. I was gone for two days over the holiday and when I came back and checked on the fish, Sophie looked fatter than usual. Since I got her a month or two ago, she has always been more plump than the others, and I just figured it was genetics. Now I'm wondering if she could've possibly had a mild case of something this entire time and it's only now getting really bad. Anyways, I noticed she looked fatter and I thought at first that maybe she was just growing. When I looked closer it looked like her scales were pineconing ever so slightly. I immediately thought dropsy, but decided to wait a little and keep watching, because I wasn't sure. She is a pearlscale, so her scales do stick out a little bit. But... the pineconing look kept getting more pronounced as the night wore on, so I think something is not right. Other than the bloat and pineconing, she seems to be acting like she always has. I started her on Jungle antibacterial food to see if that helps - and she is eating like a little pig as normal. Other medications I currently have available to use if needed include Melafix and aquarium salt, but I haven't used either yet.

This tank has just finished cycling, and is CLEAN. Right before I left for the holiday I did a 90% water change with a thorough gravel vacuuming (as always). She has been hassled on and off by a male telescope that is also in the tank, and I'm wondering if that could have been enough to stress her to this point. It's not constant though, and it's not what I would call rough either. Just every now and then, but it's probably still enough to be somewhat of a stressor. She's had a pretty rough time in general so far, because I actually rescued her from a store where she was housed with a beta, and her fins were almost nonexistent. They have since started to grow back pretty nicely.

I don't have metromeds or the other medication that is often called for in a dropsy situation (Epsom salt and something else?), and would like to avoid running all over the place to find it. At the same time I want to take care of this problem for her. I don't want to take care of it only to have her dropsy again in the future though and have this be an ongoing problem to deal with. Is there anything simple I can do to try and help her out? Such as raising the temperature, continuing with the antibacterial food, maybe adding aquarium salt? Also, what in the world could have caused this?

The pictures are not very good, but it's the best I could do without sunlight. I think the pineconing is more evident on her white side.

http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu305/miss_cherry_blossom/IMG_3703.jpg

http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu305/miss_cherry_blossom/IMG_3712.jpg

http://i658.photobucket.com/albums/uu305/miss_cherry_blossom/IMG_3693.jpg

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Metromeds should be available there. You may order if you can't find one locally in your area. You still have the option to try epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) and metronidazole together. You can buy metronidazole in your nearest pharmacy in the absence of Metromeds. It will do as an alternative. The pharmacists should be able to recognize it if you ask for it as it is OTC.

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and would like to avoid running all over the place to find it. At the same time I want to take care of this problem for her. I don't want to take care of it only to have her dropsy again in the future though and have this be an ongoing problem to deal with. Is there anything simple I can do to try and help her out? Such as raising the temperature, continuing with the antibacterial food, maybe adding aquarium salt? Also, what in the world could have caused this?

Well, first off,I am really sorry that your fish has dropsy! :(

Unfortunately, no dropsy is one of the more serious things that you will see in a fish, and its not easy to figure out WHAT caused it because there are MANY things that will cause a fish to pinecone.

Lupin is right, you need to get something with Metronidazole. MetroMeds from Goldfish Connection has the best record for treating dropsy. I myself have used it SUCCESSFULLY on 4 dropsy cases. I am prob one of MetroMeds #1 advocates because I have WATCHED it work wonders in hours!!!!!

If you are unable to get them, like Lupin said, you can try to get Metro by itself (sometimes from a vet?). Or there is also Jungle AntiParasite Food in which Metro is the main ingredient. You can also by Metro by itself from a few places online...

How many times have you fed the Anti Bac Food? Normally once you start a medication you must continue with it, but if you have only fed once I would prob suggest stopping that med and getting one with Metro in it.

Also, besides the meds, epsom salt is def a good thing... Not aquarium salt.

Also, as you said heat is something to use to your advantage.. Get the temp up high around 80.

Now, here is the big one.. And after much experience with dropsy I find it is possibly the next most important after the metroMeds.. CLEAN FRESH WATER!!!!!! Keep the tank vaccumed well, and do as many partial water changes and your comfortable with.... Clean water is your friend!!!!! :-)

YOu said u don't want to take care of her, only for it to happen again. But, there is a very good chance that she WILL dropsy again.. Often dropsy is a result of something that will go away with meds/treatment, but will return.. In the 4 cases I have treated, it has returned in 3.

So if your fish pulls through, its usually smart to always have a fresh pack of Metromeds on hand... That way you can feed them at the very first sign of dropsy.

Good luck with your fish!!!:)

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Thanks for all the helpful information. So, metromeds is a medicated food, right? I have seen the Jungle anti parasite food at my work, but I already have the antibacterial stuff, and I've been feeding that (and only that) since I got home on christmas night. I've also been feeding it to the other two fish in the tank as a precaution. If I ordered the metromeds online, would they even get here in time to do any good (in other words, how long do I have before it takes too much of a toll on her)? Do fish ever recover from dropsy on their own without special treatment? Also... will the metromeds kill m beneficial bacteria? If there's even a chance, I am not risking it. It JUST finished cycling, and I couln't go through that again! I realize I could remove her to a QT tank and treat there, and maybe it would come to that. I don't really want to do that at this time though. :( If I might need to go out and look for some meds, I don't think I'll be able to yet today, so it'll have to wait I guess. I can at least turn the heat up for today though and hope that helps some. At least she doesn't seem to be in much pain, and she's still eating!

Sue, in your opinion do fish suffer a lot when they dropsy? My Sophie seems to be doing just fine so far, but maybe it just hasn't gotten too bad yet. I'm just thinking that some people might think it's better to just kill them humanely rather than treating them and having them fall ill again over and over. You know what I mean? I guess those kinds of things are always a tough call, and I tend to think there's not always one right answer.

The clean water thing is really bothering me, just because it is so clean presently and she still dropsied! It's pretty discouraging, because you have to put sooo much work into making sure their environment is healthy so they don't get sick, and then she went and got sick anyways! I've never in my life put so much effort into my goldfish, and yet in the past I've never had one dropsy on me. I guess I probably just got lucky before. Actually I think most of my poor past goldfish probably died of ammonia poisoning before they had a chance to get sick with anything else. (That was back before I knew anything about ammonia!)

Sorry for all the complaining- I guess I'm just not in a good mood today or something! I do appreciate the advice though, thank you. :)

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Oh boy, I just looked up Metro Meds on Goldfish Connection and that's spendy stuff! :blink: How long does it keep for, about a year?

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I think your fish may be gravid with eggs and medication may not be necessary.. You say she was being hassled and chased just prior to bloat- this is breeding behavior- she may be full of eggs.

And fish can get slight raised scales at the back gonad area when gravid.It is a little different from full blown all over dropsy. Anything filling up and bloating the fish can raise scales. My pearlscale looked like she would explode when she was full of eggs/impacted and her scales looked rougher. Epsom salt and a large serving of peas can help expel eggs as they come out the same way as everything else.

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I was wondering about that as well. It is a bit hard to tell, but how big is your pearlie? Pearlscales are always difficult to tell dropsy on...they are so fat and have scales that stick out a bit.

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Thanks for bringing that up Trinket and Amy, I think you may be onto something there. The scales are just so barely raised, and she isn't showing any other symptoms of dropsy so I really wondered if it even was that. I didn't know that eggs could make their scales lift up a little. Yes, pearlies have scales that stick out, but hers are sticking out in a different way than usual. Not little round bumps but pinecone looking- especially towards her back end. So, I still don't think it's just normal. Plus she really is bloated looking. Maybe I should try feeding peas. I don't have any epsom salt currently and all the stores are closed right now. Unless grocery stores have it? How large of a serving of peas should I give her, and should I put her in a separate tank if the eggs will be messy when expelled? Oh, Amy she is about 1.5 inches long in body length and extremely chubby! :)

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Yes, if you notice the scales are slightly raised at the back end then its even more possible. You dont need separate her, the presence of a male helps expel eggs. Peas can be fed like maybe 4 or 5 if she'll eat them and then remove leftovers. The idea is to fill her up so the eggs get shuffled along and out. It really works!!

Epsom helps too. Just a tiny dissolved amount. One quarter teaspoon per 10 gallons or possibly one half teaspoon per 10 gallons. Within that range anyway.

Let us know how things are!

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Thanks Trinket, I'll try peas. I'm really happy to hear that it may not be dropsy. I'll see if I can find the Epsom salts somewhere too sometime soon.

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OH! I feel horrible that I didn't pick up on the possibility of it being eggs!!!

Thank goodness Imo came along when she did!!! :heart

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Don't worry about it CountryLovah, at least I got some good information about dropsy in case I need it in the future :)

Sophie isn't looking too much different today, and I fed her about 4-5 whole shelled peas yesterday. Should I just keep feeding her a large serving of peas once a day? I'm going to try and find that epsom salt today, does anyone know of a good place to look? Grocery stores maybe? It seems like it's sold as a beauty product sometimes, but I'm wondering if those types have any other additives. That wouldn't be good, I don't want to be putting perfumes or anything in my tank!

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You should be able to get the Epsom salts in any grocery store pr drug store that has a pharmacy aisle.. Usually the epsom salts are with the laxatives lol

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Personally I would feed a couple of peas twice a day...keep those peas coming. It could take up to two weeks to get rid of all the eggs.

One thing is to watch her poop! What does it look like? Color, bubbles, length, etc. I know it sounds gross...but necessary!!! heartpump.gif

Epsom and peas should do the trick! heartpump.gif

Sue...don't feel bad! Unless you deal with egg issues on regular basis...could go either way. Eggs!!! Ugh! :)

Edited by newbiefishgirl

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Sue...don't feel bad! Unless you deal with egg issues on regular basis...could go either way. Eggs!!! Ugh! :)

Double :bingo:

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Alright, I just got the epsom salt today and added 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons. And yep, it was in the laxatives section- boy did I feel funny buying that! lol I'll try to go with a couple servings of peas a day. She's actually looking a lot less pineconey today, but still a little bit bloated maybe. And that's before even adding the salt! So I think that first serving of peas must have helped a little bit. I haven't had a chance to really watch and see what her poop looks like yet ;) I will try to pay attention to that more in the next few days though.

Now this salt doesn't evaporate out right? So when I'm eventually finished with her treatment, I'll do a large water change to remove it, and whenever I do a water change during the treatment I will need to add salt, right? Thanks for all the help guys :)

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Yes that's right. So 10 gallon water change would mean add back with the new water a 1/4 teaspoon epsom :)

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Okay thanks! I'll be sure to keep you updated on her condition :)

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Well I just finished feeding Sophie her second serving of peas and she ate about 5. But I am now noticing another problem. She has areas of redness at the base of her anal, pectoral, and dorsal fins. The redness is just a blotch at the base and only extends onto the fins a little bit on the anal and pectoral fins. Also, she has pronounced red veins showing on her whole body. There's patches of redness also inside and around her mouth. None of these things are normal for her. What could this be? Is there any way this could be a reaction to the epsom salt? I really did try to get a good picture, but none of them are too clear. I've uploaded a couple of the best ones below.

In this one you can see some of the red veins in her body on her lower abdomen:

IMG_3718.jpg

In this one you can see the redness at the base of her pectoral and anal fins. There is also some redness on the curve of her back that is right inbetween the caudal and dorsal fin. It's hard to see in the photo, but it looks fairly red in person.

IMG_3723.jpg

I'm wondering if this could be water quality related. She was in a small container while I was feeding her peas and the water got pretty cloudy with bits of peas floating everywhere. She was in there for a total of probably 20-30 minutes. But I did change out the water every so often with fresh water from the tank. I really don't think this is the problem, but I'm just thinking out loud. My poor Sophie! :( The other fish in the tank are still doing just fine. They're really frustrated because they can see the peas in her holding container but can't get to them! ;)

Edited by Sakura

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Sophie is much better this morning, but I'm still curious about what those red marks and prominent veins could have been. Her poop has been clear-green in color, and looks really scraggly- thick in some spots and thin in others as it trails behind her. lol I noticed Mandarin (my male Tele) hassling her a little bit this morning also.

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How much epsom did you use exactly? In rare cases overdose of epsom can cause internal bleeding but I dont really think thats what happened here. I have seen VERY sudden onset redness with food allergies too!! My Moo did it when I fed bloodworms but it subsided after a day or two.

Otherwise and with the fishes history, I would maybe think some internal infection, hopefully not though!!!!

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I used a total of 3/4 teaspoon epsom salt on the entire 29 gallon tank. So about 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 gallons. That is what you said right? I've fed her peas in the past without this redness happening too, so I hesitate to think it could be food allergy. The redness is still gone tonight, and I'm hoping it won't happen again when I give her today's serving of peas! She is hanging out near the bottom of the tank most of the time, and the male (Mandarin) is bottom sitting a little bit. He's been doing this for a while. Maybe they do have some kind of infection? When I first got Mandarin he used to swim very sporadically every once in a while- kind of frantic like. That was after I had already treated him for flukes right when I got him (unfortunately all I did was one dose of Jungle Parasite Clear). But he hasn't done any strange swimming lately, just occasional bottom sitting. My other telle in there seems fine. Does this point to anything Trinket? I can answer more questions too if you need more clarification on anything. :)

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