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Is This Dropsy?


austinado16

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Hi Gang,

I need a little on diagnosing what's going on with my smaller Comet.

Quick answer to the standard questions:

-70G tank

-3 large single tails,

-Fluval 405 with about 3lbs of bio filtration on board along with a couple pouches of carbon that I replace monthly, and a couple pouches of Fluval Nitrate absorber.

-Water params are 0/0/about 40 by the end of the week. Weekly 40-50% water changes with full gravel vac.

-Ph is in the mid 8's out of the tap, and I've always left it that way in tank.

-Water temp is running about 73-74*F right now using an infrared temp gun to test.

-Water is always crystal clear

-Feed once a day, Ocean Nutritian Spirulina Flake and sometimes in the afternoon, some sort of vegetable or fruit slice, like lemon, cucumber, orange, but not every day.

-No new fish or any other changes or things added to the tank since I restored it back in March.

Over the past few weeks this Comet has started to look bloated, starting just behind the gill slits. His behaviour is normal, including eating, swiming, how he holds his fins, etc. At first I thought he was growing, and he was looking "bigger," but in the last week, it's become more of a bloat with his head sort of staying normal and then from the gill slits rearward, it's like someone has pumped him full of air and inflated him. I think this picture captures the shape fairly well.

No pine-coning of any scales. No abnormal spots (he's always had the red spots on his left side). Maybe a slight lean to the right when he's hovering, and maybe his right eye socket looks a little bulgy.

Is this the begining of Dropsy? Is "she" full of eggs? Constapated (I gave them all pees this afternoon)?

Should I set up a hospital tank and start with the Marycin 2 and Medigold, 78-80F water temp, and .03% salt? Or just keep a close watch?

topview.jpg

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Is it a girl? She could be full of eggs.... I have seen some single tails get dropsy but not the usual pineconed look. Not sure why that is. :idont

Is the spirulina their staple food? Does it have stuff added or is it just plain spirulina? Have you tired Hikari Pellets? Spirulina seems very poor in protein and could maybe lead to constipation.

If you have a hospital tank you can put her there just to make her more comfortable. Slowly raise the temp so we try and boost her metabolism. I usually raise it to about 25-26C. Then you can try and feed a shelled pea with a couple grains of Epson. This should help 'purge' her if she is constipated, and it also helps with eggs sometimes as they come out the same way :)

As for as meds I can only recommend Epson and MetroMeds for Dropsy. Maracyn and MediGold are not the best for dropsy.

For now tho I would just watch her/him. Maybe get the Epson and MetroMeds OR Jungle AntiParasitic on hand (just in case).

Maybe someone with more 'single tail' experience can help out .

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Thanks for the quick response.

I can't tell what sex it is......vent "inny" for a girl?

The Spirulina is their only food, but it's not straight spirulina, it's 48% protein and the ingredients are: "Plant meals, Spirulina, fish soluables, fish meal, salmon fillets, lecithin, krill, kelp, brewers yeast, salmon oil, mineral premix, vitamin premix, brine shrimp ebryos, adult brine shrimp,carotenoid pigments, preservatives."

The meds that I called out are what's called out on this site, but if you're not happy with them, I'll not use them.

I'll give some more pees today and see what happens.

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Getting ready to do a water change and add salt. Fed them all more pees and while waiting on the API water test kit to kick off, I watched to see if the-fish-in-question would poop. Sure enough, within a few minutes......but it was a thin clear string, almost invisible. That's another indicator of Dropsy, right?

After the first round of pees a few hours ago, the big Common took a fairly normal poop.

Water test results are currently 0/0/10-20ish

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Do you have side view shots as well? Feed metro. If you're using gel foods, that'll make everything easier. Add metronidazole to gel foods. 250mg per 25g of gel food and feed for five days.

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Did more reading about sexing, and it looks like this one and my other Comet are both females. They both have just a tiny little nub sticking down from their vent. The largest fish, my Common, is a male, for sure.

Here area a couple of side shots. Pardon the reflections.

Side1.jpg

Side2.jpg

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Honestly, I think this is a simple case of constipation. Or possibly eggs. Thankfully, the treatment is the same for both.

Feed them peas exclusively for the next few days and see how that helps. Also, 40ppm for Nitrate is rather high. It could be that this fish is developing a problem with high nitrates. Yes, fish are extremely prickly and can decide out of the blue to no longer like the way you've been doing things! It's completely normal for them to do this!

Maybe up your water change to 75-80% weekly, or 40-50% twice a week. I know it's a pain because it's such a big tank, but it may just be the thing that turns it all around.

To help the "eggs" move along, try doing small, early morning (well, as early as you get up!) water changes with COOLER water. You can dip the temperature up to 10*F below the tank temperature and have no problems. This simulates spring rains and often helps clear out females with eggs.

PLEASE DO NOT START ANY MEDICATION COURSE! So far, this does not look like it warrants ANY type of medication. Especially since she is acting normal. I know it's been the rage lately to throw around medications willy-nilly but this is NOT HELPFUL and can cause serious damage to an otherwise perfectly healthy fish.

EDIT: By the way, she is GORGEOUS! I am not much of a single-tail girl, but she really is beautiful! :)

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Well, I may have mis stated that Nitrate level because when I checked yesterday before the water change, I was in 10-20ppm range on the API test kit.

I decided (this morning before reading you post) not to medicate, and to keep feeding pees and see what happens. So that's what I've done today. I'll continue to keep an eye on her, and i guess, fire up a 10g tank as a hospital tank.

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Sounds like a good plan to me. Remember that with a 10g QT tank for a common you will have to keep on top of water changes.

Keep us updated. :)

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Still looking the same. Water is 0/0/20

I've seen them all pooping so I don't think this is constipation, although on the times I've seen them "going" it's been a long clear or opaque string.

She is still eating and swimming pretty normally, but a few times, I've seen her do a shuddering sort of thing where she vibrates, then darts a little, and then goes back to normal...none of them ever do that, so that's a sign this isn't going well. She still holds her fins out all proud though.

I've moved her into a 10g hospital tank, and dumped in 5g of water from the big tank, as well as about 2lbs of the big tanks gravel. I had a Penquin 125 with bio-wheel, so I've fired that up, along with a small pound pump that uses a pipe to suck off the very bottom, and push up about a 1/2" high mount of water above the surface. I used to use it on the 55g.

I think it's time to medicate. What do you think? If you agree, what specifically should I buy/use/do (use what you recommend above?)?

Thanks!

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Tank lights are off, heater is bringing the temp up toward 80F...I'll do that in stages over the next few hours. It's at 78.2F right now.

Fed some pees smashed in garlic oil, with Metronidazole mixed in. She's not happy in the new tank and is just in the corner between 2 plastic plants that I took from the 70g, and sitting near/on the bottom. She finally moved out and ate some. I also dosed the water per the Metronidazole instructions. I removed the filter from the HOB becaues it has carbon built into one side. Took some bio media cylinders from the Fluval 405 on the 70g and dropped them into the HOB.

Anything else I should be doing?

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She is such a big chicken. She's used to having the other 2 much larger fish protect her...and they do. It's nearly impossible to even take a picture of her because not only does she hide behind them, but they move in to keep her covered. Funny.

Anyway, when I'm not near the tank, she becomes a goldfish and starts swimming around and pecking at the gravel. When I come near, it's time to hide. I sat in front of the tank for a while and every time she'd come forward I'd drop in one flake of Spirulina Flake food. She'd eat it. If she missed a piece, she'd hunt in the gravel until she'd found it. So she's being pretty normal.

I'm noticing that where she's curved/bloated the most, just straight up from the pectoral fins, the scale aren't smooth and sort of have "edges." They aren't all curved up like is seen in some of the really knarly dropsy photos, but it's clear they are no longer smooth against her. I keep seeing opaque poop come out of her, so she's moving stuff through her system.

I have aquarium salts in right now, at .2%. But I'm seeing in other threads that you guys recommend Epson Salt. Should I do a 100% water change tomorrow morning and do the Epson Salt?

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I thnik if she is bloated I would try it. Make sure there is no normal aquarium salt in the water and the dosage is 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons. It's an excellent sign that she's still eating. You can get epsom really cheap at Rite Aid or CVS

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Just thought I'd update.

The epson salt definately helped with the bloating and she is more normal looking. She's still bloated, but not like she'd gotten.

She doesn't seem to be eating now though, where a day or 2 ago I could drop in a food flake and she'd eat it either right then, or suck it up off the bottom if it made it that far. Now, she has no interest.

How long should the water be left in the 78-80*F range?

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The fish seems to be doing better, and is looking pretty normal as far as the bloating goes. She'll come out of her hiding corner and eat, but after a few seconds of chewing, will just spit the food back out...doesn't matter if it's the spirulina flake that she normally gets, or a shelled/smashed pee. She spents most of her time hiding, but comes out at night and roams around, so maybe she's eating off the bottom then.

I'm still only using the water-borne meds, and the Epson salt. How much longer should I continue this?

Also, should I continue running the tank at the higher temp? If so, how long?

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Has 5 days for metro lapsed yet? How about 7-8 days for epsom salts? Continue until the time frame lapses for the respective meds and continue maintaining the temp until treatments are done.

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Another positive update:

She's back to normal size and shape. I turned the heater off today and have been letting the tank coast down to a normal temperature. She's back to eating normally and spending a lot of time rooting through the gravel.

So I think she's out of the woods.

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