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New Baby - Bloating & Slightly Raised Scales


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Hi Everybody,

I'm new to this forum and joined because I need some help with my new baby!

I've recently (about 3-4 days ago) purchased a baby ranchu about 1" in length without tail. He is in a quarantine tank on his own. Yesterday I noticed that he has some abnormal swelling one side. It is causing him to swim slightly lopsided. When I pulled him out to take a closer look, I noticed there might be some very slightly raised scales. This is barely noticeable but I am almost sure that this is a precursor to dropsy. I suspect a bacterial infection because I noticed some white stringy poo (but this might be because I've been feeding him very sparingly) and a few small red streaks in his tail (possibly septicemia?).

I used to keep goldfish a while back and gave up because I was having so many difficulties with them. One of the babies I had showed exactly the same symptom - swollen on one side, slightly raised scales and I ended up losing him. I'm determined to do as much as I can for this one!

Prior to this, I have been doing massive water changes about every other day (I've only done two so far). As of today, I have added 1/8 teaspoon of epsom salt to his 5g tank and raised the temperature to 82. Tank is well aerated - lots of surface agitation. I have kanaplex available but won't have it until tomorrow because I left it in somebody's car.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Have not been testing because I've been doing massive water changes. Ammonia Alert is on "safe".

[*]Water temperature?

82 - just raised today.

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

5g - since I bought the fish. Definitely not cycled.

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

N/A

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?

50-100% - done two so far

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much?

Today - 100%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size?

1 - he is 1" in body length

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

I think it's Topfin water conditioner?

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often?

Homemade gel food - been feeding very sparingly once a day.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?

N/A

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

Just epsom salt

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

One side bloated - slightly raised scales that are barely noticeable (only when you look from certain angles). White stringy poo, small blood streaks (but he is a small fish)

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Eating, exploring, active so far.

He was a little stressed after today's water change and was darting a bit in his bowl.

If anybody has any suggestions of what I should be doing differently, please do let me know! Oh yea, and I have called my LFS who said they would be able to order me some medicated goldfish food but it won't be in until monday. Until then, I can try to get my hands on some Jungle Anti-Bacteria, but I have a suspicion it will just be a waste of money.

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Hello. I'm sorry your fish is having problems, but it's great thing you are coming back to goldfish. Hopefully, the problem will be sorted out in no time, especially because you caught it very early on.

Right now, your heat/epsom treat is perfect. I would recommend doing at least 50% water changes daily, and re-dose in Epsom to replace what you take out. I would go with just this for a couple more days at least to see how he does.

What you do want to have on hand (but don't use yet) is Jungle anti-PARASITE medicated food. I know it doesn't sound right, but this anti-parasite food contains the antibiotic/antiprotozoal metronidazole, which is one of the treatments that works against dropsy. So, I would go ahead and get this.

Good luck, keep us updated with progress daily please. :)

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:goodpost

Welcome to Kokos, though I'm sorry it had to be under these circumstances :(

I have nothing to contribute, as Alex gave great advice, but I wanted to send my sympathies and well-wishes to you and your new 'Chu.

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Thanks so much for your replies!

I knew I'd end up in this position again one day. There really aren't any other fish that can fill that googley-eyed, wiggly-butt void. It just sucks that he would have an infection on the third day!

I would go with just this for a couple more days at least to see how he does.

What you do want to have on hand (but don't use yet) is Jungle anti-PARASITE medicated food. I know it doesn't sound right, but this anti-parasite food contains the antibiotic/antiprotozoal metronidazole, which is one of the treatments that works against dropsy. So, I would go ahead and get this.

Ok, so I will continue with just th Epsom and do 50% water changes and see if there's any improvement at all. Sounds like a plan.

Actually, I have a bottle of Metro+! I didn't know that it could be used against dropsy! If he doesn't show signs of improvement, maybe I can mix some in with his gel food? I'll get some of the Jungle stuff anyways - doesn't seem too pricy. :)

Welcome to Kokos, though I'm sorry it had to be under these circumstances :(

I have nothing to contribute, as Alex gave great advice, but I wanted to send my sympathies and well-wishes to you and your new 'Chu.

Thanks! I really appreciate it! :)

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The Jungle food's advantage is that it's already in food pellet forms, so you can feed your fish that. Save the liquid metro for when/if the fish doesn't eat. :)

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True - I'll pick some up tomorrow :)

I've uploaded some pics for a better look:

2011-06-02200635.jpg

This is his bloated side.

2011-06-02200307.jpg

From the side - it's really hard to see in the pic but it's almost like the bulk of his abdomen is squished towards the back rather than evenly spread throughout like I see on most fish. Actually, it might be easier to see what I mean in the first pic.

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I *think* he's a little smaller today? Haven't done anything different, just the 50% changes w/ Epsom salt.

Here is the top view:

2011-06-04112711.jpg

It's hard to see from the top because I think the swelling is more towards his underside. You can still kind of see it though. The side that is near the top in the photo forms a bit of an angle. That's where it's protruding near the bottom. The best angle you can see it from is like a slanted back-view. If you look closely (and I mean like super closely), you can also see where his scales are slightly raised and bumpy on both sides - but more so on the bigger side. I really hope you guys can see it because I've been staring so hard for so long that I'm starting to think I'm going crazy! :blink:

amynmitchell - yes it's a QT/temporary tank until I find a good deal on a permanent home. I also have another baby in a separate filtered 5g QT and if everything works out okay, hope to house them together eventually. If I can't find anything in the near future, I might consider just tearing down one of my tropical tanks. :)

Thanks again for your all your replies!

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Hello. Thank you for the pic. I would continue with the daily water changes and Epsom treatment. Considering that the QT is only 5 gallons, I would do 90% changes each day! Good luck! I'm glad to hear that there is improvement. :)

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Thought I'd keep updating here just to keep a log in case I need to refer back - even though nothing much has changed. Don't mean to bore anyone :).

06/04 - 50% w/c, gel-food

06/05 - no w/c, gel-food

06/06 - 100% w/c, Hikari betta pellets (gel-food defrosting)

Bloated side seems to be less pointed but I really don't want to jinx anything so *knock on wood*. So I will hopefully be picking up the medicated food tomorrow - never did get the Jungle because my vvvv didn't have any! Should I start him on it as a precaution tomorrow or just continue with Epsom, WC only?

Just out of curiosity, are there any negative side effects that could come from the Epsom salt if used for a long period?

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Hello. I would just continue with the Epsom and water changes only for now. You can safely use Epsom for about nine days.

Don't start on the medicated food yet. Once you start a course of medication, you pretty much should/have to finish it, and some medications are really harsh on the kidneys etc. So you want to be certain that medication is absolutely necessary before you do it.

Would you please post pics, if possible? Thanks and good luck :)

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Yes, I will snap a pic tomorrow during his water change. :)

So that's 5 more days of Epsom I think. I'm so scared he's going to balloon once I stop adding it! Then what? :unsure:

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You had indicated that you were going to get the Jungle anti-parasite medicated food. This will be good to have, if further is required.

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I'll have to reach a Big Als to get some then (darn, I was just there yesterday!). I didn't grab any because, for some reason, I assumed it was an alternative to use when the other brands couldn't be found. I guess I automatically equated 'harder to find' with 'works better', since it seems to be the case with some other meds. Lol.

Thanks again for quick replies btw! :D

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Managed to get a pic that shows how his abdomen is unbalanced!

2011-06-06213008.jpg

Notice how it's almost hollow-ish near the front close to his head, and the bulk of his belly seems to be weighted at the back. Is it possible that this is partially just that his anatomy is slightly deformed?

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I'll take that as good news. Maybe I'm just paranoid.

There definitely is a change in the bloated side. It's still not completely even with the other side but I wouldn't say it's necessarily bigger - more like it's just more angled. The side used to also effect his swimming and he would be slightly slanted upwards towards that side, kind of like how we look when we twist our neck and can only look one way. This also seems to be a good deal better, although it does seem to come back more in the evening?

I guess it's more of a gut feeling, like something about him is just a little bit off. Maybe I'm imagining it. I'm thinking I should just stop adding Epsom salt for now so that I can observe if there are any changes?

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Okay so I pulled him out to get a closer look.

The thing is, his scales are definitely still not sitting completely flat:

2011-06-07093804.jpg

I know it's hard to see but if you look along the top side, you can tell that it's not a smooth line. Is it possible that this is just the way his body is? Do all goldfish have scales that sit completely flat? 5 days of Epsom salt - they should be flat by now right? You can also see the vein in his tail that may or may be a symptom.

His poof side:

2011-06-07093706.jpg

The pic is at an angle rather than a complete top view so it appears bigger than it is.

I really don't know :idont. Sometimes I look at him and he looks perfectly fine, other times it seems like it's practically the same from when I first got him.

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Actually, looking at all the top-view pics, you can see what I mean when I say the whiter side is floatier. That's why, he's always at an angle - white side facing more upwards, other side facing more towards the floor.

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Fourth post of the day. Lol.

So here is my plan: Discontinue adding Epsom salt for now so I can observe if there are any changes. Continue with 100% water changes daily. Hopefully clean water and heat will make him a happy camper.

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Fourth post of the day. Lol.

So here is my plan: Discontinue adding Epsom salt for now so I can observe if there are any changes. Continue with 100% water changes daily. Hopefully clean water and heat will make him a happy camper.

I think this is a great plan. Let's try that for at least a week and then we can revisit the issue. As long as he's happily swimming and eating, I think he'll be ok :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
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UPDATE: So, he was doing pretty well - bloating down, healthy appetite until I noticed he started to get really floaty.

I did a switcheroo with my tanks by moving my other goldie to a 10 gallon and moving him to the filtered and cycled 5 gallon, thinking that maybe the less than ideal set up wasn't helping. Also decided to lower the temperature back down. He was doing fine in this set up and although struggled a bit to stay at the bottom, he was eager to eat the pea that I gave him.

Next morning, he was the same - still floaty but would wiggle around to free himself. When I got home in the evening, he was dead and almost fully pineconed!

Looking back now, I supposed the tank move and temperature change at the same time might not have been the best idea, but he was eating fine so I assumed he was okay. I don't really know what happened to make him pinecone and die so suddenly, but I assume the stress of the move might have triggered it. :idont

Anyways, just wanted to give a brief update and thank you guys for your help :)

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