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Helen

A Recent Scare In The Stakos Tank - A Story To Share

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ok.. this is something i am still currently going through. i share this information with all of you, not to ask for help but more to help educate you that dropsy for whatever reason, caught in early stages is infact treatable and with high a high success rate. my story below, is a simple copy and paste from my online diary i shared with a few friends along the way. i asked for no help.. i just wanted to see if i could pull us out of this one by coaching myslef via my books and knowledge i received from this site.. i leave out no information.

posted on the 4th of june:

now..

as you are all aware, i have had a loooong stint with no sick fish.. about 7 years now. and to add, i have NEVER lost a fish to illness.. just once to a crow (big black ???????? bird) and 8 fish were rehomed due to travels and the inability to find carers during our absence..

something went horribly wrong in my tank this past week which has lead to Snag, Amico and now Sir Loyn to dropsy..

last night, i started at 10pm and still at 6:30am had not finished stripping my tank bit by bit to find what the hell is going on. all of this whilst the fish are still in there.

step 1 - remove water to 20% capacity (ie, just enough to cover fish)

step 2 - remove plants

step 3 - remove filter tubing

step 4 - remove filters

step 5 - clean inside of ALL tubing and filters

step 6 - remove ALL gravel/rocks/ornaments/rocky's fav platic plant (sorry rocky :( ) permenantly

step 7 - dissasemble UV

here is where the drama unfolds.

inside the plastic UV chamber, there was an incredible amount of brown gunk! slosh! oober goober crap! to make matters worse, water had seeped into the glass chamber that houses the UV globe and that caused the metal bracket which affixes the globe to the plastic component that inserts into the powersource to rust! so the water (that wasn't supposed to be in there) in the glass chamber was BRIGHT orange!

i had not checked the chamber of the UV for about 12 months! (since it was installed basically!)

as well as a plant that Elizabeth Taylor had destroyed (she has strong redecorating habits) and was behind the main feature so i couldn't see it was rotting and possibly adding to the cause.. but i would think that the main problem is the UV crap..

now, i have amico and snag in QT.. snag has been in there for a week and showing small improvements. amico is touch n go :cry1

sir loyn is only just starting to show small signs of dropsy..

so here's the plan..

i am off to buy a new heater as i can't find my own (and extra bubblers).. i will be making medicated gel food as the supply sarah (devilduck) sent me will not be enough to make it through.. but i have enormous amounts of flagyl at hand.. so the gel food will be the way to go for us. epsom for sure..

i will be wc'g 2 times per day 60% and feeding 4 x per day medicated food.. i have used some nutrafin cycle (splashed into the filters) as i am sure this huge clean will cause a cycle bump..

this emotionally is all i can manage to share atm.. as soon as i feel upto uploading pics, i will update this thread.

the main reason for my posting today is to urge you all.. when everything seems right.. params inner tank health with plants and no bacteria traps.. please please please, urge pple with dropsy or other bacterial problems that appear cluless to what the cause is to check their UV unit thoroughly.. and for those of you who have one.. please check it regularly as you just never know..

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posted also on the 4th of june:

ok.. so it's not the best video of amico.. but then again she's so far from her best.. but this is what my 5yo baby looks like now.. it's so depressing.. so sad :cry1:cry1:cry1

posted also on the 4th of june:

you know what? i have been syringe feeding her every 2 hours (out of desparation) 6ml tank water with diluted epsom (2 - 3 granules and 2 MM's) currently she is upright.. i have also been letting her sit in my cupped hand for about 5-10 mins. that video was a good 4 hours ago..

so she's been taking the diluted mixutre.. it has small chunks in it and i hold her upright when i feed her.. i can feel her crunching away at the small bits which means she's eating :angelstaf:

and i know that the MM's can constipate her, so i add the epsom.. i just hope that the two together will make a difference. there is also 1 x 400mg flagyl in the water iteself and 1/4 tsp of epsom..

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posted today 7th of June 8:00pm:

keep in mind that from AUS to USA we are 14-16 hours in the future.. so all the dates listed are the next day for you guys.

ok.. so i am going to try to update this as best i can now..

from the 31st of may to the 2nd of june.. snag was solo in QT.. 2/6 amico joins snag in QT.. keeping in mind that it's only a 9 gallon tank :(

3/6 sir loyn show's signs of dropsy.. starting to flare behind the gill plate. so.. with qt not being big enough to add a 12" fish on the 3rd of June, i write you guys Post No1 to this thread.

at first, snag being alone received 2 x 80% water changes per day and 4 MM's 2 x per day. he was never of the understanding that he was sick, so he never bottom sat or showed any problems. when i added amico, she was lifeless :( fully pineconed to a point where i just knew i was going to lose her (thank gawd they're only about 4" a piece) and there was room to move in qt without snag annoying her whilst she layed in the corner uside down and to her side.

snag: amico:

snag31052011-pineconeh.jpgamico-dropsy020611e.jpg

once amico was added.. wc's increased to 2 x 80% per day and 2 x 30% per day.. epsom salts and MM's for both however amico was not eating and i feared the worst.

then i decided to syringe feed her on her second day. i diluted 2 MM's and 3 epsom granuels in 6 cc/ml tank water. the syringe is only 3 cc/ml so, she received 2 x 3 cc/ml every 2 hours.. she wanted to eat but wasn't strong enough to move or chew the MM no matter how much i soaked it, so this was the only way and i was determined to exhaust all options.

here's the feeding vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwTpEiMkZRU

it took another 2 days before she would begin to poop and move a little, but still upside down.. no swimming. all that she would do is erect her dorsal whenever i neared and followed me with her eyes. very touch n go.. bloated like a balloon i still feared the worst.. so to each waterchange i maintained 1 x Flagyl 400mg tablet diluted with the epsom to the water they swam in. as well as oral MM's and amico's new feeding regime.

on the 4/6 evening.. we got some movement (struggle but better than nothing)

a day and a half later, still feeding amico every 2 hours with syringe, same wc routine (4 x perday) she was begining to sit more upright. by the end of that second day, she was mostly upright and moving more.. on the odd occasion, she would fight real hard, swim right to the top and freefall down. much excitement felt by myself.. still fully pineconed however.

on the 6/6 snag, 97% flat scales moves back to the main. which is at 27 degrees C = 80.6F where the water is treated with epsoms and ALL fish are on MM's (due to sir loyn's dropsy outbreak that dissappeard once the epsoms and MM's were consumed that same day (3-4/6))

snag: amico:

snag060611d.jpgamico-dropsy060611k.jpg

so today. here is where we're at.. main tank still with epsom and fish still on MM's 2x per day everyone is alive and well in there and doing great :D whew! :angelstaf::heart

snag's now 98% better and soon to be 100% :angel: sir loyn is still 100%

QT - amico is still bottom sitting but now, she has her dorsal permenantly up. WC's cut to 2 x day.. this evening i will not be replacing the MM's that are in the water.. just nice clean primed water, epsom added and i notice that she does not need the MM's diluted however, i still have to pick her up to handfeed them to her.. now 3 times per day she will recieve 3-4 pellets. this morning, she only took 2 and i syringe fed her the next meal so that i know she got all 4 (with a bit of epsom).. she's pooping colours of MM's but nice even poop.

this morning, i took the following photos.. the puff bump under her chin is my main concern followed by the fact she will not freely swim.. i still don't know if she will still make it, but she is however eating an pooping well. like i said, i have never had a seriously ill fish before that has been in my care, so recovey of what was from near death to good health remains uncertain in my mind. but we will continue to fight together.

amico-dropsy060611c.jpgamico-dropsy060611m.jpgamico-dropsy060611l.jpg

i hope to see more improvement in her over the next few days :)

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so please! when everything is right and things are still going wrong, check the UV!

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Thank you for sharing this with us Helen. Very valuable info, and says never give up! Hope they continue to improve. Sending good vibes your way. :)

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So glad you summed all this up and posted it, awesome! :#1

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I am so sorry they are sick. As Red said, this is all valuable information, so thanks for posting.

I have my fingers crossed for your precious babies.

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So glad you summed all this up and posted it, awesome! :#1

:exactly

The syringe method is one for the books

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I'm glad everyone's doing better, Helen. This documentation is important, and again shows that aggressive treatment for dropsy is critical for recovery.

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I'm glad there on the mend, and I'm crossing my fingers for amico!

And I second Miki said: this topic is one for the books :).

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Oh my Gosh I'm So Sorry your babies are not feeling well But Super Happy to see they are feeling better :) :) Thanks for sharing your diary with us all :) May I ask what is left in the main tank now???

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Awww, poor babies :heart

What a great, informative post; I do hope this will be able to help others in the future. I admire your determination and resolve in the face of this problem that seems to have afflicted your goldies, and I know a bit of how you must have been feeling as Dropsy has hit my guys up more than once :( As a goldfish owner and enthusiast, it's a fear I live with day to day. I suppose in this hobby, we embrace the good days and fight the bad with all our knowledge and strength. Great work Helen, and best wishes to you and all your kids for a full recovery! :heart

Edit: And I as well agree with the above concerning the syringe-feeding method. How efficient!

Edited by Kateana

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Oh my Gosh I'm So Sorry your babies are not feeling well But Super Happy to see they are feeling better :) :) Thanks for sharing your diary with us all :) May I ask what is left in the main tank now???

thanks shell, it was quite a scare and really, i am so thankful they all pulled through. all the fish that suffered dropsy are alive sir loyn and snag are with the others in the main tank and amico is still in qt.. and about to get her 3rd wc for the day.. it's just past midnight here atm wednesday :)

the main tank has the driftwood/anubias and bubblers.. and just a handfull of gravel strewn on the bottom.. some bubblers and some tackle bobs to keep elizabeth taylor active. here's a pic:

tank08062011.jpg

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I can't even count the number of dropsy cases I've had (and I do check and clean my UVs regularly), and with every single case, the dropsy came back and was untreatable by the second or third time. So keep a close eye on them.

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thanks sakura.. i do nothing but keep a close eye on them.. thankfully that's how i managed to catch it in it's early stages.. but.. lesson learned and hopefully never again is this horrid illness to visit our tank again :)

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I think because you were so quick to act and did find the definite cause, you have a very good chance of getting past this :) The dosages and timing of medications are also crucial, which you did such a good job with :heart

Problems arise when the 'source' of the problem is never really found, as it's not always as obvious as it was in this case. Also, a lot of dropsy cases develop after prolonged illness that fish keepers did not necessarily know about (internal bacterial infections, etc.) so by the time the dropsy develops, the serious damage to organs has been done and the fish either die or will dropsy again quite easily (for example in the case of kidney damage).

I believe this is what happened with my own fish this year, when bad bacteria were somehow introduced (likely with a new fish) and took hold. The fish were not obviously sick but then would dropsy quite suddenly. Up to then, I had never had a case of dropsy in my tank. It soon became clear that they had some internal issues going on before the dropsy, likely for weeks or months that caused internal lesions but no external symptoms. That is why my tank has now been completely sterilized and no new fish will be added to it for at least another couple of months.

Anyway, just wanted to share my take on it. It's always good to remember that dropsy is a symptom of various other issues. It is really key to look at your tank (like you did by taking the UV apart) and consider every possible source of bacteria, etc (including ornaments, your water change routine, how often you add new fish, etc.). Some cases of dropsy can be overcome with vigilant care and treatment, but others that may not be so easily beat. Thankfully for you Stakos, I think you fall into the first category :heart

Edited by Chrissy_Bee

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thanks chrissy :heart

and thank you everyone for your support.. it really does help to share experiences. to whatever degree there is always a learning experience to be gained by all. that's why this site is so good and functions so well.. we are all here to continue educating eachother.. and the best help one can receive is positive encouragement and solid advice from our experienced members..

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Its so good to hear that they are doing better :) I've had so many cases of dropsy, got through it with 2 fish now, but I still don't know the cause :( I have the same uv sterilizer as you and clean it monthly, even though it is a pain in the rear to remove from in line with the canister. I actually just stopped using it as it didn't seem to be helping at all...

Good luck and health to everyone, especially Amico

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thanks chrissy :heart

and thank you everyone for your support.. it really does help to share experiences. to whatever degree there is always a learning experience to be gained by all. that's why this site is so good and functions so well.. we are all here to continue educating eachother.. and the best help one can receive is positive encouragement and solid advice from our experienced members..

:slicedbread:goodpost:exactly

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What koko said :read

:P :alc

Edited by Erinaceus

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Oh my Gosh I'm So Sorry your babies are not feeling well But Super Happy to see they are feeling better :) :) Thanks for sharing your diary with us all :) May I ask what is left in the main tank now???

thanks shell, it was quite a scare and really, i am so thankful they all pulled through. all the fish that suffered dropsy are alive sir loyn and snag are with the others in the main tank and amico is still in qt.. and about to get her 3rd wc for the day.. it's just past midnight here atm wednesday :)

the main tank has the driftwood/anubias and bubblers.. and just a handfull of gravel strewn on the bottom.. some bubblers and some tackle bobs to keep elizabeth taylor active. here's a pic:

tank08062011.jpg

It's so great to see them all! :D And when I first saw the photo I was like, "Nawww, Porkchop your so pretty..." :heart Just look at her up in the corner there, all lovely and floofy... :rofl

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So Happy to see snag back in the main tank and Mrs Pork Chop looking Beautiful as always :) and the others all do look very well as well :) hopefully you caught this just in time to save them all :) will you be adding the gravel back do you think??your tank looks so different with out it (lol) But I do still like it though :)

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Glad they are feeling better! :) What a wonderful fishy mummy you are. ;)

I lost one of my fish (Blossom) to dropsy, it was awful. :(

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I am so happy to see such an improvement! I am in awe of your awesome fish keeping skills!! :)

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Glad to hear things are returning to normal!! :thumb:

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I've been thinking about your kiddos...so glad they are going great! Once again, you are an amazing fishkeeper and an :angelstaf:

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Glad to hear things are returning to normal!! :thumb:

thanks mr d :)

I've been thinking about your kiddos...so glad they are going great! Once again, you are an amazing fishkeeper and an :angelstaf:

thanks amy :)

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Thank you for sharing and detailing what you are doing to save your fish. I am following you post with great interest as just now I also have one who is begining to swell and I have not yet any idea as to why she does this and must decide what course of action to try to reverse it.

if I understand correctly you so far have only used epsom salt and metro and water changes?

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