Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Helen

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

Recommended Posts

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?

hi miki,

yes, only epsom and MM's with 4 x daily water changes and temp at 80.5F 27 degrees C. the routine is:

morning - 80% wc (gentle refill ofcourse), midday 40% wc, early evening, 40% wc and night 80% wc.

feeding.. if fish is not taking food willingly, i dilute in 6ml of tank water, 3 MM's and 4 epsom granules (all this fed in 1 feed via syringe) depending on the size of your fish (over 3" as mine is) i fed her every 2 hours as much as she'd take..

now, you may be able to get away with less wc's.. but i found that my amico reacted very well to several WC's per day.. so i just slaved away at what kept her happy.

good luck with yours.. i have posted all the information i have on this thread, it being the only time i have had to deal with dropsy, thankfuly by some miracle, we are all in good health again, even amico is showing some really good progress that i am no longer feeling she is touch and go. however, she still bottom sits, her scales are flat to her body but, that bump under her chin still exists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok thanks for the fine info. Mine eats and is not constipated but when i moved her to the treatment tank she would not eat the MM pellets so I gave her an injection of baytril and am now watching to see reaction. I think later I shall give her some epsom too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh miki.. personally, as i prefer basic meds before the harsh, i would have recommended the epsom first before the injection. the swelling caused in dropsy can be caused by a reaction to water parameters or a bacterial infection. dropsy is a symptom, not a disease and meds should not be used when you don't know what the cause is. the epsom salts help the fish expell the excess fluid causing the swelling which takes care of the dropsy symptom. further observation of water parameters etc is needed to determine wether the cause is bacterial and therefore needs medical treatment or environmental and can be treated with clean water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh miki.. personally, as i prefer basic meds before the harsh, i would have recommended the epsom first before the injection. the swelling caused in dropsy can be caused by a reaction to water parameters or a bacterial infection. dropsy is a symptom, not a disease and meds should not be used when you don't know what the cause is. the epsom salts help the fish expell the excess fluid causing the swelling which takes care of the dropsy symptom. further observation of water parameters etc is needed to determine wether the cause is bacterial and therefore needs medical treatment or environmental and can be treated with clean water.

:exactly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh miki.. personally, as i prefer basic meds before the harsh, i would have recommended the epsom first before the injection. the swelling caused in dropsy can be caused by a reaction to water parameters or a bacterial infection. dropsy is a symptom, not a disease and meds should not be used when you don't know what the cause is. the epsom salts help the fish expell the excess fluid causing the swelling which takes care of the dropsy symptom. further observation of water parameters etc is needed to determine wether the cause is bacterial and therefore needs medical treatment or environmental and can be treated with clean water.

nicely said ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very happy you found the cause! The look so much better! I think that if it is something in the water irritating them then it is a lot easier to treat then if it is a bacterial/organ problem.

I have been told to wipe down the UV every month just to keep it working properly (the light bright enough), so that is what I do.

I have been battling dropsy on Humphrey since Jan and she is basically a terminal patient as this point. I stopped all medication about a month ago now. As nothing worked and it was just stressing both of us out. But for her the cause is something to do with her ovaries. :( I am keeping her happy and comfortable and won't do anything until the day she will stop eating and let me know she is over it. :( She is kept in warm waters, slightly lower level, low current, and light but nourishing food.

But for irritant causes like rust etc it is just so important to check everything all the time! Sometimes you can't even imagine where gunk can build up! :doh11:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks frederica.. i am sorry to hear about humphrey.. such a beautiful fish that won my heart via your posts.. keep looking, investigating.. perhaps there is something more to it?..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea poor girl :(

It is correlated to her not being able to expel her eggs. THat's how it started. Then all the meds just made her organs weaker. I think that it is just her state for now. :( She is VERY slowly getting worse. But so far she still swims around and eats well and eagerly and also is interactive with me. Also her poops are plentiful and normal. So I just think it is a kidney thing for now. But she is HUGE. Right now she is the equivalent size of a grapefruit. I think that with the bigger fish it is even more heartbreaking because they really get HUGE. :(

I already called around tho to check what I will do with her once i have to put her down. I can't really bury a fish that large in my garden without attracting animals or something! :ignore So she will be cremated in a place for small pets. That way I can put her ashes either under one of my rose bushes or in the lake or something.

So far she is still with us tho :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea poor girl :(

It is correlated to her not being able to expel her eggs. THat's how it started. Then all the meds just made her organs weaker. I think that it is just her state for now. :( She is VERY slowly getting worse. But so far she still swims around and eats well and eagerly and also is interactive with me. Also her poops are plentiful and normal. So I just think it is a kidney thing for now. But she is HUGE. Right now she is the equivalent size of a grapefruit. I think that with the bigger fish it is even more heartbreaking because they really get HUGE. :(

I already called around tho to check what I will do with her once i have to put her down. I can't really bury a fish that large in my garden without attracting animals or something! :ignore So she will be cremated in a place for small pets. That way I can put her ashes either under one of my rose bushes or in the lake or something.

So far she is still with us tho :)

have you tried natural things like lactobacillus which is a probiotic into some gel food to see if that makes a difference to her? it might increase some strength/health into her organs? i guess it's worth a try?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh miki.. personally, as i prefer basic meds before the harsh, i would have recommended the epsom first before the injection. the swelling caused in dropsy can be caused by a reaction to water parameters or a bacterial infection. dropsy is a symptom, not a disease and meds should not be used when you don't know what the cause is. the epsom salts help the fish expell the excess fluid causing the swelling which takes care of the dropsy symptom. further observation of water parameters etc is needed to determine wether the cause is bacterial and therefore needs medical treatment or environmental and can be treated with clean water.

How did you decide the cause of your dropsy was bacterial then Helen and you could start antibiotics, but with Mikroll's case you don't know? I think he made a perfectly good decision choosing to do the Baytril injections. It's not harsh. It's just the same as feeding a medicated food like metromeds, except it can actually be more effective since it doesn't have to be absorbed through digestion. :thumb: Besides mikroll is an experienced fish keeper, and I'm sure he tested the water parameters to make sure that wasn't the cause before he decided to start the antibiotic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh miki.. personally, as i prefer basic meds before the harsh, i would have recommended the epsom first before the injection. the swelling caused in dropsy can be caused by a reaction to water parameters or a bacterial infection. dropsy is a symptom, not a disease and meds should not be used when you don't know what the cause is. the epsom salts help the fish expell the excess fluid causing the swelling which takes care of the dropsy symptom. further observation of water parameters etc is needed to determine wether the cause is bacterial and therefore needs medical treatment or environmental and can be treated with clean water.

How did you decide the cause of your dropsy was bacterial then Helen and you could start antibiotics

amico was eggbound 3 weeks before hand.. peas and epsoms to help her release eggs.. heavily stunted fish.. the math is simple.

with miki.. he writes " 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."

i certainly don't know why either, but i would begin stripping the tank and treating with epsoms, increasing heat to reduce the swelling before any meds were administered.

an example of long term med use is written a few posts above yours by frederica:

"Then all the meds just made her organs weaker. I think that it is just her state for now"

it is so easy to use meds as they're at our disposal.. however in miki's case, starting to use them without knowing the cause could be adding to the problem rather than making things better longterm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
have you tried natural things like lactobacillus which is a probiotic into some gel food to see if that makes a difference to her? it might increase some strength/health into her organs? i guess it's worth a try?

Yea she is on a staple gel food with mixed veggies and garlic and acidophilus. I guess this is also a reason why her poops are good and all. Once every 3-4 days I feed her frozen foods such as daphnia to keep the proteins going too. But too many frozen foods get her floaty right away. With the veggies she is good 'float - wise'.

I totally agree with avoiding the meds! I think the main issue tho is what happened to the fish before they came in our hands. The fish are usually given antibiotic shots before being shipped etc. They are very weak to begin with. The guy in Germany who owns the company that built my 200Gal always says that for his Kois he QTs them for SIX months! He says it takes 2months just to see the 'real fish' because after shipment they are just pumped with all sorts of meds. :( So I think it is similar with the goldies. You never know if a fish has a history of dropsy or what not.

In Michael's case he knows what he is doing :) It is also thanks to him that Lady Humphrey has stuck around so long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jennie, I would have to agree with Helen. Injections are more harsh than foods, because it is not only an invasion of the tissues, but also they are more concentrated. Just like foods are more harsh than water borne meds because they are more concentrated.

Yes, Mikroll is an experienced fish keeper, but even experienced fish keepers can jump the gun. I know I have!

We recommend using the least harsh approach first just because it is the least harsh. There is no need to put yourself through full body irradiation because you have strep throat. Would it work? Probably. But would it be worth the side effects? No.

EDIT: Just saw Helen's post.

i certainly don't know why either, but i would begin stripping the tank and treating with epsoms, increasing heat to reduce the swelling before any meds were administered.

This should be the first step to ANY case of dropsy. Even if you are sure of the cause.

Maybe in your case, Jennie, the best option was injections, but not every case is like that. Also, I think I recall you having a vet give you advice. That would explain the difference in opinions. We are not vets, therefore must start with the basics. Even those who have had vet consults need to start with the basics for each different case, as no two are 100% alike.

Also, I want to nip this in the bud and please ask everyone to remain civil. There isn't a problem now, I'm not implying that, but I just want it to stay that way. I think this is a very informative thread, and don't want to have to delete posts or -- God forbid -- close it. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
have you tried natural things like lactobacillus which is a probiotic into some gel food to see if that makes a difference to her? it might increase some strength/health into her organs? i guess it's worth a try?

Yea she is on a staple gel food with mixed veggies and garlic and acidophilus. I guess this is also a reason why her poops are good and all. Once every 3-4 days I feed her frozen foods such as daphnia to keep the proteins going too. But too many frozen foods get her floaty right away. With the veggies she is good 'float - wise'.

that's good news frederica.. perhaps a nice long break from the meds and a nice healthy diet might repair some of the problems she was facing.. i have my fingers crossed for her that she will become stronger as time goes on :angelstaf:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I guess I choose a different approach than many of you guys. I also am all for things that are less "harsh", but I just haven't seen any cases of dropsy which were permanently cured with epsom salt and heat alone. Maybe someone can provide documentation of a case in which that happened? I know Federica was able to control Dr. House's dropsy with epsom and salt for a short time, but it did not permanently fix her problem, and Dr. House eventually died. (RIP Dr. House :( )

We all know that in bacterial-caused dropsy, you have to act fast because the longer you take to medicate, the more likely it is that irreversible internal damage has already occurred. Because of this, and because I doubt that epsom salt even cures full-on dropsy, it seems senseless to me to try epsom salt first. I have tried epsom and heat with dropsied fish before, and it didn't help one bit. Only once I started an antibiotic did the scales begin to go down. So that is my approach now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I guess I choose a different approach than many of you guys. I also am all for things that are less "harsh", but I just haven't seen any cases of dropsy which were permanently cured with epsom salt and heat alone. Maybe someone can provide documentation of a case in which that happened?

I've dealt with dropsy several times which has been caused by water parameter fluctuations, usually related to my moving house to different areas, and sometimes I have needed to use meds but Rusty's had it twice and Chester once where it completely went down without using meds. It's not impossible. The danger is the weakened state making the fish more vulnerable to bacterial infections that can occur AFTER the dropsy, but not directly causing it. Difficult to tell but it's always worth giving the non-antibacterial meds a shot first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do sort of agree. In the case of the shot, you choose it if you are sure the fish needs antibiotics. The shot is fast and if you are experienced, rather painless for the fish. If the few shots do work, it is going to be less stressful in the long run that a trial and error of more conservative methods. But the shot cannot be used unless you are totally sure it has a great change of working and that nothing else is causing the problem.

I think that is what I did wrong with Humphrey. I should have done a bacterial culture in the very beginning to see was causing it and IF it was indeed bacterial. Once you know the bacteria you also know which med is best. This was done by the vet last year when my turtle Savannah had pneumonia. They took a sample and tested the bacteria with various antibiotics to see what it was less resistant to. ANother thing to keep in mind with all the superfluous meds the fish get BEFORE getting in our hands in the insane amount of super bugs already in their bodies. :(

For my large ryukins I had to use SIX times the dosage of PraziPro to kill their flukes!!! How insane is that?! (vet suggested the dosage). He is also worried that prazi will soon be another med that the flukes will become superbugs to because it is used so much.

I think this is really why the people who have had fry like Imo always say that those 'home bred' fish are so strong and healthy. It is really because they are never subjected to all the over medicating (plus shipping stress etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is really why the people who have had fry like Imo always say that those 'home bred' fish are so strong and healthy. It is really because they are never subjected to all the over medicating (plus shipping stress etc)

It's also because they are in an environment where they probably aren't subjected to many/any pathogens, so they have a clean bill of health to start with :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've dealt with dropsy several times which has been caused by water parameter fluctuations, usually related to my moving house to different areas, and sometimes I have needed to use meds but Rusty's had it twice and Chester once where it completely went down without using meds. It's not impossible. The danger is the weakened state making the fish more vulnerable to bacterial infections that can occur AFTER the dropsy, but not directly causing it. Difficult to tell but it's always worth giving the non-antibacterial meds a shot first.

That's interesting. It seems though that in the vast majority of cases, it's an internal infection causing the dropsy, and not some change in water parameters like in your case. In your case it was nice because you knew that you had just moved to a place with drastically different water changes, so you could more safely guess it was simply a reaction to that. Were the scales sticking out all over the body, or on just one side/in one area? How many times has Chester had dropsy, and how many times out of those did you use an antibiotic vs. just epsom? How about for Rusty?

In the majority of cases that I've dealt with and heard of, nothing had changed in water parameters and the fish suddenly bloats up and scales raise. In cases like those, epsom salt won't do you any good, and you'd better reach for the meds quickly (but be smart about which med you choose obviously) if you want any chance of curbing internal organ damage. That is my take...

Obviously it would be best to have a bacterial culture done like Federica said to see which med would be best to use. For many people this isn't an option, because they don't have a fish vet nearby. However if you can get a hold of Baytril, it's a great one to use because it's extremely broad-spectrum and will fight a number of different types of bad bacteria. I'm fairly sure metromeds is also very broad-spectrum, but not quite as much so as Baytril is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's interesting. It seems though that in the vast majority of cases, it's an internal infection causing the dropsy, and not some change in water parameters like in your case. In your case it was nice because you knew that you had just moved to a place with drastically different water changes, so you could more safely guess it was simply a reaction to that. Were the scales sticking out all over the body, or on just one side/in one area? How many times has Chester had dropsy, and how many times out of those did you use an antibiotic vs. just epsom? How about for Rusty?

In the majority of cases that I've dealt with and heard of, nothing had changed in water parameters and the fish suddenly bloats up and scales raise. In cases like those, epsom salt won't do you any good, and you'd better reach for the meds quickly (but be smart about which med you choose obviously) if you want any chance of curbing internal organ damage. That is my take...

Rusty had dropsy twice, and no meds, Chester twice once without meds and once with. Mariko and Red also both had dropsy and were treated with meds. In all cases pineconing was all over.

It's important to remember that water parameters are not only ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, there's a lot of other minerals etc involved in water. For example, dropsy can be caused by an increased sulphur content from stagnant water patches - do we test for it? No. In Helen's case the dropsy was likely started with the rust impurities - definitely not a type of bacteria but still causes trouble - yet nothing was showing from the test results she was doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rusty had dropsy twice, and no meds, Chester twice once without meds and once with. Mariko and Red also both had dropsy and were treated with meds. In all cases pineconing was all over.

It's important to remember that water parameters are not only ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, there's a lot of other minerals etc involved in water. For example, dropsy can be caused by an increased sulphur content from stagnant water patches - do we test for it? No. In Helen's case the dropsy was likely started with the rust impurities - definitely not a type of bacteria but still causes trouble - yet nothing was showing from the test results she was doing.

Perhaps Helen's dropsy cases were caused by the rust; I guess there's no way to know for sure. In any case, she did decide to start using antibiotics as that's the only thing that worked, so it seems her experience is going along with what I'm saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This really is a great thread :)

I think this is really why the people who have had fry like Imo always say that those 'home bred' fish are so strong and healthy. It is really because they are never subjected to all the over medicating (plus shipping stress etc)

For sure! In many cases if you have a healthy tank, you can keep it that way for a long time by not introducing any more fish. That was my case for years, then I got two 'bad' fish last year who I think introduced nasty bacteria, and the whole system was contaminated.

It's important to remember that water parameters are not only ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, there's a lot of other minerals etc involved in water. For example, dropsy can be caused by an increased sulphur content from stagnant water patches - do we test for it? No. In Helen's case the dropsy was likely started with the rust impurities - definitely not a type of bacteria but still causes trouble - yet nothing was showing from the test results she was doing.

:exactly This is often forgotten in the D&D section too when you hear people say "my water is fine but my fish are sick." We only test for the most obvious 'offenders,' there is plenty of other 'stuff' in the water that can cause problems.

As for the dropsy discussion, hopefully I can weigh in later...I'm on my way out the door right now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have dealt with this stuff to many dang times...

I can say that the best way to deal with it....

1. Find out what in the world caused it (if you dont it will come back and twice as bad)

2. First step after that tank the tank down (nuke it)

Get the fish in a QT state and raise the temp up and get salt in the tank to reduce swelling.... If fish doesnt want to eat you need to give the MM's. After that we all have different ways of trying to help the fish.... Shots, other kinds of meds...

I think this is a great thread as long as we keep it civil, its interesting on how people treat this... I remember when I made this site and years ago if a fish had Dropsy's it was a goner..... Me and a few other people decided it was enough and started research, and its still being looked at, and I think its wonderful.. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know anything about the recent post of the person who claimed to have a treatment for dropsy? I think it is in the treatment section. Anyone have more info?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...