Does my swordtail have dropsy

Jo34

Hi everyone. I was wondering if anyone can give some advice. I have a poorly swordtail. I haven't seen her for a few days as the tank is currently at my brother's house, but I went round today as she was just lied on the bottom of the tank, not moving and not eating. I did a water test and it was showing water change, so I did a big water change, and gravel cleaned, and cleaned the filter, I think the filter has caused a problem.went to check abit later and she hadn't improved, infact looked worse so I have removed her and put her in a hospital tank. The back of her looks slightly pineconed. Can anyone give me any advice please. All my other fish seem ok, but one of my other swordtails has a lump on the back of her at the side.
Hi everyone. I was wondering if anyone can give some advice. I have a poorly swordtail. I haven't seen her for a few days as the tank is currently at my brother's house, but I went round today as she was just lied on the bottom of the tank, not moving and not eating. I did a water test and it was showing water change, so I did a big water change, and gravel cleaned, and cleaned the filter, I think the filter has caused a problem.went to check abit later and she hadn't improved, infact looked worse so I have removed her and put her in a hospital tank. The back of her looks slightly pineconed. Can anyone give me any advice please. All my other fish seem ok, but one of my other swordtails has a lump on the back of her at the side.
It just looks like she's wobbling around. I don't like what I'm seeing.
 

Idkitsathrowaway

Fill out the emergency template. Put in the parameters that you last know of. Also picturs. If it is dropcy you may have to put it down. If is hard but dropcy has no cure to my knowledge. And it would end the suffering. Try clove oil if you have no choice
 
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Jo34

Fill out the emergency template. Put in the parameters that you last know of. Also picturs. If it is dropcy you may have to put it down. If is hard but dropcy has no cure to my knowledge. And it would end the suffering. Try clove oil if you have no choice
Thank you for replying to me, but she died in the night ☹️☹️ my pride and joy my swordtails.
 
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happah

Post all the information nevertheless (water params, temperature, tank age, tank stocking and size, etc). Perhaps we can discover what could've caused the issue, so as to avoid it happening again.
 
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Jo34

Post all the information nevertheless (water params, temperature, tank age, tank stocking and size, etc). Perhaps we can discover what could've caused the issue, so as to avoid it happening again.
I have a 60 litre tank. I've had it 4 months, with no issues what so ever. Regular water changes.live plants. Temperature is 26. I have 2 dwarf gourami, 3 swordtails, (now 2) and 4 danios. Everything else was reading fine.
cl 2 was 0
Ph 6.8
But NO2/ NO3 off the rickter scale.
My other fish seem ok. But the one that died did have a wound on her tail, do you think that could have anything to do with it?
 
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happah

I don't understand, what is cl 2 (Chloride?). And what are the measurements for ammonia, NO2 and NO3, as indicated by the liquid tests? Have the fish been in the tank from the beginning, or did you only add them after the tank had already cycled? Do you use a water dechlorinator?

Yes, a wound could possibily explain it but I'm no expert. Dropsy itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom. That is why it's important to figure out the cause, as the actual cause may affect the other fish in the tank as well.
 
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Jo34

Sorry I'm not very good at explaining the test things. My husband usually reads them. We use the tests strips. Think the cl2 is either chloride or chlorine. But that was perfect. The NO3 was 250 and the NO2 was 10. If that makes sense. I'll try and post pick of the test we use. We cycled the tank first. We do have water declorinator aswell.
I'm just so upset it's happened. I do everything I should with them I think. But I would appreciate any advice at all.
Sorry I'm not very good at explaining the test things. My husband usually reads them. We use the tests strips. Think the cl2 is either chloride or chlorine. But that was perfect. The NO3 was 250 and the NO2 was 10. If that makes sense. I'll try and post pick of the test we use. We cycled the tank first. We do have water declorinator aswell.
I'm just so upset it's happened. I do everything I should with them I think. But I would appreciate any advice at all.
 

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happah

If there are nitrites present, the tank is most likely not cycled yet. 10 for nitrites is toxic for fish, you should get 0 if the tank is cycled (done propperly, a tank takes anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 weeks to fully cycle, how did you cycle yours?).
Also, the 250 value for nitrates is huge, also very toxic to fish. Are you doing water changes? If so, what volume of water and how often?
Even on the strip tube, you can see that they recommend water changes for those values. If those values indicated by the strips are real, you are in big trouble, my advice would be to start doing frequent water changes to get those levels down as soon as possible (start with a 50% water change now and then 20-30% water change daily for as long as it takes for the tank to cycle, and the values to go down)

Test strips are not the most reliable, if you can afford, invest in a liquid test (I think the go-to test in the states is the API kit). The liquid tests are much more accurate, and if you plan on keeping fish for a while, it is definitely a good investment. For the shorter term, if you have a local fish store around you, they may be able to test your aquarium water - just take a jar of water to them, and they should be able to give you some more accurate readings
 
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Jo34

If there are nitrites present, the tank is most likely not cycled yet. 10 for nitrites is toxic for fish, you should get 0 if the tank is cycled (done propperly, a tank takes anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 weeks to fully cycle, how did you cycle yours?).
Also, the 250 value for nitrates is huge, also very toxic to fish. Are you doing water changes? If so, what volume of water and how often?
Even on the strip tube, you can see that they recommend water changes for those values. If those values indicated by the strips are real, you are in big trouble, my advice would be to start doing frequent water changes to get those levels down as soon as possible (start with a 50% water change now and then 20-30% water change daily for as long as it takes for the tank to cycle, and the values to go down)

Test strips are not the most reliable, if you can afford, invest in a liquid test (I think the go-to test in the states is the API kit). The liquid tests are much more accurate, and if you plan on keeping fish for a while, it is definitely a good investment. For the shorter term, if you have a local fish store around you, they may be able to test your aquarium water - just take a jar of water to them, and they should be able to give you some more accurate readings
I don't understand how they got so bad, we do 25% water changes every 2 weeks. And regular tests and it's always been perfect. But all of a sudden something has happened. I immediately did a 50% water change yesterday.and cleaned the gravel and filter. I will do another 25% water change today. I definitely plan on keeping fish for a while, so will invest in a proper kit. And will take a sample to my local fish store too. I really appreciate your advice.
 
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happah

25% weekly might not be enough, adjust your water changes according to the nitrate readings. As a rule of thumb, a lot of people change about 30% of the water on a weekly basis, but the volume depends on how much your nitrates increase (aim for below 100 for nitrates).

Hm, increasing the bioload suddently can overwhelm the denitrifying bacteria - that is, even if the tank was cycled and was able to process the bioload for 2 fish, if you suddenly add 4 more fish, it will take a while for the bacteria population to grow up to the point where it is able to process the bioload from 6 fish. So if you increased the bioload significantly in one go, that might explain why there are nitrites in your tank.

A few general advice pieces:
* feed only as much as the fish can eat in 1 minute, only once per day. Feeding more will only result in decaying food and consequently bad water.
* when you clean the filter, be very gentle and only use water from the tank (that is, dechlorinated). The denitrifying bacteria reside in the filter media, and cleaning it thoroughly or using chlorinated water may kill your bacteria and therefore crash the cycle.
* when adding fish, do it gradually, so as to avoid sudden spikes in ammonia/nitrites. The bacteria need a bit of time to adjust to the new bioload levels.

Good luck!
 
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Jo34

25% weekly might not be enough, adjust your water changes according to the nitrate readings. As a rule of thumb, a lot of people change about 30% of the water on a weekly basis, but the volume depends on how much your nitrates increase (aim for below 100 for nitrates).

Hm, increasing the bioload suddently can overwhelm the denitrifying bacteria - that is, even if the tank was cycled and was able to process the bioload for 2 fish, if you suddenly add 4 more fish, it will take a while for the bacteria population to grow up to the point where it is able to process the bioload from 6 fish. So if you increased the bioload significantly in one go, that might explain why there are nitrites in your tank.

A few general advice pieces:
* feed only as much as the fish can eat in 1 minute, only once per day. Feeding more will only result in decaying food and consequently bad water.
* when you clean the filter, be very gentle and only use water from the tank (that is, dechlorinated). The denitrifying bacteria reside in the filter media, and cleaning it thoroughly or using chlorinated water may kill your bacteria and therefore crash the cycle.
* when adding fish, do it gradually, so as to avoid sudden spikes in ammonia/nitrites. The bacteria need a bit of time to adjust to the new bioload levels.

Good luck!
Thank you so much for your advice, I have ordered the liquid test kit aswell. And will adjust the water changes to 30% weekly aswell. When we added the fish, we didn't add them all in one go, we did a batch at a time, swordtails, gourami, danios. I now have 1, make swordtail and one female, when the tank is settled. I'd love another female swordtail. How long would you recommend before I get one?
 
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happah

Definitely wait until the tank stabilises (you get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and below 100 nitrates for 1 month straight). If the tank has been stable for 1 month, with no spikes/disease/deaths, then you can safely add another fish. Let's hope someone more experienced chips in and gives you more information about the stocking - how many fish you can still add.

As for swordtails, they are livebearers, you may find yourself with lots of babies, and therefore an increase in your aquarium population. Hopefully the gourami will eat most of the babies; if not, at some point, you may have to rehome some fish.
 
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Jo34

Definitely wait until the tank stabilises (you get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and below 100 nitrates for 1 month straight). If the tank has been stable for 1 month, with no spikes/disease/deaths, then you can safely add another fish. Let's hope someone more experienced chips in and gives you more information about the stocking - how many fish you can still add.

As for swordtails, they are livebearers, you may find yourself with lots of babies, and therefore an increase in your aquarium population. Hopefully the gourami will eat most of the babies; if not, at some point, you may have to rehome some fish.
Ok I will definitely wait. I find these swordtails hard to find. They are the black ones. Most beautiful ones I have ever seen. So will definitely wait and monitor everything closely. They did have babies ones and ate them all. I was gutted.
 
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