Does this look like dropsy?


A little background - so I got Boo back in nov 2021. My last fish, Punkin, who had the same tank previously, died of dropsy from unknown causes. One of the main things I noticed with her was this symptom that almost looked like ‘coughing’.

soon after I got boo, he started to show the same symptom - the treated the tank (and boo) with prazipro for a long time, and it seemed to pass.

fast forward to this week. I haven’t checked the tanks parameters in a while, because everything seemed fine. I did a water change, and went home for two weeks. I came back, and the tank was VERY low and boo seemed rather lethargic. I topped off the tank, and did a water change the next day. I had the tank on a fish feeder, so he’s been having pellets for quite a while - probably more three weeks than 2 weeks, because I had finals before this and I was tired as ****.

the pellets I had been feeding him were really small micro pellets. Boo’s stomach seemed very dark (he’s a white fish, so I can kind of see through him) and he looked he really needed to poop. I tried to feed him some daphnia, and he was interested even if he wouldn’t come up to the surface for it. He ate some but spat it out. I decided to see if he would pass anything and I didn’t feed him for a few daysince then I’ve been feeding him frozen daphnia (about 4 days as of today). The darkness in his belly has been getting better and he seems more active, but he does still seem out of it.

I went to do a water change today, and became worried that his scales were sticking out a bit. I realize I might be paranoid, since Punkin had died of dropsy last time, but I figure it couldn’t hurt to rub it past y’all.

What is the water volume of the tank -7 gal
How long has the tank been running - around 2 years I think
Does it have a filter - yes
Does it have a heater - yes
What is the water temperature - I have the heater set to 75, but I think it runs a little warmer than that.
What is the entire stocking of this tank - beta fish, 1-2 Amano shrimp, 3-5 rili shrimp (worth noting before I left for two weeks, I took some rili shrimp from my other tank and put them in boo’s tank. I feel like fish have been going missing in there, but it’s so overgrown it’s hard to tell if that’s actually the case. I need to figure that out somehow), 1 nerite snail, ? Pond snails and rams horn snails. They’re are there, but they don’t seem to be overrunning the tank either.

worth noting tank is very heavily planted and has some botanicals in it.

How often do you change the water? 1 week I typically top off, two weeks water change.
How much of the water do you change? - a little under half
What do you use to treat your water? I use rodi water (filter needs replacing, I have the replacements tho). Treat with prime as needed
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Typically just the water, but I try to vacuum the substrate occasionally. I did recently after not doing so for a while.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API master kit (though I lost my ammonia #1 bottle and the little color comparison booklet. Genuinely have no idea where those went )
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: missing kit
Nitrite: will update tomorrow
Nitrate: will update tomorrow
pH: regular pH was very blue, high ph was an orange color

How often do you feed your fish? Typically 6 days a week, one day fast. See top of post for recent situation.
How much do you feed your fish? About half a peas worth
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Space city fish and coral pellets, sometimes bug bites, hikari frozen food
Do you feed frozen? Yes
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Nov 2021
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Today, in regards to the scales. 4 days ago for possible constipation.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Lethargy, maybe raised scales
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Prazipro for possible flukes
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? His fins have become more ragged since I’ve gotten him, but I’ve never seen any signs of fin rot.


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Doesn't look like pineconing to me. Maybe try an epsom salt dip, that can really clear a betta out.


Doesn't look like pineconing to me. Maybe try an epsom salt dip, that can really clear a betta out.
I’m glad to hear that! I’ll be leaving for a couple days again today, so if he still seems out of it I’ll try that when I get back

also, some updates. A little late, but I got the water quality testing (minus ammonia, because I’m missing it. I’ll have to get another one).

boo also seems to still be lethargic. He was breathing very heavily too. He’s still interested in food, and he does tend to be lazy during the day, but usually not to this extent. He’s always had some black rusty looking markings around his face, but they seem to have spread while I was gone for those past two weeks - he even has a little spot on his back. He also has some red spots on the edge of his fins, but I’m hoping that will go away with water changes.

I just fed him, and he seems to have perked up a bit even though he spat some out.

Pictures attached

edit: worth noting, I feel like I can see his scales raised juuuuuuuust a hair, but I can’t quite tell if I’m being paranoid or not. I’ve tried my best to capture that in the photos


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