Dropsy. Fish Are In Trouble, Go Figure. Help!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Brian Garner, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    I don't want this post to get complicated, as sometimes with several issues at once can. But here it goes.
    I have two issues that I am aware of at this point. Well, three, if you take in consideration that I don't know what I'm doing. Here are the parameters:
    40 gallon fresh water planted breeder
    8 Corys
    28 neons
    2 honey gouramis
    0 Ammonia
    0 Nitrites
    30 ppm Nitrates
    6.4 PH
    76.5 Temp
    Feeding: once a day alternating every other day flake food and 1/3 cube Emerald Entree for neons and gouramis. Two small shrimp pellets for the Question.
    50% water change weekly. The aquarium's filters turn the water over 10 times an hour. Crystal clear water.
    I have had the tank up and running for 8 months, and I fully understand cycling. The other day, I added two German Blue Rams. The stress during move and all produced a case of ick on the rams. I treated the aquarium with super ick cure from API. I used 1/2 dose because of Question. One of the rams died the next day, and other followed. That was yesterday.
    Question #1, even though the effected fish are gone, should I administer the second wave of ick medicine?
    At the same time, my honey gouramis have been gaining weight, or I thought. It turns out that I believe it to be dropsy. The scales are slightly protruding, and they are laying on their side at the bottom. Every once in a while they perk up, and start to swim and nibble on plants like nothing is wrong. But something is wrong. I am nervous since it looks as though there is no cure for dropsy. Should I be concerned about the other fish in the tank. My corys are looking plump. Again, I thought they were healthy, but now I am wondering if they are sick as well. They eat and forage all day. Their color looks good. Can't tell if they are sick. They have no scales, so how would I know if they have dropsy? Neons are hard to see their scales because they are so small.
    The two gouramis are fading, and I am worried.
    Question #2, What do I do about the gouramis? Are any of these issues related????
    Please help if you can, and only advice from folks who know what's happening or have gone through this before.

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  2. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Hi! sorry you are dealing with this. One thing is clear, your system has been exposed to the Ich parasite so you need to continue the full treatment as directed on the back of the medication. Even though you may not see the parasite on your other fish, it can still be in the free-floating stage, or in the gravel.
    The dropsy can indicate many things. It is a symptom of an underlying issue- not a cause. : a bacterial infection, parasite, or over-feeding.
    Have you noticed any white feces? Any fish not eating?
    Do you notice any fraying fins, white areas (fungal issues), or reddened areas ( streaking or sores on fish)?
    Take some time to look at them individually, see if you can see any external signs that might indicate source of dropsy.

    Can you explain what this means? It is difficult for me to understand.

  3. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    I have not gone through this before but I need to ask a few questions about the gouramis. You said that the gouramis were lying on the bottom. Are they able to rise to the surface for air as they need to?
    Do they look like they are panting or breathing heavily on the bottom, not eating and not moving much?

  4. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    Thank you for your quick response Discusluv.
    Spell check issue hear "My nervous tank has healthy fish in there at the moment. That is not an option at this point." I have corrected it since you replied.
    Believe me, I scope ALL my fish out daily for changes. The gouramis looked fine a few weeks ago, and then started to plump a bit, but since I look at them everyday, the change was hard to identify. The scales on them are ever slightly protruding. But they are lethargic and started to swim oddly. This happened quickly, like two days ago and getting worse. Their poop looks solid and dark like their food. They are eating well.
  5. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Ill wait so you can answer the questions @KimberlyG has asked- maybe she has something in mind.
  6. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Thank you for the reply, if they are eating well, it is not iridovirus. In terms of the ICK, the rams brought the parasite into the tank. Do the entire treatment as directed. Tomonts will be in the tank and can affect other fish. (Unrelated to the problem the gouramis are facing)
  7. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    The two gouramis will rise from the bottom, or a plant that they have used as a bed, and just start swimming around as if nothing is wrong. The tank has plenty of surface agitation and no lack of oxygen. The gouramis do go up and take in air, but no more than usual. They are eating. One has always been a vegetarian, eating nothing but my plants and ignoring food. I have had them for 6 months.
  8. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Iridovirus can be dormant for a long time but the behavior you described is not indicative of that disease. Since dropsy or pineconing is a symptom of an underlying disease just like a secondary infection, it is often difficult to determine the true illness. There are things we do as a last ditch effort but that is throwing darts blindfolded. Your pH is lower than I am used to seeing. Do you know your KH/DH? Just wondering about pH swings.
  9. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Do you have a quarantine tank?
    I would at first try feeding the Gourami's a frozen pea, blanched, and de-shelled and see if it is just constipation. Also, not feeding for a couple days. If after a couple of days of no food and de-shelled pea they are still same, try an Epsom salt treatment. With Epsom salt treatment I would put 1/8 teaspoon (first dissolving in small amount of tank water in cup and poring into tank) of Epsom salt in tank. Give this 24 hours and see if this brings improvement.
    See if these measures help.

    Maybe more drastic measures are in order, but still unsure if bacterial or parasitic .

    Can you take picture of Gourami's? That may help to determine how severe the dropsy is. A photo from side and top, if possible.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2017
  10. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    My quarantine tank is currently full of healthy fish. I simply can't move them at the moment. Salt cannot happen in this tank because of the corys. Tried frozen peas the other day, but no one ate it for 12 hours. Here is an image of one of them. 20170803_194638.jpg

    Also, my ph hovers between 6.8 and 7.0. Not the 6.4. Typo as I am thinking about these fish.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2017
  11. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    You can do an Epsom Salt Dip on the Gourami's. It would be the first thing I would do for my own fish.
    Here are the directions:
    To give your fish an Epsom salt bath, pour half of the tank's water into a clean container. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for every 1 gallon of water. Have the fish swim in the solution for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the fish promptly and return him to his aquarium if he appears stressed or relieves himself.
  12. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    Great idea for treating salt with corys. But what exactly is the salt going to do. Explain.

    But thinking about this, I am in the middle of treating for ick. I have 48 more hours before water change. So I really can't take any water out at this time. I'm in a difficult place. I don't want the gouramis to suffer until I can do this. Anything else?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2017
  13. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    You are not treating the cory's. You are taking the Gourami's ( the two fish exhibiting signs of dropsy) out of the display tank, putting them in a container 0f 1-2 gallons of water and adding Epsom Salt( dissolved first in a cup of tank-water) to this container at the rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. The benefits are two-fold. If the fish are constipated the Epsom salt will work as a laxative and the Epsom salt also works to alleviate swelling in the abdomen.
  14. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Odd indeed. I can see some slight pineconing even by the dorsal. You could try the epsom salt bath that discus recommended to relieve the excess fluids and make them more comfortable. I would do it in a bath at 3/4th teaspoon dissolved in 4 cups of tank water for 30 to 60 minutes. You need to be by the fish to watch for signs of distress.
  15. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    You dont have to use tank water. You can use dechlorinated water as close to temperature as possible to the display tank.
  16. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Sorry, I type slow. Discus' dosing is spot on for that amount of water.
  17. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    That I understood. I was thanking you for that idea of my current stock, and not being able to add salt to the main tank. Did you understand the ick issue and I don't want to take the water that's being treated. Should I do the salt bath in tap water with prime?
  18. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Yes. I would do at least 2 treatments- today and tomorrow. Sometimes it takes more than one treatment doing this way ( as a dip). Ive had much better success adding it to a hospital tank in a smaller dose for 24-hour period ( with my discus) , but I realize that you dont have the ability to do this.
  19. Brian GarnerValued MemberMember

    You've been a big help. I'm on it! Thank you.
  20. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Your so welcome. Let us know how they do! :)

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