Dropsy Help!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Lradke, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Lradke

    LradkeNew MemberMember

    Hello I have read a bunch of different sites on this disease, nut figured I'd ask here since everyone's tank is different.

    One of my guppies has dropsy. It was just noticed yesterday by my wife. I am wondering if there is anything I can do?

    I have a 29g with 2 swordtails, 2 Siamese algae eaters, 1 pea puffer (cleaning the snail infestation), and a bunch of guppies that my wife and I breed for color variations.

    About 1.5 weeks ago one of my swordtails came down with ich. I successfully rid the tank of it through the heat treatment. I was scared to do anything else because of the puffer. The tank temp returned to normal this last weekend.

    I don't know what would have brought it on. I read it is usually due to something wrong in the water. I tested it yesterday and it had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and about 25 nitrates. The Ph is somewhere around 7...its hard to tell with my test. Concerned with the nitrates I did a 1/3 water change. Just to bring it down lower.

    Now that I have described everything I can think of, is there anything that can be done? Or is my poor little guy doomed for fish heaven?

    Please let me know.

  2. Orion5

    Orion5Well Known MemberMember


    Unfortunately dropsy is extremely difficult to cure, if at all. I can honestly say that in my many years keeping fish I've never been able to cure it. Some experts seem to notice that dropsy is more frequent when nitrates are high. This might be something you'll want to remedy in your particular aquarium.

    It's not contagious for the most part, but general recommendations state that you quarantine the fish and treat (more will chime in here on what you could use-- I haven't bought medications in several years.) Hope for the best, but plan for the worse: there is a high possibility that the fish will die.

    If you're interested in euthanizing the fish I'm sure someone here could assist you with how to do it.

    Best of luck, and stay tuned.
  3. JessiNoel21

    JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    Can you get a pic or QT tank set up and get marcyn 2 that can help but it is more than likely to late.
  4. WaterSpirit

    WaterSpiritValued MemberMember

    Don't add salt. Or if you have aquarium salt in your tank water, do as many water changes as it takes to get it all out. Salt retains water and could increase the bloat. Just an FIY.

    My betta had dropsy once and I did a 100% WC and he immediately went back to normal....
  5. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I am not an advocate of using salt in freshwater aquariums, but this is false. Salt draws water out of things; that's how they cure meats in salt and how my mom made our Thanksgiving turkey so flavorful by soaking it in a brine. I won't go in to the details (I can explain how it works if anyone's interested, but I doubt it ;)) but people do actually use salt baths to relieve water retainment.
  6. WaterSpirit

    WaterSpiritValued MemberMember

    Ohhhh, which type of salt draws water out then? And which retains it? I know there is aquarium salt (rock salt) then there is noniodized salt, and then iodized salt. I swear I read somewhere about salt retaining water....i'm interested! Enlighten me!
  7. WaterSpirit

    WaterSpiritValued MemberMember

    I don't use salt in freshwater aquarium either unless I need to treat something. :)
  8. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I doubt there are any kinds of salt that don't draw water out; that's what salt does. :) It's all about osmosis, or the diffusion of water. Systems want to be in equilibrium; that's why if you spray perfume on one side of a room, you can eventually smell it on the other side. By the same token, if you have a semi-permeable membrane with a high concentration of solute particles (in this case, the membrane is the fish's skin and the solute is salt), then the solvent molecules (water) move through the membrane to the side with the higher concentration of solute (salt) to try and dilute the levels and make them more equal on both sides of the membrane. This is how curing fish works; since there IS salt outside the fish, and there ISN'T salt inside the fish, equilibrium can never be reached, so all the water (solvent) molecules keep leaving the fish in an attempt to reach equilibrium, until there isn't any water in the fish anymore and you have fish jerky. :) Hopefully people don't leave their bloated fish in salt baths long enough for that to happen ;)
  9. WaterSpirit

    WaterSpiritValued MemberMember

    Thanks! I will remember that! Here is a good article that goes over the various medications you can try to treat the underlying cause of the dropsy: . Just don't try more than one treatment at a time.

    I learn something new everyday!!!
  10. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  11. OP

    LradkeNew MemberMember

    Well, unfortunately when I came home today I saw that the little guy had passed on. :( Thanks for the help though. Ill be taking a look at the link in case it happens again.

    Thanks again.