40 Gallon Tank EMERGENCY!! Guppy with extreme bloat, raised scales, and inflamed anus

SavTheArtist

*BEFORE YOU READ, I AM UNABLE TO SET UP AN ISOLATION TANK! DO NOT RECCOMEND.*

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
40g

How long has the tank been running?
A year

Does it have a filter?
Yes, 2

Does it have a heater?
Yes

What is the water temperature?
80~°

What is the entire stocking of this tank?
Stocking:

Some mollies
1 guppy
1 swordtail
1 killi
1 baby angel
1 Rubberlip
A few kuhlis
1 assassin snail
And soon 1 Panda garra

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
A few times a month

How much of the water do you change?
30-50%

What do you use to treat your water?
Prime

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Vacuum occasionally

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Yes

What do you use to test the water?
Runbo strips

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40~ (never buffers, I believe to be a misreading from strips
pH: 7.5

It's a well-planted tank with Malaysian driftwood

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day

How much do you feed your fish?
A few pinches

What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Omega one

Do you feed frozen?
Do you feed freeze-dried foods?
No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
Half a year

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Hovering a week or so, bloat, scales, and anus were just today

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
She's EXTREMELY bloated, to the point that she is fully round. Scales are raised on the tummy. Her anus is red, dark, and distended.

Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Not really, fasted the tank today

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
Not very healthy as she's a Petco fish. She's also elderly and a bit beat up

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
She's gotten so round and bloated, raised scales, inflamed anus, hovering near surface, no appetite

People on FKA told me it's most likely not true dropsy. I fasted her all day in case of bloat but there has been no change. I'm going to fast the tank longer.

Could it be parasites? Or is it dropsy? Bloat?

Please help me. She seems so uncomfortable and I'm really upset. I don't want her to suffer and I'm worried
 

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MacZ

Might sound harsh, but please put the fish down. There is no treatment that will work guaranteed without negative side-effects and the chance of the meds killing the fish. Also let's face it, treating a guppy with a strong (and expensive) prescrition antibiotic that will kick your tank off balance completely isn't worth it. Even in a separate hospital tank it's likelier the meds kill the fish quicker than it's current state.

40~ (never buffers, I believe to be a misreading from strips
Just because I read it in your post: Won't budge unless you do 50% waterchanges weekly. Also check if the tap contains nitrates, too. But this should have no influence on the case at hand.
 

SavTheArtist

Might sound harsh, but please put the fish down. There is no treatment that will work guaranteed without negative side-effects and the chance of the meds killing the fish. Also let's face it, treating a guppy with a strong (and expensive) prescrition antibiotic that will kick your tank off balance completely isn't worth it. Even in a separate hospital tank it's likelier the meds kill the fish quicker than it's current state.


Just because I read it in your post: Won't budge unless you do 50% waterchanges weekly. Also check if the tap contains nitrates, too. But this should have no influence on the case at hand.
She passed away over the night. Thank you for your help.

I do water changes almost every week, and big ones. It has tons of plants and is over-filtered with carbon media, so I'm not sure-
 

Ouse

I do water changes almost every week, and big ones. It has tons of plants and is over-filtered with carbon media
All good, except for the carbon part. The carbon isn’t actually having an effect. It should be used temporarily to remove chemicals from the water, not installed into the filter permanently.
She passed away over the night.
That is a shame. :oops:
 

Marlene327

I'm very sorry. I have a pregnant guppy now with an extended anal area, already lost one with the same thing and this is my last one. I paid a decent amount of money for this beautiful pair of blue guppies and am sad I'll probably lose her before she has her fry too. I know these things happen but I don't know why, and don't know how to fix it. When these guppies are gone, there won't be more. :(
 

roxyfan

First of all, yes do a water change to get nitrates below 40 ppm because high nitrates can indicate overcrowding / high bio-load which can stress out any fish.
And long term fix for this is to do more water changes / feed your fish less quantity and less often / reduce the number of fish in the tank / add live plants / all of these ---> the goal being to ensure that nitrates are below 40 at all times (and less chance of sudden ammonia / nitrite spike).

Your symptoms indicate dropsy or parasites/worms (or both).
So, in future, if this happens to more fish, immediately take out the fish into a plastic box (or quarantine tank) and treat immediately with:
  • Seachem Kanaplex or Fritz Maracyn 2 --- for dropsy (swollen/bloated body + pointy scales pine-coning + swollen red butt)
  • Fritz Expel P / Levamisole --- for red worms sticking out of butt
 

SavTheArtist

All good, except for the carbon part. The carbon isn’t actually having an effect. It should be used temporarily to remove chemicals from the water, not installed into the filter permanently.

That is a shame. :oops:
Thank you for letting me know, I'll look into some nitrate filter pads in place of it.

I'm very sorry. I have a pregnant guppy now with an extended anal area, already lost one with the same thing and this is my last one. I paid a decent amount of money for this beautiful pair of blue guppies and am sad I'll probably lose her before she has her fry too. I know these things happen but I don't know why, and don't know how to fix it. When these guppies are gone, there won't be more. :(
I'm very sorry to hear that :( I hope she pulls through for you. I know the feeling of losing fish you spent a lot of time and dedication on, not nice.

First of all, yes do a water change to get nitrates below 40 ppm because high nitrates can indicate overcrowding / high bio-load which can stress out any fish.
And long term fix for this is to do more water changes / feed your fish less quantity and less often / reduce the number of fish in the tank / add live plants / all of these ---> the goal being to ensure that nitrates are below 40 at all times (and less chance of sudden ammonia / nitrite spike).

Your symptoms indicate dropsy or parasites/worms (or both).
So, in future, if this happens to more fish, immediately take out the fish into a plastic box (or quarantine tank) and treat immediately with:
  • Seachem Kanaplex or Fritz Maracyn 2 --- for dropsy (swollen/bloated body + pointy scales pine-coning + swollen red butt)
  • Fritz Expel P / Levamisole --- for red worms sticking out of butt
I've been doing water changes regularly. The strip ALWAYS reads around that high, even immediately after a water change. Never changes. I think it's a misread.

I have an understocked, well-planted and over-filtered 10 gallon as well. It's very minimally stocked, and also reads quite high every time. I just did a 50+% water change on it, and the nitrates didn't budge. Now, I KNOW that tank doesn't have high nitrates, haha. So something isn't right.

I said at the beginning of the post, I was not able to set up any extra tank. My parents simply won't allow it. I do not have any space at all and I cannot run anything else for the sake of electricity in my room (already too much plugged in, don't want anything to blow)

I'm a kid, as well- so I barely have any money, and I don't have a steady source of income. I'm lucky to come across $20 by chance maybe every other month, but that's rare. Most times I can't afford medication like that.

I also should add, there was no worms. She had an inflamed anus, it was red and protruding, but in the sense that it almost looked like the start of prolapse. No worms. The inflamed anus is a symptom of dropsy. (She had every symptom of dropsy, and was elderly alongside bad genetics. I think it was true dropsy)

I should add... When she passed, her anal area ruptured after death. Like, the skin split. Is that normal with dropsy?
 

MacZ

May I just say something about dropsy:
It is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of a whole list of possible reasons, from bacterial infections to different inner parasites (tapeworms, camallanus, protozoans, hexamita) to simply organ failure, as the swelling is actually denoting the start of a kidney failure.

Treating a fish with that symptom with the wrong med may result in not affecting the state of the fish in any positive way, many meds can even just speed up the inevitable. Especially antibiotics can do this, as e.g. Erythormycin is really hard on the fishes kidneys and so dosing it most often results in a quick death.

So when a case of dropsy turns up please make sure to rule out as many possible reasons as you can before even buying any meds.

But in my opinion and experience: Unless half the tank shows symptoms of anything I would not waste any money and any meds on a single guppy with an almost untreatable medical condition.
 

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