EXTREMELY sick fish - PLEASE help :o(

Isabella

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This is the first time I've ever gotten sick fish. I have NEVER seen anything like it before. And although I've given people advice on how to treat sick fish, now I am totally unable to help myself. I was terrified by what I saw today :'( One of my Neon Tetras looks LITERALLY like a BALLOON. It's ENTIRE body is COMPLETELY swollen. This Neon was always the "fattest" one of them all. Its scales are all sticking out and I can see under the light that its belly is all red under the skin. There are no films or grains or patches of any kind on the skin. The fish eats normally (or rather wants to eat but cannot do so anymore because it can barely move). It still swims but because it is so swollen, it often just sits on the bottom of the tank, and sort of "hops" on the gravel (rather than swimming). I've read the disease charts but there are many diseases that include the swelling of the body, so I am at a complete loss as to the diagnosis It looks to me like the Neon is in extreme pain :'( I almost cried today when I saw my Neon like this :'( Besides, the water parameters are: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, pH 7.0. The water is perfect (I perform 50% weekly water changes). The tank is not overstocked: it's a 10 gallon with 8 Neon Tetras only. I am very ballfled as to where the disease came from.

Does any one know if it is contagious? If it is, how fast does it infect other fish? Should I treat the entire tank even though all other fish seem (and look) healthy? If I should treat, what medication should I use? I don't have any Quarantine tank The 10 gallon was originally my Q tank (and it will be again after I've gotten my 75 gallon tank). Anyway ... any ideas as to what disease this is ? What should I do? ANY help would be VERY appreciated.

Please HELP ME as soon as possible This is very urgent as I can see my Neon is suffering :'(

Thank you for reading this, and thank you very much for any information.

P.S. The fish really looks like it is about to explode ... :'(
 

atmmachine816

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Does this help at all

Dropsy : One of the most disturbing of fish diseases, and is rarely cureable. Dropsy is an internal bacterial infection.

Symptoms: The fish's scales will stand out, making it have a pine comb look. Sometimes eyes can .blow up'.

Treatment : Use Kanamycin or Tetracycline and raise the temperature to about 80 degrees/ 30 deg C. This helps remove the fluid note this is rarly curablee.


Swimbladder: This is a disease that effects the fishes swim bladder.

Symptoms: Fish swim side-ways or rest on bottom and can't go to surface.

Treatment: Raise the temperature, add appropriate medication for swim bladder. Note this is a disease that is rarely curable.
 

atmmachine816

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Here's what a person says to do that I trust, she's helped me before so I trust her:

The fish has dropsy and septicemia which go hand in hand, if he looks in pain and to be honest I would end his suffering.
Get a bucket of very cold water add some ice cubes and place him in the bucket.

Sorry :-\
 

chickadee

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No we do not put a fish in a bucket of ice water!!!! That is totally inhumane and whoever that is that told you that is not as knowledgeable as they think they are. I am sorry but that is NOT an approved way to euthanize a fish and it has not been determined that this fish is beyond saving.

It is true that the main cause of distended bodies in fish that I could find is Dropsy, but since Dropsy is a symptom and not a disease (basically "holding fluid") and obvious that really tells us nothing. The thing is, most of the actual causes are contagious. There are suggestions from all the way ridiculous (reproductive cycle) to funny (obesity). The ones that seem fairly serious though are: tapeworms, organ tumor, and kidney failure. Since the kidney failure that they are talking of is the result of a bacterial infection and the tapeworms can spread and all, I would say that it is contagious. I am not SURE that this is the problem, but a lot of the books are so light on information...just say Dropsy. I do not believe it is Swimbladder problems or the fish would have shown some other symptoms prior to "pine coning"




There is a post about how to "cure" dropsy in the forum and while I personally have my doubts, having had a fish with it before it may be worth a try unless you feel the poor little thing is too far gone. I am one that believes in the power of prayer and will be sending some your way.

I hope this is not too confusing and I wish I could help more.

Sorry I screamed at first, but the ice in the bucket idea nearly sent me over the top.

Rose
 

atmmachine816

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chickadee said:
No we do not put a fish in a bucket of ice water!!!!  That is totally inhumane and whoever that is that told you that is not as knowledgeable as they think they are.  I am sorry but that is NOT an approved way to euthanize a fish and it has not been determined that this fish is beyond saving.

It is true that the main cause of distended bodies in fish that I could find is Dropsy, but since Dropsy is a symptom and not a disease (basically "holding fluid") and obvious that really tells us nothing.  The thing is, most of the actual causes are contagious.  There are suggestions from all the way ridiculous (reproductive cycle) to funny (obesity).  The ones that seem fairly serious though are: tapeworms, organ tumor, and kidney failure.  Since the kidney failure that they are talking of is the result of a bacterial infection and the tapeworms can spread and all, I would say that it is contagious.  I am not SURE that this is the problem, but a lot of the books are so light on information...just say Dropsy.  I do not believe it is Swimbladder problems or the fish would have shown some other symptoms prior to "pine coning" 




There is a post about how to "cure" dropsy in the forum and while I personally have my doubts, having had a fish with it before it may be worth a try unless you feel the poor little thing is too far gone.  I am one that believes in the power of prayer and will be sending some your way. 

I hope this is not too confusing and I wish I could help more.

Sorry I screamed at first, but the ice in the bucket idea nearly sent me over the top.

Rose
Ok sorry to create such a bad reaction Rose, to clear up a few things, I did not say it was swim bladder or dropsy just possibilitys, should have made that clearer. sorry.

Putting fish in freezing water to me is not inhumane though to others it might. I'v found it to be instant death for fish and have seen no signs of struggling or uncomfort, whether you agree or anybody does it's your opinion, people have different opinions on this and I do not think it's a fair way to judge somebody when there not the only people who think this is ok. A person wrote this and I have found it to be true:

This is what I choose to do with my fish and my comments are only placed here as opinion. This is a heated topic. I choose based on my knowledge from my training:

Oil of cloves is a topical anethestic and was used in the past to treat toothaches. Lidocaine (like at the dentist's office is a topical anesthetic as well). When we operate on people we really want to achieve 2 things, analgesia and anesthesia, that is, relief of pain and unconsciousness. IMO, when a fish is immersed in oil of cloves, it is essentially 'topically anesthetized', paralyzed, but, I am NOT convinced that the fish is unconscious.....none of us will really know for sure. We don't know if the oil of cloves causes stinging to the mucus membranes, eyes, etc on initial contact nor if the fish is motionless, painless but aware.

Extreme cold is an anesthetic. When applied to skin, you can actually cut the skin and feel no pain. Cold also can cause rapid unconsciousness. In fact, hypothermia is reported to cause a state of euphoria and clouding of consciousness. Fish, at least most of the types that we keep (tropical), are extremely small and rapid immersion in extreme cold water, in my opinion, causes rapid pain relief and rapid unconsciousness. I have never seen any of my fish shows signs of what I consider suffering. They stop moving immediately and appear lifeless. Some have stated that since fish are ectothermic, this doesn't apply....perhaps in cold water fish I would agree.

I choose to euthanize my fish this way, rather than oil of cloves. One must either make an educated decision for themselves, or, choose what is currently accepted by the masses as what is humane.

Added: although I would never use blunt force to euthanize my fish, nor advocate it, one fact is for sure: death is instantaneous

SH


As for the disease the fish has:
Scales sticking out is organ failure.
Septicemia is blood poisoning it's up to her but its in a bad way.

according to my friend which I trust as she has helped countless people with diseased fish inculding me, you can take it or leave it, or do what you want with the fish. I personally don't know much about diseased fish so I can't help with personal expierence or help but I'v done what I can by asking my friend so what you do is up to you.

Hope not to come across bad in any way, this is just my opinion, as far as I'm aware there is no certain universal way to put down fish, but I'v also have found this is the best way to put down fish that are going to die and are in pain.

I really hope I haven't offended anybody :-\
 
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Isabella

Isabella

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Rose and ATM, THANK YOU BOTH very much. No, you haven't offended anyone ATM, and Rose didn't mean to offend you either. She just said what she thinks is best, as well as you did. So, once again, thanks to both of you. ATM, it's a very interesting advice from your friend. Rose, I believe it may indeed be dropsy. The distilled water treatment sounds very interesting too.

In the disease chart, this is what they say about the treatment for Dropsy: Add 1/8 teaspoon of Epsom salt for every 5 gallons of water and monitor for two weeks. Check for signs of bacterial infection or parasites for further treatment.

Well, I don't have any Epsom salt but the time is running out and I have no idea where to look for it. Can I use aquarium salt instead? I'll add it to entire tank. Other fish ARE all healthy ... so can the salt hurt them? I really don't want the rest of my fish to get sick and die :'(

Maybe, I should try the salt treatment, and if it doesn't work, then euthanize the fish if it's still alive? Or am I being cruel by letting it suffer? You have no idea how bad it looks :'( I cried when I looked at the fish again :'(

What do I do? Treat the whole tank with salt? Treat just the one sick fish in a separate container? Or euthanize it now? (Using ATM's advice, since his friend seems to know what she was talking about ... but then again, let me know if you disagree with it Rose).

Once again THANK YOU BOTH so much.

P.S. If I treat the whole tank I can't really use distilled water. But if I treat the fish separately, I can buy a few gallons of distilled water to treat it. I'd buy a small container for the fish and I'd put that container in the 10 gallon tank (to keep the temperature at 80F). If I treat the fish in distilled water, can I add salt to that water? This little container will not be filtered or aerated. So should I change its water every day? What do I do?
 

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Epsom salts is not truly a salt it is Magnesium Sulfate so it's action is totally different than that of aquarium salt. You can buy Epsom salts at Walmarts or most stores of that type and is very inexpensive.
I would treat the whole tank as it won't hurt your other fish.
Carol
 
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Isabella

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OK, I am currently raising the temperature to 80 - 82 F. I will do a 50% water change in a little bit and add aquarium salt to the entire tank. (It's 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water, right?) I have also bought Maracyn II just in case (it treats Dropsy among other diseases). But I am afraid to yet  add it to the entire tank.

THANK YOU Carol, ATM, and Rose!
 
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Isabella

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Yes, it says so. Just making sure and checking with all of you. The temperature is still gradually being raised in the tank. I don't want my fish to experience any temperature shocks. The temperature at which my tank was originally was about 78F. I want the tank to go from 78 F to 80 - 82 F as gradually as possible. I am performing a water change in my Angelfish tank right now. I'll perform the water change in the Neon tank once the temperature is at 80 - 82 F (maybe in about 2 -3 hours). I'll add aquarium salt after the water change. I really hope the Neon recovers :'( ... although it looks so bad to me that I don't think it will come out of it. Though I really really WANT it to. I don't want to kill it :'(

Is it safe to put bare hands into a diseased Neon tank during the water change? I don't have long latex gloves; the ones I have are way too short for a water change. It's only a tank with TB that is dangerous to humans, right? Besides, I am not using any medication in the Neon tank (and some fish medications contain known carcinogens toxic to humans).
 

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I don't know about that, I'v never worried about it though you can do a water change without putting your hands in. Your going to disolve the salt in a bucket and pour that in right? If you neon makes it or dies whichever, I would treat the tank with the maracyn so the other fish don't get it.
 
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Isabella

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I need to put my hands in water because I do a gravel vac with every water change. And yes, I will dissolve the salt in 2 -3 cups of aquarium water. Then, I'll very slowly pour it in the tank. Or is it better to dissolve it in a whole bucket of water? Anyone?

The reason I don't want to use Maracyn II yet is that all the other fish are healthy. It is only this one fish that's sick. Besides, I am worried about biological filtration. Even though it says on the label that Maracyn II won't interfere with the biological filtration, I don't trust it. EVERY chemical DOES interfere with biological filtration, and this medication is a chemical. A tank that is not cycled is more dangerous.

Carol and Rose, do you think I should treat the whole tank with Maracyn II as well? Even though other fish are OK?
 

atmmachine816

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O well with my vacumm I don't have to stick my hands in the water. I would think it to be better to dissolve it in the water as that's how you change Saltwater aquariums though probably follow the directions on the box if it says any.
 

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I am not sure about the use of aquarium salt as opposed to Epsom salts. it is an entirely different compound. Aquarium salt is a Sodium based salt and Epsom salts are Magnesium sulfate. BUT you must remember that I am the old fogey that does not believe in the use of salt in an aquarium for anything short of large ulcerated areas. Dropsy is technically not a disease but a symptom and the problem is a build up of fluid in the tissues...osmosis may get rid of some of it but I don't know about using it in the whole tank as the fish NOT suffering from a build up of fluid will be losing fluids from their tissues as well. The salt does not discriminate. I can understand your reluctance to use the MaracynII on fish that are well, you may need to use it again and they will have been sensitized to it. Tetras are a bit touchy about medications of some types too.

I am really afraid that I would hold out for the Epsom Salts. I do hope that your little one makes it. I really do know how distressing it is to have a sick one. It is so hard to do anything else but worry.

Rose
 
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Isabella

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Oops ... I have already added aquarium salt to the entire tank ... Anyway, I don't have the Epsom salt and I couldn't go looking for it today. I don't have any Walmarts near me I'm afraid if I go looking for it it'll be too late to help the fish. I had to do something NOW. I have that Maracyn but like I said, all other fish are really OK. Now, I could move the 7 healthy neons to my tank with the Angels, so that I could treat the whole 10 gallon tank (with Maracyn) with the 8th sick neon only. But now I am afraid that if the 7 neons do have the disease (although it is not yet visible), they'll infect my Angels - and that I could NOT allow. SO you see, my situation is terrible

Do you think the aquarium salt will hurt the sick Neon and the rest of the healthy ones? I'll try to look for that Epsom salt tomorrow if I have the time, but I doubt I'll find it. I'll get distilled water though, just in case if I'll need to use a different treatment.

What do you all think?
 

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I'm afraid all the neons could be exposed and I definitely wouldn't put tehm in with the angels.
If you decide to use the epsom salts please get all the aquarium salt out first(I know you know this but I just had to stress it ) Good luck
Carol
 
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Isabella

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Thank you Carol, and Rose and Atm. You've all been a wonderful help. Yes, if I will find the Epsom salt, I will first perform two 50% water changes to remove the aquarium salt from the water. If, despite the use of the salts, all of my Neons will get sick as well, this is when I will use Maracyn II. This is my last line of defense; I don't really want to use the chemical - the medication, that is - if I don't have to. I understand the sick Neon can die without the medication, but if this is what it takes not to make the other neons sick, then so be it. Sometimes we have to make difficult choices :'( I love all of my fishies the same. I can't understand why it got sick. Maybe because it was obese? After all, it is the fattest one of them all. I don't overfeed my fish. I feed only twice a day and small amounts. But this fish was always eating the most I suppose (I've seen it grab a lot of food greedily). Perhaps obesity has lead to the disease. It was hard to prevent as I can't "stop it" from eating while letting all the other fish eat at the same time. It's sad, and I hope my Neon recovers. We'll see what happens. Once again, THANK YOU ALL.
 

chickadee

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Isabella,

Epsom salts can also be found at any pharmacy or grocery store in the section with laxatives. It is sometimes used as a laxative for humans too. It comes in a container that looks like a little milk carton sometimes (often) (mine is pint sized). You are very welcome.

Rose
 
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Isabella

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I went to a pharmacy near me right after work today (even before I got home) and I had found the Epsom salt. I came back home in hopes this will help ... just to find the Neon dead :'( :'( :'( I actually thought it was just a matter of time before it dies, however I wanted to at least try to save it. Well, anyway ... just wanted to let you all wonderful people know. At least the poor thing is not suffering anymore. I am so sorry it had to die this way

As for all the other fish, they all look fine and eat normally, their coloration is very good and they have no signs of any disease so far. I did that 50% water change yesterday and have added aquarium salt. Should I leave the salt in there until the next water change (in a week)? Or should I remove it now? And add the Epsom salt perhaps? Do you think they'll all be fine if they haven't gotten sick so far? Will the salt (Aquarium or Epsom) perhaps help prevent them from getting sick? Any additional precautions I should be taking? I don't want the rest of them to die the same horrible death as my sick Neon

P.S. If they stay healthy, when should I return the temperature to normal? (It's 82F now.)
 

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