Is this swordtail sick? Help

  1. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Hi, we recently bought a male swordtail. He is acting weird. He likes to stay in a corner, not moving much, with his body hanging down. When he is up and about, he looks OK except that his fins are kind of clamped. And there is a bit discoloration on his tail, up left. Please see the attached picture. What's wrong with him? Thank you!

    Attached Files:

  2. hgrad98 Member Member

    I'm gonna say dropsy. links for more info below

    Hope it gets better!


    P.S. It might be just because it is stressed. It might not be sick at all. Give it a day or two, and check its symptoms to see if they match up with the sites i gave you.

    For Americans
    For Canadians

    you can order this online, or get it in-store. treats most if not all bacterial diseases, including dropsy.
  3. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Thank you, hgrad98!
  4. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Clamped fins could be a sign of ammonia or nitrite poisoning, have you tested your water & if so what are the numbers?
  5. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Just tested it. ammonia=0~0.25, nitrite=0, nitrate=160, ph=8.2

  6. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Your nitrate is very high, that could be a big part of the problem
    I'd suggest you do a water change to try & get it down as soon as you can then test again
  7. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    Will do, thank you! High nitrate has been a problem since the beginning. Our tap water tested 20ppm. The other fish look fine. Shall I remove this one? This is a new tank, so I do not have a QT tank yet, but I have a small betta bowl and a bucket. Also, will a salt bath help?

  8. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    I wouldn't move him just yet or use salt, just do a large water change as large as you can & retest as the high nitrates will be affecting all of your fish
  9. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    How large a water change will you recommend? I can go all the way if necessary but wouldn't that shock the fish? Thank you, Coradee!

  10. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    I'd do 50% for now as you don't want to shock them, I'd also do a gravel vac if you can, those nitrates have to be coming from somewhere if your tap is testing at 20ppm.
    What is your tank maintenance regime?
  11. hgrad98 Member Member

  12. AquaMelody Initiate Member

    I did a 50% water change last night. This morning the nitrate tested 20ppm, as far as I could tell. I guess I am not reading it correctly. I do have the API Master test kit. But it's kind of hard for me to read. I went outside to read it under natural light. If I hold the tube against the white on the color board, I mean touching the board, it always looks very dark. If I lift the tube a bit, it looks lighter. If I hold it toward the light, it looks the lightest. How do you guys read it?

    The swordtail is still quite lethargic.