Help Need help with our goldfish. Possible dropsy/swim bladder disease


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What is the water volume of the tank? 20 gallons

How long has the tank been running? 1 year

Does it have a filter? Yes

Does it have a heater? Use intermittently

What is the water temperature? Currently 76

What is the entire stocking of this tank? 1 oranda goldfish (Please list all fish and inverts.)


How often do you change the water? Once a week

How much of the water do you change? 25%

What do you use to treat your water? Tetra aqua safe plus and easy balance and API aquarium salt

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Vaccine substrate

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No it was a first tank

What do you use to test the water? Test strips for ph nh and ammonia

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0.5

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0

pH: 8.5


How often do you feed your fish? Once

How much do you feed your fish? One pea each evening

What brand of food do you feed your fish? Frozen pea, shelled

Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish? Little over 4 years

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Few months ago

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? We believe he has swim bladder. He has had buoyancy issues and also an infection on his eye. This past week it has gotten progressively worse and is pineconing, some scales have been sticking out since March. He is bloated and today he is no longer able to swim upright

Have you started any treatment for the illness? We did cycles of Melafix and pimafix previously. to help with the swim bladder. We have methyne blue baths to clear up his infection and today started using Epsom salts as he appears to be constipated

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? His buoyancy issues have gotten worse where he is exhausting himself to swim and then float back up. We have tried to adjust the currents to alleviate some of his struggles but now he is floating at the top of the tank sideways.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. Over the past 2 days the situation has gotten must worse and we fear the fish has dropsy which appears to be untreatable. We are hoping for advise/suggestions to help save the fish. The main issues are the buoyancy and the distress of the fish. The fish has become lethargic, no longer swimming around the tank and though he is still eating, he appears to have digestive issues so we are concerned with over feeding until the constipation has been relieved. We are grateful for any help/suggestions from anyone who has experienced this. We are desperate for our fish to be healthy. Thank you!


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Firstly, there is a problem with the water parameter. Ammonia should be 0 at all times. Even it is your first tank, you should do the nitrogen cycle by 'feeding your tank', this builts the beneficial bacteria.
Can you post some pictures of your goldfish so we can see the precise symptoms?


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Small town, US
5 years
Yes, the ammonia so high, definitely contributing to the issue. The ph is also pretty high, slowly lower it if possible. To about 7.4.

I'd stop the methyne blue baths, step up water changes, and focus on Epsom salt and melafix. I personally would choose Kanaplex and Furan 2, but it's up to your judgement. You may also want to consider doing sun baths, putting the fish in a bucket of tank water out in the sun for a few hours a day to get UV rays to kill drospy causing bacteria or invest in a UV sterilizer. (There are two different drospy treatments, the meds and espom salt, and UV light from the sun or a UV sterilizer and colloidal silver. Some goldfish owners have tried the meds route to no avail, but the second option cured the dropsy.)

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