UGENT trouble with sword tail

Discussion in 'Swordtails' started by cyber99fish, May 13, 2006.

  1. cyber99fishNew MemberMember

    Hey folks,

    My swordtail has suddenly gotten real puffed up. (lik a puffer fish) she is a femail and there are no other sword tails in the tank. The only cause I can think of is I fed the cory and her an alge wafer the other day. She's about double her normal size and all her scales are sticking out like spines. She was bigger last night and has gotten slightly smaller today. She stopped eating as well.

    Any thoughts?? ??? water and temp are looking ok btw.
  2. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Re: UGENT troble with sword tail

    I don't think it was caused by the algae wafer (although I don't know what Swordtails are and are not supposed to eat). What you're describing sounds like a swim bladder disease. How does your fish swim? Does it swim straight or on the side? When fish are sick they lose their appetite. Wait for someone who knows well about fish diseases to confirm what disease your fish has, and to eventually suggest an appropriate treatment.

    Here are Fish Lore descriptions of tropical fish diseases:
    You can also find disease descriptions on many other tropical fish websites.

    While you're trying to figure what disease it is, it is always safe to use aquarium salt (1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water) in conjunction with increasing the tank temperature to around 82F. If you're not using any medications it's also good to be doing frequent water changes (if the fish is still sick, add appropriate amount of salt back to the tank with each water change).

    If you have any scale-less fish in your tank, don't add the salt (I have read somewhere on Fish Lore that scale-less fish are very sensitive to salt - so you may want to ask someone if it's safe to use salt in a tank with scale-less fish). If you can use salt, dissolve salt in a cup or two of water first. Then very gradually pour that solution into your tank.

    P.S. Can you list your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels? And what is the temperature exactly?
  3. cyber99fishNew MemberMember

    She didn't make it till the next day. Did try the salt thing the night I posted. She was swimming OK for her giant size. It's like she was full of gas. or poop.

    No ammonia or nitrites in that tank and nitrates were climbing but not too high. I was about to do a routine 25% water change before this happened. I'm in the process of moving the rest of the fish to my new 30gal. Hope the rest will be OK and not mess up the new tank. :eek:
  4. chickadeeFishlore VIPMember

    I had a Betta die of dropsy (kidney failure) and that sounds like exactly what it looked like. I would sure clean everything up the best I could and watch the other fish close. I am not sure if it is contagious as none of the others got it but it is wicked and I didn't talk to anyone who gave me much hope for the fish. Yours was lucky in a way and went quick, it took my little guy weeks to die. :'(

    I am so sorry for the loss of your fish, it is always so terrible to lose a friend. I hope your others will be okay. My sympathies. :'(

  5. vinWell Known MemberMember

    Oooo....Sounds bad. My swords will sometimes over eat if they get to the food before the corys and look bloated....(Isabella - Swords are omnivorous and are handy little algae irradicators - they'll eat just about anything)...But never with the scale issue....They usually calm down the next day...The vegetation from the algae wafer should have helped her if she was constipated.....leading me to believe that this was not the case.

    As for the scaleless fish, I have not read that they cannot tollerate salt anywhere but here...Many catfish, actually most catfish are scaleless fish and come from brackish cats, blue cats, pictus, bearded, brown, red tails......All can be found in brackish water and could probably tolerate some salt...My guess is that in an aquarium setting they would be less tolerant, because in the wild they can retreat into freshwater as opposed to being continually exposed to salt.......Erring on the side of caution would be wise in this case.
  6. IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Like I said, I don't have any scale-less fish (maybe except my loach - not even sure, lol), much less any catfish, so I don't know whether they tolerate salt. But I am glad to hear that they do. It's good in case they get sick and need a salt treatment.

    Sorry to hear your fish died Cyber. As Rose said, maybe it was dropsy?
  7. vinWell Known MemberMember

    If I were to use salt, it would be sparingly.....I have corys and I still wouldn't take the chance even though I read in a couple of places that they can tolerate some salt......

    I don't believe I've ever seen the effects of dropsy, but remember reading about it somewhere.
  8. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Heres a really good description of Dropsy.
    Usually its not a good idea to add salt to a tank that has loaches/catfish in them. The salt tends to be an irritant and can outright kill some loaches.

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