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Old 04-18-2005, 10:56 PM   #1
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Dropsy curable?


I just wanted to ask for some1's opinion regarding my situation.

I have an oranda gf and a month and a bit ago, I noticed its scales were sticking out. Since then, I have obtained a 20g tank for my 2 gf (both around an inch and a bit), with bi-weekly water changes.

His condition has improved over that time. Initially he was bloated and upside down, with the protruding scales as I mentioned before. Now he swims normally, he is never upside down, and his scales has flattened. Although not completely smooth and silky like my other fish, it is no longer sticking out.

I just wanted to ask would it be possible for him to be recovering. I have read dropsy is pretty much incurable, and by prolonging his life I could be making him suffer. Tho on the topic, how long can a fish with dropsy survive for?


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Old 04-19-2005, 10:36 AM   #2
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I'm going to take a stab in the dark here, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Dropsy is a pretty serious side effect, yes. And that's all it is really, is a side effect. It results from a funal or bacterial infection that sorta gets inside the fish and shuts down it's insides ability to excrete liquids.

My guess is that...if you didn't treat at all (which I didn't see you mention above) that your fish just has a great immune system and got rid of the infection. Still though, it's a pretty serious thing, and I'd watch for it to come back soon. Move the fish into a QT tank if you have one, or possibly start treating your 20 gallon with some anti-fungal meds just to be safe. I've used Jungle's fungus clear tablets twice to cure dropsy.

Good luck.


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Old 04-19-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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I've had two goldfish come down with dropsy. One died and the other recovered and I treated the exact same way for both of them. The one that died lasted about three days, I think. I guess consider yourself lucky.
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:25 AM   #4
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thx for ur replies.

I might go and get some anti-fungal meds then. We don't have any of Jungle's brand of medication here in Australia so I'll try and find a substitute. And yea, my guys quite a little fighter I didn't treat it like you said: just TLC and a new fish tank for them.
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:02 PM   #5
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Hi, I responded to another thread regarding dropsy,,I'll paste it here,,then give you a few thoughts after:
Dropsy is not a disease,,dropsy is a word to describe symptoms created by various infections. Dropsy can be caused by bacterial infections, sometimes even viruses, tumors, and a few other odds and ends. More often than not it is bacterial in nature and it is the result of a particular fish being stressed for one reason or another. Dropsy in and of itself is NOT CONTAGIOUS, the bacteria that causes it is usally present in the tank and in the fish always,,but because of the fishes' natural immune system and the balance of an aquarium these bacteria are kept in control.

I have dissected many fish that have died from dropsy symptoms. I have frequently found that a bacterial infection has developed from an impacted digestive tract, usually damaged from flake foods. This occurs when too much flake food is fed too quickly, I have found this problem in fish that died for no apparent reason and had no external symptoms.

The best way to prevent bacterial infections,,and any infection for that matter is to do weekly water changes of 10-15 percent,,feed sparingly and keep appropriate fish stocked together.

On a side note,,there are a few concerns with zoonotic illnesses when handling fish with dropsy type symptoms. Often, the agent that is the cause is Mycobacterium, a very bad bacteria that is able to infect humans,,there are many recorded cases of human infection derived from the aquarium, this bacteia takes aggressive antibiotic treatment and there is a very long recovery time. If a fish develops dropsy type symptoms it is best to go ahead and discard the fish,,especially if you have children or elderly people coming in contact with the tank.

But once again, good tank maintenance will usually preclude any infections and just because on fish gets it doesn't mean the rest will.

Also, malefix, tea tree oil, is not an antibacterial agent, it only inhibits bacterial growth,,it does not kill existing bacteia. Bill


Your goldfish had dropsy symptoms,,but in fancy goldfish,,,orandas specifically, feeding problems can cause anything from gas to serious bacterial infection. Since you mentioned swimming difficulty I am sure it was either constipated or had gas or impacted food. If this happens again stop feeding for a day, then after a day feed it a blanched pea,,,not canned peas but frozen or fresh. Feed it one or two peas once a day and if it is constipation it will usually correct itself in a day or two. Because of the shape of these fish, their digestive tracts are prone to food becoming jammed up. Try not to feed too much at one feeding and spread it out to several very small feedings a day,.

Of course, water quality is critical with goldfish and because they produce so much waste bi-weekly water changes are best. Bill P.S. DO NOT use antifungal medication,,there is no reason to,,,dropsy is not a fungal problem and any meds you add will alter the water quality and stress your fish out.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:35 AM   #6
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THanks for the reply. I think it originated from a feeding problem. It may have been old (poor) food (which I have now chucked away). Yes, originally it did have gas and SBD, which after a week long dose of peas managed to get rid of. Also, I think I may have overfed at times. I'm now learning to get a correct food dosage and trying to spread it out.

I'm also worried about the fact that, at times, during its "lazy" or "calmer" periods, the goldfish would just sit there, but vertically, where his head is very high to his body. I'm hoping it is something like, "he is too fat, so he maybe feels heavy" (as you can see, I'm no doctor 8O ). In addition to that, sometimes when he starts moving, he starts from the side (ie his side is parallel to the bottom) and swims like that for a second before he swims "normally" (ie bottom of fish facing the bottom of tank).

Ok, in that case I won't use medication for that. And in terms of water changes, I change about 15-20% bi-weekly for that 20g tank.

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