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Old 05-28-2013, 06:48 PM   #1 
bethyMT
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Don't know what else to do (dropsy?)

Hi everybody. For the most part, my bettas have been happy and healthy. But now, Sassy is not well, and I don't know what else to do about it. I'm worried that I'm adding too many meds at once, but I don't want him to die.

Housing
What size is your tank?10g (he is in 4g in the quarantine tank now)
What temperature is your tank?82F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes (regular tank) No(quarantine)
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes on both
Is your tank heated? Yes on both
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? two nerites. He is alone in quarantine.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Mostly NLS and Omega one pellets. Occasionally frozen brine shrimp
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, five or more pellets. He's a giant.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once weekly (regular tank), daily in quarantine
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% regular tank/ 100% quarantine
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR MEDS USED

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate: nearly zero. Planted tank
pH:8
Hardness: very high
Alkalinity: 5 or 6

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? I noticed he was pineconed slightly and a bit bloated. Now he has slimy stuff coming off of him.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Slightly more lethargic. Still eating, but hasn't pooped in a couple of days now.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 4 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Moved him to quarantine and began dosing 1.5teaspoons of Epsom salts per gallon. Added one dose of maracyn 2 (100% wc's per day). Today, did 50% WC and added jungle fungus cure, did not add any more Epsom or maracyn 2.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope
How old is your fish (approximately)? 8 months

Maybe I am acting too quickly. He didn't seem to improve with just the Epsom salt...he pooped the first day (a tiny one with a HUGE circumference), and then nothing. The pineconing is worse, all along his body, and now slimy stuff is on his body. He ate a few thawed brine shrimp two days ago, and I have not fed him since. He's pretty lethargic, floating close to the top of the tank.

Can I combine Epsom salts with maracyn II and the fungus cure? I don't want to kill him by adding too many meds. I don't know what to do - he hasn't been exposed to anything new lately...could this all be a result of overfeeding? I've had him since we was 9 wks old, and he's been very healthy (and neurotic) since then.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:08 PM   #2 
NorthernLights
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Oh boy,

That does sound rather like dropsy. Remember, dropsy is not a disease in and of itself but rather a symptom. You may want to pm Sakura about meds. I think Furan-2 and Kanaplex are ones she's mentioned. I don't think fungus cure is what you need right now.

You can increase the epsom salts to 3 tsp/gal, IIRC. That should help decrease the edema (belatedness) but we've got to figure out what is causing this.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:22 PM   #3 
AyalaCookiejar
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Dropsy is usually caused by something bacterial or parasitic. Some types of internal bacterial infections or an internal parasite called hexamites that cannot be seen in the poo can cause it. Dropsy itself usually happens when the internal organs begin to shut down or malfunction (often the kidneys) and fluid buildup under the skin causes the scales to protrude.

I have come to my own conclusion that, although dropsy is treatable, there is one major reason why it is so fatal - since it is the result of organ failure and most meds actually harm the kidneys. Kanaplex is, to my knowledge, the gentlest and most effective med for internal bacterial infections and fungal infections, but it still causes damage to the kidneys. Metro, used to treat the internal parasites, also damages the kidneys. Dropsy also usually returns in a few months if it is successfully treated the first time, leading me to believe that once it starts to occur, there is no way it is completely reversible.

Metro and Kanaplex can be mixed to treat both possible causes but the most common cause is bacterial and Kanaplex is likely to work better than metro.



I've lost a fish to dropsy in three days flat. She went from perfectly fine, healthy, active and happy to dead, and it all started right after a one hour power outage. I had Kanaplex coming to me in the mail before she even started to pinecone but of course, it didn't get to me fast enough. I feel as if she MAY have had a chance if I would have had it on hand and would've started immediate treatment, but there are no guarantees. I was treating her with epsom salt and general cure (metro) to no avail.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:13 PM   #4 
bethyMT
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Thanks. His condition has deteriorated over the past few hours. No eating, lethargy, and gasping for breath at the surface. it is dropsy, and I did not catch it soon enough. I am angry at myself, because I wish I could have done more or maybe not feed him so much or something. my beloved Sassy. if he does not pass by tomorrow evening, dh will euthanize him.

Part of me wonders if this is was just something wrong with him, and as he grew it got worse. or it was jusr crappy luck. I tried so hard to give him the best. everything, it is so hard to lose him anyway. I will definitely have some kanaplex on hand if this ever happens again.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:40 PM   #5 
AyalaCookiejar
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Unfortunately dropsy is so hard to catch soon enough :( I mean, dropsy is the last stages of organ failure, and usually once the scales begin pineconing it is already too late. Some early symptoms can be lethargy, gray belly and protruding eyes but it is hard to say that it will develop into dropsy (unless its a community tank and you have recently lost other fish in the tank to dropsy). When I lost my girl to dropsy, the first symptom was slight lethargy and pineconing started the day after. I'm pretty sure it was caused by a temp fluctuation due to a power outage meaning it took about 1 day for the dropsy to start. That's not a lot of time.

I'm very sorry you have to deal with this :( it's a horrible thing! My girl at first had slight pineconing on her face/gills that spread to her body. Eventually she got so puffed up that she looked bigger overall and her face looked as if she had an allergic reaction to something she ate (puffed up cheeks). She stopped eating/moving on her last day and I knew she wouldn't make it, but I didn't have any clove oil :/

The bad thing is, it's hard to know what caused it but the good thing is its not necessarily contagious. I think my girl didn't have as good of genetics because my other 4 fish at the time survived the power outage. I've since lost 2, but at least neither died from dropsy.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:53 AM   #6 
bethyMT
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Thanks Ayala. This is so much harder since I had him from such a young age and really tried to keep everything perfect. I didnt even notice anything amiss until he started pineconing. he was acting totally normal and then...bam.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:10 AM   #7 
NorthernLights
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If he's in the QT tank still, you may want to lower the water level so that he does not have to go far to get to the surface to breathe. The epsom salts may also be a good idea, even if you don't think he is going to make it -- decreasing the swelling in his body could make him more comfortable.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #8 
bethyMT
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Northernlights, your suggestion is a good one - I lowered the water level and added more Epsom salt. He isn't going to make it out of this, but if his last few hours can be more comfortable, it's the least I can do for him.

My poor boy. The second I spotted him among his brothers and sisters I knew he was my fish. I only hope he had a good life here with us.
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