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Old 12-21-2012, 05:59 PM   #1 
NeoViking
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Dropsy

My female betta has dropsy and I'm not sure why :(

I done a test on her water using an API test kit, no problems there (amonia 0 nitrate 0 nitrite 0)
She's eating hikari betta pellets and bloodworm and some tropical flakes now and again although the flakes are more for the neon tetras who live with her in her tank, not her.
She doesn't live with many other fish, just 4 neon tetras, one last remaining harlequin and 2 female rams (don't pay her much attention) in a 70LTR tank, it's quite a lightly stocked tank.
She has vision of a male betta in the tank next to hers so I wonder maybe if she could be egg binding?
She does have a heater and filter which are on all the time and the heater has a thermostat built in.

Any other ideas why she could have gotten it? and how do I go about treating her?

She doesnt seem to be acting sick, she still eats and swims around, but her scales are puffing out like a pinecone so there's clearly something wrong.
None of the other fish seem affected.

I'm a little worried, I've read that not many fish recover from Dropsy and I certainly don't want to lose her :(

Last edited by NeoViking; 12-21-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #2 
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Dropsy is not the same as eggy as there will be pine coning.. can you share photos?

Assuming it is dropsy, I will tell you how to treat now as timing is important. It tends to move fast.

Since she is in a large tank with many other fish, you should ideally quarantine to treat. It needs to be something that can be kept warm. If you don't have a separate heater you can get an acrylic bowl of 2 gallons or so, fill it with half that many gallons and float it in the tank.

You will need pure epsom salts. check the ingredients label to make sure there are no additives. CVS Pharmacy has some but you should be able to find it in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores. You want to predissolve anywhere from 1/4 to 1 tsp per gallon of the salt in some of the tank water (use a little cup or something) before adding it to her water. You can increase this up to 3 tsp according to several on the forum but I've never had the need to go that high. Just make sure if you do that you acclimate slowly. Don't do more than 1 tsp in 12 hours. You will also need a good internal antibiotic like Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or Furan 2 (my preference in that order).

Hikari used to be some of the best pellets on the market but they have changed their forumla and now they wheat based, expand a lot and tend to cause constipation which can lead to internal infections. I would switch to NLS Betta (you can feed 5-8 a day split up into two feedings with one fast day a week) or Omega One Betta Buffet (more along the size of Hikari so 3-4 a day would be a good start, fast day of course). The blood worm is okay for a treat once a week, but should be limited. Also if it's freeze dried it needs to be soaked a bit in a cup with her tank water (or liquid of your choice.. garlic guard, vitachem, etc) to soften it and to avoid constipation.

Also just as a side note, the .5mm New Life Spectrum pellets can also be fed to tetras instead of flakes. http://www.petco.com/product/112084/...t=OnSiteSearch

If she's stealing a lot of the tetras food it could lead to GI issues. You can cup her while they feed if she won't leave the flakes alone.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:37 PM   #3 
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I do have her old 15ltr tank in the attic which I can use as a sick tank, that already has a filter and heater so quarantine should be easy enough.

I had no idea hikari changed their food! that's really off putting! :( it's what I've fed all my bettas in the past but after hearing that I don't want to use it anymore, I'm certainly going to give the ones you suggested a try.
She is quite a greedy little thing too and does tend to eat anything that lands in the tank so maybe I'll try cupping her while the neons eat in the future if she pulls through. she does readily take the neons flakes which is odd cause my male in the other tank wont go near them lol.
Bloodworm at the moment is once every other day, is that too often? I'll cut her back if it is. she gets frozen cubes (thored out in a cup of water) and that cube is shared between 2 tanks.

I'll get hold of the salt and meds asap, the shops are closed right now (its 12:34 am at the moment) but I got a pet store right around the corner from me that'll have them so I can grab them first thing in the morning.
I do have API aquarium salt knocking about somewhere though, is that any good?

I'll set up her sick tank right away.

Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it. I'll try and get a photograph of her too.
It's more noticeable from above than from the side.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #4 
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I've heard blood worms being compared to potato chips and candy. While I've never fed them myself, I've always seen it suggested that they not be fed more than once a week and then only in amounts that are about 1 or 2 worms worth at a time.

AQ will not help with bloating and internal issues.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:57 PM   #5 
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Maybe i'll cut out bloodworm all together then, I didn't realize those were the equiverlant of chips for fish.
I'll leave the aq alone and get her the other stuff first thing in the morning.
I don't want to dose her up on stuff she doesn't need.


Here she is from the side



I'm sorry this is so blurry, bad camera and very wiggly fish lol.

If you want better pictures I can try again with another camera if you'd like?
Not sure if these help?

If by chance she's consterpated would it be worth trying her on the old pea trick to get her to poop?

Last edited by NeoViking; 12-21-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #6 
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Because the photos are so blurry I can't tell if there is pine coning, but if you see her scales sticking out then it's definitely dropsy. I can see where it might be from the top down photo.

For constipation I'd just use the epsom salts for a week or so and fast a couple few days. I'd only use the meds if she is actually pine coned, starts getting sluggish, stops eating, or doesn't get better on fasting and epsoms alone.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #7 
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She's only pine coned a little at the moment but she is pine coned, her scales aren't flat on her body like they should be.
I only just caught it when I went to turn her light off because she looked bigger then usual and on closer inspection that seems to be why.
I hope I didnt catch it too late though.

Ok so:
Get her sick tank set up
improve her diet (but fast her for a little first)
get the meds in reserve just in case she needs them but defiantly use the epsom salt.

Thank you so much for all your help and answering all my questions.
hopefully I can finish this board with news of a successful treatment (:
She's my first female so she's very special to me <3
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:23 PM   #8 
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If she's pine coned at all I would start on meds along with epsoms. If she's only bloated I would just use epsoms and monitor very carefully. She's you caught it very early she has a good chance of recovery :) Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:02 AM   #9 
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In the second pic, you can really tell she's started pine coning. Treat with epsom salt and tannins at the moment. I lost a girl to dropsy/internal parasites a few weeks ago :'( I hope yours pulls through!
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:49 AM   #10 
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So far there's been no change, she's not looking any better but on the bright side she's no worse either.
I've been making her wait 3 days between feeds and have only given her 1 pellet each time.
She's on her own now too so she wont be snatching the other fish's food (I've changed my tetras in the main tank onto micro pellets too just to be on the safe side)
I can't find "Omega One Betta" or "NLS Betta" anywhere though :( are there any other recommendations for feeding her?
I live in the UK, I'm not sure if that has anything to do with why I can't find it or not? I can't imagine that being why though.

She's been getting her meds and I been following the instructions.
I guess that's about all I can do for her :(
Hopefully she'll get better rather than worse.
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