Sorry you are having problems.....but don't give up on him yet....
How long has he been sick and what is he doing and how is his appetite
How much and how often are the water changes and when was the last one, how big is the tank, filtration, live plants, additives used, water temp
What kind of food have you been feeding and have you tried any medications or treatment-how long have you had him and has he ever been sick or treated?
Looking at threads you've previously posted about this fish from your statistics page, you seem to have had a lot of different problems with this guy. Some kind of eye problem, repeated fin damage, and your deceased fish seemed to have a tail biting problem too. If the tank is filtered and cycled the water shouldn't be a problem with your water change schedule.. so I think you should start looking for other possible causes.
It is a possibility that the biorb setup is part of what is causing your fish to get stressed out and bite themselves, making them vulnerable to infection, since you had a similar issue with your other fish. I think you should put him into a different unfiltered tank with a heater, such as a rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin so that he doesn't have to struggle to reach the surface of the water to breathe and so that the filter does not disturb him. 4 gallon bins are only about $3 and are safe to use with heaters. These are ideal hospital tanks since they are long and shallow, so he will have plenty of swimming space without having to go far to breathe.
I would start a leave-in treatment with 1 teaspoon per gallon of Epsom salt for a week or so to help bring his bloating down. Perhaps once he has had time to de-stress in an unfiltered, shallow container with some epsom salt he will perk up for you. Give him plenty of peace and quiet. Remember that you will need to do 100% water changes appropriately if you use a hospital tank.
Remember to keep feeding the bacteria living in the biorb's filter with a bit of fish food every day to keep it going if you decide to put your fish into another container.
Ooh, I don't have the BiOrb anymore. I have a 5gal, filtered and heated tank. I change the water once a week @ 50%. I haven't used aquarium salt since I last posted. I tried treating him with API General Cure, as per instruction of my local fish guy. It didn't do anything. So I went and saw him again today, he said try treating him with API E.M. Erythromycin, so I added half a packet, since the instructions are for a 10gal tank. I last did a 25% water change on Saturday, per instructions of the API general cure.
Sorry, this whole treating sick fish thing is really making me not want to own a fish anymore. I've had him for over a year now and he's continually had problems. Had I know that with even my great care, a fish would still get sick and have issues, I would have never gotten Charlie. I have put some much money, time and effort in getting him healthy, it's absurd. I would just like to know, with everything I've done, should I continue to try and treat him, or just leave him be? I have already tried the Epsom salt thing, it didn't go well AND he's also far past any simple remedy being able to cure him.
I'm of course no expert, but if you do feel it's dropsy and the treatment you've tried hasn't worked, I'd say just let him be.
To me, at this point it seems like anything else you try would just be delaying his death and thus making him suffer longer
I just lost my fish to dropsy, and my best advice is to make him as comfortable as possible
Well I figured since he's STILL not pine coning, just bloated, a lot. I would try the Erythromycin, if he still doesn't improve, I'm just gonna make him comfortable. Thank you for your responses & concern!
Hm.. Erythromycin is gram positive, but if you're going the antibiotic route, you would likely have better luck with a gram negative broad spectrum treatment. The most common bacterial infections in fish are gram negative, including those that most often cause dropsy and malawi bloat (aeromonas, mycobacterium, flexibacter columnaris), so you should consider adding in Maracyn-II, minocycline. Do not stop treatment with the EM prematurely, it is important to finish every antibiotic treatment according to the packaging. You should also take a moment to read through this article on how antibiotics work, the risks involved, and how to use them responsibly: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa084
It's also possible there's something inherent with your setups that's causing your fish a great deal of stress--perhaps something in your water? It is definitely not usual for fish to get sick when you maintain proper water quality, temperature, and offer them proper nutrition in a reasonably sized container. By all rights, you should not have these problems.
Ok, thanks. I thought about treating with maracyn and maracyn II, but I had the Erythromycin on hand and the guy at the fish store said that'd work. So can I treat with both the Erythromycin & maracyn II?