Dropsy in Goldfish

Dropsy: Does Your Goldfish Look Fat Or swollen?

Dropsy an internal bacterial infection found in goldfish of all varieties and types. It is usually found in the kidneys of the goldfish. This infection causes the kidneys to retain body fluids rather than flushing them out. This infection is one that is common among goldfish owners. A goldfish needs a certain amount of salt within its body to survive. Living in a freshwater tank with no salt added tends to cause a disruption in the balance of salt. If that happens then the fish’s liver will not perform its job. You’ll notice it right off because as the infection rages in the fish’s body, it causes bloating. This will at times cause the scales of the fish to stick out and make them look like a small pinecone. Often times, dropsy will accompany another sign of disease called pop-eye, in which the eye looks as though it is literally popping out of the fish’s head. You will also notice that your fish has even more problems swimming, especially if you have a fancier goldfish variety.

What Causes Dropsy In Fish?

So what disease is dropsy really a symptom of? It can be attributed to many different ones. And it is actually pretty difficult to tell which disease dropsy is trying to tell you about. Fish with dropsy typically end up passing away. While you can do a lot to try and cure it, chances are slim to none that you will be successful. Usually once a fish has dropsy, it’s the last stage of life. What can cause a fish to get dropsy? Several factors can contribute. Fish stress, poor diet, lack of clean water, too many fish in one tank or pond and temperature changes.

How To Avoid Dropsy

Many factors are easily fixed so that you can keep dropsy out of your school of fish. To start with, keep your fish tank or pond lightly stocked. Start with one fish per 30 gallons of water and go from there. Of course, the larger the area of water, the more fish it can handle. You will want to keep in mind, use a filter. The cleaner the water, the better the chance of healthy fish. Check the pH balance of the water and try to maintain it between 6.8 and 7.8. Check your water for chlorine at least weekly. Even low levels of chlorine can cause stress in the fish’s body. Too many days and weeks of stress can lead to dropsy. If you do discover chlorine in the water, neutralize the water promptly. If you have a rise in chloramine, which is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, you will need to use an ammonia neutralizer.

Keep your fish healthy with a high quality diet. One that combines a vitamin-enriched pellet food, some pond critters like worms and mosquito larva, and also some fresh vegetables is important. While feeding a good all-around pellet food is perfectly fine, you will want to first soak it in water then feed it to your fish. If not soaked in water prior to feeding, it can tend to soak up water inside the fish’s gut and swell, causing intestinal blockage which can also lead to dropsy. Often times, pond fish can get dropsy if you feed them heavily and then the temperature of the pond drops quickly. This usually occurs in late fall and early spring.

How To Treat Dropsy

If your fish do get dropsy, you can try to treat them. Not very often will you be successful, but it’s always worth a try. First, you want to set up a clean and separate tank to quarantine sick fish in. If all the fish in the tank are ill, then treat the whole tank at once. Because dropsy is not contagious, only treat the fish that are sick, as the treatment for this can cause issues with healthy fish. The tank temperature should be kept at 77 degrees. You will want to add an antibacterial treatment and some aquarium salt. Use this to calculate how much salt is appropriate for your tank. http://www.cnykoi.com/calculators/calcsalt.asp When you do water changes, remember to add in more salt when you add back in the clean water. You will also want to take out the charcoal substance from your filters. Charcoal is supposed to clean the water and it does a good job of it, but it also depletes the water of the treatment that you put in to help the fish. Keep in mind that even fish that appear to have recovered, can take a quick turn for the worse. This treatment does not always cure the problems within the kidney. You will want to feed only live food and medicated food that targets dropsy at this time.

I will at this time, wish you luck in saving your fish and hope that this treatment worked for you.