First case of Dropsy?!

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First case of Dropsy?!

Postby mattshelley_ » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:02 am

Hi guys, first post on here and just after some advice if possible. I have a 35l Biube tank which ive had established for aprox 2 months. I originally bought 3 Danios and 2weeks ago added 5 Neon tetras, and was intending to buy some harlequin rasboras this weekend but in the last week the condition of one of my Danios has dropped significantly. She first became slightly bloated (which disappeared) and breathing has increased alot. She has stopped being active and has since last night had a spiked up effect on her scales as well as staying at the top of the tank.
In terms of maintenance, im following the rule book I think - I cycled the tank, PH is at 8.0 (high I think but I dont know how to drop it) Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels are all generally low (In the botttom two colours of each respective colour chart) and I change water (aprox 20%) when nitrate levels begin to rise.
From what ive read, this is Dropsy and its game over when it gets to this stage. My questions are:
1. Im thinking of putting it out of its misery and have read dropping it into freezing cold water. Is the most humane way - has anyone got any experience of this/other methods
2. Can anyone advise why this has happened? id like to avoid it happening again
3. Can this disease spread to other fish?
4. In terms of water conditioning, I originally added some tetra start up product and subsequently bought some stresszyme which I add periodically as well as when i do water changes and add more fish. Is there anything else people would reccomend adding to ensure a comfortable habitat.
Thanks in advance :)
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Re: First case of Dropsy?!

Postby Carylnz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:47 pm

Dropsy is the final symptom of overall organ failure. Usually caused by an internal bacterial infection due to poor water quality or too high nitrates. Although not particularly contagious, other fish may become infected, especially if indeed water quality is the cause. A fish with dropsy looks like a pinecone all over. The scales will stick out and be very obvious, especially when viewed from above.
Here are some pics of a danio with dropsy, showing the effect on the scales...
Image

Image

Sometimes it can affect a random fish for no apparent reason. This was the case with the above danio. All other fish were fine as were water parameters.
It is possible your fish does not have dropsy but was egg bound or does have an internal bacterial infection, which could be treatable.

I assume you have the Biorb that is taller than it is wide? At only 333mm across, this is not suitable for danios as they are a fast fish that need length in which to swim. The biorb is higher, rather than longer, so not the best shape. These tanks are better suited to slow moving longer finned species.
Your ammonia and nitrite readings should be 0, nitrates ideally should be below .25 but can go up to .50. Mine are high due to high nitrates in the tap water.
If you put the fish out of its misery, whacking it hard onto concrete is the fastest, most humane method but many can't do this. Put it in a plastic bag first and fling the bag around fast onto the hard surface. Dropping it into freezing water was once thought to be humane but is now frowned upon as a slower way to kill a fish.
You need to be careful how you stock that Biorb as, because of its shape, it has a lower stocking level than a tank of similar volume that is wider than it is high. It is the surface area that is more important than volume. I would not be adding any more fish for at least 1 month so you can see how the other fish are going and if any more become affected.
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: First case of Dropsy?!

Postby mattshelley_ » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:59 am

Thanks so much for the answer, really appreciated. With regards to the tank, yes it is the high type of biube and I can see what you mean with regards to the danios. Luckily the one that is Ill was never particularly active and I also got given a fully grown danio which is not too active but the third one loves to zip around and Could maybe do with a bigger tank. I won't be buying anymore as it does seem better suited to the tetras I have. The harlequin rasboras at the pet shop seemed very placid in the pet shop so i was thinking 3-4 of those and leaving it at that, but am gonna hold off a couple more weeks i think. With regards to the fish, it does seem slightly happier today and is swimming around a bit more but is still not eating and the spiked scales are still evident. I will bear in mind what you have said with regards to putting it out of its misery, I certainly wouldn't mind doing what you have said so will follow your instructions but will give it a couple more days to see if the improvement continues and the water treatment I have put in works. Thanks again :)
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Re: First case of Dropsy?!

Postby mattshelley_ » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:28 pm

OK quick update, I didnt see much improvement in the fish after my last post, came down this morning and she had vanished. Ive checked the plants etc but no sign of her whatsoever---im guessing its the end. Just a bit more advice needed; if the body is still in there somewhere will it do much harm? I will monitor the ammonia levels closely, just dont want to start ragging everything out unneccesarily...

thanks again
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Re: First case of Dropsy?!

Postby mamadonald » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:35 am

A dead fish will cause problems for the other fish. It will cause a huge spike in ammonia and nitrite levels.
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