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How is dropsy treated in an aquarium fish?


Dropsy (ascites) - the disease got its name from the characteristic bloating of the fish’s belly, as if it were pumped up with fluid from the inside. Dropsy in most cases is caused by a bacterial infection of the kidneys, which leads to renal failure and, as a result, impaired fluid exchange in the body of the fish. Fluid builds up in the fish and causes it to swell.

Bloating of the abdomen, from which the scales begin to puff. The accompanying symptoms are lethargy, discoloration, rapid movement of the gills, ulcers may appear.

Causes of the disease:
Decreased immunity and subsequent bacterial infection (pathogenic bacteria are constantly present in the water) due to poor water quality or inappropriate conditions of detention. Also, constant stress, poor nutrition, and old age can be causes.

Disease Prevention:
Keep the fish in suitable conditions for it and minimize stress (aggressive neighbors, lack of shelters, etc.). If nothing inhibits the fish, then its body copes well with the causative agents of the disease.

First of all, to provide suitable conditions. They treat dropsy with antibiotics, which are served with food. One of the effective antibiotics is chloramphenicol, sold in pharmacies, handicap release - tablets and capsules. 250 mg capsules are recommended. The contents of 1 capsule mixed with 25 gr. feed (it is advisable to use food in the form of small flakes). Give prepared food to fish (fish) as usual until the symptoms of the disease disappear.

If the fish feeds on frozen or chopped food, it is necessary to use the same proportions (1 capsule per 25 grams of feed).

In other cases, when the medicine cannot be mixed with food, for example, fish eats live food, dissolve the contents of the capsule directly in water at the rate of 10 mg per 1 liter of water.

Dropsy of a fish cockerel

These unpretentious "fighters" sometimes get to the pet store directly from Southeast Asia. Stress transportation from the natural habitat and unsanitary conditions negatively affect their resistance to ailments. Therefore, it would be nice to take a closer look at the cockerel you are going to purchase right in the store.

Suspension of dropsy (ascites) can be in the case of:
• uniform swelling of the abdominal cavity. This is a distinguishing feature, which, however, is easily confused with pregnancy or banal overfeeding,
• rapid breathing,
• lethargy and refusal are,
• turbidity of color and limply hanging fins,
• mucous excrement,
• raised, unnaturally sticking scales due to the bloated body of the fish.

Dropsy in a goldfish

Goldfish can become infected with dropsy, doing their favorite thing - digging in the ground. As already mentioned, ascites is not a disease, but its consequence. The root cause is:
• bacterial infection (Nocardiosis, Mycobacteriosis, Aeromognosis),
• viral infection,
• parasites,
• the presence of nitrites and ammonia in water,
• sudden changes in temperature,
• decrease in immunity,
• poorly selected food.

So the source of infection can be both soil and live food, an infected "tribesman", dirty water or algae.

Treatment of dropsy in fish

Contagiousness (infectiousness) of a sick individual will not necessarily occur, but nevertheless, it is better to put a suspicious goldfish or cockerel on. And at the same time change the feed, restart the aquarium and wash the equipment. It makes no sense to disinfect all water. Firstly, often the presence of, for example, mycobacteria does not harm young, not having malfunctions in the immune system, specimens. Secondly, a medicine is a medicine, it has side effects.

Dropsy is treated in fish usually with the following drugs to choose from:

• Maracyn is a dual-action antibiotic in powder,
• Bicillin 5 - penicillin group antibiotic,
• Potassium magenta,
• Chloramphenicol,
• Maracin,
• Bactopur Direct.

Some drugs can be combined, and 1-2 tsp is also added. Epsom salts (helps to draw excess fluid from the abdomen) into 40 liters of water. The severity of the dosage is important.

However, it should be understood that with this disease, the functioning of the kidneys and intestines is disrupted. Therefore, in order to increase the chances of success, it is necessary to start treatment urgently! When an aquarium fish looks very swollen and disheveled, it is pointless to start therapy. By the way, in fish farms with such a misfortune, all the grown product is disposed of. It is also worth mentioning that there is an opinion about the danger of mycobacteriosis for a person in contact with his infected pet. The infection threatens to enter the body through scratches on the skin, so when caring for problem fish, you need to wear latex gloves.

Signs of a Sick Fish

To understand that something is wrong with the pet, you need to carefully look at it. As a rule, changes in behavior and appearance in the initial stages of the disease are hardly noticeable.

The main signs that the fish is sick:

  • blanching of color
  • ruffling scales
  • white plaque on the mucosa,
  • white dots and fouling throughout the body,
  • loss of appetite,
  • decreased activity, the fish is hiding or trying to spend more time next to the filter,
  • blooming eyes
  • unnatural position of the body in space,
  • fallen or, on the contrary, swollen abdominal cavity,
  • the appearance on the body of various points and necrotic ulcers,
  • the fish is constantly at the surface of the water and tries to swallow air,
  • the fish rubs against stones and other decor items,
  • unnatural position of the fins, they are omitted or stuck together.

If at least one sign matches, then the animal is sick and it is necessary to prescribe treatment as soon as possible.

Of course, the ideal option would be to show the fish to a veterinarian, but the presence of an ichthyopathologist in the veterinarian is unlikely. Often, experienced aquarists know a little more about fish diseases than ordinary veterinarians, so help can be requested at some thematic forums.

However, the services of a veterinary clinic can be used if there are several goldfish. The weakest or the dead can be sent to the laboratory to determine the pathogen, and this is what the further treatment plan depends on.

Classification of diseases

Types of diseases of aquarium fish are divided by pathogens:

Do not forget about physical factors:

Now most of the aquarium fish are bred on Asian farms. There they are contained in large quantities in huge ponds. Such high planting densities of animals contribute to the rapid spread of various diseases, so fish are treated with antibiotics there. Unfortunately, pathogens are highly adaptable, and many types of drugs simply do not work on them. In addition, many other diseases that are not even described by science are manifested on these farms, so the fish bought must undergo quarantine.

Often, one fish can be infected with several diseases at once. For example, if parasites are present in her body, her immunity may weaken, and the animal will become vulnerable to bacteria, as a result of the activity of which necrotic ulcers can appear throughout the body of the fish, which become a favorable environment for fungi.

Bacterial diseases

Bacteria are a constant attribute of any aquarium ecosystem. Pathogenic microorganisms are present in any body of water, but their number is minimized, and they begin to manifest themselves in a favorable environment for them. Therefore, the main prevention of bacterial diseases is to maintain balance in the aquarium, timely cleaning and low planting density.

The normal functioning of the aquarium without beneficial bacteria in the soil, filter and plants is impossible, and medications also affect them. Treating fish with antibacterial agents is necessary only in case of emergency, otherwise a fragile balance can be shaken, causing many other problems.

As a rule, microbes infect fish whose immunity is already weakened by many factors, such as stress, poor feeding, poor living conditions or other diseases.

The course of infectious diseases is the same. There must be a hidden phase, during which the fish does not show any external signs of poor health. For various pathogens, it lasts differently and depends on the species, the number of microorganisms that infect the animal, and the temperature of the water.

In all infectious diseases, the source of the pathogen must be identified. As a rule, it is brought into the aquarium with infected animals, food, plants or equipment.

Fish mucus has bactericidal properties, and one of the methods for treating external bacterial diseases is to cause increased mucus secretion in fish. For this purpose, use table salt, which is introduced into the aquarium in small doses - 1 teaspoon per 10 liters of water.

Salinity is poorly tolerated by plants and catfish, so if catfish live with your goldfish, it is advisable to transfer them to another tank for the duration of the treatment.

Skin diseases are treated with antibacterial drugs that have an external effect. Antibiotics are used for damage to internal organs, and they act on a certain type of microorganism. Do not add these funds to the aquarium "for prevention". Not only do they destroy the beneficial microflora of the home reservoir, but soon the bacteria will become resistant to them.

Bacterial infections are contagious diseases, so the aquarium must be treated completely without quarantining the fish. And now we’ll list some of the diseases that threaten your goldfish.

Aeromonosis, or rubella fish

The causative agent of the disease is the bacterium Aeromonas punctata, which affects many species of cyprinids. The optimum temperature for its development is 25 ° C, but it also reproduces well in cool water with a temperature of 20-22 ° C. The disease proceeds in subacute and chronic form.

The source of the pathogen is food obtained from unfavorable water bodies, for example, wild cyclops and daphnia, as well as infected, not quarantined fish. The most susceptible are fish with weak immunity, living in a poor environment.

  • Fish are inactive, gather at the surface of the water or lie down, do not respond to stimuli, they lose their appetite.
  • In some parts of the body, ruffling of the scales is observed. In the later stages, the scales puff all over the body and begin to fall out.
  • Abdomen swollen, gills inflamed.
  • On the body and fins, hemorrhages are visible, turning into ulcers with white edges.
  • Eyebrows.
  • Swollen and reddened anus.

The disease is treated in the early stages, but even after treatment, the fish can be carriers of the disease. The content of goldfish at lower temperatures less than 20 ° C can stop the disease in the early stages.

Rubella cyprinidae is an intractable disease, and it is necessary to combat it at the stages of partial ruffling of scales. If the disease has spread to the internal organs and abdominal distention is observed, then the fish can no longer be helped.

Aeromonosis can be treated in the following ways:

  • At night, add 500,000 units of bicillin-5 per 100 liters of water. Replace up to 90% of water daily. The course of treatment is 6-7 days. Some plants do not tolerate this drug.
  • Kanamycin in an amount of 30-50 mg per liter of water. After 10 days, the drug is re-introduced.
  • Erythrocycline in an amount of 30-50 mg per liter of water.
  • Sulfamonomethoxin in an amount of 200-250 mg per liter of water.
  • A bath of 100 mg of methylene blue per liter of water, exposure 4-6 hours.
  • The effective combination of doxycycline 100 mg per 35 liters, chloramphenicol 500 mg per 20 liters, nystatin 200,000 units per 30-35 liters.
  • Along with the introduction of drugs, you need to deal with the treatment of ulcers, since they heal quite problematically. For this, the fish is caught, the wound is dried and treated with brilliant green or betadine. Processing is carried out every other day.
  • Sera Baktopur Direct is sold at pet stores. It must be entered according to the instructions.

During treatment, water must be well aerated and maintain a high oxygen content in it. After using the drugs, the microflora of the aquarium is greatly undermined, so it is recommended to use anti-ammonia drugs at the same time.

Fin rot

The main advantage of goldfish is not only brilliant scales, but also an airy veil of fins. Very often, this beauty is affected by fin rot - a disease caused by various conditionally pathogenic bacteria.

Usually weakened fish are ill, so the appearance of fin rot can signal adverse conditions in the aquarium.

The disease is diagnosed by a thorough examination of the fins - they lose color, and a white border appears on their edges, which gradually grows. At the same time, the fin itself is destroyed, noticeable blood vessels appear on it. As soon as the focus completely destroys the fins, it spreads to the fish itself, after which death occurs.

Due to the fact that the disease is clearly visible in the early stages, it is well treatable:

  • The best treatment in the early stages is to improve living conditions. Timely cleaning and water change, high-quality filtration and aeration, good food and friendly neighbors - all these factors favorably affect goldfish.
  • The addition of salt to the aquarium stops the destruction of the fins.
  • It is recommended to increase the temperature to 24-25 ° C.
  • In the initial stages, when the disease affected only the ends of the fins, the affected areas can be carefully cut with a blade.
  • You can use the baths with Antipar.
  • Sera Baktopur is sold at the pet store and is delivered as directed.

After treatment, the fins begin to recover gradually. If the disease was in a neglected form and the rays began to decompose, then the fin can forever remain deformed or split.

Parasitic diseases

Diseases caused by sporozoans, worms, crustaceans and ciliates. Parasites can be localized both on the surface of the body and in the soft tissues or the gastrointestinal tract.

Some types of ciliates can live in the aquarium as conditionally pathogenic microorganisms, manifesting themselves only in some adverse periods. Others are introduced into the aquarium from wild water bodies with contaminated feed, soil, and various intermediate hosts, such as mollusks.

The causative agent is copepods Lernaea cyprinacea, elegans. It enters the aquarium with water from an infected reservoir, which may contain crustaceans in a floating form.

Lerns are quite large, their length can be 8-12 mm. They have a translucent grayish-olive color, so they are poorly visible on fish. The crustaceans are oblong and have the shape of an anchor.

It affects the gill and the fish body. In places of his bite, bloody ulcers appear, an erosion of scales is observed. Wounds can be re-infected with microorganisms or fungi. Young fishes carry the most difficult lerneosis, while adults can carry several crustaceans without a visible deterioration.

If parasites were brought into the aquarium, getting rid of them, although problematic, is still possible:

  • First you need to put sick fish in a quarantine aquarium, meanwhile, fighting mostly eggs and larvae of crustaceans. For this, Trichlorfon is added weekly for 4-6 weeks.
  • Salt is added to the aquarium at the rate of 1.5 teaspoons per 10 liters of water. These measures will help prevent re-infection of fish with parasites and protect them from bacterial and fungal diseases.
  • To kill crustaceans, use a solution of Masoten at a concentration of 0.4 g per liter of water.
  • Also in pet stores you can find special tools for aquariums, such as Sera Argulol and JBL Aradol Plus.

Dead Lairn from fish is much easier to pull out than living. Parasites plunge deep into the body, and even if their outer part falls off, the inner part will remain in the fish and may begin to rot. If the cinderella is large enough, then you can pull it out of the water and gently pull out the crustaceans with tweezers. Wounds are wiped and treated with brilliant green or mercury chromium.

Argulez, or carp louse

Disease caused by different types of parasitic gill-footed crustaceans, argillus (Argulus). It can enter the aquarium from wild water bodies with water, food and soil, or together with infected fish that have not been quarantined.

This parasite is photophilous and thermophilic, and the peak incidence occurs in the spring-summer period, when the water in the aquarium warms up to 24-26 ° C.

It is difficult to notice young crustaceans, as they are translucent, flat, with dark eyes. He pierces the body of the fish with a long proboscis, sucking to the blood vessels. The infected fish looks exhausted, losing weight, and the bite site turns red. This wound can later serve as a gateway for bacterial and fungal infections.

Eggs, larvae and adult crustaceans die when completely dried, so the scrofus are transplanted into a quarantine aquarium, and the total is drained, leaving to dry for 15 days.

Next, you need to process the fish. Самый простой и действенный способ – тщательно осмотреть питомцев и удалить рачков при помощи пинцета. На протяжении недели каждую рыбку нужно осматривать и уже после этого выпускать в общий аквариум.

Если рыб много и нет желания снимать паразитов пинцетом, можно использовать химические средства, такие как SERA Argulol и JBL Aradol Plus.

Ихтиофтириоз, или манка

The causative agent is the infusoria Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, which parasitizes on the skin of fish.

The foci of the disease look like a small scattering of white dots resembling semolina, which is why the disease got its second name - semolina. The disease worsens during the demi-season. It is provoked by sudden changes in temperature, which affect home fish as a stress factor.

Ichthyophthyroidism is the most common aquarium fish disease, and the treatment is well designed for it.

The easiest way is to increase the temperature by a couple of degrees, as this speeds up the metabolism of microorganisms, and introduce the Antipar preparation into the aquarium according to the instructions. There are also analogues from the companies SERA and JBL, they are freely sold in many pet stores.

In addition to aquarium medicines, methylene blue or malachite green can be added, but this method is not so effective.

Fungal diseases

Pathogens - fungi - microorganisms that combine the characteristics of both plants and animals. Many species are conditionally pathogenic and are present in the aquarium ecosystem. As a rule, they affect fish that have wounds and are already weakened as a result of other diseases or stress. Often affect larvae and eggs.


You can diagnose the disease by the appearance of the fish. Thin translucent threads appear throughout her body, which later turn into white-yellow growths resembling pieces of cotton wool. The fish itself is sluggish and breathing heavily.

Most fungal diseases are treated with antifungal drugs for aquariums, such as sera Mycopur. Before treatment with drugs, you need to catch the fish and carefully remove the fungal formations with tweezers.

The combination methylene blue + sodium chloride is also effective. Apply it with the help of bathtubs. A sick fish is placed for 5 minutes in a 5% brackish solution, and then long-term baths with methylene blue are used at a rate of 50 g per liter for 12-16 hours.

A solution of malachite greens can kill all the fungi in an hour. For this, the fish is deposited in a separate tank in which a solution is prepared at the rate of 0.04 mg per liter of water. It is important to monitor the state of water in the aquarium, as its poor quality can serve as a stress factor for fish and lead to a weakening of the immune system.

Swallowing pebbles

In medium and small sized aquariums, this phenomenon can be a real problem. As you know, goldfish are very voracious and spend almost all the time in search of food. They have a habit of taking various pebbles in their mouths, sucking them up and then spitting them out. Sometimes a piece of soil can simply get stuck in the throat of a fish, and the poor fellow cannot eat, and then slowly dies of exhaustion.

If the pet has noticeably lost weight, looks weak, eats nothing or spits out food, it is worth taking a closer look at its oral cavity. Sometimes a stuck object is clearly visible and sticks out of the mouth, it can be gently pulled out with tweezers.

This problem is dangerous in that if the cinderella swallows a stone, it can clog its intestines, and the fish can no longer be helped. To avoid this, you need to take either a very large soil with a fraction of 2-2.5 cm, or vice versa, use river sand.

Swim bladder dysfunction

The swim bladder has a hydrostatic role and helps fish sink and float. If its functions are impaired, the fish cannot fully control its movements; it begins to swim upward with its belly, sideways or vertically.

With a similar problem, the animal cannot eat normally, becomes weak and can be attacked by other aquarium inhabitants. There may be several reasons:

  • Enlarged internal organs can put pressure on the swim bladder, thereby disrupting its function. It can be an enlarged stomach, fat deposits or cysts on internal organs.
  • Infectious diseases. If you suspect them, it is better to pay attention to the parameters of the water and try to improve them, and only then resort to antibiotics.
  • Genetic predisposition. In this case, the fish cannot be cured and its euthanasia will be humane.

When treating swimming bladder dysfunctions, it is recommended to increase the temperature of the water by a couple of degrees, as this measure will help to speed up the metabolism of fish, relieving it of constipation. Since overeating is a common cause of swimming bladder malfunctions, it is necessary to arrange a pet for 3 days of hunger strike.

Dry food can absorb water and swell, and sometimes a fish swallows too much air along with floating granules or flakes. Try changing your feed to live, frozen, or sinking. During swimming dysfunction, you can feed the fish from your hands if they are not able to pick up food.

For digestive problems, you can use boiled green peas. It contains a lot of fiber and helps cleanse the intestines. Just lightly boil the frozen peas or heat them in the microwave, peel, cut and give to the fish. For one scrofula, 1-2 peas are needed.

To summarize

The main cause of most aquarium fish diseases is improper maintenance. Cinderella are quite hardy animals, but they are not invulnerable and cannot live in water contaminated with organic matter, as well as in a close round aquarium in which there is no filtration and aeration, and biological balance is unstable.

Measures to help avoid most diseases of goldfish:

  • clean in a timely manner
  • do not allow a high landing density,
  • provide the aquarium with high-quality filtration,
  • organize a proper, balanced diet,
  • purchase feed from trusted suppliers,
  • send all newly acquired fish to quarantine for three weeks.

Also, do not forget about your own safety:

  • When working with sick fish, do not lower your bare hands into the aquarium if they have wounds.
  • If you have to work with dangerous reagents for the treatment of skin parasites, be sure to use gloves and avoid getting the drug on the skin and mucous membranes.

Aquarium kit

In the past, aquarists were forced to treat aquarium fish with human medicine, but these times are long over. In pet shops specializing in aquariums, you can find many modern products designed to treat fish. Their effect is milder, and side effects are much less.

It is advisable to have these tools on hand:

  • Antipar. This preparation includes a mixture of malachite green, methylene blue and formalin. It is used to treat fungal, bacterial diseases, as well as bacteria caused by ciliates, such as ichthyophthyroidism.
  • Sera Baktopur. The drug is effective in the treatment of bacterial diseases, has an antiseptic effect.
  • Sera mycopur. An antifungal agent is recommended to be used together with Bactopur, since bacterial diseases are accompanied by fungal infections, and vice versa.
  • SERA T. Water conditioner to help cleanse ammonia. This is especially important during the use of antibacterial agents and antibiotics.

These are some of the most commonly found in pet stores. There are also analogues from the firms Tetra, JBL and NILPA, the composition of which is basically identical.

Pet disease is an unpleasant event that can happen to anyone. Do not hesitate to seek help from specialists and do not give up in case of failure. Treat such phenomena as an experience that will allow you to avoid mistakes in the future.