Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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DragonFish 07-17-2009 10:14 AM

CAE with dropsy
Just as it says, I've got a golden CAE whos come down with Dropsy....I'll explain my situation a little better...

A litter over a week ago I left for a little trip down to visit my Aunt and Uncle, arriving back on Monday(the 13th) around noon. I'd left my three tanks in the hands of my mom who doesn't quite get the whole fish thing, but seeing as I was gone for less then a week leaving her just to sprinkle a little food in there twice a day wasn't such a big deal. So anyway, everything looked just fine upon arriving home. All fish were alive, happy, and active. I'd preformed a WC on all three tanks the day before I left(Tuesday, the 7th)so I had the rest of the day to rest and do WCs again the next day.
So come the next day(the 14th)I went about my usual routine of feeding everyone, then heading out to take care of the horse, then coming back inside. Looking into my tank I noticed my CAE was a little fatter then usual....he tends to be a little fat most of the time, especially after a feeding, but this was more then normal though not really by too much. I thought maybe he just got a little too much too eat....or maybe he was a she. There was no abnormal behavior at all, still very active, pooping, and everything. So I let him be.
However checking up on the tank a little while later, as I do frequently, I saw him suctioned to the side of the tank and the scales on his right half sticking out. I removed him from the main tank immediately. Currently he is residing in a container(afraid I have no way of obtaining/no place to set up a QT)with twice daily WCs, using water from my 50 gallon to refill. He is being fed exclusively shelled peas and is nibbling on them, producing quite a bit of waste actually. His breathing is normal and hes as active as he can be in the container. I've been treating him with epsom salts for the past two days and his condition as drastically improved, the bloating has gone almost completely down and his scales have receded some. However...

-On his right side the scales are still raised more and dots of red in various sizes(though all are fairly small)have appeared there. Other then a couple rows of scales sticking out just a slight bit, his left side looks just fine. Could he perhaps be bleeding? I remember seeing this on a horrible case of dropsy I had in a female guppy, but they were more like blotches then dots. Anyway, does this mean its too late, even now?

-I'm confused about the cause of this. Nothing in the tank has been changed/taken away/added for a good month now. Levels were immediately tested and all came out normal(NitrItes and Ammonia at 0 with NitrAtes around 10)my water is a little hard, but I've never experienced a pH fluctuation in any of my tanks. A WC was done immediately after removal of the sick fish....but it wasn't any dirtier then usual and, like I said, last one had been preformed exactly a week earlier. All my mom did while I was gone was sprinkle a little food twice per day as I'd instructed. So what happened? Is this just some freak random disease....?

Twistersmom 07-17-2009 10:41 AM

I have lost a few fish to dropsy, for no apparent reason. Dropsy can be hard to cure.
Glad he/she is looking better. If it where me, I would also treat it with Maracyn-Two for a couple weeks.

DragonFish 07-18-2009 12:23 AM

Yes, so I hear. I've only experience Dropsy once before in a female guppy, but by the time I got to the poor thing it was way too late and she had to be put down. I'd really hoped I'd been able to catch it early enough to save him, odd as it may sound I do have an attachment to this particular fish. He's been with me for quite a while....
However the 'bleeding' really worries me as it seems to have gotten worse :/ His scales are also sticking out a slight bit more, even with the treatment that had been doing wonders. I'll be heading back to the LPS either tomorrow or Sunday to pick up a few things for my 10, I'll get some Maracyn-Two while there and start treating with that as well. Thank you for your advice :-)
I really hope I can get him to pull through, but i don't want him to suffer unnecessarily....any comments on the 'bleeding'? How long should I wait before I should assume him incurable?

DragonFish 07-20-2009 03:10 PM

A little Update:
Things are going wonderfully. For a little over a day now there has been no sign of scales sticking out on either side of him and apart from being a little skinny he seems to be much better. The 'bleeding' on his right side is still present, but its definitely getting better. I'll be significantly reducing the Epsom salt(still adding a little however)and keep him QTed for a few more days, slowly wean him back onto algae wafers or shrimp pellets, keep and eye on him and if things go well I'll move him back home :-)

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