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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have searched through books, and all over the internet for information on what is going on with my new ropefish. I have had many ropefish over the years and I got another to be company to a ropefish that I have had for a while and his little friend jumped out of the tank. This has never happened to any of my ropes before. This new one I have only had for a few days and when I purchased him the LFS guy went in back and got this fish for me when I requested on from the for sale tanks saying this one from the back is bigger.
So I looked at the fish before paying for him and he looked much fatter then the one I have and the ones I have had in the past and is getting bigger. I know each has a different body no two are identical but his body is way swollen compared to my others. The throat and all the way down the body is swollen and I do not know how to help him. He swims fine and is eating still.
My ammonia and nitrates are 0 and my ph is 6.5.

So what I am dealing with and how do I help him?

454 Posts
Hello, let me first address the last part of what you said. Actually it is best to answer all the regular questions before anyone can help. But you saying your ammonia and nitrates are both at 0 makes no sense if this tank is cycled. There should be a nitrate reading.
So please answer these questions~{and btw, all new fish should be quarantined BEFORE being added to an existing tank with fish}
What size tank-
How long has the tank been set up-
What type of test kits are you using, strip or liquid?
How often do you change the water and what if anything do you add to the tank?
What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and PH? Temp?
What other tankmates?
How long have you had this fish?
What do you feed your fish?
These are basic, there are a few more often asked but this will help.

35 Posts
If he's not currently being quarantined, I would put him in a separate tank. This will lessen the chances of an infection spreading to your other fish.

I'm not familiar with ropefish, but swelling is may be due to several reasons such as:
  1. Digestive issues (such as constipation, or eating food that doesn't agree with them)
  2. Internal parasites
  3. Internal bacterial infections
  4. Salinity issues (such as the amount of salt in the tank being too high for them, or being moved from one tank to another with a different salinity)
  5. Inability of the internal organs to carry out their normal day-to-day activities

Since he was bloated when you first saw him, it's likely not a salinity issue. I would start with a small amount of Epsom salt to see it that helps.

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate, or magnesium sulfate heptahydrate) has a fluid reducing, laxative effect (on people as well as fish). You can get it at supermarkets and pharmacies such as Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Publix, etc. (It's not available at petstores.) Get a brand that does not contain perfumes or dyes. A small container will cost about $1.

Put some tank water into a cup. Stir in 0.25 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon of tank water. Once the salt is completely dissolved, pour the solution back into the tank.

Salts do not evaporate, so you don't need to add it again. To remove it from the tank, just do water changes. Or, if you have live plants, they'll simply use it as fertilizer.

(Note: Since I'm not familiar with ropefish, I'm unsure how much Epsom salt they can tolerate. However, a dosage of 0.25 teaspoons per gallon for 1-2 days is probably a safe amount for most fish. If you notice that that he's reacting adversely to it, do a water change to remove it.)

If the Epsom salt isn't effective, let us know. He may need either an antiparasitical or antibiotic medication. If that's the case, give us as many details about his condition (and appetite) as you can. This can help people determine if the issue is bacterial or parasitical.
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