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Pine Coning Pearl Danio *Assistance Please

Sandra the fish rookie

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I went to check on my tanks as usual and noticed ONE of my pearl danios is quite swollen and pine coning, Its still swimming really fast around the tank but is very swollen, and appears to have rapid breathing (chasing it around the tank did not help I am sure). I didn't notice anything wrong with any of them yesterday, but danio's are NON STOP. Anyway, I have been trying to catch it to put it in the QT tank, but there is just no way I can get it out of there without destroying the entire tank. Its heavily planted, with wood and about 20 other danios, plecos, corydora's rabbit snails and shrimp. Tank Temp is 77, PH 7.2, Nitrites 0, Nitrates around 40, ammonia 0, Kh 4, GH 250 and chlorine 0. 

I feed every 2 or 3 days, and a variety of foods, and fiber as well. but Danio's are PIGS and will stop at nothing to eat the pleco wafers, or veggies etc. even if they already ate. I am sure this is what caused it. I don't see any other of the fish in the tank sick, or with any abnormal behavior. its a 40G breeder, with a Tidal 75, Sponge filter, and air stone. 2 heaters with a temp controller and heaters are working, and I did not get any shocks when I entered the water with my hands. 

I think its to late to save it, but what do I need to do for the others in the tank? Do I need to medicate the entire tank? If so, what would you recommend? 

I tried to get a picture of it.. but now everyone is freaking out, because I was in there trying to catch it.. now every time I go near the tank.. they FREAK



Edited by Sandra the fish rookie
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On 8/19/2022 at 6:21 PM, Sandra the fish rookie said:

Tank Temp is 77, PH 7.2, Nitrites 0, Nitrates around 40, ammonia 0, Kh 4, GH 250 and chlorine 0. 

Danios and Corydoras generally like "cooler" tanks.  I don't think what you have is an issue, but just something to look into.  AqAdvisor is a tool that takes all the fish in the tank and recommends things like a temp to keep them at.  This might put one fish at a disadvantage in a preference for another, but.... it's a place to start.

As for the swelling, I would starve them for ~3 days and look to see if you see any improvement.  If you don't I would then try an epsom salt bath for the fish in question.  Do a ton of research on this.  I have an article I found which gives directions for a betta fish and seems decently well.  I can send you that if need be, but I have not done this or can suggest what the right ratio of epsom salt would be.

You mentioned having issues catching the fish, so I'll pass this along.  With danios especially it might be easier to drain the talk ~50% or so and then use this method to catch the one you need to.


As for fixing the issues with the tank and fish, beyond trying to let the fish pass anything internally or equalize fluid issues, I would try to lower nitrates from ~40 ppm down to ~10-20 ppm.  If your nitrates are purely high because of dosing fertilizer only, that's fine, but it might encourage algae growth at that level (potentially).  Lowering the nitrates won't hurt anything and just keeping an eye on the levels by testing every 2-3 days will give you an idea if it's based on feeding or on dosing. With the PSO in the tank I don't think you'd have any issues with the nitrate levels dropping 🙂 .

Edited by nabokovfan87
added note about PSO
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