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Help with Dropsy and related environment


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Hey all,

I had a platy come down with dropsy, and is currently being treated in a separate hospital tank. I would've put this in the Disease forum, but I am looking for more general help related to the environment of the main tank.

1) Is there anything specific I should look for in the main tank (a 75 gallon livebearer tank), which would be an indication of why dropsy developed on this fish? Preventative medicine is the best medicine, and I obviously want to avoid any other fish getting it, keeping in mind it is a symptom of bigger issue. Everyone is eating well, including the platy w/dropsy. They are fed a variety of flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.

My water parameters are:

Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrates (15-25ppm on a given week), GH - 250ppm, KH - 80-100ppm, PH 7.6-7.8, temp is 78.5 approx.

2) If anyone has any pointers on treatment of the Platy, I would appreciate that. I am currently using Furan 2 and Kanaplex, along w/Epsom salt in the hospital tank. I am only feeding him a pea and frozen Daphnia. I have not noticed any improvement and today is day 6.

Thanks to all in advance...greatly appreciated!


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Nitrofurans are believed to not be absorbed from the water hence only useful for external infections.

Kanamycin in Kanaplex is under-dosed 17-fold which is probably why most people report that it does nothing.

Assuming it is caused by a bacterial infection, there's a good chance it's Aeromonas which should be treated with ciprofloxacin. 1,000 mg per 10 gal per day for 7-10 days with a large water change in between daily doses.

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Thank you C.M.E.C.

Is there a readily available medication that contains ciproflaxin that you recommend? A quick google search didn't yield many options.

Once again, thanks for the rec. Any other advice is appreciated...please keep it coming. Thank you.

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1 hour ago, quikv6 said:

I was able to find the ciproflaxin, and ordered 500mg tablets. Any other ideas related to treatment, or things/warning signs to look for in the community tank?

Nearly all bacteria that cause infections in fish are normal residents of the aquatic environment. Some even live in or on the fish themselves. Stress of almost any kind (aggression, temp fluctuations, low oxygen, etc.) can lead to infection. Organic waste build-up is a big one as this is what the bacteria normally feed on and it leads to overpopulation as well as suppressing the immune systems of fish. There are even more direct mechanisms such as organic matter enhancing the ability of Columnaris to attach to gill tissue.

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Very interesting. One more question, related to organic waste build-up, if you don't mind:

I gravel vac often, have some live plants (mainly hornwort), and do a weekly waterchange like clockwork. What I almost never do is clean the Co-op sponge filters in the tank, simple because the are coarse, and never seem to show signs of clogging or slowing down.

Would that qualify as organic waste build-up? Sorry if it is an elementary question, but it may point me to a potential problem area to address.

Edited by quikv6
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