Symptoms of Dropsy
Causes of Dropsy
Dropsy is not a disease in the typical sense of the word. Rather, it is an internal baterial infection of the kidneys that is usually caused by poor water conditions. The infection of the kidneys leads to renal failure and causes a build up of excess fluids in the body of the affected fish. While most cases of dropsy are caused by water quality issues, some other possible causes include fish tuberculosis and a secondary infection due to any number of internal diseases. Dropsy is not contagious - it seems to affect the weakest fish in a population with poor water quality.
Treatment of Dropsy
Dropsy can be quite difficult to cure and most fish that become infected will eventually die from the disease. Overall treatment will require two courses of action. The first course of action that needs to be taken is aggressive water changes. The goal of these water changes is to get help correct water quality problems. Water changes of up to 30% a day every other day for a week may be required. The second course of action is treatment with antibiotics. Because this is an internal infection, adding antibiotics directly to the water will do little good. Instead, the food fed to the fish must first be soaked in an antibiotic liquid. Two effective antibiotics are chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) and tetracycline. If the fish will not eat the treated food, a last ditch effort can be attempted by adding 10mg of antibiotic per liter of water.