This week as I checked on my female guppy tank I noticed my main fish mom (the one that started all the current guppies I have) had developed a case of dropsy. I don't think I've had a fish get dropsy since about 5yrs back when I had some zebra danio's. I treated the tank with Maracyn Two and Mardel CopperSafe and within a few hours the female had unfortunately passed away. All my other fish seem to be doing fine, I moved the fry into the male guppy tank after 24/hrs of treatment and left the other adult females in the treated tank which I will clean out this coming week.

What's Dropsy?
Dropsy is a bit difficult to diagnose but it is generally a bacterial infection which could be introduced through poor water quality (high in nitrates). It could also be kidney/heart failure (possibly due to too many water chemicals), excess fluid to the liver, or other possible causes. It could possibly be contagious.

Dropsy Characteristics?
Rapid Breathing, Protruding Scales, and Bloated Body. In early and latter stages of dropsy you may notice the fish going to the surface often for air, possible lack of appetite, or even spends most of its time at the top or bottom of the aquarium. There may also be a change in color (female guppies tend to turn a bit gray on the body).

Dropsy Treatment?
As dropsy is hard to diagnose it makes it difficult to treat. Moving the fish to a quarantine tank may make matters worse due to the stress it will cause on the ill fish. If the fish is already showing the bloated spiny appearance than chances of survival are probably slim. An aquarium salt bath may help to draw out the fluid in the fish. Some medications that may help are penicillin, tetracycline, and nalidixic acid. Water changes and clean water are a must to help prevent fish from getting dropsy.

*These remedies are only what I've researched on the Internet thus far and may/may not work.

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