Last chance for the baby

I have had this tiny little baby for just over a week, and I have tried almost anything that I had. I started off with an antibiotics treatment, combined with salts, to fight any bacterial and fungus infection that it could have had. The small bite marks it had when I got it, are more or less gone, and I feel safe that we have fought off any fungus infection.

There are a few other factors that seem quite concerning at the moment.

  • It has been swimming belly up most of the time. Although it fairly easily can turn around, it does seem to struggle with swimming to the bottom of the tank.
  • The end of the gill covers seem to flare outwards. I am hopping that this is a genetic defect and not some inflammation of the gills
  • Its scales have started lifting, and it is showing early signs of dropsy!!
You can clearly see the raised scales, and the flared gills on this picture

The last point, with the raised scales is the most concerning. From what I have heard about dropsy, it is not so much a disease, as it is a symptom of something else. Many say that treating dropsy in itself is not possible, but you need to treat the underlying issue. The raised scales is the real reason why I feel that we are at the last stages of trying to save this fish.

Heat & Epsom

My plan for this last stint, is to raise the temperature to 26C and treat with Epsom salts. I removed all other fish (I had to put Wendy to sleep because her injury only got worse) and the other 3 fish have moved over to a larger tank. So now the baby is alone in the 80lit (18gal) tank, with a sponge filter and a heater. I did a large water change, with water from my main tank, raised the temperature slowly and added 1 spoonfuls (3 t-spoons) of Epsom salt to the tank. In the meantime I also made an Epsom bath by using 4 liters of the tank water, and adding 1 spoonful of Epsom salt. I let the baby float in it for 15 minutes and then moved it back into the tank. This has had pretty good results. The scales have flattened, and the fish has started swimming belly down, although still hangs around the surface of the tank. I have done multiple baths in the higher salt concentration and this seems to be helping the most. I do 2 baths a day, and can clearly see that it poops quite a lot while it is in the bucket. I am also not feeding it very much during this time, mainly to avoid any complications.

I am still not sure if it is going to make it, as dropsy is quite often deadly, but seeing improvement at this point is fairly positive. If it is going to make it, this fish will need to live in a very protected environment, with carefully selected diet and tank mates.


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