Like all pet-lovers, you must love your pet guppies you keep in your aquarium. But did you know that your guppies are prone to many diseases, including the common guppy dropsy?
Your pet guppies may suddenly contract dropsy, which occurs unexpectedly. It would be best if you give your pets suitable treatment. Before treating them, find out the causes of dropsy in your guppies. Dropsy is a bacterial infection that affects the gut of the fish, causing it to swell. If you leave your infected guppies untreated, the disease could spread to the other fish in the aquarium.
Watch for These Symptoms
It is easy to find out if your pet guppy has got dropsy because the tell-tale sign is a bloated belly. In some cases, the whole body of the fish appears puffy. Besides the bloated body, you’ll notice the scales sticking out from the body and may seem as if they are about to drop off.
You’ll also notice some behavioral changes in your pet, including loss of appetite, difficulty swimming, etc. Some fish keep rubbing against the tank’s walls or the objects inside the aquarium, which is another significant symptom. Observing your pet for a few minutes from close quarters will tell you whether it is eating properly or not. Most pets tend to show signs of lethargy and would rather float at the top of the tank instead of swimming around enthusiastically. Sometimes the eyes may appear sunken or appear to bulge with a swelling, which are all symptoms of sickness.
What Causes Dropsy in Your Guppies?
More often than not, dropsy is caused by a bacterial infection. The Aeromonas bacteria are responsible for causing dropsy in guppies stressed due to overcrowding in the aquarium. You can try moving some guppies to a new tank and ensure that only a few guppies remain in each tank to help them get over the stress.
Another essential thing to do is to change the water in the fish tank regularly. Poor quality water is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause various diseases in fish. If your pet’s kidney is affected and not functioning correctly, more water is retained in the body, leading to a bloated belly. It is advisable to isolate the affected fish and quarantine them till they get better.
If you think that some of your guppies may be infected and have developed dropsy, you can follow these steps:
- Identify the sick fish and move them to a separate fish tank (hospital tank). Please remove all objects from the tank except the heater and filter. Maintain the temperature of the hospital tank similar to the one in the regular tank.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt (for every 10 gallons of water) to the hospital tank to create a salt bath for the fish. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which helps drain the excess water accumulated in the fish’s gut.
- Feed your pet nutritious food, and ensure they are antibacterial. Adding 1% of antibiotics to the fish food helps make it antibacterial. You may use tetracycline or Chloromycetin after consulting your vet.
Summing it Up
Preventing the occurrence of dropsy in your pet fish is better than looking for a cure after they are infected. Keep the fish tank clean, and feed your pets nutritious food. Avoid overcrowding your aquarium.