How to Treat and Prevent Deadly Dropsy In Fish?

dropsy in fish

Dropsy is a term referred to as aquarium fishes. It is a disease found in fishes that leads to swelling of fishes (their belly), skin lesion. And several other symptoms which ultimately is fatal to the fishes. If not diagnosed at an early stage. Although it is not always visible, if you observe any of these symptoms in any of your fish, keep working on treatment instead of sitting back and waiting. To know more information about dropsy in fish, click here.

How To Treat Dropsy in Fish

People sometimes suggest that it is better to euthanize the fish. Do you know what euthanasia is? Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease. Or, in an irreversible coma. Experts suggest quarantining the fish to avoid their contact with other fishes. Quarantine refers to the isolation of a living being, one who has either come from a different place or is suffering from a disease. It is infectious or contagious to the other members living in the surroundings. In our opinion, it is better to choose quarantine the infected fish and not euthanizing them. Killing should never be prioritized, instead just isolate them from other beings.

Quarantine the fish

Isolate the fish, which is showing all the signs and symptoms of being infected. It will be better for all the other fishes also if you notice it early since they won’t come in contact with the fish which is harmed. Although dropsy may or may not be contagious. It’s still better to quarantine the fish and treat them wisely and accordingly in a separate area. It will be beneficial in every sense as you need to take more care of this infected fish as compared to others.

Pour freshwater inside the tank

Yes, the second step to treat the infected fish is to fill up the tank with fresh and clean but make sure you maintain the temperature of the water. It should be the same as the previous tank where the fish used to live. It will help the fish to adjust or else there is a chance of death of that fish due to pH shock. Also, bright and freshwater will help you to treat dropsy in fish in an effective way because this place will be a pollution-free area, and it will feel free.

Keep It under controlled temperature

The ideal temperature for the survival of fishes is 25⁰C to 27⁰C. So it is advisable to either elevate or decrease the temperature of water present in the tank as per need. This will be beneficial for their speedy recovery. Also, it will nil the chances of fish dying out of sudden shock. To prevent dropsy in fish, it is essential to keep a pace on temperature. And not while treating them only.

Add salt inside the tank

Salt addition process is essential. Also, the quantity matters. Because less addition of salt won’t make it work, and the addition of more amount of salt can increase the salinity of the water. It will put even more stress on the kidney of the infected fish. Thus, the addition of substances or also their removal of any item is a crucial part. Because quantity works, add 1 gallon of water and in that one teaspoon salt. Repeat as you change the water.

Feed high-quality fish food

Feeding this infected fish is essential. She was affected by the disease; loss of appetite is one of the significant effects. So it is very much necessary to feed them fresh and rich quality food. Because after the disease, it becomes weak and doesn’t prefer eating to regain their ability and energy. They need clean, fresh and high-quality food. The quality and quantity both matter right now. So feed them excellent and hygienic food while you are treating dropsy in fish.

Change water very often

The infected fish is prone to damage, and it needs more attention. So avoid doing anything which will be proved harmful to them in any sense. Frequent change of water in the fish tank is fundamental. Change of water every two or maybe three weeks will be beneficial. And, yes, remember the mentioned points we have given. Be consistent and keep the temperature under control, which means as per their need. Whenever you change the water, keep up with the temperature and also the salt method.

Treat the fish with Antibiotics

Antibiotics are important. They have suffered a lot. And are still suffering. So proper medication will eventually lead to their proper cure. Only quarantine of fish won’t make any difference. So you have to take full care of the fishes on your own. By quarantining the fish, you can save the other fishes from acquiring this dropsy. But taking care of the infected fish is essential in an equal manner. Antibiotics can be given in any form. Be it water or food. You can consult a vet doctor if needed. Maracyn-two is one such example of antibiotics.

How to Prevent Dropsy in Fish

Each one of you is well aware that it’s better to be updated with the prevention, instead of looking for the cure at the time of hopelessness and emergency. Thus, here we are providing you with some basics on how to prevent your fishes from dropsy because it is better to take precautions beforehand.

Keep checking your fishes; the observance is really important if you want to have fish in your fish tank. And want to keep them healthy and disease-free, then be aware of every happening around them, look into it. Observe every detail if you think anything unusual has happened. Their belly, skin lesion, bulging of eyes, pale gills, curved spine, clamped fins, fatigued, loss of appetite. Or their settling at the bottom or surface of the tank. Everything matters. If you observe any of the signs visits or call your vet immediately, it can help you save other fishes as well.

Clean the filter regularly. Be it cleaning or replacing both should be done as per need since the filtration system should always be up to date. As it can harm and infect the fishes inside the tank. If not cleaned properly.

Never try to overcrowd your fish tank. It will lead to more wastes inside the container. Also, the fishes won’t be moving in that free manner because of too much population. So it’s better to either add another tank and put new fishes in them. If not new, then stick to these only. And look after them instead of getting more.

Gravel vacuums are useful to remove the nitrogenous wastes from the bottom of the water tank. It is the place where these wastes are mainly decomposed. So their removal is essential anyhow. Thus, it’s better to add this.

Never try to overdose the fish. It can also work as a preventable measure of dropsy in fish. Neither less food nor too much keep a balanced equilibrium of food with the fishes.


No doubt, dropsy can be of several types depending upon the cause and symptoms. But the most important way to prevent fishes is to keep them in a fresh and clean environment. Temperature, pH or any other factor can cause a certain level of stress to the fishes. And this makes them vulnerable. They get ultimately affected by the disease. And are fatal in some cases if not treated properly.

To know more about different Saltwater and Freshwater Aquarium Fish Diseases, click this article “Aquarium Fish Diseases: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments“.