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Title: Sick Goldfish
Description: Salt bath

ddm - August 3, 2010 03:23 PM (GMT)
Hello to everyone on the forum,

My children have kept me so busy that I haven't posted in a while. One of my goldfish seems to be sick :( :( I noticed several days ago it wasn't eating and moving slowly. Yesterday he looked swollen, and as of today he got bigger and has begun to pinecone. I have isolated him from the rest of the pond. My pond is 400 gallons and I have 10 goldfish 4-7 inches, and one fantail goldfish who is over 12 inches including tail. None of the other fish seem to be sick. The fish are about 1-1/2 years old and I have not introduced any new fish since these fish were introduced into the pond last year. I have not had any problems with my water quality.

Based on info Robyn has provided on her website, I think the fish could have a bacterial infection. I have treated the water the sick fish is in with medication for dropsy and pond salt.

My question is this:should the fish be treated with a salt bath as well as salt in the water? The pond salt I purchased (pond care brand) suggested adding salt to the water as well as a salt bath for 10 minutes. It also suggested using 2-1/2 cups of salt to 10 gallons of pond water. This is much more than the info Robyn has on her website. I have never treated a sick fish before, but this seems to be an excessive amount of salt.

Thanks for any thoughts or feedback.


sabrillo - August 3, 2010 04:16 PM (GMT)

Sorry to hear about your goldfish. Rosiemeadow has a post about how she took care of Big Red (pictures and all) and used salt treatments too. It was pretty amazing the before and after pics. Sounds like the same infection. I had the thread bookmarked but it is on another computer. I'll try and look for it and post the link.

sabrillo - August 3, 2010 04:31 PM (GMT)

Robyn - August 3, 2010 05:10 PM (GMT)
I'm sorry about your goldfish. It does sound like dropsy. Adding a little salt to a pond helps with osmotic regulation and is generally just a sort of tonic like if you took a soak in Epsom salts. A salt bath with more salt would be stronger and possibly kill certain bacteria, funguses, and parasites. Baths last a few days. A salt dip is really strong and short. It usually kills external parasites and some bacteria and funguses that are on the outside but has no real affect on things inside the fish. It can also shock them. Some people have had better luck treating dropsy using Epsom salts which are magnesium sulfate. The best treatment (that I can't get here with no fish vets) is an injection of antibiotics. The problem is internal and even medicated foods (if the fish is eating which they often are not) don't really get in deep enough.

You'd have to find out the density of your salt to compare to my calculations. According to my calculations on my salt page, 0.075 pounds (1.2 ounce) of salt to 10 gallons gives 0.1% salt which is a low level bath.

This useful site I found lists how much salt to use for salt bath (what I called dip), therapy (what I called a bath), and pond salting for koi.

Your foot-long fantail must be older than 1.5 years. I haven't seen a fantail that big. Can you get a photo?

Broxandval - August 3, 2010 06:21 PM (GMT)
Hi ddm
Please have a look at Rosiemeadows Big red post but being a realist if it is Dropsy you may not win this one. :(
Rosiemeadow with the help of Robyn myself and others did turn Big red around but I warned her that in about a years time the Dropsy would return and this time we wouldn't be as lucky :(
Dropy as you will find from that post is normally brought about by organ failure mainly the kidneys though it can be bacterial. :(
I would suggest you think long and hard what you want for this unfortuneate fish then give it a try if you want. <_<
I myself was astounded when Big red made it through but she died around a year to the day when it returned . :(
If you decide to go ahead follow Rosiemedows post to the letter copy what we suggest about salt etc about raising the temperature etc. :)
Please ddm dont think me cruel or defeatist I'm just telling you the way it will go Big red had a year of borrowed time thats all. :o
Between us all we did was delay the end for that beautiful fish :(
Sorry :(
broxandval Fishiedude Flowersmile Grouphug Sorrydude

Rosiemeadow - August 4, 2010 10:27 PM (GMT)
Hi Danielle, welcome back. Just in case you didn't see it, this is what I did. The treatment helped her tremendously, although sadly a year later she passed away, but I really don't know why.

What I did was, I had her in Marycn II for about a week, no results that I could see, so I read about Epsom salts treatment. I used about 2 tlbs. Epsom salts per 3 gallons water, and and per Broxandval's advice I heated her water to about 74 degrees, it should be warmer from what I read, but I was afraid to over do it, I'm a nervous Nelly about these things, didn't want to fry my poor fishy. It said not to feed for three days, but I had a hard time with that one, so I gave her a little Jungle medicated food which has the other medicine that this cure called for, Metrondizole & I gave her some peas, she loves the peas! The big thing besides the Epsom salts is water changes, I did large volume water changes about 75% every three days, I"ve got big muscles now from lugging all that water. With the water changes I added the 2 tlbs of Epsom salts per 3 gallons again. In the last 2 times I changed the water I put in extra Epsom salts, that is when I saw the difference in her, I tell you it was literaly overnight! I could not belive my eyes when I went in to check her the other day. Oh yeah, one more ingredient.... PRAYERS
Let us know how your fish is doing.
Best of luck Danielle,

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