Betta fish big belly

July 16, 2021
He s my little angel
  • Big fat belly, not pregnant
  • Huge Swelling of Body
  • Bulging sides and stomach
  • Scales almost popping off
  • Scales may be forced outward
  • Eyes may pop out
Dropsy General Description
Dropsy is not really a disease. For all intensive purposes we will call it one. It's really an internal bacterial infection usually caused by poor water quality.

Fish may recover with no treatment and may die despite it. There are multiple possible causes. Sometimes it's not contageous, but sick fish should be isolated and treated since determining the actual cause may be impossible. The swelling is because the fish is absorbing water faster than it can eliminate it, and it can be caused by many different problems. High nitrates are one thing to check. Internal bacterial infections, including fish TB, are other possibilities. If there are no water quality problems, you may want to attempt antibiotic treatment in a separate tank.

There are multiple possible causes. Usually caused by kidney damage. Kidney damage may be caused by overuse of drugs or a disease. Eventually the swelling will cause the scales to raise, giving the fish what is called the "pine-cone" appearance.

You can best see this by viewing your fish from the top. Fish may also stop feeding, appear off-colour, become listless and/or lethargic, have sunken eyes, and hang at the top or stay at the bottom of the aquarium.

Dropsy Treatments
Dropsy is not very contagious; however, Fish usually die from this, but in some cases where the problem is due to bacteria, if detected early enough, it can be treated.

It's possibly the hardest internal bacterial infection to cure. There are a number of medications available such as penicillin, tetracycline and naladixic acid. The fish usually doesn't make it. By the time the scales begin to raise, however, it is very fatal to the fish. Salt baths can help to draw the fluid out of the fish. A variety of medications can be purchased that treat dropsy, which sometimes occurs due to an internal bacterial problem. Medications for external bacterial problems only will not be effective for this problem.

Dropsy Prevention
Poor water conditions are often the culprit. Gouramies, Cyprinids (barbs, danios, etc), guppies, betta and goldfish are prone to this disease. Goldfish are said to be somewhat more prone to dropsy than other fish. High nitrates are usually the culprit. Clean Water, is a must! Clean Water, should I say that again? Good water conditions prevent this.
Image Gallery of Dropsy
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