All of my goldfish get dropsy and I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Fantail328

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I have been keeping goldfish for 6 years now and for the past 4 years I have had a problem with drospy.
It started when I bought a ranchu and kept it in quarentine. I had 2 other fish at the time ( a black moor and a fantail). This ranchu quickly developed dropsy and spread to a black moor in my main tank. This is very stressful for me as this youtuber I liked had to euthinise all of her fish due to it and I was certain my fantail would also catch it. Luckily the fantail was fine for the next 3 and a half years and eventualy died due to swim bladder disorder this summer.

However, a year ago I had purchased an oranda as I was sad to see the fantail alone and did everything I could to keep the water quality perfect and treated the fish with anti parasite and bacteria medication. This fish also died in October 2020 due to dropsy and I was heart broken and decided to not get anymore fish as I was certain the fantail carried something.

After he died I got rid of his stuff and bought and decided to start again. I bought a new tank, filter, heater and even food and believed I wouldn't have this problem again. I purchased 2 ryukins and I havent even had them for a week and one already has dropsy. Was this just bad luck or am I doing somenthing wrong? The heater is kept at 23 degrees but I've only started using it with the ryukins, I never heated the fantails tank. I also thought maybe it's just bad luck and I bought an unwell fish but almost all of my fish have had dropsy in the past 4 years and I'm really worried I'm going to have to give up the hobby.
 

Colin_T

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Pictures of the fish and tank?
What sort of gravel is in the tank?

What do you feed them?
How often do you feed them?

How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before doing the water change?

What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?
What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate of the aquarium and tap water?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

When you clean the tank, do you use buckets and sponges specifically for the aquarium, or any bucket and sponge in the house?

Do you have any moisturising creams, soap, detergent, perfume, grease, oil, hand sanitiser, etc on your hands when you work in the tank?
------------------
You could be getting bad fish. Don't get any more fish yet, but once this is over, perhaps try a different pet shop or try different sorts of goldfish.
 

Naughts

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As these fish are bred to be short bodied they are more likely to have health problems.
Do your fish get plenty of plant matter in their diet?
 

GaryE

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Goldfish indoors are not easy to keep, and the breeding for shapes adds some genetic health problems to that. A comet will outgrow your tank, but a short bodied goldie often develops blockages. It sounds like you're doing things right, but some more info might help.
Dropsy is kidney failure, and the causes can be many and hard to pin down. It's not one disease, but rather a symptom. Bacterial infections can be behind it, and that would explain the spread. Too small tanks, not enough water changing, overfeeding, low fibre food... the possibilities are many.
Btw - swim bladder disorder is similar to dropsy in that the usual causes aren't in the swim bladder.
It points to water quality or breeding issues - and the fact ones you just purchased are having problems points to issues in the supply chain. I was a teacher and had a large tank in my classrrom. At one point, kid after kid brought in super fancy deformed goldies because they wanted me to save them. I couldn't - the breeding was just too bad. The fish had no ability to balance, and were physical wrecks. I felt like I was running a goldfish hospice, and it was a depressing task to try to save the poor things. A local store changed its supplier, and boom - the sad parade stopped right there and the kids stopped being disheartened by the loss of their pets.
 

StevenF

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Can you provide us with a water quality repot. Your tap water may be safe for us to brink but it might not be good for your fish. If you cannot find it list were you live. We might be able to find it.
 
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Fantail328

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Pictures of the fish and tank?
What sort of gravel is in the tank?

What do you feed them?
How often do you feed them?

How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before doing the water change?

What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?
What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate of the aquarium and tap water?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

When you clean the tank, do you use buckets and sponges specifically for the aquarium, or any bucket and sponge in the house?

Do you have any moisturising creams, soap, detergent, perfume, grease, oil, hand sanitiser, etc on your hands when you work in the tank?
------------------
You could be getting bad fish. Don't get any more fish yet, but once this is over, perhaps try a different pet shop or try different sorts of goldfish.
Heres a picture if the tank and fish. It's 125 litres and only has 1 goldfish in it currently because the other ones in quarentine and there's no subtrate but in the top view picture it looks like there's sand but thats just the stand underneath.

I was trying to grow them so I was feeding them the green and purple hikari-saki pellets, peas, repashy gel-food and eggs and feeding them 3-4 times a day but with my previous goldfish I have been feeding them the pellets and gel-food twice a day.

I was doing 10% water changes daily as I heard it kept the hormone levels down and I was trying to grow them but before I had the ryukins I was doing 25% water changes once a week ( My past tank was 120 litres and had 2 goldfish in it max). I declorinate the water everytime I add it but I add the dechlorinator before the water and then wait 15 minutes before turning the filter on. I saw a solid gold video where she did that but I've also seen people dechlorinate it in buckets - is that a better way of doing it? I also forgot to add that I do 25% water changes a week on top of the 10% daily but today I did a 50% one after work as I was worried about there being anything in the water seeing as the other one has dropsy.

The filter is a canister filter (All Pond Solutions 400L/h EF-150 external aquarium filter). I havent cleaned thwe filter yet as the goldfish have only been living in there for a week but with my previous goldfish I would do it once a week. I used to have an internal filter which had a sponge in it and I would wash it in a bucket with the tank water.

Aquarium water -
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 0ppm

Tap water -
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0.50ppm
Nitrate - 0ppm

I waited for 5 minutes for both the tests but I'm really suprised! I didn't know my tap water had a high nitrite level I just assumed it would be 0ppm but it looks to be around 0.50-1ppm!

I attached a picture of my water supply information.

I have a 10 litre bucket for the goldfish and the one I use for the ryukins is a new one because I wanted to avoid cross contamination from the previous fish but I dont use a sponge.

I do wash my hands before doing the water changes with hand soap but I try to rinse it all off. I also don't use any specific ones just whatever is the cheapest.
 

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Fantail328

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As these fish are bred to be short bodied they are more likely to have health problems.
Do your fish get plenty of plant matter in their diet?
I feed them peas every now and then and repashy goldfish gold everyday but I'm not sure if the repahsy has a lot of plant matter. I might just think that because it's green.
 
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Fantail328

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Goldfish indoors are not easy to keep, and the breeding for shapes adds some genetic health problems to that. A comet will outgrow your tank, but a short bodied goldie often develops blockages. It sounds like you're doing things right, but some more info might help.
Dropsy is kidney failure, and the causes can be many and hard to pin down. It's not one disease, but rather a symptom. Bacterial infections can be behind it, and that would explain the spread. Too small tanks, not enough water changing, overfeeding, low fibre food... the possibilities are many.
Btw - swim bladder disorder is similar to dropsy in that the usual causes aren't in the swim bladder.
It points to water quality or breeding issues - and the fact ones you just purchased are having problems points to issues in the supply chain. I was a teacher and had a large tank in my classrrom. At one point, kid after kid brought in super fancy deformed goldies because they wanted me to save them. I couldn't - the breeding was just too bad. The fish had no ability to balance, and were physical wrecks. I felt like I was running a goldfish hospice, and it was a depressing task to try to save the poor things. A local store changed its supplier, and boom - the sad parade stopped right there and the kids stopped being disheartened by the loss of their pets.
Yeah it's a shame because I love them so much but they're so sensitive to everything! It might be a bacterial infection because it does seem to affect most of my fish - I have some melafix should I treat them with it now? I contacted the place I bought them from but I haven't had a reply yet. Next time i'll try another place and see if I have any luck!
 
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Fantail328

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Can you provide us with a water quality repot. Your tap water may be safe for us to brink but it might not be good for your fish. If you cannot find it list were you live. We might be able to find it.
This is the water report. Is there anything more information I could be missing?
 

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Naughts

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I feed them peas every now and then and repashy goldfish gold everyday but I'm not sure if the repahsy has a lot of plant matter. I might just think that because it's green.
Yes, it contains spirulina. The peas are good too.
Cute fish :)
 

Colin_T

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I was trying to grow them so I was feeding them the green and purple hikari-saki pellets, peas, repashy gel-food and eggs and feeding them 3-4 times a day but with my previous goldfish I have been feeding them the pellets and gel-food twice a day.
Not sure what repashy gel food is?
Are the eggs cooked or raw?

I would look at changing the diet, especially considering this is happening to all your goldfish, including new ones.
Use a basic goldfish pellet or flake once a day. Use small pellets not big pellets.

Add marine mix (contains prawn, fish and squid) or make up your own. Raw prawn is good.

Add some plant matter like blended up spinach. You can also feed them pumpkin, zucchini and peas. Blanch or partially boil the plant matter to soften it up and make it more digestible for the fish. Remove the skin from these items and don't feed the fish the skin.

Grow duckweed (floating plant) and other soft leaf aquatic plants like Ambulia in the tank for them to eat.

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I was doing 10% water changes daily as I heard it kept the hormone levels down and I was trying to grow them but before I had the ryukins I was doing 25% water changes once a week

10% water changes don't do anything. If you want to reduce chemicals and pollutants in the water, do 50-75% water changes.

If you do a 10% water change each week you leave behind 90% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 25% water change each week you leave behind 75% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 50% water change each week you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 75% water change each week you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

If you only have 1 or 2 fish in the tank, they won't be producing much in the way of anti-growth hormones and a 75% water change once or twice a week should be sufficient to keep the water clean and any hormone levels very low. Most anti-growth hormones produced by fish are produced during the first 3 months of a fish's life. If the goldfish are more than 1 inch long (not including the tail) they are probably over 3 months of age.

( My past tank was 120 litres and had 2 goldfish in it max). I declorinate the water every time I add it but I add the dechlorinator before the water and then wait 15 minutes before turning the filter on. I saw a solid gold video where she did that but I've also seen people dechlorinate it in buckets - is that a better way of doing it?
If you have a 20 litre bucket for the fish, add enough dechlorinator to treat 20 litres of water, to the bucket. Fill the bucket with tap water and aerate it for at least 5 (preferably 30) minutes. Then use that water to fill the tank.

If you only have chlorine in your tap water, then you can fill buckets with tap water and let them stand for a couple of days to allow the chlorine to come out of the water by itself. Aerating the water helps speed this process up, as does having the bucket of water out in the sun where the ultra violet (UV) light gets rid of the chlorine. Although the UV levels in the UK are pretty low so I would use aeration or a dechlorinator.
 

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