Goldfish Dropsy Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention Guide

Do goldfish have teeth
If you’re a goldfish owner, you probably wonder, “What is Dropsy?” It’s a medical condition in any aquatic animal, characterized by body swelling and possibly skin inflammation. However, the most distinctive symptom is an abdomen that has become enlarged to the point where it hangs down at an angle due to its weight. Goldfish dropsy usually results from bacterial infections or, in severe cases, parasites such as anchor worms.

A goldfish may become so ill that its gills are full of water, although this is rare. If you have a goldfish with Dropsy, the most important thing you can do is to act quickly. But, first, you’ll have to perform an immediate diagnosis on your fish. Though a human can suffer from Dropsy, to appropriately treat it, you need to know what caused it in the first place. So, if you notice your goldfish has an abnormal perimeter, it’s important to rule out other possible illnesses immediately.

 If the aquarium’s water is cloudy or brown or black particles are floating in it, you should immediately remove 25% of the water and replace it with new, clean water. You should also check to see if your fish is swimming in circles. If it appears, this may be a sign that the fish is sick and that its gills need more oxygen. If the water in your aquarium is clear and the fish isn’t visibly swimming in circles, it’s important to perform a 30% water change and slowly add salt.

How Do You Know If Your Goldfish Has Dropsy?

An infection or injury usually causes Dropsy. It can be difficult to identify because there isn’t any one definitive symptom, but if you see the following symptoms, it’s time to take action:

  • First, the fish has a swollen abdomen and gills.
  • Next, the fish has a bloated abdomen that is sagging and looks like it’s about to burst.
  • Finally, the fish will appear lethargic and have difficulty swimming.

How to Handle Goldfish Tumors and Growths

So how Do You Treat Dropsy?

  • Before starting treatment, you’ll need to isolate the infected fish in its hospital tank. The hospital tank should be 10-20 gallons and at least 10 inches deep, and you’ll need to fill it with dechlorinated water.
  • Once you’ve done this, treat the infected fish by performing a 50% water change and adding one tablespoon of aquarium salt for every four gallons of water. If the salt is not dissolved before adding it to the fish’s tank, it can cause harm, so make sure to dissolve it first.
  • Keep all lights off in the hospital tank and change 25% of the water daily for at least two weeks. During this time, you’ll need to keep your goldfish in the dark, quiet room so it can rest and not move.
  • If it seems to be healing, you can add more salt and less water each day until all the water is gone. Make sure that this process should be repeated every day until Dropsy has disappeared completely.

Dropsy Prevention Guide

Keeping your fish’s water in tip-top shape is the best way to prevent Dropsy, so here are a few helpful tips:

  • Always keep track of the temperature and pH of your fish’s water. They should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and pH should be between 7.0 and 8.0 for goldfish.
  • Keep any new pets you add to your aquarium in quarantine for at least two weeks before introducing them to other members of their family.
  • Always quarantine new plants, decorations, and even gravel.
  • You should do a 20% water change weekly and use a gravel siphon to vacuum the gravel. It is important because fish feces can accumulate in the gravel and make your fish sick.
  • Do not overfeed your fish; feed them one meal daily and remove any uneaten food within one hour of feeding time so it doesn’t pollute the water.

Things to Consider

Upkeep is the key to preventing this health problem from recurring. You’ll need to do a few things to keep your goldfish healthy and safe:

  • Clean your aquarium using a gravel siphon on a weekly basis to remove any debris that might cause illness.
  • Rinse the gravel every few weeks with 1-2 teaspoons of aquarium salt, but ensure you rinse it well before adding it back in.
  • If you find that your fish is losing weight, it’s probably a good idea to reduce the amount of food you’re feeding it.
  • If certain fish in your aquarium appear to be getting along better than others, consider adding more plants or decorations to divide their territory.


There are many things to consider when it comes to Dropsy in goldfish. If your fish appears to have the symptoms of this condition, it’s time to start treatment immediately. However, if you follow the guidelines provided in the above details and monitor your fish’s progress closely, you should be able to recover it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *