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Discussion Starter #1
I have 4 Zebra Danios who are 6 years old. One has always been a little fatter than the others but has always acted normal. Active, good color and ate well. But just over the last few days he started getting noticeably fatter but still acted normal. Today he's not himself, hiding loosely in a plant, breathing heavy. He won't even come out for a snack. He used to be one of the first ones there. Is he sick? What do I do? Please help!
 
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It has had a very very long life for a danio. Something was going to give sooner or later.
My money is on it being terminal, and probably very uncomfortable. I don't want to impose, but if it was my pet I'd put it out of its misery.
put it in a glass of water put a few drops of clove oil in, it will go into a deep sleep and drown, or you can add ice to just make double sure it is done.
 

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Thank you Nordic and KayakJimW. Well, I did it. I felt so sorry for him. He was very uncomfortable. He lived a good, long, happy life. I took a good look at him while he was out and , well, he felt very soft and smooth but very rough looking. It almost looked like each invidual scale was soft and inflated or swollen. Does this sound like a sickness or disease? Is this something I need to be concerned about? Thanks again.
 
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Dropsy is caused by a bacterial infection. I think most healthy fish will not get infected when they come into contact with this anaerobic bacteria.
Water changes and good water circulation will make the tank less friendly to this pathogen. But as stated, very few people can push a danio for 6 years.
Your tank must be really nice otherwise.
I have hundreds of the little bastards, if you were closer I'd give you some.
 

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Thank you Nordic and KayakJimW. Well, I did it. I felt so sorry for him. He was very uncomfortable. He lived a good, long, happy life. I took a good look at him while he was out and , well, he felt very soft and smooth but very rough looking. It almost looked like each invidual scale was soft and inflated or swollen. Does this sound like a sickness or disease? Is this something I need to be concerned about? Thanks again.
You did the humane thing to do. Seeing the individual scales like that is a dropsy symptom referred to as "pine coning" due to the appearance of a pine cone opening up. Having a zebra danio for 6 yrs is an accomplishment not a lot of people can say they've done. That's bragging rights material
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lol Nordic. Thanks for the offer. Yeah, we do live quite a ways apart.

Well, now I'm scared. What do I do? Do I wait for others to start showing signs and treating them as they come or do I treat the whole tank? I read about epson salts but is it safe for plants? I'm so scared! I've never dealth with anything like this before. I have a 75 gal. with my very first planted tank w/ driftwood set up with many other fish. It does have sub-par filter (hob meant for a 55 long) but I did a diy filter with a 5 gal bucket that I'm going to start up today for the very first time. Hope it works.

I was going to post a picture of my tank but it wouldn't upload for some reason.
 

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No need to be scared, the age of your fish says you're doing it right. I'd hold off on treatment personally. When fish that have far exceeded their average lifespan show signs of illness, here's the question: Is it really worth adding stuff to my entire tank just to delay the inevitable for a few weeks/ months if I'm lucky? And if I separate this elderly fish into a hospital tank, is it more stress on it than benefit? I'd let them go gracefully in this situation. Now, younger fish would be different of course.
 

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Only effective treatment once they get dropsy is antibiotics, costing several times the value of the fish.
And even then, it won't work on aged fish.
 

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Dang, 6 years! I wouldn't change a thing in that tank if I were you. Maybe add more snails/shrimp to the tank. That way, when the inevitable does happen, you don't have to go through the sad task of body cleanup.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I thank you awesome people for all the insight and kind words!

KayakJimW I totally agree.

So my younger fish are going to be ok?

Now I know what to look for and if it happens again to an old fish I will know what to do. Idk though. It is a fine line, isn't it? I wouldn't want to add more stress while they're don't feel good in their final days, and let nature take it's course. But then, I don't like to see anything suffer. What to do, what to do? Huh?

Does this mean that this is the way the others are going to go too? I still have three zebras and one neon left, out of the six, that I bought at the same time as the zebras. Those were my original fish I got when I decided to get back into the craft. I also still have three muscles that I had picked from a nearby creek around that same time. So yeah, I guess I must be doing something right....though I have no idea what it is. lol



Thank you so much. I really appriciate it!
 
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