Dropsy Treatment

I have experienced dropsy in my fishes probably close to a hundred times. I have tried to find articles about it with no satisfying answers. The best conclusion I draw from my reading is that there is no cure yet for dropsy. Once I even brought a fish with dropsy to a lab. It was a topview ranchu I bought from Thailand. It was a lovely fish. I have treated the fish with all medication I was familiar with, but of no result. When I brought it to the lab, the result confused me. The lab said that they found nothing wrong in the fish. It was healthy. So the lab officer speculated on a mutation as a result of something that happen to the fish that trigger the dropsy. I don’t really understand about it. The fish continued to live for several months in the lab until I finally let it go.

I also experienced rare cases where the dropsy is cured. A friend named Mr Andy Hernianto and I were together in pondering these cases. Our observation led us to believe that there is a way to treat the dropsy with a higher chance of success. This is our conclusion.

First, it must be understood that dropsy usually appears together with or after a certain illness. So, while the dropsy itself is not contagious, the illness accompanying it can be contagious. While the dropsy itself does not lead to death, the illness can lead to death. When the illness is cured, dropsy persists, and the fish lives on. When the illness is not cured and dropsy appears, then the fish is in danger. So, first thing in the dropsy treatment is to make sure that the illness is cured.

I do not know what illnesses cause dropsy. I do not know whether it is a special illness or common illness.ย  I do not know how dropsy develops. It is beyond the scope of this article.

Second, after the illness is gone, high aeration can be used to treat dropsy. In this case, there is no medication needed. Medication can be used if we suspect the illness is still present. The key is high aeration. Later on, we will make this more sophisticated by saying that the key is high oxygen level.

This treatment is so simple. I usually put the fish with dropsy in a shade, and start to give high aeration. This treatment is particularly effective if the dropsy is still in its beginning state. The dropsy can be cured in several days up to a month. I usually put a fish in a clean container by itself, and no filtration. Water change can be done routinely if there is no medication used. If the dropsy has been there for a relatively long period, this treatment seems useless. The dropsy might be permanent already. At least I have tried this for a month, and I gave up. I do not know if the treatment was done for a longer period. This is one experiment I did in 2012.


The treatment took approximately ten days. And the fish was cured as before. Below is the picture of the fish being cured from dropsy.


Later on, I share this finding with another friend Mr Jemmy Wijaya. He reasoned that this must have something to do with the oxygen intake ability of the fish. If that is the case, then cold water temperature will help to cure the disease. Then he did the treatment with a chiller and reported success. I myself do not have a chiller and have never done the experiment. But I think it makes sense.

So, this is how to treat dropsy. I know I do not do statistics, but I sort of thinking that the success rate for a beginning period of dropsy is very high, probably 80 percent or more. Thanks to Mr Andy Hernianto and Mr Jemmy Wijaya. I hope there are scientists among the readers of this blog that will do more experiments to perfect this work.


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