I'll start by saying that I understand the chances of his survival are very slim indeed. Charlie, my blind fantail, has dropsy. I've started him on Octozin.
My question is, is salt (aquarium salt, sea salt and so on) beneficial or lethal to a fish with dropsy?
There seems to be two theories. The most common one being the salt would put further pressure on the kidneys. The other theory being the salt will reduce the pressure on the kidneys by stopping the fish absorbing so much water. I wondered what you guy's think?
At the moment I have a light solution of salt added, not enough to do any thing either way. If salt is potentially beneficial, how much should I add?
Also, am I right in thinking adding Epsom salt will be of no help whatsoever? Apart from raising the GH of course. I've read claims that people have saved fish with dropsy using Epsom salt.
Charlie is eating, trying to swim and generally responsive so I want to keep trying to save him. My train of thought is that all the time he himself is trying to survive, I shouldn't give up. If he stops eating and so on, then obviously clove is the only option.
Unfortunately I can't help as the fish I had which succumbed to dropsy died within 24hrs and it was before I discovered the wonders of aquarium salt as a treatment - mainly for swimbladder malfunction.
As no-one here has been able to help yet, I managed to find the following thread on another forum which might help and seems to support the use of salt and Epsom salt:
If he survives the next week then I'm going to take him to CJ Hall. I'm also going to look for a bigger tank for him, he's on his own in 120 litres at the moment, that's not grossly overstocked but enough to cause him issues.
Glad to read of some improvement and see that he's moving about a bit better. It would be lovely if he were to improve of his own accord.
The goldfish I had with dropsy didn't survive beyond 24hrs but I had goldfish with swimbladder-type malfunctions. For them, I treated them with salt and medication when they were suffering severely, as Charlie has been in this case. I also changed their diet during these periods, or in mild cases of swimbladder-like malfunction, to feed them more frequently with peas (with shell off) or frozen/live bloodworm to help clear any internal blockages which may have been pressing on the swimbladder; a tiny morsel of papaya worked wonders too for this. A slight change of diet in this respect might be worth a go too if you haven't already tried it.
120L isn't grossly overstocked. If you have the space and can afford a bigger tank, and Charlie wouldn't be perturbed by the extra space to get used to feeling his way round, then go for it, but sometimes I think it's all too easy to blame something (eg tank size) for any issues - yet goldfish in 500L tanks wouldn't be invincible either. If, of course, he's been suffering regularly from different illnesses, then of course perhaps it is time to consider a new tank.