Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Dropsy Fish Disease

A bacterial infection of the kidneys, which causes fluid accumulation or renal failure. It appears to create problems only in weakened fish. It is virtually incurable if left for too long as the kidneys become useless rendering the fish unable to recover.


  • Bloating
  • Protruding scales


This is challenging to treat however if caught at early stages and not mistaken for pregnancy as is often the case. Treatment should start with frequent partial water changes and you could try fungus treatment such as protozin to help cure Dropsy. You can also try using octozin as a cure for dropsy fish disease too.


May stem from untidy aquarium conditions so you must ensure your aquarium has the correct parameters for your tropical fish to prevent dropsy fish disease. Please take a look at the tropical fish profiles if you are unsure of the conditions the fish you are keeping require.

If you do have a fish with it, it is not very contagious when they are alive however if you are unable to cure then remove the dead fish immediately otherwise other fish may eat the carcass and contract Dropsy from it.

It is always good practice to add 1 tbs. aquarium salt per gallon to your aquarium to help prevent dropsy as many other tropical fish diseases.

Tropical Fish Site takes no responsibility for diagnosing the exact problem with your tropical fish, this is purely meant as a guide only. Be sure to look at other common tropical fish diseases to ensure you have made the correct diagnosis as there is often crossover between them.