View Full Version : Advice on pencilfish

02-01-2007, 02:26 PM
I am hoping someone can give me some advice on what I should do with my dwarf pencilfish. This afternoon when feeding my fish I noticed he looked bloated. On closer inspection I found he has raised scales. My other fish are fine. I have checked my water and no ammonia or nitrites, nitrates 5ppm, ph 6.8. Weekly water change of 40% was done Sunday as usual. My 29g is overfiltered and kept clean so I doubt water quality is the problem. No new additions fishwise. A few new plants added 3 weeks ago. Now my problem is I have no idea how long pencilfish live. I am aware that dropsy can be caused by internal organ failure in old age but I have had no luck finding any info on the life expectancy of my dwarf pencilfish. Fishbase data seems to suggest that as a species their maturity is 2 years but is this mature to breed or life expectancy? I checked my fish diary and this fish was purchased on the 14th June 2005 and was adult size when purchased. Until today this fish has always been 100% heathy and never had any illness. Yesterday he had no raised scales so the onset has been fairly rapid. I have removed him to my cycled hospital tank but have not medicated yet as I am unsure what treatment would be best to try first and if it would even help if old age is the cause. I do have in my fish medicine case both epsom salts which I will try tomorrow and I also have tetracycline tablets handy (though need to check the exp date as I got them a while ago). Any suggestions on what to do, treatment or info on max age would be appreciated. I would hate to loose him as I've had him for quite a while and I'm quite attached to him.

02-01-2007, 02:52 PM
pencilfish are really delicate and need good water conditions. If hes bloated, no feeding for a week. But you can feed boiled peas one day

When they say maturity is 2 years, I figure it means the fish is a adult, not a kid and he still probably has another good year or 2 to go

02-02-2007, 12:51 PM
Well I checked the tank water again first thing today and no different to yesterday. All parameters are fine. All other fish are fine. Today I have slowly increased the temp in the hospital tank from 26 to 28C and started treating with epsom salt to help relieve the bloating/fluid retention. A few hours after adding the epsom his colour improved and he didn't looked washed out anymore. He also got progressively more active during the day and has been swimming about like he did before the bloating. Tonight he seems a bit better, colour has stayed good and he now is in his usual night (pyjamas) colouring but still looks bloated and slightly pine-coned. I do not know much about bacterial infections (if this even what he has) but he has no reddening or bleeding just fluid retention so I will have a look tonight online as to what meds I can try for him as the epsom will treat the symptom but I expect I will need to treat the cause (which I have no idea on). Anyone have any suggestions here?? I have still not been able to find an approximate lifespan for these fish anywhere so if anyone can give any info that has had one and can remember approx how long they had it (or have had it) for a general comparison I would really appreciate it. Sorry for the long post but I'm desperate to do everything I can to save my poor little fish :o)

02-02-2007, 10:42 PM
maybe get some medicated food for internal parisites. Ive heard the fish lives 4 years