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Old 01-26-2011, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default guppy problems

Hello,
I am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. I have a fish tank that is a little under 20 gallons. I have had it for 10 months, it has cycled. When I test the tank it all seems ok

ph 7
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 20

I have a fish that is dying and he is the second one to die the same way in the last month. At first he was just really lethargic, like swimming with his tail touching the ground. Now he is laying on his side and trying to bend in half.
Does anyone have any ideas? Also, another on of my fish is developing redness at the end of his tail fin.

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Is he sick or just old?
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

I think at this point its best to put him out of his pain. If you want you can stick him in the freezer and he will go to sleep and die. Im not sure what is going on.. it could be anything, like age or a parasite (internal or external). Im so sorry that he isn't doing well. Maybe someone else around here will know something.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by danilykins View Post
I think at this point its best to put him out of his pain. If you want you can stick him in the freezer and he will go to sleep and die. Im not sure what is going on.. it could be anything, like age or a parasite (internal or external). Im so sorry that he isn't doing well. Maybe someone else around here will know something.
That is perhaps the best explanation that can be given. The most common causes for a hunched over back is either a disease known as shimmies, which is practically impossible to cure, or age. Male guppies backs tend to hunch over time because of the weight their tails suppress on their backs. The weight usually doesn't cause death, but the more their back is curved, the older they are.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by huenemeca View Post
Hello,
I am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. I have a fish tank that is a little under 20 gallons. I have had it for 10 months, it has cycled. When I test the tank it all seems ok

ph 7
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 20

I have a fish that is dying and he is the second one to die the same way in the last month. At first he was just really lethargic, like swimming with his tail touching the ground. Now he is laying on his side and trying to bend in half.
Does anyone have any ideas? Also, another on of my fish is developing redness at the end of his tail fin.

Aquarium Gallery - sick fish

Is he sick or just old?
I looked at your pictures...the one of the fish in the holding tank, it looks very red. Is that his normal coloring or is that new? Any new fish in the tank? Any new rocks/plants? Are you treating your tap water before adding it to the tank during water changes? Were the fish flashing before they got sick?

Could be bacterial or something in your water. Or parasitic. I'm so sorry they are sick :( . I had one die of a bent back last week but it was still eating and trying to swim, I figured it might have been an accident that affected her spine because it happened so quick. But mine didn't have any redness like yours does. I hope someone else can tell you exactly what it is...
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48 Watt T5HO on the 20

many happy guppies
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

I think that redness was the red eye light on my camera. He was a little more red in the gills. Last new fish was a month ago. I did put a piece of pvc in the tank for a little cave about 2 weeks ago. Yes, I treat the tap water and leave it out for 24 hours. I am not sure what you mean by flashing.

I am a little discouraged by the fish dying so much. I have had this tank for 10 months and have had about 6-7 fish die. I think that I was over feeding them at first. Then it was about 4 months without a death. Now 2 more have passed in the last month. Is this normal? I am beginning to think that this tank has something wrong and I should get rid of it. This fish tank was supposed to be a relaxing hobby but it isn't turning out that way.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by huenemeca View Post
I think that redness was the red eye light on my camera. He was a little more red in the gills. Last new fish was a month ago. I did put a piece of pvc in the tank for a little cave about 2 weeks ago. Yes, I treat the tap water and leave it out for 24 hours. I am not sure what you mean by flashing.

I am a little discouraged by the fish dying so much. I have had this tank for 10 months and have had about 6-7 fish die. I think that I was over feeding them at first. Then it was about 4 months without a death. Now 2 more have passed in the last month. Is this normal? I am beginning to think that this tank has something wrong and I should get rid of it. This fish tank was supposed to be a relaxing hobby but it isn't turning out that way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by huenemeca View Post
I think that redness was the red eye light on my camera. He was a little more red in the gills. Last new fish was a month ago. I did put a piece of pvc in the tank for a little cave about 2 weeks ago. Yes, I treat the tap water and leave it out for 24 hours. I am not sure what you mean by flashing.

I am a little discouraged by the fish dying so much. I have had this tank for 10 months and have had about 6-7 fish die. I think that I was over feeding them at first. Then it was about 4 months without a death. Now 2 more have passed in the last month. Is this normal? I am beginning to think that this tank has something wrong and I should get rid of it. This fish tank was supposed to be a relaxing hobby but it isn't turning out that way.
Oh my god! It's just like me...
I had my tank for about 8 months now. First my fish were fine but after a while they all started to die even though I cleaned the tank regularly and fed the same amount every day.
I brought my survivors down to the fish shop and deep cleaned my tank. They did a water test as well and said it was all fine. So I brought them back home and bought some new guppys too.
Now my favourite guppy looks just like yours. It just happened this morning. He was fine yesterday. I really don't know what to do about it...
I hope he doesn't die.... :( Hope yours will make it too!!
x
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Flashing means that the fish "flick" off solitary objects like rocks and plants. They do this to "scratch an itch", either to rub off parasites or to relieve the irritation from ammonia or other water irritant. If they are flashing, it means either your ammonia or other water parameters are off OR it means they might have a fungal/bacterial skin ailment or a parasite like fish lice.

It sounds to me like a cycling issue is contributing to illness by weakening the fish and making them susceptible to disease. If they were red at the gills, I am thinking an ammonia spike. It might have been fine when you tested but maybe it had recovered by then. This can happen when you change your filter media and you lose some of your bacterial filter. What kind of filter are you using and how often are you rinsing/changing the filter?

Don't overclean your gravel. Lightly vac it but your biofilter grows on the gravel and rocks so if you scrub it all away your tank will lose the ability to process the ammonia given off by your fish, thus the ammonia will spike.

I would take out the pvc cave for now. Probably isn't a problem but until you figure it out, better safe than sorry. Also, what is your substrate? I see aquarium gravel there but where did the larger rocks come from? I know that some rocks/gravel can leach unhealthy minerals which can build up over time, iron is an example. But if you are doing water changes, that is probably a non-issue as well.
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4 tanks, all planted:
20 gal tall
10 gal
2 - 5 gal tanks

anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, vesuvius, wisteria, red cryptocoryne wendtii
48 Watt T5HO on the 20

many happy guppies
one crabby betta

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Old 01-27-2011, 08:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Well, my guy didn't make it.

It is strange to me that they just die off one by one over time. It seems like if there was something wrong with the tank they would all get sick at the same time.

The first thing I did was remove the pvc. Which is sad because the tetras really liked it.

I hadn't done anything that would cause a spike. My filter doesn't have media that needs changing. It is an in hood filter that has a combination of gravel and things for the water to travel through. I could add some activated charcoal to it for some chemical filtration.

The larger rocks came with the aquarium. I bought it used. They are all smooth and the same size so I assumed that they were made for an aquarium.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by huenemeca View Post
Well, my guy didn't make it.

It is strange to me that they just die off one by one over time. It seems like if there was something wrong with the tank they would all get sick at the same time.

The first thing I did was remove the pvc. Which is sad because the tetras really liked it.

I hadn't done anything that would cause a spike. My filter doesn't have media that needs changing. It is an in hood filter that has a combination of gravel and things for the water to travel through. I could add some activated charcoal to it for some chemical filtration.

The larger rocks came with the aquarium. I bought it used. They are all smooth and the same size so I assumed that they were made for an aquarium.
I'm so sorry about your fish :(

My opinion is the rocks are still questionable (although they look sort of like slate which is inert for the most part). I say this because I bought some supposedly safe aquarium rocks at petco a couple months ago. Well once they were in the tank, one of them started turning orange in the cracks of the rock - it was rust (aka iron). I took it out. So even some aquarium rocks aren't all that safe. just fyi!

I understand your point about all the fish not getting sick at once. If you have water issues, esp if they are minor issues, the fish won't all necessarily get sick and die at the same time. It just depends - some are stronger and can take more poisons than others.

Im not familiar with that type of filter so I can't comment on that (what brand is it?). Early in my aquarium experience, I had a similar problem. I realized that my filter was not equipped to handle the waste that was generated. This in turn messed with the water and weakened the fish, and one by one they died. (By messed up water I mean bacteria and parasites specifically, not just ammo and nitrites.) I almost gave up, but I didn't, so don't give up yourself!! Generally speaking, I think most folks on the forum advocate for a filter size double the aquarium size in gallons. So for instance I have a 50 gal rated filter on my 20 gal tank, someone else might have a 70 rated filter on their 35 gal tank, etc.

If I were in your shoes, I might try dosing the tank with an antiparasitic medication (in case maybe gill flukes) and/or a broad spectrum antibiotic, HOWEVER YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BIOFILTER so I'm not advocating that you do this. It's just what I would do if it was happening to me. Or if you have a quarantine tank you could take the fish out and dose them then return them to the main tank afterwards. I can understand your frustration with this, I sure hope it gets better from here on out.

Maybe one of the other people on the board will have other ideas, but for now, that's all I got!
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4 tanks, all planted:
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2 - 5 gal tanks

anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, vesuvius, wisteria, red cryptocoryne wendtii
48 Watt T5HO on the 20

many happy guppies
one crabby betta

Last edited by Niki7 : 01-27-2011 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Quote:
If you want you can stick him in the freezer and he will go to sleep and die.
FREEZING IS NOT A HUMANE WAY TO PUT A FISH DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i cannot stress this enough it can take up to an HOUR!!!!! of freezing to kill a fish...and even if it is fast OMFG!!!!! freezing is painfull!!!!!

please please please stop giving this advise
the only recommended humane ways to put down fish are,

A sharp knife-one quick movement down the back of the head to decapitate swifty

Clove oil- take the fish out of the water..put it in a tiny cup with just enough water to fill it.....dump in half as much clove oil as water.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

I don't know how humane this is, but an old fish tank guy told me to do it this way. If I need to put a sick fish down, I fill a bowl with ice cubes and water and wait a couple minutes. Then I put the fish in it. It takes usually no more than 10 seconds for the fish to die. I keep them in there a little longer just in case and make sure there is no gill movement before taking it out.

I have heard of clove oil too. Where do you get that?
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anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, vesuvius, wisteria, red cryptocoryne wendtii
48 Watt T5HO on the 20

many happy guppies
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

i would not sagest the freezing method :(

clove oil can be found in shops that sell scents to make your own soup....or most 'hippie' type stores sell it as well....herbal stores ext.

Petco was actually caught freezing there sick fish..HUGE fines and lawsuits came from it (and many many other reasons)

i use the knife method...and its hard to do to a fish a care about but i know its 100% fast and its over it mere moments...i use a fillet knife i keep in the cabinet just for this.
Not all people can stomach this so clove oil seems to be the best rout.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaosu View Post
FREEZING IS NOT A HUMANE WAY TO PUT A FISH DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It seems to be the most common way I have read about. First time I have read anything against this method.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Put Down a Fish Humanely - wikiHow
Quote:
Warnings

* Do not flush, freeze, suffocate, or microwave the fish. It's just plain cruel. Avoid torturing the fish in any way. The point of euthanasia is to end the animal's life as peacefully as possible.
* There have also been cases in which the clove oil has taken over 10 seconds to cause loss of consciousness in the fish, during which time the fish exhibited erratic and distressed behavior.
* Putting chemicals into the water is like putting gas into your air. It can be a painful, lingering death. Go to a good pet store, and ask them if there's something you can do. Often, there's nothing you can do except let nature take it's course.
How to Put a Fish to Sleep | eHow.com

just take a moment to google.

I still go by the cut method..works for all size fish.....
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

40+ minutes seems pretty drawn out and sad for the fish. I like my method because it is fast, usually mere seconds. I couldn't cut my fish's heads off, although I know that is probably the quickest way.
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2 - 5 gal tanks

anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, vesuvius, wisteria, red cryptocoryne wendtii
48 Watt T5HO on the 20

many happy guppies
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Well another guppy is sick. He is doing the same swim with his tail drooping behind him.

I would like to take him out of the tank and see if he starts feeling better but I don't have another tank. Can a guppy handle cold water?
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

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Originally Posted by huenemeca View Post
Well another guppy is sick. He is doing the same swim with his tail drooping behind him.

I would like to take him out of the tank and see if he starts feeling better but I don't have another tank. Can a guppy handle cold water?
No they can't. Walmart has cheap 5 gal tanks and heaters if you need a quarantine tank.

Did you read my last post? I asked about flashing and your filter situation but I didn't see an answer unless I missed it. More info is always better when you're asking for help.

As I said before if it was me I would dose the entire tank with a broad spectrum antiparasitic and see what happens. Go to the pet store and read the labels. Clout comes to mind as it will take care of gill flukes ich and other stuff.
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4 tanks, all planted:
20 gal tall
10 gal
2 - 5 gal tanks

anubias, java fern, java moss, water sprite, vesuvius, wisteria, red cryptocoryne wendtii
48 Watt T5HO on the 20

many happy guppies
one crabby betta

Last edited by Niki7 : 01-28-2011 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:31 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

Sorry, I think your post got lost in all the "how to kill a fish" stuff. They are not doing any flashing. This guy has a little red spot on his tail. But he is a yellow guppy with red on him. This red spot is new. I guess I will hit the store after work.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

It looks and sounds to me like septicemia - the red in the fins and in the body on the picture you have up. National Fish Pharmacy recommends doxycycline or oxytetracycline for ten days. Good luck.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: guppy problems

So I noticed that the sick fish has a long white strand trailing off the bottom of his body. Coming out of the bum region. Could this be a sign of anything?
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