Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I've got a 120L tank with 30 guppies in it, 10 males and 20 females. I also have 5 small clown loaches, 1 dwarf plec and a 3" bristlenose catfish.

The 20 females are a new addition - 3 weeks now. The tank went through a mini cycle shortly after adding them. Sorted with PWCs.

I've noticed some odd behaviour recently:

1. quite a few of the guppies are flashing, briefly rubbing against the gravel, plants or ornaments with a flick of their bodies. Some have a brief crazy spell where they will dart around appearing to be at random (although they never crash into anything, so it's not random)
2. some of the females have become VERY thin and have lost their distinctive shape - now they are more cylindrical, no bulging chest... There appears to be a light coloured band like a collar behind their heads which looks like the skin has come off, although I may be wrong. These tend to spend most of their time at the bottom looking miserable.
3. some of the males are hanging around the filter or bubble stream.

The tank is fully cycled and is well planted. Readings are ammonia=0, nitrites=0, nitrates=5 ph=8.5. Temperature is 24.5C and there is a small amount of salt - the recommended amount that is printed on the api aquarium salt pack!

I have had 2 casualties, one was a weak (female) specimen, a sort of albino one with a slightly bent spine. I moved her to the hospital tank and she died 12 hours later. The 2nd one I don't know what it was - I just found the loaches playing with the body. There was no skin on it so I couldn't tell which type of guppy it was - all I can tell is that it was quite thin. There was no head or eyes left.

A couple of the females have given birth and there are probably 20 babies hiding in the plants! I thought the babies would succumb immediately to whatever the adults were fighting, but they seem to be fine!

The funny thing is that the loaches all appear to be very energetic and happy, sometimes they shoal and sometimes they will just swim from one end to the other as fast as they can!


Anyone know what's going on?


Thanks

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
At first I was thinking ammonia issue, but you say it reads 0.00. My next guess at this point would be the PH level. If they came from a lower PH set up it may cause a shock to there system. Did you QT them?
 

·
ADV TankSeperationAnxity
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
New Fish Keeper (listen to an expert which is not me)

I have a 10 gallon with guppies and while stocking it I noticed a couple doing the same thing mostly rubbing though. I'm not sure what I did but they have spawned a few times and everyone seems just fine.

I did remove the carbon filter and treate them with maracyn 2 cause other fish I had were showing the same signs. Everyone is alive and kicking just fine.

I would check the PH/GH/KH, and tempreture drastic changes in these can cause fish to stress.

If they have ICK it might be possible to add some aquarium salts and increase the tempreture to cure if that's what they have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: theguppyman

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At first I was thinking ammonia issue, but you say it reads 0.00. My next guess at this point would be the PH level. If they came from a lower PH set up it may cause a shock to there system. Did you QT them?
No, I didn't QT them. They came from a good friend of mine (a fish wholesaler) and he QTs them for 2 weeks before selling them on. His pH is 8 ish, so I doubt that this is a problem.

I had the male guppies from him back in October/November last year so I don't think it's a pH or other problem causing them to have trouble now.



I don't think it's ICK because there doesn't appear to be any white dots on any of the fish. Also, I've heard that baby fish die really quickly if there is ick about - and they haven't!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
Guppies don't usually live very long (<2years). There is often some defective DNA in guppies (too much inbreding) that can produce all kinds of defects. Your tank is approching being overcrowded. New baby guppies will make it overcrowded. Your ph is high. A better ph than 8.5 for guppies and other live bearers is 7.5-8.0. A ph of 8.5 doesn't occure in nature except in certain special environments like salt lakes.
 

·
....has no life....
Joined
·
12,629 Posts
Aside from being over crowded, the loaches shouldn't be in a tank that small. They can get up to 12" and having 5 just makes it that much worse. I love loaches but would never think of putting them in a tank full of Guppies. Their activity level alone could cause stress on them.

It sounds to me like your fish have external and possibly internal parasites. The flashing and darting without the signs of ich is one of the symptoms of external parasites. The fish that are thinning could be internal parasites or they just may be stressed. If you watch them poop at all and there is white stringy stuff coming out, it usually means internal parasites. Petco/Petsmart should have a med called parasite guard from Tetra that will work really well for the external as well as the internal problem if there is one.


How often are your water changes and what % do you change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aside from being over crowded, the loaches shouldn't be in a tank that small. They can get up to 12" and having 5 just makes it that much worse. I love loaches but would never think of putting them in a tank full of Guppies. Their activity level alone could cause stress on them.

It sounds to me like your fish have external and possibly internal parasites. The flashing and darting without the signs of ich is one of the symptoms of external parasites. The fish that are thinning could be internal parasites or they just may be stressed. If you watch them poop at all and there is white stringy stuff coming out, it usually means internal parasites. Petco/Petsmart should have a med called parasite guard from Tetra that will work really well for the external as well as the internal problem if there is one.


How often are your water changes and what % do you change?

I'll get some anti parasite meds tomorrow. Occasionally there is stringy poop.

The loaches are really small, biggest one is only 2.5"... I know I'll need a bigger tank one day... but then I can twist my Wife's arm into getting one :)

I try to stay away from water changes if at all possible, but have been doing 25% every couple of weeks so far. When the tank was doing a mini-cycle, I changed 25% daily.

I regularly check the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels and do a water change if anything is above the lowest colour on the chart. I've never seen ammonia above 0. Nitrites were high when the tank was cycling (before the females were introduced) and then Nitrates went high until I changed the tubes in the lighting.

Lastly, I sniff the water daily. I've got a good nose for bad smells!
 

·
....has no life....
Joined
·
12,629 Posts
Personally, given your stock level and even considering your tank is planted, I'd still be doing at least 25%. Can't take much with that sized tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Personally, given your stock level and even considering your tank is planted, I'd still be doing at least 25%. Can't take much with that sized tank.
At the risk of seeming like a moron, why do I need to change my water if it doesn't smell and the figures are all good?

Thanks
 

·
....has no life....
Joined
·
12,629 Posts
IMO if you weren't stocked like you were, minimal water changes would probably be fine with it being planted. Water quality degrades over time, bottom line. With anyone that goes without water changes, the minute you start having problems the reasons why you didn't do water changes come into question. Your issues could be from introducing so many fish at once, they could be water quality issues, who knows. I just know that if I had as many fish as you have and all in a tank that the population level is really high and maybe even too high, I wouldn't risk not doing water changes when the size of your tank it would take less than 30min a week. The fish are worth more than the 30min I spend to make sure they stay safe. Just my feelings on why I do water changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,858 Posts
How high did ammonia and nitrites get during cycling? Fish that go through a cycle are often weakened and have problems afterward. A bent spine can be caused by disease in fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How high did ammonia and nitrites get during cycling? Fish that go through a cycle are often weakened and have problems afterward. A bent spine can be caused by disease in fish.
Ammonia got up to 0.6mg/L
Nitrites got to 1.6mg/L
Nitrates got to 50mg/L

But this was BEFORE the females (and 3 extra clown loaches) were added, around mid January. I did a couple of daily water changes and things settled down.

The 3 extra clown loaches were added since one of the originals seemed to be getting aggressive - other people had said that in groups of 5 or more they seem to settle down - they certainly seem happier now, not picking on the guppies anymore.


I fed them some crushed raw garlic last night and they have eaten every last scrap. In the hospital tank (where I have 4 guppies, 2 male, 2 female) they ate a small amount. I'll get the meds when I'm at work later today and see what good they do.
 

·
Livebearer Specialist
Joined
·
409 Posts
I have two theorys one would be over population, Or it could be the Ph I always keep my wild guppies In the Ph range of 6.5 over to 7.0 Max never over that.
Let me tell you why, being in the natural guppy rang (Brazil) I've had the chance to visit lots of guppy habitats and in every one the Ph never went over 7.0, of course their were place were their was Ph over 7.0, but their were very little next to no guppies in these places. So even though what you have are Fancy guppies they are still the same animal. so lower your Ph your guppies will love it ! I mean they can survive in that type of water but they aren't thriving. so lower your population and your Ph. I least thats what I think. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for all the comments about how my post is completely wrong
 

·
....has no life....
Joined
·
12,629 Posts
The problem with lowering ph is there is not an economical or safe way to do it. Ph up/down products are very unsafe. Buying neutral RO water or getting a RO system can be cost prohibitive. My tank gets to 7.0 or lower with CO2 for my Guppies. I guess they are thriving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
the problem with lowering ph is there is not an economical or safe way to do it. Ph up/down products are very unsafe. Buying neutral ro water or getting a ro system can be cost prohibitive. My tank gets to 7.0 or lower with co2 for my guppies. I guess they are thriving.
you are incorrect sir. There is in fact an economical way to bring ph to 7

a dash of baking soda for every 5 gallons

been using it for over 10 years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Even if your tank is well cycled, your Nitrate levels will steadily increase regardless. Regular water changes reduce the nitrate in your tank. I highly recommend you look up the "Nitrogen Cycle"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Aside from being over crowded, the loaches shouldn't be in a tank that small. They can get up to 12" and having 5 just makes it that much worse. I love loaches but would never think of putting them in a tank full of Guppies. Their activity level alone could cause stress on them.

It sounds to me like your fish have external and possibly internal parasites. The flashing and darting without the signs of ich is one of the symptoms of external parasites. The fish that are thinning could be internal parasites or they just may be stressed. If you watch them poop at all and there is white stringy stuff coming out, it usually means internal parasites. Petco/Petsmart should have a med called parasite guard from Tetra that will work really well for the external as well as the internal problem if there is one.

Hello I have had the same issue with my fancy tails they don't do it all the time but there are occasional times they do that flickering off the bottom gravel in the tank they are still eating but I wondered what they were doing that for thank you very much for the information I will add some of the parasite medicine and see if it helps thank you.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top