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FAQs on Guppy Diseases 1

FAQs on Guppy Disease: Guppy Disease 2, Guppy Disease 3, Guppy Disease 4, Guppy Disease 5, Guppy Disease 6, Guppy Disease 7, Guppy Disease ,
FAQs on Guppy Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,


Related Articles: Guppies, Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,


Related FAQs: Guppies 1, Guppies 2, Guppy Identification, Guppy Behavior, Guppy Compatibility, Guppy Selection, Guppy Systems, Guppy Feeding, Guppy Reproduction, Livebearers, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies



Girthy Guppy - Pregnant or Problematic? - 11/28/2005 Hello. <Hi.> I read through all of the guppy FAQS but could not find a specific answer to the question I have.  <Alright.> I have a female guppy who has been pregnant for about 8 or 9 weeks (maybe longer) now and has not had any babies yet. Her gravid spot is huge and is a dark brown color.  <There are other possibilities.... it may be that she's not actually pregnant. Some diseases can manifest as a swelling of the abdominal cavity.... Also, a very stressed pregnant female might hold "as long as possible". She is in a 55 gallon tank with 2 other female guppies (one is in the glass breeder have babies right now!!), 6 neon tetras, a goldfish, <Not compatible with warm/er water fish - and will grow large enough to eat the Neons and guppies as snacks.> 2 crayfish, <Can eat fish.> and 6 other almost mature fry (there is also a breeding net in the tank containing about 12 fry). The water is 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.  <Ideally, this is too warm for that Goldie.... and possibly also too warm for the crays; there are many, many species of crayfish over several genera, and some come from cool climates, some from very warm.> The water is also clean. Is she just a bloated fish?  <Could be.> There is another thing that I have noticed with her that I don't know is normal or not. I leave the tank light on all day and turn it off when I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning and turn the light on, her gravid spot is sometimes pink and slowly goes back to the brown color it used to be.  <Not abnormal - but I think it likely that this fish isn't pregnant.> She also eats when I feed her so I am guessing she is not close to giving birth because I have heard that when females are close to giving birth they don't eat. <Mm, some do, but usually, they just kinda hang in one spot and chase other fish away and don't take much interest in food for a day or so prior to giving birth.> Please help me figure out what is going on with my fish. <I would ad Epsom salt to this tank, at a rate of one to two tablespoons per ten gallons; this will help her pass any blockage if she is constipated, and should help reduce any swelling, as well. Might even help her pregnancy, if she is in fact pregnant.> Thank you!  <Sure thing.> Sincerely, A Curious Guppy Owner <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>


FW Fish Losses Adding Up for Doug & William The Fish Watcher, Supreme Ruler of Gupticon 5  11/12/2005 Hi crew, I am pretty frustrated today! I did as I was told, and saw no real change. Lost 3 fish. I saw a decrease in flashing from the survivors, but not much of one. The aggression seems to have eased up a bit, but I suspect it is because the primary aggressor, a large female, was put into the QT tank heavy with fry. In the QT tank before the move were 2 Cory cats, and 2 fancy females.  Since one of the females was not as pregnant as the other 2 occupants I caught her, put her in a new breast milk storage baggie half full of the water she lived in, and floated her in my main tank for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I totally submerged the bag to mix the water and let her swim out on her own. That took about 20 min.s. That was 4 days ago I did the same with the Cory cats.  The day before the move I did a partial water change in the 15 gal tank (4 gallons) and I did another last night. This morning from what I have been able to determine in the FAQ, the newly moved female from the QT tank seems to be suffering from septicemia, as she has red blotches over most of her body. Should I start the non-iodized salt in the water again??? < All that salt does is increase the slime coat on the fish.  <<Actually, it also reduces the physiological "work" for the animal (has to keep balance in regards to osmotic pressure, "osmolarity".  This can work in reverse for marine fishes, though for both FW & SW care must be taken when using differing salinity/specific gravity levels to aid healing), though of course there are some FW fishes that appreciate salt not at all.  It also increases efficacy of many antibiotics.  An interesting read can be found from the University of Florida IFAS extension website (scroll down, just above the article summary).  "Most tropical fish can tolerate a salt concentration of 1-3 g/L, and this level is not harmful to the biological filter."  MH>> < Once they are already infected I would recommend keeping the fish in a hospital tank and treating with Nitrofuranace with doing a 50% water change in between treatments. Salt could be added too but the antibiotic is what you really need.> And does this mean my nitrates are spiking again???? < You really need to get your own test kit until you get your water system stabilized. Nitrates should be below 25 ppm. Even lower for some fish. You tap water may already have nitrates above this level if you live in an area with agricultural run off. Check your tap water. In many areas this information can be obtained from your local water company, but they usually have a range of results and may vary over time. Excess food from over feeding is usually the main cause of excessive nitrogenous waste.> I haven't had a water test because I don't have a kit, and the LFS is following its "free water test with purchase" rule. < I would till get a test kit so you can check the water every time you make a change.>  The Boss has put a freeze on guppy spending as it has breeched by far its original budget! But the last water test showed slightly elevated NITRITES! I know the bacteria that consumes ammonia produces nitrites, and that the bacteria that consumes nitrites create nitrates. I just don't understand how the 2 can fluctuate so! < This can vary from excessive feeding to the addition of dead bodies that are not quickly removed. Check you tap water and then check your tank water and compare the two. Do not feed the tank for three days. Don't worry they will be fine. Check the tank water again. Ammonia and nitrites should be zero and the nitrates should be under 25 ppm. The bacteria are affected by everything you put in the tank, salt, food, fish everything!  Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Add carbon to the filter to remove any residual chemicals and drugs in the water. If the ammonia and nitrites are high then ad Bio-Spira from Marineland to replace the bacteria. If the nitrates are high then vacuum the tank under ornaments and rocks to get the rest of the mulm out of the tank. Reduce the nitrates to acceptable levels toding {doing?} water changes until they get down to acceptable levels. When you feed you fish you only feed them once a day and then only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes. Siphon the left over food out after two minutes. Then you will know how much to feed.> Final question... A separate fish store tells me that the modern guppy is very inbred to maintain desired traits, making them much more delicate than the guppies of the 70's and 80's. < There could be some truth to that but I have never seen any hard data to support this.>  <<Empirical evidence suggests this is also happening with Betta splendens.  MH>> He went on to suggest I try cichlids, as they are much heartier than community fish,  <<<G> Could he have meant "hardier"?>> and that if I change out my gravel and swap it with crushed coral my 15 gal tank should eventually be able to hold 4 small cichlids, and 3 small tiger barbs.  Suggesting that I add the fish in pairs, and stagger the stocking of the tank over 2 mos. Does this sound accurate to you? < Changing over to hardier fish does not solve you aquarium management problem. I would suggest that you learn to keep the fish you have first. Read up on cichlids to see if that is what you really want to keep. If you don't like your fish then you won't care about them.> By the way, I know that the cichlids, and barbs will outgrow this set up, but I have been promised a one for one swap as the fish get bigger.  Thanks again for this great resource! I just hope I can over come my current difficulties so that I will be able to continue to enjoy this increasingly expensive hobby with my new son! Doug & William The Fish Watcher, Supreme Ruler of Gupticon 5  <<I have a friend who visits Legton often, ever been there?>> < If you want cichlid then there are no shortage of species to fill any size tank you have.-Chuck>


Guppy Infection? - 10/27/2005 Hi !! <Hello.> We have a female guppy that gave birth and now she has some transparent (fungus like) thing around the anal fin on both sides of the part that gets dark and bigger when they are pregnant. <Okay....> I tested the water and everything is fine, <Fine is subjective; doesn't give me any information to work off. If ammonia and nitrite are anything but ZERO, or nitrate is more than 20ppm, you'll need to do water changes to correct these.> and I have a 100L tank with just guppies. Is that normal and what is it? <Possibly a bacterial infection.... if good water quality alone does not fix it, I would quarantine this fish and medicate with an antibiotic like Nitrofurazone.> Thanks, -Sweden <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>


Guppy Disease, Cloudy Water - 10/20/2005 Hi there, <Aloha.> I actually have two issues that I hope you can help me with. <We'll sure try.> One, I have a Red Fantail Guppy who just recently started staying at the top of the tank in a corner.  His body seems somewhat deformed, in the underbelly area.   On one side appears some darkness.  I've looked up information on different sites but that began to be overwhelming to read.  I think his eating has lessened also.   <Honestly, there are so many possibilities here that it's difficult to impossible to give you a definitive idea of what the problem is.  I urge you to keep on reading, on WWM and elsewhere....  on guppy genetic malformation, on Mycobacteriosis.... and more.> Second, I have been battling cloudy water for months.  I cut back on food and started using AccuClear which worked at one point but it only stayed clear for maybe a week.  That was after numerous doses of AccuClear.   <I recommend against adding something to remove something....  Water changes and finding/fixing the root of the problem are what you need here.> The pH and ammonia are good.   <Ammonia is zero?  What about nitrite and nitrate?> Could it be my filter?   <Uh, maybe, but I know nothing about your filter, your maintenance, and so forth....> I have a 10 gallon tank.  I also have an algae eater in the tank. I hope you can help.  I'm pretty much a beginner and I'm finding the water situation to be quite frustrating.   <You might take a look at our freshwater maintenance section and explore how you maintain your aquarium, see if you can find the root cause of the problem.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmaintindex.htm .> Thank you in advance.   <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>


Clear Discharge From Pregnant Guppy - 10/20/2005 I have several female guppies with one lucky male in a large 40 gallon tank. One of the females, whom I knew was pregnant and about due suddenly just started having clear, heavier then water, almost oily looking discharge. I am going to assume this was a "miscarriage", so to speak. <I think I agree.> Is there anything that may have caused this, <Well....  it happened, so obviously something caused it....  but what is a mystery, especially with so little information about your system.  Hopefully it was nothing contagious or indicative of health problems.  If she is acting well and healthy, I would not worry at this point.> or that I could have done to prevent? <Not anything off the top of my head - but you may want to add Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the water at a rate of 1 to 2 tablespoons per ten gallons to help her pass anything further that she might need.> Thanks for any help,  -Gail <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>


"New Tank Syndrome", Guppies, Fatalities.... - 10/19/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I had an absolutely crushing experience yesterday.  I could NOT figure out what happened.   <Uh-oh....> I had put my guppies into a 10 gallon tank with heater and filter.  They weren't crowded up and they were doing fine....for about a week.   <Uh, so the tank was just set up a week ago?> Suddenly yesterday I came home and looked in the tank and realized immediately that something was terribly wrong.  The first thing I noticed was that the water was cloudy.  I had checked the tank every day during the previous week and the water was always clear and the fish were swimming normally about.   <Clarity of the water speaks nothing about the quality of the water....  You absolutely must test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate....  Especially during this critical cycling time of the aquarium....> They had light during the day via a window and they had darkness at night and evening.  I fed them with the food from the container I'm feeding the other fish which are still alive and healthy, with the possible exception of some old food left at the bottom of the container, but I did not see any of that upon inspection.  I fed them the evening of night before last, I think, or if that wasn't the last time, it was early yesterday before going to work.  They did not attract my attention to anything unusual at that time.  I checked the pH of the water  after I found them dead, and I found it to be pretty close to normal and possibly a little alkaline, which is what livebearers like.   <pH is not the issue here, but the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite present....  this is what's killing them.> The temperature was not too hot or too cold.  When I found them there was one small one still alive so I immediately put her (him?) in my healthy tank in the side container with two molly fry.  I thought I'd saved at least that one and it seemed to be ok.  About an hour or so later I checked it and it was also dead!   <Too badly burned from ammonia or nitrite to recover, I'm sure.> I inspected the dead fish and found a number of them seemed to have big openings at the stomach area.   <Possibly just coincidence, possibly something else pathogenic - but the root cause here is a toxic environment.> Can you shed any possible light on the possible cause of this???? I would be ever so happy to find out because I'm afraid to put anything else in there and I am, to tell the truth, disillusioned about keeping any fish at all now!! <Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm and also in the Set-Up and Maintenance portions of the Freshwater section of the website.> Thanks for your help.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts if any on the possible cause.  I haven't emptied the tank, thinking that if I need to test the water I'll still have it. <Begin reading, and learning about water quality and how it affects your fish.  You will do fine in time, no worries.> Leslie W. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>


Guppy with Dropsy  10/2/05 Hi, I noticed last week that the body of one of my guppies started swelling and he stopped swimming around as much as usual. Based on what I've read, this appears to be dropsy. <... yes, as a description of symptoms... not an indication of proximate or ultimate cause/s> I've moved him to a hospital tank and have been treating him with KanaPlex. He is swimming around and eating, but the swelling does not appear to be going away (it's not getting worse either). Should I be using salt as well in the hospital tank? <Yes, I would. Epsom> I have read some places where salt helps extract the fluids from the fish that are causing swelling, but have also read that you should not use salt when treating a dropsy. If I should use salt, what kind should I be using? Thanks, Rob <Epsom, magnesium sulfate. You can read on WWM re. Bob Fenner>


Can't Keep Guppies Alive  9/25/05 I have a ten gallon tank with a heater, proper filtering, live plants, and happy healthy platies.  I started my tank about a month ago and tried to start it with guppies but they kept dying. I've done a lot of research on cycling a tank, but they kept dying. I got my water tested at my LFS and they said that it wasn't cycling and so they gave me a handful of gravel from one of their tanks. I left that in my tank for two days with no fish and went to get my water tested again. My LFS said that nitrates were starting to appear and that I should get a couple fish, so I got to male platies because they are a bit hardier than guppies. A week later the boys were doing great and I got my water tested again and they said there was no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates so I got 3 female platies. A week later everyone is happy and healthy so, I decide to try guppies again. Well I just bought two females and 1 male, the male and one of the females died a few hours after they went into the tank. My ph is 7.4, the temp is 80 degrees, ammonia is zero, nitrites and nitrates are zero.  I've never added aquarium salt to the water. Maybe I should give up on guppies, but I would still like to know what's going on. I'm tired of killing my fishies. < Guppies do well in warm hard alkaline water. Many guppies come in from Asia and are prone to break down and die from being over crowded for so long. Get some guppies that the store has had for awhile. Ask how long the store has had them. If they have had them for a couple of weeks then they should be strong enough to make it home. If they are getting guppies in every week then maybe they are replacing the ones that have died. try a different source too.-Chuck>


What is the black dot? Guppy health 8/18/05 Hi <Hi Maria.> I'm 13 years old and just a beginner in guppy care. I had 2 female and 2 male tangerine guppies. (I think that's what kind they are) One of my female guppies died of no apparent reason. I think the one female guppy I have left is pregnant! I was wondering what this black dot was that you told people to look for on the underside of pregnant guppies. What does it look like, where you supposed to look on the underside and where you talking about pregnant guppies? I'm kind of confused. <The "black dot" is really more of a dark patch on both sides of the underside of the female's belly, towards the tail.  The patch is always there in females, but in very pregnant ones this dark spot grows much larger than normal as her belly expands.  Hope this helps!>    Thank You       <Anytime.> Maria <--Glenn>


My guppy Nemo is very sick! 8/2/05 Hello Mr. Fenner, I just found your site. I have only one guppy, Nemo, from a batch I got two years ago. I don't know if he was a baby from one of those, or if he was one of the originals. There were lots of babies at one time. Some lived, some didn't. The other adults died long ago, but Nemo has been with me a long time. About 3 a.m. I fed him and everything was normal, but about two hours later I came into my office to start work and he was swimming upside down, barrel rolling, swimming on his side, acting really strange. <Not good> I thought for sure he was dead, so I took him out of the tank and put him in a bowl with half tank water, half bottled water, and the little oxygen bubble that would keep him alive. I wanted to sit with him until he died so he could hear my voice. He would love hearing my voice because he knew that meant food, and he watches me work at my desk. That was four hours ago. I changed half the water in the tank - it's one of those two-gallon desk jobbies that I really   don't like, but I figured it was okay for one guppy - put a few drops of Zip in it, and put him back in about an hour ago. He's still swimming funny, vertically straight up and down, but he seems like he's really trying to live. I want to help him. I have a pet store five minutes away but they don't open until 10. What should I ask for? <Actually... nothing from there. Either "water quality" is/was an issue here... or your guppy is "old"...> I have no idea what I'm doing. These were my first guppies and I've never had any other fish. His tail is transparent and there looks like a thin red line around his gills. The pet store doesn't test water anymore like they used to. Is there any medicine I can put in the water? <Perhaps "aquarium salt"... but nothing else of use> There has been a lot of algae lately, and I scooped a bunch out about a month ago and put more Zip in. I feel so bad that I might have done something wrong, but he was so healthy for so long and he is trying so hard to live. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help him. Thank you Julie <I would store future change water in gallon drinking water containers for a week before use going forward. Bob Fenner>


Guppies - Red streak on tail fin 7/19/05 Hi, <Hello> Two months ago I purchased two additional blue male guppies, both have settled in well with their colouring deepening nicely.  Today I have noticed one has a couple of red streaks on his tail fin, checking my books to get a diagnosis has failed.  I have checked water quality and this is fine, the tank is a 120 litre tank with 7 Cory's; two clown loaches and 6 cardinal tetras. Can you tell me how to treat these symptoms? <Mmm, I would not panic... add anything at this point... such streaking is likely just resultant from the stress of being moved, and will solve itself. Bob Fenner>


Male guppy's tail 7/6/05 Hi! How are you doing? I'm doing pretty good. It was my birthday on the 30th if June and on my birthday I got 2 glow tetras, 1 neon tetra, a dwarf frog, and a male guppy. Before I had 2 male and 2 female guppies. I have 14 fry by the way. <At McDonald's? Fry is both singular and plural> And well 1 male and 1 female guppies died before. I cleaned the tank before they died so I think I cleaned the tank too clean. And then a few days later my remaining male guppy also died. He hadn't been eating. So I had only 1 female guppy left. But on my birthday I got some more fish and I really hope they don't die. Anyway, the new male that I got on my birthday always follows my female guppy around but what I want to know is why does he keep is tail not "stretched out" like normal guppies would? <Some don't> I think I read one about a male guppy who did that so I tried to find the site but I couldn't. So I was wondering if you could tell me where I should look or I wouldn't mind if you answered it in this either. <If it's just the tail... I wouldn't be concerned> Oh, and he (Odie the 2nd) doesn't eat much either. Actually, he practically never eats. Also the frog doesn't eat much either. <... what are you feeding these animals? Something meaty I hope> And is there a way of telling the difference between a female and a male with the neon and glow tetras? I hope there is. Thanks! Eunhae <There is... posted on the Net. Bob Fenner>


Guppy Missing Fins 7/4/05 Dear Sir, I am incredibly new to aquariums, but got talked into it by a 4 year old last November. We bought a complete warm-water aquarium from our local dealers, and nothing strange happened until we went away for Easter. We had a neighbour check in on the fish and she fed them once a day. We cleaned the tank before we went away. When we came back, the tank was very green, the plants looked unhappy and the fish didn't look too chuffed. We cleaned the tank instantly. We had set a timer to turn the light on and off, but apparently it didn't work. Then again, nothing happened for a quite a while, and the gunging up may be completely irrelevant. However, recently the male guppy (we bought 1 male and 5 females) started to look a bit weedy next to his females who regularly reproduce, and his tail started to lose bits. First we thought the other fish were bullying him, but once it got really noticeable we looked it up in a book. The book said it may be tailrot and the conditions weren't right. Therefore we changed the water again and are now doing so on a weekly basis, and still keeping an eye on the bloke. His tail is still getting smaller, but I thought he'd get better until we found another dead fish at lunchtime (tail and fins missing, but that could be decomposition). What do we do? Thanks Sarah < If it is tail rot, then you will need to medicate for stubborn cases. Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero and the nitrates should be under 25 ppm. Guppies like a little salt in their water so add a teaspoon of rock salt per every 10 gallons. Treat the tank with Furanace as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>


Dead guppies 6/29/05 Hi. I woke up this morning to find 2 of my guppies dead lying side by side (on their side) in the aquarium. It was 1 female and 1 male. I have 1 more female and male. I took out the dead guppies. I cleaned the aquarium the day before the guppies died. <Yikes. Maybe too well> The other guppies are acting funny. They won't leave each other's side and the male won't eat any food. None of the alive fish came up to eat so I pushed the flake down. The female will eat some. The male will follow the food then touch it, then just spit it back out. Sometimes he just stares at the food falling and not do anything. I have no clue what the matter is. Do you think something's wrong with the water? <Maybe> Why aren't they eating? <Likely your system is not "cycled", lost its biological filtration capacity. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above> It worries me. The ones that died were quite healthy before they died. Actually they were the ones who never acted weird or look like it was sick. I just hope the guppies that are alive won't die too. Please answer back soon. Eunhae <Bob Fenner>


Guppies Dropping Like Flies Hey there! I've read through nearly all the FAQs on guppies dying, breeding, etc. and kudos for the information! There were a few desperate/death situations that I found similar to mine but not one which is quite the same. I've always wanted pets and when I began with a tank of 6 guppies (3 males and 3 females) 2 weeks ago, I was more than delighted! I doted on them like they were my little babies. However, by now, only 1 of those guppies survived. Even she (yes, I can tell its a female) seems a little odd now. Her colour is no longer as bright and the end of her tail, her tail is actually beginning to turn transparent. What's wrong with her? Oh, by the way, my tank is not huge and I'm not sure how many gallons it is but it does have a proper filter. And I feed them with high-quality guppy flakes. I believe the 2 females gave birth before they died. We had 27 fries. (3 of them were is this beautiful distinctive orange). I separated the fry and they were eating and swimming fine at first, then within 2 days, they all turned transparent and white and died at the bottom. What happened to them? Along the span of 2 weeks, as the adults kept dying, we bought more and more. And most of them seem to just die. Without any symptoms of disease. They look pretty normal and act active. But a few hours later, I find them motionless on the bottom. Is there an explanation for this? How can I prevent this from happening? One of them had split tails. The tail was completely transparent and it was so badly split he couldn't swim. Is this what you call a fin/tail rot? And you cure it by quarantining him in clean water and salt? There are only a few more guppies left in my tank now. The only male no longer chases the females around. The colour on his tail is not as bright. Same goes for the females. The females' tails are even turning transparent + the colour is fading. My area does not provide me with proper pet stores and definitely not supply those various cure you suggested involving all sorts of chemicals, but I'm really sick of having to burry my guppies. <Your guppies died of ammonia poisoning. A new tank will take about a month to "cycle" and become fish safe. Leave your fish in the tank and start dong water changes. No chemicals except dechlorinator. 50% at a time. Two today, a few hours apart, and daily after that. Read here on establishing bio filtration: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm Don>


Guppy Issues Good afternoon, <And to you> I thought I found a case similar to mine on your site, but unfortunately, the response wasn't detailed enough for me to be sure. The spec.s: I currently have four guppies (two males, two females) in a 20 gallon tank with a few live plants, about five baby zebra snails (the largest about 75 mm snout to tail, the others smaller than the gravel stones), a piece of driftwood from my local fish store.  Temp was at about 25C, and as of last Wednesday, water parameters were all excellent (pH was about 7.5, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates where they should be).  I currently feed them staple flakes, freeze-dried bloodworms, and some vegetable-based flakes (recommended by my LFS) The problem: This morning, one of my girls (affectionately known as Nodoka) had a slightly discoloured patch on her left flank, just behind her belly.  It is kind of grayish around the edges, and gets faintly red towards the centre.  It is quite large, but seems to be underneath her scales.   <Good description> I have been having some bad luck with regards to guppy fatalities (for various reasons, mostly related to human error, o.0;;), but this is the first time I have seen this kind of discolouration.  The other three seem fine.  All of them are eating well, and otherwise in good colour. I hope this is enough info for you.  If I've left anything out, please let me know. <Might be a coloration issue only, but possibly infectious disease... like Columnaris... only time, microscopic investigation, perhaps culture can tell. Bob Fenner>


Guppies Dying During "Child" Birth Hi there, I have had a look but couldn't see anything which answered the question.  I've got a 160l community tank, of which some of the populace are mixed male and female guppies.  Guppies being guppies we are getting quite a lot of fry being pumped out.  However, we have found that without fail, every single guppy that has given birth has died at or just after giving birth.  Now we are getting really worried because Sprat, the first fry to make it to adulthood is pregnant and we don't want her to go the same way as her mum and her aunts. Any advice you could offer?  We don't use any feeding nets or anything like that, we've just got a load of plastic plants and we let nature take it's course. Thanks, Andy. <Two things to try. First make sure you are feeding a mix of high quality foods. It takes a lot of energy to make babies. Also be sure she is not being picked on by the other fish. She will be weakened after giving birth and unable to defend herself or flee. Male guppies are very aggressive breeders, especially towards females that have just given birth. Don>  


Injured guppy Hi I have a 65L tank with 10 guppies (all male) and 1 Bristlenose catfish in it.  I was recently doing a water change when one of the guppies found itself sucked into the end of my syphon hose.  I managed to cut the flow before it got too far into the tube but it has still caused some damage to the fish.  His right flipper has been damaged but he does still move it and also there is some damage around his upper lip, though it does look like he is still able to open and close his mouth. I would like to know about what the best procedure would be for treating this fish.  Also after this all the other fish in the tank look 'spooked' and remain quite still in the water and are hiding in plants.   Tried to take a photo of it.. Its not very good because he didn't want to come to the front of the tank and pose. Thanks Matt <I would administer "aquarium salt" as per here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm and maintain excellent water quality. No "medicines" are needed or likely useful here. Bob Fenner>


Guppy problems First, thank you VERY much for taking the time to review this.  I looked online all night and was nothing but confused by the end of it.  I'm a new guppy owner and am very inexperienced.  I have a 20 gallon tank with about 25 guppies, 1 apple snail, 1 Chinese algae eater, <Keep your eye on this last fish... can become predaceous> 6 neon tetras.
<Live in different environment... warmer, softer, acidic water...>

  I started the tank and added the bulk of the guppies and tetras about 2 weeks ago.  I haven't tested the pH, but I did use a stabilizer when starting up the tank.  I now know that I probably should have waited longer for my tank to set up.  Three days ago, my neighbors gave me a few more guppies, an algae eater and a snail.  Everyone was fine until the day before yesterday.  I noticed on Monday night that a group of girls were hanging out at the top of the tank - bunched up together and not moving much.  I initially thought that maybe they were pregnant - I have no idea how to tell if they're pregnant. <Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyreprofaqs.htm> Yesterday, I noticed the same group of girls hanging out at the bottom of the tank.  I also saw that there were new fry in the tank and thought maybe that had been the reason for their odd behavior.  However, I then noticed one female guppy swimming on her side (looking drunk), and another female, pretty skinny, swimming around with her tail fin closed and her skin very pale.  This morning, it looked like there were a few more females joining the group at the bottom of the tank - none with the symptom of the other two, but they move very little.  I know I must not be doing something right, but I'm nervous to make any drastic moves without sound, specific advice, afraid that I might make matters worse.  I also have about 6 tsp of salt in the tank.  Please let me know what I should do. Thank you! Liz <At this point, read. Re freshwater set-ups, stocking, but particularly establishing nutrient cycling: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm You likely want to invest in some water quality test gear. Bob Fenner>


My Female Guppy needs serious help! Hi! My name is Eunhae (oon-hay) and I have 2 male guppies and 2 female guppies (I think they are Mosaic). I also have 10 fry. 1 of them got squished somehow between the rocks at the bottom of the aquarium and died. It was quite sad. I have a 5 gal tank that I keep the adults in and a 1.66 gal tank that I keep the fry in. Well anyhow, 1 of my female guppy (Molly) is acting quite strange lately. Her eyes are mostly all black (so it doesn't have a white ring around her eye). <Happens... Genetic> She gave birth to the fry about a 1 1/2 week ago. She stays at the bottom of the tank and if she does move, she swims with her belly up. She keeps going around and around continually if she starts. It makes me quite dizzy just watching her. My other 3 guppies used to hang around with her but now they stay far away from her. And even once, Molly, tried to attack one of the male guppies (James). Is she going crazy? <Mmmm, no> It definitely seems like it. Molly also doesn't eat much anymore. She stopped eating about 5 days ago. And sometimes she just floats around the tank then suddenly rushes to the bottom. Do you think something's wrong with the water? <Maybe, but doubtful if your other guppies are not affected> And isn't the male guppy suppose to be aggressive to the female instead of the opposite? <Generally, yes> I have so many questions. I just discovered your website and as I was browsing I found out that I can ask you questions. Please write back as soon as possible. I really don't want Molly to die. She used to be one of my favorites when I got the guppies. Thanks! Eunhae   <The one fish is likely defective, but not otherwise diseased. Do keep your eye on it and remove should it perish. Bob Fenner> 

A Guppy named Molly Hi! This is Eunhae. I wrote to you before about my female guppy, Molly, that was acting really crazy. Well, the interesting thing is I thought that she would definitely die for sure, but after a day or more she started eating again and now she's healthy. She eats like the other fish and she doesn't just float around anymore. She swims properly and stuff. Now one of her fry that's in the other tank (separate from the adults) has a weird body shape. It acts fine and eats okay too though. It's lower body part (the part where it starts to be clear to the tail) is pointing upward. So his/her body looks like an angle at a 165 degrees. It's really funny looking. Do you think it's something that will keep happening if the fish is a she and she lays babies? I hope not. Well, thanks! Eunhae <Glad your fish is better. The fry problem may be genetic in nature. If so you should not breed her. Always breed healthy stock only. Most breeders would cull this fry. No one wants generations of deformed fish. Don>


Urgent question about my 2 female and male guppies Hi there, <Hellooooo!> Good day to you. I really need your help. <Hope I can> I have two pet guppies, one male and one female. The female has given birth about 6 times since last November, but for the last 3 times when I awaited the birth of her fry, nothing came out, instead the water gradually turned very cloudy, with a foul-smelling thick white fluid that made the whole bowl <A bowl? I do hope it is filtered, aerated...> stink and almost opaque. But there's been no sign of any fry. Almost overnight, clean water turns absolutely white, filthy and very smelly. What's happening? The female (her name's Daffy) looks noticeably thinner every time after the water turns putrid. Then she starts getting fatter and fatter again and the same thing happens after another 3 weeks. <...> Another thing is the male's tail looks quite raggedy and like it's getting smaller. There's no sign of remnants of tail on the fish bowl floor though. He had a small case of fin rot, but jumped out of his bowl when I quarantined him, and was almost dead when I found him quite a long way from the bowl. He's been fine since (I add aquarium salt to the water) except for his tail. What could be happening? Please help me. Best wishes, Rosie. <Thank you for writing. I think we should start nearer the beginning here... Have you read the materials archived on our site re Guppies? Please do: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Scroll down... particularly the FAQs files on Systems... Bob Fenner> 

Re: Urgent question about my 2 female and male guppies Hello Bob, <Rosie> First off, thanks for writing, really appreciate your time, hope you can reply me again, to this? <Yes> I've read the FAQ on guppy systems and so on. I started off with a small bowl that the fish shop said would be okay for 2 guppies, but as time passed, the guppies grew and I bought a much bigger bowl. I buy oxygen crystal balls, which I change every 7 days to ensure fresh oxygen though the guy at the same shop said the balls should last 6 months. Apart from that, there's no substrate. <... this is not a good system for guppies> I wanted to add some fish toy or something for them to play with but the guy at the shop said no need. Do you think they'll be dead bored? The female always excitedly greets me every time I approach the bowl.  <Not bored> Anyway, the oxygen balls are in the bowl, and I add some aquarium salt. The surface area is large and the guppies seem happy, I am just very worried about the female who's gives off a smelly thick white fluid discharge every 3 weeks with no sign of fry even though she gets fatter and fatter leading up to that time, like in 3-week cycles. The male's tail is smaller now, and he refuses to eat, I am so worried. I keep them company whenever I can.  Hope to hear from you soon. Best wishes Rosie. <Please read where you were referred. Your fish's health is impaired due to poor and vacillating water quality... If you want to keep them in bowls, you will need to add at least undergravel (and gravel) filtration, or an air-driven sponge filter... Bob Fenner>


Guppy dying? help ASAP please :( Hi. I have about 100 guppies in various tanks, < 20 gallons etc.. They are all from the same 2 guppies we got some time back, and accidentally started breeding them. Anyway, All the guppies seem happy and healthy, but recently, about 2 days ago, one of the newer guppies < maybe 3 months old, maybe 4 or so > , started swimming very odd in vertical circles. I thought maybe he was missing a fin or something, and later that day checked on him and he way floating on the top of the tank. I have 40 guppies in this tank, all from the same litter and the rest are perfect. I tapped the tank lightly, thinking he was dead, but he started swimming around all weird again. I took a fish bowl and made him up a type of hospital aquarium in it, with just water and aqua <right start> type stuff. I tried Epsom salts as I recently found on here because pet stores just keep telling me he's dying. He is still alive, but mostly lays at the top of the waterline lifeless. Please help me diagnose his problem if you can, suggest some sort of medication, or tell me how to ease his pain if he is dying. Thanks in advance, Claudia <It sounds/reads as if this one animal is genetically defective... I would just keep your eye on it in hopes that it will spontaneously cure. Bob Fenner>

Re: Guppy dying? help ASAP please :( He isn't eating and he wasn't always like this... Does it sound as if it can be something related to a disease of some sort? <Yes my friend... genetic, developmental disease. Not treatable. Bob Fenner>

Re: Guppy dying? Help ASAP please  Hmmm...Ok then last question. Should I put him back in the tank with the other fish his size? Or should I leave him in quarantine for the rest of his life? <I would leave this fish in a separate system until it is obvious it can compete for food> Will a genetic disease cause him to die faster or the same as the others? <Possibly> I have a deformed guppy, his body is kinda twisted, but he eats and swims the same as everyone else and is about a year now. Thanks for your time <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 


Infected Guppy I bought four male guppies four days ago, three seem fine but one seemed poorly the next day. He looked like he had very ragged scales on the front of his body. <Sounds like he may have been roughed up a bit by some other fish or developed some sort of infection from transport.> Tonight however, he is moving from side to side and the part where the scales looked ragged now, seems red. <Aha! Definitely sounds bacterial in nature. Try a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Melafix.> He seems to be eating so I assumed it was stress which would clear as I use Stress Coat in my tank a lot. I've done a partial water change and added some more Stress Coat. <Editor's note: the only purpose of Stress Coat is to help replace lost mucus coating/slime coating of fishes.  It is not a "stress reliever".  PLEASE read labels!> <The water change was a good course of action. I don't see Stress Coat being of any use to healing his infection, though. Personally, I try to minimize adding chemicals to my tanks unless absolutely necessary.> The levels in my tank are all fine. <That could mean anything. Saying that the "levels are all fine" does not aid in pinpointing the problem, which often lies in the water quality. Please, next time you ask a question, give us the numbers. :-) > Do you think he will die? <I can't say for sure. I think that with regular partial water changes and the addition of a broad-spectrum antibiotic he has a chance, especially if it is caught early.> Is it contagious to my other fish!!!!!! <It may very well be contagious, as it is probably a bacterial infection. Keep your water quality up with water changes and medicate, and you should be met with success. Good luck, Mike G> 


Emergency! Need help on guppies Dear Craig, <<Hi Ann,>> I wish I could return the fish but I can't because there is a no return policy at this guppy hatchery. I've gotten the help of a friend and she was able to set my Ph, ammonia, and nitrite at the right setting. The fish seems to be ok because it is actively swimming. <<Did the guppy hatchery tell you what you have? The first thing I would do if I were you would be to invest in a good book so you can find out everything you need to know to keep your guppies. You have enrolled in a crash course and there is more to learn than can be explained by e-mail. There is a ton of information on the Wet Web Media site if you find the name of your fish and type that into the search engine at the bottom of the page. I can tell you will need a filter and likely a heater depending on your location, you should get some test kits and monitor your water quality and perform water changes to keep waste from becoming toxic until the filter matures, several weeks.>>  Is there anything else I should do or look out for? My friend said the plant will help with the oxygen. Is that right?  <<Without a filter and water changes the fish and the plant will die from wastes. The plant may also need light.>> And what should I feed my guppy? I have no idea. Can you give me a brand name.  <<Not really. Any of the commercial flake foods will work.>> I have not fed my guppy yet since their arrival. Can you also tell which brand of water conditioner that is good for guppies. <<This is dependent on your water. You need to get a good book, some test kits, a filter, perhaps a heater, and fish food, in that order. Read the book before you buy the other stuff. TFH sells some decent short books on all kinds of tropical fish. Better get going, there is much to learn! That's half the fun!>> thanks so much Craig <<You're so welcome Ann! Craig>>

Re: Emergency! Need help on guppies Hi Craig, <Hi Ann> Thanks again for your kind help. I appreciate it very much. I have a question about what my friend recommended. My friend recommended that I add a tablespoon of rock salt and Furazone Green for a new fish in a new tank is she right? I am not familiar with Furazone Green is that an antibiotic? I asked the person from where I bought the fish from and he said that he does treat them with Furazone Green and salt. And by the way, he said that my guppy is a Japanese Blue Grass Long Fin Guppy. Will the Furazone Green be ok for this kind of guppy? Thanks again! Ann <Your friend sounds like she has some experience with livebearing guppies. This is a common name for your guppies, you need a family/species to look up information. If you bought these from a commercial guppy breeder than I would follow their advice, (IE: Furazone) as they likely know the condition of their stock. Use aquarium salt. The Nitrofurazone is commonly used when transferring these little guys to prevent disease. Follow the label for both. Some bunch plants will help your water quality which during this break-in time will be very important. Please go to WetWebMedia.com and type in "Guppies" in the Google search engine, it will show you all the articles on guppies. They *can* survive without a heater depending on how warm your house is, but I do recommend a small heater to provide a consistent temp. A live-bearing guppy book would be a great addition as well. They breed fairly quickly so don't be surprised..... Have fun! Craig> 

Emergency! Need help on guppies Dear wet Web Media Crew, <<Hi Ann, sorry you fell for this. This is clearly the fault of the store you bought these fish at.>> I did a stupid thing. I bought some expensive show quality guppies without even having a tank set up. So I hurried to the pet store to buy a 3 1/2 gallon tank and cleaned it with rock salt and hot water. Then I added tap water to the tank. Next I added 1 tablespoon of rock salt. Should I have done that? Then I added which I believe is a water conditioner called Ph 7.0 Seachem Neutral Regulator. There was a measuring spoon inside this bottle and I added 3 spoons of it. Next I tested the ph of the water and it came back blue which read at a ph of 7.6. I thought that was bad for the guppy so I added about 4 more spoonfuls and it was still the same result --blue. What should I do? Do you think the rock salt is causing the ph to be so high? I am seriously considering buying water at a pet store where I can buy reverse osmosis water for my fish ...is that ok for my guppy? My guppy has been in its original bag for one whole day already and I am getting afraid it might not have enough oxygen. I have asked two pet store owners whether I need a heater and filter and they said "no." They said as long as my room is constantly hot and that I have a plant for oxygen that it should be ok and that I change the water weekly too. Is this advice correct? My brother in-law bought the same fish and is in the same situation is I am. I notice his fish like staying in the bottom is that normal? Please help me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much! Ann <<Okay, I'll give you my best advice. Return the fish ASAP so they will survive. They are surely extremely stressed right now. Then get a good book on the fish you want to keep, properly set-up the tank and run it for two to three weeks with perhaps one inexpensive fish until it completes the nitrogen cycle, then perhaps entertain the idea of adding a couple small fish. I could give you all kinds of things to do to save the fish you have right now but honestly it would be like giving you a wolf cub and a bag of dog food and turning you loose. It won't end well and you will get discouraged and quit altogether. Instead, return the fish and get the information and equipment you need to be fully prepared for keeping fish. (not at this pet store) This is a very common problem, please don't feel alone!!! DO find a reputable fish store to help you. You will know it right away because they won't sell you fish before you have a cycled tank and they won't sell you a tank and fish at the same time. I'm truly sorry for your bad experience, I hope this helps you get started the right way. Craig>>

Emergency! Need help on guppies Dear wet Web Media Crew, I did a stupid thing. I bought some expensive show quality guppies without even having a tank set up.<I am a victim to the impulse buy as well.> So I hurried to the pet store to buy a 3 1/2 gallon tank and cleaned it with rock salt and hot water. Then I added tap water to the tank. Next I added 1 tablespoon of rock salt. Should I have done that?<That is fine> Then I added which I believe is a water conditioner called Ph 7.0 Seachem Neutral Regulator.<I am fairly certain this will remove chloramines, but read the label just to be sure.> There was a measuring spoon inside this bottle and I added 3 spoons of it. Next I tested the ph of the water and it came back blue which read at a ph of 7.6. I thought that was bad for the guppy so I added about 4 more spoonfuls and it was still the same result --blue. What should I do?<I would take a sample of the water to the pet store and have them test it to make sure your test is reading correctly.> Do you think the rock salt is causing the ph to be so high?<Nope, check the ph of your tap water, it is probably the same.> I am seriously considering buying water at a pet store where I can buy reverse osmosis water for my fish ...is that ok for my guppy?<That is fine, but tap water should work as well.> My guppy has been in its original bag for one whole day already and I am getting afraid it might not have enough oxygen.<If they packed the fish in O2 they should be ok, but you are cutting it kind of close, there is probably a lot of waste building up in the bag water.> I have asked two pet store owners whether I need a heater and filter and they said "no." They said as long as my room is constantly hot and that I have a plant for oxygen that it should be ok and that I change the water weekly too. Is this advice correct? <I would add a heater just in case the room temperature drops, temperature swings are no good. What kind of filter do you have on this tank? I would not rely on a plant to aerate the water. Weekly partial water changes are good. My brother in-law bought the same fish and is in the same situation is I am. I notice his fish like staying in the bottom is that normal? <They should become more active as they adjust to their new environment.> Please help me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much! Ann <I would float the fish in your tank so that the temp in the bag is the same as the temp in the tank, then open the bag up and add some tank water to the bag. Wait a few minutes then add some more tank water. By this time they should be ready to go. You do not want to add the water from the bag into your tank. You can pour the fish through a net, or carefully pour the water into a separate container, then transfer the fish. Please visit the link below for more information. Best Regards, Gage. http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwtips4beginners.htm>


Freshwater skin problem Hello a fish health question I hope you can help me with. <We'll give it a shot!> I have a female guppy, she has a red line on her side following the line of her scales about 5mm long surrounded by  skin that is turning white. She is kept in a community tank with good water conditions, the other fish do not show aggression towards her, could you please enlighten me on what it is. Also it has only showed up in the last day or so and she does scratch herself on occasion. <Hmm, could be ick (indicated by scratching) or it could be a fungus/bacteria depending on what it looks like. Small dots or lots of them is likely ick and patches are usually fungus/bacteria. When you determine this then go to the freshwater section of WetWebMedia.com for treatments.  Hope this helps you out! Craig>


Fish swimming vertical I have a 30 gallon freshwater aquarium and one of my rainbow guppies is swimming vertical.  He hangs at the top of the water line and was swimming at an angle, now he is more vertical.  This happened just in the last few days.  Is there anything I can do to help him? Thanks, Stephanie <Unfortunately, this sounds like a swim bladder problem. There is no definite cure for this. Some people have had success with Epsom salts though, Go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com and use the Google search box to search for Epsom Salts to find the correct procedure. Ronni>


My guppies are dying Hi, <Hello> I bought guppies about three weeks ago 4 females and 2 males.  I bought a starter kit aquarium and did all the necessary testing.  About a week later one of my guppies got red spots all over her and died...then another one (the same thing) then another one...now I only have three females left...and one of them just started developing the same spots. One of the mothers just had a bunch of babies so I separated them in a fry net.  What am I doing wrong?  Will the babies die?  Help! Carolyne Chaput <If your water quality is normal (Ammonia/Nitrites 0ppm) it sounds as if there's a parasite problem. Place the affected fish in a quarantine tank and treat them with a medication for parasites. Your LFS should stock something. If possible, separate the babies into an entirely different tank from the adults to reduce the risk of them getting it. Ronni>


Tailless Guppies Hello, <Greetings! Ronni here trying to answer messages in between the chattering of my teeth, its COLD!> I recently purchased 3 male guppies and some females to match, I have managed to lose all the males, but the females appear to be very well, I felt that they either had fin and tail rot, or had been fighting, the last time, that I had the fin and tail rot, all the fish suffered from this, but this time just the males, if that is what it was.  Is this possible?  I have treated the tank, but I want to replace the males.  Do you have any suggestions?   <Are the guppies the only fish in this tank? Its uncommon for guppies to inflict much damage on each other, especially to the point of dying. It may have been fin rot so keep an eye on your females. Go ahead and get some more males but be sure to quarantine them for several weeks before adding them to your tank. In this case the QT period will serve a dual purpose by allowing you to make sure the females and the new additions are fine without risking them infecting each other with something.> I also have a pair of swordtails, and I believe that she is pregnant, if I just leave her in her tank, how my days will she give birth?  This is the first time, that I have had babies from anything other than guppies, so I don't know much about them.  They are just in a community tank with some other non-aggressive fish. <It should take about 34 days from the time of breeding for the first batch of fry to arrive and the female can have babies several times from a single breeding. Raising the fry is like raising the fry from Guppies. The Swordtails will eat the babies so be sure to have plenty of cover for them and feed them a powdered food.> Thanks, Becky <You're welcome! Ronni>

Re: Tailless Guppies Thanks Ronni, I know that feeling about the cold temperatures outside, as it is pretty cold here. <Its warmed up a little here today. At least its warm enough to snow, its dumping on us. Sure is pretty though!> Your letter was a big help, especially with the swordtails, as I have never raised fry from them before.   <Glad I was able to help!> I visited the pet store that I purchased the original guppies from, last night, and discovered that the males indeed had the tail and fin rot, as there were others in the tank, that also had it!  The females look great, and I have since treated the tank, I found some healthy guppies, and I hope that all goes well. <I'm glad you were able to find out the cause of it and were able to find some healthy males. Good luck!> Keep warm, and Thanks again, Becky <You too! Ronni>


Guppies We inherited a fish 30 gallon tank with tetras. My husband went out and bought two guppies male and female. The male is acting very jittery the past few days. He has been just fine. His color also seems to be getting much darker. Is this normal for male guppies or should I be concerned. Thank you <Without more info I cant say for sure but it doesn't really sound like something to be too worried about. He may just be adapting to the different tank or any number of other things. Keep an eye on him for symptoms of disease (white spots, rapid breathing, etc.) but don't worry too much. Ronni>


Guppies dying We have a 120 gal. tank with guppies, Neons, catfish, platies, rainbow or red tailed sharks, and algae eaters. In the last 5 days 6 of our guppies have died. All of the other fish are doing fine. We had a female die giving birth 5 days ago, only 4 made it. Ever since then guppies have been dying everyday. Why are the guppies dying and not the others and what could the problem be? <It could be any number of things. The first thing to do is check your water quality. I'm assuming the dying guppies are showing no signs of disease? Sometimes this will happen for no explainable reason. I have noticed with my own Guppies that every once in a while they will go thru a period that I will lose several in a row even though everything is fine. Ill go thru a week or so period losing a bunch and then it will stop and I wont lose any for months. I still haven't been able to figure out why this happens. Sorry I couldn't give you more info! Ronni>

Re: New Tank Problems and General It seems my Ph was off. I have bad eyes. It took me a few hours but I got it neutral finally, and I plan on doing a 20% water change soon. My store is giving me a refund on my 2 guppies (14 day guarantees are so cool). Ill keep you posted :) -Ray in Texas <Glad you were able to pinpoint the problem and that your store is working with you. Good luck! Ronni>


Guppy Problems <Hi! Ryan with you> I have two problems with my guppy. <Shoot> A very thin threadlike item is sticking out of the anus of my guppy.  When I saw this I put it in a "sick" tank and got parasite/dog dewormer stuff...and nothing happens. <Don't be so quick to diagnose...make sure you know what's wrong before you medicate.> What is even stranger is the feces of the fish.  The feces problem scared me because it looks like intestinal wall hanging from its anus with feces inside...but it comes out bulgy and twisted and is very thick and hangs on the fish for a long time.  The anus also protrudes.  Then the feces eventually falls off but I still see a very thin red short "string" hanging out of its anus. <Eek. Could be a protozoan.  Flagyl is a possible antiprotozoal, but I don't know if I would mix this with what's already in your sick tank. What kind of filter are you running in your QT?> I have looked online for answers but have not found one.  I thought it might be round worms, Camallanus, threadworms, hookworms, etc.  It has not swollen up and is still eating and swimming around.  I do not want to put it back into my main tank because I don't see anything wrong with the other fish and don't want to infect them.  <Good idea, also no need to stress this fish anymore. Patience, and control!> I am just concerned with the feces.  It looks like it is encased in intestine, but it eventually comes off with the casing. < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm> Please help...I don't know what more to do. <Keep up the water quality, and give it time.  Get that old medication out of your tank, and treat accordingly.  If you have a good LFS, bring a sample of the feces to them for a second opinion.  Good luck! Ryan> Thank you.   
<<Maybe Lernaea, Anchor "worm"; actually a crustacean parasite of fishes. RMF>>

Guppy Problems Thank you for your response.  <No problem> After I emailed you, I went straight to my LFS and told them the sordid tale of my guppies poop.  "It's coming out of its a$$?!!!!"  I said yup.  He gave me a bag of mystery food to feed to my guppy.  What do you know...no red thing sticking out. <Great!> And its feces is much improved.  I did completely empty the tank out and rinsed in of all of the old medication. <Good procedure> Then I fed it the mystery concoction and it is gone.  I am going to leave it in the sick tank for a few more days before it gets reacquainted with its buddies. <May want to make it a week minimum> I was amazed that after everything I had put my guppy through, it survived and looks much happier. <Nature works in funny ways!  That's part of the beauty> Thanks for your help. <anytime! Ryan> -Ruth


Sick female guppy >I have a female guppy - she is what would be considered a feeder guppy - that is ill with something that I can't figure out.  She has a good appetite, looks fine, but she has some sort of spasms. She twitches constantly, even when she swims.  I recently lost another female that was having these same symptoms.   I have been unable to determine the cause of her problem and no one has been able to help me. This female and the one that died had about 25 babies between them.  I have only been keeping fish for about a year and did not realize how prolific guppies were.   >>LOL!  Yes, guppies and some other livebearers, indeed.  Worse than the rabbits, they are. >At one time I had several nursery tanks.  Now I have gotten all the males and females separated.  I really have become quite attached to my mama guppy, so if you could please help me I would be grateful.  Her only symptoms are the spasms.  Sometimes I see a little clear, stringy feces but it looks normal most of the time.  She has no spots or other visible symptoms.  She does hang near the surface in one corner or the other and can stay there for hours except when I feed her, but she is constantly twitching.  My pH, ammonia and nitrite levels are all O.K.  I do a 25% water change every day and have added aquarium salt.  I have tried molly bright, clout and parasite clear with no results.  I hope you can help me figure out what is going on.  It feels terrible to watch her this way and nothing helps. >>Of course it does.  Now I'm a bit perplexed, because between the odd poops and the twitching, I'm really thinking parasitic infection.  The aquarium salt is almost always a help, especially when using antibiotics.  The Clout, let me tell you, is some powerful stuff, too.  I think I recollect there being some warning to not handle the stuff if you're pregnant, too.  I would continue to use an antiparasitic medication, and I don't think it's necessary to do these water changes daily, every two or three days is plenty enough, and it doesn't sound as though your troubles are water quality related.  If she's still eating and appears to be in otherwise relatively good health, then I would not hesitate to continue with an antiparasitic.  You may also concurrently use a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as Melafix
<<Not an antibiotic; actually not a medicine at all. RMF>>, Spectrogram, or Maracyn/Maracyn II.  I'm sorry I couldn't be more definitive, I do hope this helps.  Best of luck to you and your Mama-gup!  Marina   Thanks, Angela


Fungused Guppies Hi, <Hello.> I have just discovered that my guppies have fungus. I have also noticed the largest female has very red gills on one side and it seems to be protruding compared to the other side and the other fish.  Is this caused by a bacterial infection from the fungus? <Probably not.  I would assume this is a minor genetic deformity.> If so, what treatment should I be using?   <If it *is* genetic, there's probably nothing to do about it; believe it or not, some angelfish are actually bred to have inadequate gill covers, so their gills are visible or exposed.  Often seen in goldfish, too.> I have done a 50% water change and am using a treatment for fungus, have removed the charcoal from my filters (running two while the new ones sets up its biological filter).   <Wonderful.  What are you treating with?> I have added a new plant and am wondering if that has contributed to the problem. <Although it is *possible* to bring in illnesses with plants, it is usually external protozoan parasites that this happens with.  I highly doubt the plant brought the fungus.> I have two Plecos in the tank who seem to be doing fine.   <Check to see if the fungus treatment has special instructions for scaleless fish; Plecs are scaleless.> My only problem is that they don't seem to like the algae discs I have been feeding them and it is difficult to remove all the remaining food without disturbing the plants and tunnels that the Plecos like to hide in. <What kind of Plecs are they?  Some are strictly carnivorous.  The 'generic' Plecostomus usually only takes algae wafers as a last resort; try sliced, blanched zucchini (to blanch, boil very briefly - like 10 seconds or so).  Weigh it down with a plant weight or a rock, and you'll be all set.  They should absolutely love this.  I also like to feed my 'veggie' Plecs frozen Formula Two cubes, made by Ocean Nutrition.> I realize that the food remains have probably caused the problem of the fungus in the guppies <Uhm, might possibly have contributed, but water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH) should also be suspect; please test these levels, fix if necessary.  Keep up with regular water changes, too.> so have cut down the amount I am feeding the Plecos. <I think a change in diet will please all.> Is there anything else I should/could be doing? <Other than testing/fixing the water and changing the Plecs' food, it sounds like you're on the right track.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Regards Dawn (NZ)


Guppy Tale Dear Wet Web Media Crew, <Sabrina here, this evening> Yesterday morning I noticed that a part of my guppy's tail was missing and that there was a tin red line (blood probably) on the tail edge where the part was missing. During the day it got worse. The red line spread onto the rest of the tail edge and it looked like it was "eating" the tail.  The fish is eating well, there are no signs of aggression in the tank (as I could see, they all have been very friendly: 3 guppies, 3 platies, 2 very small gold algae eaters), the water in the tank is fine, <What were ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH readings?  Be sure none of these are out of whack> and the rest of the tank community seems fine. I isolated the fish anyway <GOOD MOVE> but its tail is still getting worse and I have no idea what to do. Please help! <It sounds like the guppy has fin rot; I would treat this fish with Kanamycin sulfate (sold by Aquatronics as 'Kanacyn') or Spectrogram (also made by Aquatronics), which is a combination of Kanamycin and Nitrofurazone.  Just follow the instructions on the box, and maintain impeccable water quality; with all due luck, this should be fixable.  Kudos to you for quarantining, excellent move.  -Sabrina> Alisa


Sick guppies        Hello, I'm having a problem with guppies dying. They are in a community tank (20 gal) with a couple mollies, two white clouds, a SAE, and a 1-inch fw puffer (adult size, no worries, he doesn't even try to eat the baby guppies). >>Hello :D I think will eventually have a problem with keeping puffers and guppies together. Puffers are notoriously aggressive fin nippers, and will start shredding tails at some point. The mollies can also be quite aggressive. What is the scientific name of the puffer? (Tetraodon travancorius?) These are two species that I would NEVER recommend to put with guppies, as generally, guppies should be only kept with non-aggressive fish.<< Oh, and there are currently two adult male and two adult female guppies (the number of small guppies varies with time, of course... maybe three tiny guys right now). This problem has been going on for a couple of months, and I'm at the end of my rope trying to figure it out/solve it. The symptoms are rapid breathing and progressive loss of energy, and a decreased interest in food. Some of the fish occasionally flick against the bottom. Only the guppies show symptoms/die. >>Normal, since guppies are the least resilient fish you have in the tank.<< I've treated the tank with Maracyn and Maracyn 2, thinking that this is an infection of the gills, but no success in eradicating it- every few weeks another fish starts having breathing problems. I have added aquarium salts to the tank (tsp/gal), having read that that will help with the breathing and should make an inhospitable environment for the infecting agent... not inhospitable enough, apparently! I have checked my water quality for pH and ammonia- 7.4 and 0 ppm (comes out of the tap at 7.2ish). I change the water regularly (every 1 to 2 weeks). >>You will need to treat with an anti-parasitic medication, like Super Ich Cure, or Quick Cure. I like Quick Cure because the Formalin in it helps against gill flukes. Remove your carbon, of course. Your pH is a tad low for mollies, and perhaps the puffer, too, depending on the species of puffer you are keeping. You have tested ammonia, but what about nitrite and nitrate? We really need to know this. Nitrite is just as toxic as ammonia, and a nitrite spike can last quite a long time. How much water do you change? What percentage, that is..<< Part of the reason that this has gone on so long is that only one fish at a time ever shows symptoms then dies, so I've thought that I had cleared up the problem previously, only to go through the same agonizing process a week or so later. Also, a friend who has many years of fish experience told me not to worry, that the guppies that were dying were probably just old...  >>I doubt this.<< I won't take advice like that again from anyone who regards my fish as just a food source for bigger fish! It's now affecting fish that I know are only 7 months old. Please help if you can! I feel so awful watching them get sicker and sicker, not knowing what else I can do for them! Thank you! Sarah O PS I think I comb through your site about once a week, learning a bit more about aquaria and fish each time. It's a great resource, thank you for providing it! >>As I mentioned, go to your local fish store and buy an anti-parasitic medication. Your fish have gill flukes, a parasite. -Gwen


Colorful poop Hi, I'm not an expert on the guppy hobby but I'm not completely new to it either. But, the other day I was watching them and one of my females had a rather long poop attached to her. That didn't interest me very much but the fact that the poop was very colorful did. What does that mean?!?!?! <have you added anything to the tank?  new decor?  changed the food?  Guppies tend to pick at things in the tank, be it the decor or any new item.  Some of my fish had nibbled at a rather gaudy piece of decor a friend gave me to put in my tank.  And my fish was passing the color flecks it had nibbled off of the item for a week before I removed the eyesore.  I would be worried if the fish was acting strangely, or perhaps it looks a bit swollen.  Fish can have discoloration in their waste if they are sick, or if there are intestinal problem.  Monitor it and see if it continues. If so then it's best to set up a small quarantine tank were you can move the fish away from other tankmates and medicate him easier.> At first I tried to look at it from all other angles because I was sure that I was just "seeing" things. But I am positive that that poop was red, green, and maybe a little blue. What is it?!?! Please help and hopefully it's nothing serious :S. -Rebecca- Thanks, in advance. <I don't think that it is totally serious, unless it persists.  Just monitor what the fish is eating.  If there is a change in the fishes normal actions then it could be an internal parasite problem that might need medication.  -Magnus>


pH change & Dead Guppies  3/16/04 I had an excruciatingly painful experience last night with my guppies!  I had put a bowl with the water from the aquarium itself inside this aquarium.  So it was the same water - I thought.  I put fish in it that were pesky or causing trouble to the community and so it was kind of like a "jail house" for bad fish.   <Hmmm, that's what breeder nets or quarantine tanks are for.> I had this bowl inside the aquarium for at least a week, maybe two, with a male platy who kept trying to "eat" my albino cat fish.  I was afraid he'd eat him alive eventually, so I put him in there.   <Kind of odd... My Cory catfish can hold up against dwarf puffer teeth.> Then there was a female guppy which had given birth to about 6-7 babies and was being hotly pursued by about 4 male guppies, so thinking she needed a rest, I put her in there.  I noticed that she had scoliosis, so wasn't expecting her to fully recover.   Then about two days later, I found her dead in the bowl.  I thought she'd died from the skeletal deformity she'd had, or something related to the stress from giving birth. <Probably tuberculosis, extremely contagious to humans-- http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-07/sp/feature/index.htm> The thing that got me yesterday was this:  I saw these 4 male guppies had begun to harass the other female guppy and were relentlessly chasing her, so I put all 4 of them inside the bowl to "do some time for bad behavior," and to give the female guppy a little rest.  Then, to my amazement, about an hour later, I was going to turn off the light to go to bed and I looked and saw that ALL 4 MALE GUPPIES WERE LYING DEAD IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL!    I fished them out, and thought I noticed one's tail had disintegrated, but I'm not sure about that.  There others' were all intact, but they were all dead. I then checked the ph in the bowl and found the ph to be acidic, about 6.2 or so.  The water in the main aquarium was at about 7.0 or maybe 7.2.  So that's about 1.2 points difference!  I didn't think the water would be that variant since it was the original water from the aquarium, but I hadn't tested it since I put it in there about two weeks ago. <If there is no water flow getting into the bowl (like it would in a net breeder) then the ammonia & waste produces by your fish will build up in there, causing the pH to drop.  Your fish probably died from ammonia poisoning.> Meanwhile, the original platy is still alive inside the bowl with the acidic water and is showing no signs of stress.  Why, then did all 4 guppy males die within one hour or so after being put into the bowl???  The only possible explanation I can think of is that the ph change was too drastic for them!  Is that a possibility?   I thought they would be maybe stressed out by such a change, but not DEAD!!!  Please advise.  Is there some other possibility that I am not able to see?    <I'm afraid your platy is doomed in that bowl also.  Get a breeder net, or set up another tank for quarantine or to keep your more aggressive fish in.> Thank you very much for your thoughtful advise! <You're welcome & good luck.  ~PP>


Guppy Problem Thanks in advance for any help. We have a 10 gal tank with 1 male guppy, 2 female guppies, 2 male and 2 female platys and 2 tiny Neon tetras.  Last weekend the fish showed signs of Ich so I treated as directed on the "Jungle Super Ich" treatment bottle and the Ich disappeared.  It is now 2 days later and although I don't see any more salt-like specks I have found the strangest thing on my male guppy.   His one fin (sorry don't know the correct name but the one by the gills) looks like it was dipped in white chocolate.  It's thick and heavy looking and he's obviously having to work hard at making it work the same as the non-affected one.  I've made the assumption that I had just not noted this strange fin before and that it's a heavy collection of Ich concentrated in that one spot and that being heavy it wasn't fully treated by the first Ich treatment.  I'm currently doing a second treatment.  As always the carbon filter is removed for the period of treatment.  The Jungle Ich doesn't have very good instructions on it though.  How many 24 hour treatments are safe to do if this fin does indeed have a thick coat of Ich and if it doesn't completely clear in a normal 48 hour Jungle Ich treatment cycle?  I'm also curious how Jungle Ich can clear a tank of Ich in 48 hours if the lifecycle of the Ich parasite is 4 days?  Doesn't that mean that some of the Ich parasite is going to survive?  I don't' think I like this "Jungle Ich" but it is a whole lot neater and tidier than the capsules which I can never cleanly get open. Two other questions with regard to Ich treatment. 1)  After treatment, do I always put a new clean charcoal filter into the filtration system?  Can Ich be re-transferred back to the tank in the previous "dirty" filter? 2)  Does Ich treatment kill unborn fry or young fry/hatchlings? Thanks again, Barb >>Hello. It sounds to me like your guppy has fungus on his fin. You will need a different medication for that, go to your LFS and ask for an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal med, and follow the instructions. As to how many Ich treatments are safe, it depends on the medication and how the fish react to it. Some species, like clown loaches, are quite sensitive to medications. Generally, you can treat most species of fish for longer than 48 hours, even up to a week, but I don't recommend it, because you should not need to. I have never had a problem treating fish for two days with meds like Quick Cure and Super Ich Cure. They work exceedingly well. If an Ich problem persists after the first few days of treatment, then generally there is another problem that needs to be dealt with, either the water parameters are off, or the fish has an internal problem as well. Yes, always put carbon back into the filter after a treatment is finished. A small water change won't hurt, either. And yes, Ich treatments can be toxic for newly hatched fry. Not sure about unborn fry. One of your questions bothers me...what do you mean by "can the Ich be re-transferred back to the tank in the previous "dirty" filter"? First of all, yes, it can. But I don't understand why you would remove any filters from the tank, you need to keep the filtration running at all times! If you are referring to the removal and re-addition of carbon bags, well, you should rinse the carbon thoroughly when you remove it, and let it dry on the countertop, and then rinse it again before re-adding it to your filter. -Gwen>>


Sick Guppy hello!! I enjoy your site. I bought 2 male and 2 female guppies about a month ago. since then 2 have died and I am left with a male and a female. and now the female is showing the same symptoms that the other two displayed before they died. I don't want to lose her !! they all appeared healthy when I bought them but one at a time they have been dying off. they start swimming around less, their top fin lays down and the tail doesn't fan all the way out. they don't swim around much but just sort of lay on the bottom, for several days. they will come out to eat, but then go straight back to lying on the bottom. I first lost a female, then a male, and now my remaining male seems extremely healthy but the female does nothing but lie on the bottom . when ever she does come out, he constantly harasses her. should separate them? I don't want to lose my guppy girl. what should I do? my tank is 2 gallons with an air pump and under gravel filter. Thank you, Amy <<Dear Amy; I have a few thoughts here. First, yes, you may separate them. Do you have another heater for her? I am going to assume the tank is a relatively new set-up. This means that 4 fish in a new 2 gallon tank will have a serious ammonia and/or problem. Hence, the deaths, and fin rot on the other fish. There are a couple of things you can do to fix this problem. First, do a water change, and then try to do 50% every few days. Second, watch to see if the remaining fish rub themselves on anything in the tank, this will indicate a parasitic infestation, to boot. You should have your water tested at your local fish store as quickly as possible; ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates must all be tested, you may write down the results and compare to the following: a healthy tank should have zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and low (20-40ppm for guppies) nitrates. Anything else means plenty of water changes will be required to keep these fish alive until the tank cycles. If your water tests out okay, then it is probably a parasite, as guppies are prone to body slime disease. Make sure the temp is stable, at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can treat them with some salt, for minor infestations, or antibiotics for more advanced infestations with secondary bacterial infections. -Gwen>>


Sick Guppy  3/21/04 Hi, I have a sick guppy that I don't know how to treat, I'm not even exactly sure what is wrong. Hoping you can help me. I moved him to my 10 gal. QT tank 4 days ago because I noticed his poop looked funny. Sometimes it comes out clear, stringy, and with some white globs. Which I've read is indicative of internal parasites. <Yes, those can be the symptoms, along with eating & still skinny or not eating at all.  The problem is, guppies aren't wild-caught fish & rarely come with internal parasites.><<Au contraire. RMF>> Sometimes it comes out like a tan/orange color and is very thick and curls up when it is a long  string of it. It is so thick it actually looks like it would be very painful for him to pass it. It doesn't appear to be a worm or anything though. It's odd because I have had him for about 4 months now and he has always been very healthy and hardy and active. Even survived an Ich outbreak (due to buying infected fish without QT first) in my main (46 gal.) tank without getting one spot. This was before I realized the importance of a QT tank, and treated the Ich outbreak in my main tank. How could he have gotten sick? Could it have been from stress from my tormentive Mollie? <Could be.>   I read that food laced with Metronidazole would be an effective treatment. However, I could not find any so I bought some Parasite Clear fizzing tablets made by Jungle. I treated once, and then did a 25% water change. He then seemed to be eating more and his poop looks like it is trying to return to normal but it has still got some areas of clear, white string in it. He is swimming around a lot more now, seems like he feels somewhat better. His tail was also looking a little ragged it had one rip in it, but I thought if I cured him his tail would cure itself. But now his tail is getting worse. It is becoming more ragged and has two blood spots in it. Twice now I have even seen a little bit of blood float off into the water when he moved. I have some Fin rot medication should I use this? And should I treat with the Parasite Clear again? <Internal parasites can only be treated internally, by treating the fish's food.  By the fact that the Jungle product made your fish feel better, I don't think this is the problem.  I really think your molly is the problem--they can be quite vicious.  Your guppy felt better because the molly wasn't bothering it anymore.  Starting treating you guppy with a combo of Melafix & Pimafix for it's tail.  I'd find a new home for the molly.> Thanks so much! Stacie <You're welcome & good luck.  ~PP>


My guppies have ick I've been treating my tank for Ich for 3 days now. It doesn't seem to be clearing up. I have 6 guppies and 2 babies (guppies also) . I'm using Cure-Ick. The ick doesn't look horrible. It is just sprinkled on. It is small little spots. all of my Syno-cats came down with the ick first but then started to develop a white film over their body. Which also covered their eyes. The medication I'm using says use for three days. It is a Malachite Green-Formalin base. Should I try something else? < That is the right stuff.> Unfortunately where I live the only place that is slightly fish experts is Pet Smart. I'm really worried about losing the babies. They are still going strong but I've noticed that now they have a little bit of ick. they are only 4 days old. The Ph is around 7.4-7- < Make sure the water temp. is around 80 degrees. And do a 30% water change every other day. The parasite likes under the skin of the host for a couple of days and can only be killed when it is off the host and free swimming. Your catfish do not like the medication so make sure you follow the directions when it comes to treating catfish. Watch for ammonia spikes because the Ich medication may affect the good bacteria that breaks down ammonia and nitrites.-Chuck>


Guppies Dying Hi. I have a 2 ft. x 2ft x 1 ft. tank, and use a overhead box filter, and also a submersible heater. I have about 20 guppies in the tank, 12 neon tetras and a algae eater. Recently, my guppies start to behave strange. They will stay either near the surface of the water, but not gasping, or they stay at the bottom of the tank. Those staying at the bottom of the tank will attempt to swim up, but when they stop swimming, they just sink to the bottom. I have lost about 8 of them over a week, and more seems to be dying. I've added aquarium salt, but no improvement. What should I do? Thanks for  your help. Wally <<Dear Wally; First you need to test your water. I will need to know your results of the following tests: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. PH also, if you can. I also need to know how often you do water changes, what the tank temperature is, and if you have recently added any new fish to this tank. Do you add salt to this tank? Certain strains of guppy can be fragile, and require excellent water quality, stable temps, and high quality foods. It could be anything from weakness due to parasites or bad water quality, to a bacterial infection. But if it's a water quality issue, and you treat the tank, you could do more harm than good until you get your water into shape. So please get back to me with your test results :) Thanks, Gwen>>


Diseased guppies and fry. help!!! Fast!! Please help me if you can....I searched and searched the WWM site plus the web all over, and I can find no for-sure answers for this problem, and I'm scared if something isn't done quickly, all my guppies will die.    Just to let you know before I go into detail, all water parameters are good, with Nitrites and ammonia at 0, Nitrates at around 5.(lowest # on chart) and pH around 7. Temp. is between 78 and 80. I have also treated the tanks with salt, and have not seen much, if any improvement as of yet....(1 tbsp/5gall)...yes salt for FW aquariums also....my not so sick guppies have become a little more active. but that is the only improvement.  Here are the symptoms...    15 gallon tank...has 2 Corys., 1 Pleco, 1 Betta...all doing well as if nothing is going on!!!  Also 5 guppies....not doing good at all.  Recently lost one other female guppy...thought it was old age...she was around 2, but maybe not because of old age. and thinking she may have spread disease....her symptoms incl...thinning of caudal peduncle and partial paralysis in that she mainly used her pectoral fins to swim, weakness and paling...she still ate somewhat, but not much.  Eventually, when I knew she wasn't going to improve, I euthanized her.  Now one male is displaying the same symptoms....especially loss of color...almost turning white, paralysis of tail to the point where he is tail-standing...head up vertical, tail resting on substrate, weakness, and not eating...also thinning of peduncle.  One other male is still rather healthy, but will tail stand occasionally in a corner, not on the substrate.  All the rest, which are 3 females, only move when fed, they do eat, but besides this they just hang motionless in the water....not active, but appear strong, and healthy. no weakness or wasting of tail region yet.  What could this be??  I've read numerous things. but I guess without a microscope I could never be sure, any ideas??  TB??  Skin flukes??  Columnaris??  It is so hard to treat when I do not know if it is bacterial, fungal, or parasitic!!  I am treating with salt..1 tbsp / 5 gall. but maybe I should increase dose...and it's obvious the whole tank has something...but the Corys, Pleco and the Betta are unaffected!!   Also. a 5 gall tank full of guppy fry...water parameters also good. I do a 2L water change daily....fry were doing well, then...I'm thinking I passed over what was ever in the 15 gal tank to the fry tank, when I found a fry in the 15 and put it into the 5....I have slowly been culling the sick ones, trying to stop it from spreading....but it seems hopeless...about 1/3 of the fry are floating at the surface, not looking good...you can see there caudal fin turn pin shaped as if its all stuck together or they are keeping it clamped.  I have found no dead ones as of yet...and also have salt in this tank...1 tbsp....plus Melaleuca in the hopes it will help...seems like there is no improvements....   Do you have any suggestions or ideas what could be going on??  Should I kill of the sickest male??  Is this hopeless, are they all going to die??  Please reply as fast as you can, my guppies need you!!      Sorry to seem so demanding, but I am desperate and hate seeing my fish suffer.  Thank you so much....for any help you have. <With the tail clamping that you are describing I am thinking columnaris. Treat with Kanamycin or Furanace. Remove the carbon in the filter. The medication will affect the good bacteria in the filter and in the gravel so be prepared to recycle the tank after medicating.-Chuck>    Gupp-arama

Re: Diseased guppies and fry. help!!! Fast!!..to Chuck... Hi Chuck...Thanks for you reply and your help... So you also think it may be columnaris....the medications you mentioned, Kanamycin or Furanace, is there any other way??  Is it that serious to absolutely need strong medication, or will more salt and high temp help. plus water changes??  All I currently have for medications are..........1)..Fungus Eliminator. contains. sodium chloride, Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone, potassium dichromate and 2)..ICH guard. contains ..triethylene glycol, Victoria green, Nitromersol, acriflavine.  My LFS is over 1 hour away, and all I have here is a Wal-mart..and the above is all they have for medications.  (If any of them are any good for this problem???)   I had to euthanize my sickest male guppy.  I do not want to lose any more...plus I want the fry to survive also...so you think that they have the same thing??  Does columnaris cause this partial paralysis and weakness, thinning (knife-back look),  loss of appetite, and paling??  If medication is the only way to put a stop to this, let me know, and I will make the trip to the LFS...or if the medications I have on hand that I mentioned above will help. let me know and I will use them.. If needed, what products contain Kanamycin or Furanace??                                                           This problem is such a mystery to me....I was getting ready to invest in a larger tank. but now I am very discouraged and stressed over the state of my guppies.  Also, why are the Corys, Betta, and Pleco not affected??  And, if I do have to use the meds you mentioned. are they harmful to any of the above mentioned fish??  Or to plants or snails??  (snail  death would cause massive decay as their population is large and in need of serious culling)  Thanks Again...Gupp-arama < You will not be able to cure this with salt and higher temperatures. The parasite covers the body and the fins and immobilizes the tissues and causes that faded look. The fungus guard may help and it is worth a try. Some fish seem immune to everything while others seem to catch every thing. Guppies are fairly social fish and are constantly bumping in to each other and then probably spreading the disease to each other. The Furanace turns the water green and it would be harmful to plants. Try DrsFosterSmith.com to order medications online. Their catalogs also contain some good info and tips. They sell both medications by their name.-Chuck>


Guppy Woes Hi crew, My daughter has a small (25L) tank stocked with Guppies and a few plants.  Until recently, there were 8 fish, but over the last few days three have died. One of the remaining five now looks like he's going the same way. The only symptom the dead fishes exhibited was a gradual slowing down over a period of 24 hours or so, spending the time at the top of the tank. I've seen no other obvious sign of distress - no rapid breathing or erratic swimming - just a gradual decline in vitality. It's like they just wind down until they stop. I haven't been able to detect any obvious cause of death on the corpses - no white spots, rotting areas or trauma.  The tank has been running for several months and apart from 2 deaths very early on, the fish have appeared healthy until recently.   I tested the water today and got the following results: Temp: 25C pH: 8.2 NO2: 0 ppm (undetectable with my test) NO3: <10 ppm O2: 8 ppm I then carried out a 30% water change, in case there's some problem with the water that I haven't tested for. Should I keep carrying out large water changes?  The water is reverse osmosis, remineralized with Kent RO Right to a conductivity of 0.45 mS which I believe equates to a general hardness of about 8 dGH. I then add aquarium salt.  I'm not very experienced with tropical fish and I don't want to try any "cures" without some idea of what the problem is. Can you suggest what could be wrong and anything I could try to help save these fish? Many thanks John Kellett <<Dear John, have you tested for ammonia? This can be present without any signs of nitrite showing up if your biological filtration has been disrupted. Please test for it. The water changes will help, but to be sure, test for NH3/4. Ammonia is present for a good week or two before the nitrites show up in normal cycling. Therefore, there could be trace amounts in your tank, even though nitrites show zero. Test it and let me know, please? The other thing that bothers me is that you are going to great trouble to use RO water, yet your pH is 8.2?? Wayy too high for a normal guppy comfort zone. What is your tap water pH? Let me know. Also, how much salt are you adding? and why? salt is not required unless some malady is being treated. Small amounts are generally used as a safety net by many people, I do not condone it unless necessary. Healthy guppies should not need salt. Guppies and mollies are not the same thing :P -Gwen>> 


Re: guppy lifespan (Sorry.. forgot to sign my name. How rude of me) What is the normal lifespan of a guppy? < As a rule of thumb I usually go with "an inch a year". So little guppies usually last a year maybe two. I am sure there are master guppy breeders that excellent care of their guppies and can get three years out of them.-Chuck> Ophelia


Guppies sick? 7/28/04  Thanks for your help but there is no chlorine in our water its rain water, I don't treat my water with anything except maybe some ph down. What's ick and how do I treat for that? I don't have a LFS is there something else I can use to treat them? <If you are using rain water then there is no alkalinity to the water and it is very soft likely to have a pH crash. Guppies don't like soft acid water. I would add a tablespoon of rock salt to 5 gallons of water and some buffer to bring the pH up to at least 7.0. Some crushed coral will help buffer the water. I would not use the pH down. Guppies could easily take a pH up to 8.0. -Chuck>


Please help my guppies! 7/28/04  I've tested the water everything is fine but my new guppies I put in last night were all floating or upside down this morning. What's happened to them can I save the remaining 6 that can still swim around? < Hard to say. Check the water temp make sure it is around 75 to 80 degrees. Make sure you used a water conditioner that gets rid of chloramines and not just chlorine. Chloramine is deadly to fish. I think this is you problem because everything happened so fast. -Chuck>


Sick Guppies 7/29/04 hi sorry to email again but it really is an emergency! The full story-  I have a 12L tank with bristlenoses, tetras and Danios, there were guppies but they died. I just brought a new setup and 16 guppies. I put the bag of guppies in the big tank so I could set them up their own new guppy tank (8L). I realized later that the heater was going to take a while to heat the tank so I let the guppies out into the big tank thinking I would move them over when the other was ready. This morning most of them are hanging out at the surface, some are upside down some are on the bottom lifeless but alive. 5 are still ok. So I took all the unsolvable out and moved the 5 still oks into the new tank(24* and ph 7) Now one of these is sitting on the surface looking like the others what do I do?? I've done a 20% water change and had the water tested at the pet shop all is well they said. But still they are sick I really cant lose them all I just cant!! please help me urgently! I've read through previous questions but cant find anything that will help. < If the other fish are OK then it sounds like the guppies went into some sort of shock. From the symptoms you describe I assume that it is related to water and not a disease. I recommended adding some salt to the water @ a tablespoon per 5 gallons. Use a good water conditioner that will get rid of chloramines as well as chlorine. I would also ad a pH buffer that will keep the pH above 7.0.-Chuck>


Tail fin decrease in guppy Hi. I have a major problem with one of my male guppies. He is a green cobra guppy. Anyway I just bought him yesterday at the local pet store and he looked very healthy. When I woke up this morning I noticed about 90% of his tail fin was gone. I believe he is going to die soon. Please help me so if he dies I know what to do in the future.     P.S I predict that one or two of the females in my tank ( 20 gal.) is responsible for this Tell if this prediction is Correct. < I don't think so. A power filter intake tube may have caught his tail. Barbs and Bettas can do this kind of damage too. I suspect it may be tail rot caused by a bacteria infection. Isolate the fish and see it gets worse. If it does then it is rot and you need to treat it with antibiotics like Furanace or Erythromycin.-Chuck>


FW fish breeding business/central filtration 9/24/04 Anthony, Thank you for the information.  I will check out the names you mentioned. Do you know of anyone who is into commercial guppy production using a recirc. system?  Those are the people we need to contact. Thanks again for your help. If you think of anyone else, please let me know. Monique <most wholesalers of all commercial quantity livestock use recirculating/central filtration systems. When you employ proper quarantine protocol for all new livestock coming into the facility, and then good husbandry once in - central filtration is optimal and recommended. It only fails when we fail to obey proper handling (like strict QT and cleanliness, etc.). Do get yourself a subscription to some of the industry trade journals like Pet Business, Pet Age or Pet Supplies Marketing. In them you will find indexes with contacts to all sorts of useful products and services for your business. Best regards, Anthony>


Guppy Death Thanks Don. I do think it is genetic. He is fine, ferocious little eater and crazy little swimmer. Just no top  fin. He looks weird compared to the other guppies, but it makes him unique. The female since the time I wrote passed away, she started staying right at the top, kind of not moving much at all, and I noticed that not only did she have that spot, but her body started to kind of turn whitish up to her anal fin, it looked kind of rough and thick and wasn't transparent like it started but opaque white. The others are all doing great, and I put salt in the tank as soon as I set it up because I read that guppies are happier with a tablespoon to 5 gallons of water. My most recent Betta is doing fine, knock  on wood. I didn't know that the pH would cause such rapid fungus growth. YIKES! The others would never eat or even swim around, but  this one is going on 3 days of doing well. Eats like a crazy, attacks his food even though it is all already dead! LOL Again, thanks so much for your information. Have a great week. Cheers. Jennifer <Hi Jennifer. Keep a close eye on the other fish that were in with the dead female. This updated description is a little scary. It's not Ick. It could still be water quality or may be bacterial in nature. Watch for bloating, weight loss, curved spines or red wounds. As for the old Betta problem, a big swing in pH can cause the fish to produce large amounts of body slim to try and protect itself. I think that's what you saw on your Betta. The actual pH is not as important (in most cases) as keeping a steady pH. When you add new fish you need to let them adjust slowly. An incorrect pH, or even a small swing, does not cause fungus but may stress the fish to a point where it's ability to ward of an infection is lowered. A big swing in pH can kill. Don>


Dying Guppies Hello, I recently  bought some fish (2 male guppies, 2 female, and 3 Kuhli loaches) and I'm not  sure what happened. A female, a male, and one loach have died, but my water  seems fine. My temp is 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit, pH is 7.2, and everything seems  normal! Nothing seems wrong before they died, but I had the same problem  before. All of my fish died one by one, and the bodies looked nasty. One  fish was all fuzzy, and the other ones looked like their eyes were missing! Please help me figure out if this has anything to do with my fish now. Thanks, Jessica PS. all of my fish  left (1 male guppy, 1 female, 2 loaches) seem fine and completely healthy...the  female is even pregnant! <Hi Jessica, Don here. Need some more info help you figure out what happened to your fish. Do you check ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? If yes, post the numbers. how long has the tank been set up and running? Did the fish get fuzzy and loose their eyes before or after they died? A pH of 7.2 is fine for most fish, but a sudden change can kill. Next time check the water you bring them home in. If it more than two tenths difference add a little tank water to the bag. Repeat this several times over an hour or so while the bag floats. BTW, you should always keep more female guppies than males. Male guppies are very aggressive breeders. Having more females spreads out that aggression> 


Guppy Woes Hi Crew, I have some guppies that I don't know a whole lot about. The one in particular though is very dark, She was not this way when we purchased her. Recently I have seen her rubbing against the tank & Swimming into the side with some force. <Many causes for this. Ick and poor water quality at the top of the list> I have noticed that she appears bruised, I don't know if she has internal bleeding or what the case is? <Is she showing red patches? Bloody wounds?> I did put some ick medication into the tank. <Ick would show as salt like white spots on the fish. If none of the fish show this we need to get the med out. What did you use?> She is pregnant, <A life long condition for an adult female guppy> She doesn't seem like she's dying? What would cause this? My children really like these fish. We had some in the past but due to a house fire we lost them all. <Great way to help the kids get over such a loss> The tank with this female was a gift to them when we rebuilt & I would like to save her if at all possible. <Pressure ON> Thanks, Kelly <Hi Kelly, Don here. I'm going to need a lot more info before I can help. But the first thing to do is start changing out the water. Unless you see white spots on the fish it was a mistake to add the Ick medicine. Some are very harsh to the fish directly. Others can kill the good bacteria in your system causing the water to foul. I would do a healthy water change of about 30% right away. Make sure you match temp and dechlorinate. Repeat in a few hours and then daily for the next few days. Now the questions. What size tank and type filter? Is the tank heated? How many/types fish? If all guppies, how many males and females? How long has it been running? Do you do regular water changes? If so, how often and what percent? Do you use a gravel vac? Do you test the water? If not take a sample of both your tank and tap water to your local pet store. Get the actual numbers, do not accept "Everything's fine". Better would be to pick up your own test kit. We need numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Test the pH of both the tank and your source water. We will need the results to continue, but the water changes may help. Good luck. Don>   


Guppy Fins Hi, I searched the site and couldn't come up with anything regarding this situation. I just bought my son some fancy guppies, he had a Betta, but he grew really bad fungus in just 24 hours and died. This isn't the first time this has happened to the kids with Bettas, so I figured I would try a different kind of fish. Guppies were my next choice because they are equally as colorful, you can keep more than one, and the kids would get to see their babies.     Anyhow, this one male, I believe to be a red neon guppy after searching all over the place trying to find a picture that was similar, although his tail is variegated, not solid red, does NOT have a top fin on his back. He has a chunk out of his tail as well, (the guppies were in a tank with BARBS of all fish, He is swimming around fine, eating like a pig, like he has NEVER  been fed in his life, but has no top fin. Was it bitten completely off? Is this a genetic mutation? Will it grow back? His back is completely smooth, there is NO evidence of a fin ever being there. But the other guppies, we have 2 trios (4 all together) in 2 separate tanks (I have 3 kids and one on the way) and ALL of the other guppies have fins on their back. This male is very pretty and once his tail grows back, will be stunning, I was just wondering about the back fin. He looks odd without it compared to the other guppies. Also, one of the females I noticed today (it's been  2 days since we got the fish) has a small whitish speck on her tail where it was also bitten. She was in a tank with all of the other fish, as she is with 3 other females and 2 males right now. Nobody else has any  specks.  It seems to definitely be related to the fact that her tail was  bitten and has formed some sort of scarring/parasite right there. Should I treat?  I have a medicine called Quick Cure that is for protozoan and parasite infestations.  Ingredients are Formalin and malachite green. She doesn't seem distressed at all, but I don't want it getting out of hand and spreading to the other fish. Especially since most if not all of them do have slight tears in their tails from the constant tiger barb harassment. Thanks so much for your time, you have the best site for questions and information regarding all aspects of fish keeping. Thanks so much for your time. Cheers. Jennifer in Maryland, USA <Hi Jennifer, Don here. The missing fin sounds genetic since you see no scar. If so, it will not grow back. But as long as he's healthy he'll be fine without it. Torn, bitten fins will grow back unless they are lost all the way down to the skin. The white spot may be dead, or growing, tissue. However if you see more, salt-like spots then your fish have Ick, a parasite that can kill. The med you have will clear it, but is very harsh. I would not use it unless we are sure it's Ick. I prefer to use salt to clear Ick. A little salt will also help the fins regrow. The Betta problems you had sounds like pH shock. If the pH of their old water is off more than a few tenths from their new home you need to add tank water to the bag slowly over an hour or two to allow him to adjust>  


Split Tailed Guppy Hello, My fish tank has grown slightly.. thanks to the help you gave me last time.   Now I have a ten gallon with a Pleco, and 9 guppies of various "kinds" as well as a 1 gallon with 7 fry.  My question rises from one of the males. Recently his tail has started to "split."  At first I thought he had gotten pulled against the water pump so I isolated him to give him time to heal.  However, over night his tail has continued to split and now its in about 5 sections.  The fish no longer swims around and stays horizontal with his tail down.  Any idea what could be causing it?  I'd very much like to save  him if at all possible but I'm concerned for the rest of my tank as well.  If this is a disease what would you suggest I treat the tank with?  And if not a disease is there anything I can do to help him recover. Thank you Rhyesa <Hi Rhyesa, Don here. It still could be physical damage. The injured tissue could be dying off. It usually grows back with just clean water and a little salt to prevent fungus. If it continues to get worse treat with an antibiotic for tail/fin rot. Oxytetacycline usually works. But I do see another problem. The Pleco puts you way over the limit for a 10 gallon tank. They can reach a foot and produce tons of waste. Water quality is yet another cause of fin and tail problem. When we suggest you get a larger tank, we do not mean you also get more fish. We mean give each fish more water to help dilute the pollution that the fish create. Your Pleco needs a new home>


Guppy question Hi I am sorry to bother you but I was wondering why my guppy might be healthy one day but then very unbalanced the next day.  I thought my Dalmatian molly and my fancy guppy were pregnant so I put them in the breeding nets but then this morning my female guppy was swimming lopsided just like my male Dalmatian was a week ago but recovered I was just wondering what could be the problem? <Likely just the handling, moving... NOT a good idea to move Poeciliids close to parturition> also could you send me a picture if you have one of a pregnant guppy, I keep reading about a dark spot near the anal fin but I don't know what this looks like. Thanks Victoria <Should be able to find on the Net using your computer search tools. Bob Fenner>


Fancy Guppies HI, My name Is Louis I love Fancy Guppies I have two males that are very healthy, but whenever I get a Pregnant Guppy she always dies the temp ranges from 75-80F usually higher than 76F what do you think I'm doing Wrong They Just die before I put them in a net is it a Disease? <Doubtful... more likely a matter of environment, nutrition, possible damaged livestock from the get-go...> I have a question I Feel bad about dyed fish so I help take care of them as much as can I have 2 painted tetras A smaller pink one and a larger green one my green one Has a rounder (larger) stomach do you think it is carrying eggs is there any signs I can look for? <If you "feel bad" re the practice of dyed fish... please don't buy them... this "casts a vote" in the wrong direction> And I Have an old Male Betta he never eats is that okay? <... What would happen if you didn't eat? Bob Fenner>                Thank You,                Louis E


Sick Guppy, the Net My male guppy swims at the top of the tank, and then stays upright. He then sinks and stays in his upright position. What could be wrong with him, and what can I do to help him. I also have a female guppy who is pregnant and she floats downright. What might be wrong with her and how can I help? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyfaqs.htm  Bob Fenner> 

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