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FAQs on Parasitic Guppy Diseases  

FAQs on Guppy Disease: Guppy Disease 1, 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), 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,

Guppies are subject to several internal and external parasites:

Ich/Whitespot principally, but also Hexamita/Octomita and many other Protozoans, lumenal worms, flukes, crustaceans...

Newbie Question About Guppy Bump-Lump-Growth       9/22/15
Hi there Everyone!
<Howdy Steph!>
First, let me tell you how much your combined expertise has helped since beginning my freshwater aquarium in January of this year. It's my very first 20 gallon high planted, pressurized CO2 ecosystem...well, my first go at serious fish keeping ever. I've taken on this responsibility with gusto having researched every single aspect of properly keeping a balanced tank and its inhabitants.
I love guppies, so for now (even at risk with no females) I'm keeping 5 male guppies, 1 female Corydoras trilineatus, and 2 Otocinclus catfish of undetermined sex. This will change in another month when I go to a larger aquarium with a more diverse community of fish. I plan to keep my current tank going to try my hand at careful guppy breeding after much research.
The male guppies get along pretty well because I've arranged the plants, rocks, and Mopani wood to break up lines of sight and to offer some retreats, when necessary.
Of course, they feed well together. Two of the guys do posture for dominancy or territory, but there have been few incidences of chasing or tail fin nipping. The fish behave as I expected them to with only one (the most gentle natured) who retreats to his established territory under some Cryptocoryne plants next to a large rock if there's too much posturing
going on. At first, I was worried about him, but he does defend his territory upon the rare occasions that one of the most dominant males decides to visit when he's there. So with all males, things seem normal even though I understand that keeping all males guppies can be stressful for them.
Here's some basic tank info, as I see so many other websites requiring it when asking a question:
-20 gallon high rimless; dual T5 HO lamp (10 inches above); heater (average 76 F; small water circulator; modified HOB filter, pressurized CO2 @ 2-3 bps-EcoComplete substrate-Well planted variety -Flourish Tabs -Leaf Zone Plant-Summer cooling with pre-treated water ice cubes (can get up to 85 F in that room with outside temp @ 105 F).
<Leave the lights off, and the top open on these days; try positioning a fan to blow across the tank/water surface>

I'm trying to work with the water I have available and to not use unnecessary chemicals.-Once weekly water changes (more when needed) w/ pretreated tap water (it's very hard; I live in southern New Mexico)-API Liquid Tests; -PH 7.6
<Ours in San Diego, CA is about 800 ppm TDS, regular pH 8.2-8.4.... "liquid rock". Both good for guppies>
-Ammonia 0 -Nitrates 20 -Nitrites 0-Fish are fed Angels Plus The Works flakes, occasional live brine shrimp that have been given vitamin B complex, once weekly fasting, and skinned peas. I keep the entire line of Angels Plus medicated and recovery foods for the guppies, if needed.-Catfish are fed 1 daily sinking wafer. Not sure the wafers are the best brand/balance for them, but they love them. -As yet, I do not have an arsenal of liquid meds since any problems that have occurred have been remedied with healthy water, medicated fish foods, or salt in the small QT tank (no plants).
I hope this is enough information.
Long introduction aside, I was away for two months for my graduate studies and left my aquarium in the hands of my husband, with written instructions.
He was busy with two large sculpture commissions and did not care for the aquarium/inhabitants enough or properly. I'm sure you can imagine what I came home to...a mess, to say the least. He's very forgiven. (chuckle)
However, since returning home I've lost two guppies (down to the 5 now), one from something unknown and one to Camallanus Worms. As a precaution, I've just completed the second Levamisole treatment according the instructions on loaches.com, and all fish seem to be fine.
One fellah suddenly developed a clear fund filled 'blister' on his dorsal fin. I could see that it had burst by the next morning. Then, in the same place a white bump-limp-cyst has emerged that goes through the fin, being larger on one side than the other. I've been watching him and see no difference in his behavior at all. After researching to death, I can get no definitive answer to what it is. I have some guesses, but I'm still not sure. I read your information about Lymphocystis, looked at tons of images, read forums, etc., and still wonder if this it that. Now, another guppy has the beginning of tiny growths on his dorsal fin...no clear bubbles, only tiny growths still covered with his metallic scales.
Can you help me diagnose this from the poor images I took with my cell phone?
<Can guess only>
I understand that lymphocystis is a contagious virus. I read that if it is that, the growths can break apart and infect other fish and lay in the substrate. Should I QT and treat Ritz (red/orange and yellow guy) and Flash (blue metallic guy)? With what and how? What should I do about the 20 gallon aquarium?
I've attached some images.
Thank you for any advice you can offer.
My best to all of you, Stephanie
<Thank you for your reporting. Can't say definitively what these "blisters" are due from... could simply be environmental... the heat, perhaps....
T'were it me, mine, I'd double treat here; with another anthelminthic (Praziquantel) for possible worms, and DTHP/Neguvon.... for crustaceans.... just in case these marks are expressions of Lernaeids/Anchorworms. Please do search on WWM, take a close look, and decide for yourself the best course of action. Bob Fenner>


Re: Newbie Question About Guppy Bump-Lump-Growth    9/24/15
Greetings Mr. Fenner,
<Salutations Steph!>
Thank you for your response. I read many posts in WWM and did not discover
anything like what my fish have. So, as a just in case measure, I'll treat them as you've prescribed. If anything significant occurs I'll report back to you all. Thank you very much for your time and expertise!
My best, Stephanie
<Glad to assist your efforts. Bob Fenner>

Ich with guppies and newborn fry 11/28/09
Hi there,
<Hello Sharon,>
I read your thread about Ich and it looks like we should be considering salt as opposed to "Ich Attack" for our fish.
<Yes, salt/heat is generally safer than standard medications. Since Guppies are very tolerant of salt, you can keep them in brackish water conditions and consequently never get Whitespot/Ick or Velvet.>
Here's what we have in our 10 gallon tank:
<Not wild about 10 gallon tanks for Guppies, given how aggressive the males become.>
2 male guppies (separated by divider) 2 female guppies, 2 upside-down catfish (male side),
<Tank is too small for Upside-down Catfish; these get to about 8 cm/3 inches in length, and are quite boisterous things.>
8 - 3 week old fry on male side and 3 - 3 week old fry on female side. This morning we noticed a cloud of newborn fry (both sides). The problem is we think we have Ich - some of the older fry have what look like little crystals on their bodies & tails. They are acting fine. However, one of our adult females, who looked as if she had been sick for a while but was coming around, just died. We had noticed what looked like the scales on her back were standing up and shining white, but it was probably Ich.
<Remove the Upside-down Catfish to a tank of appropriate size. Then raise the salinity in the Guppy-only tank to SG 1.003 at 25 degrees C (about 6 grammes salt -- or better still, marine salt mix -- per litre). Run the tank like this forever, if you want: your Guppies will be hardier and happier, and unlikely to get sick unless you do something really silly. The catfish will not tolerate this amount of salt. If you choose to do the
salt/heat method with the catfish, you'll have to use much less salt; something like 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt per 3.75 litres /1 US gallon. Should still work, but less quickly and perhaps less reliably, and won't
have quite the same tonic effect on the fish.>
Since we have this influx of newborn fry, I am unsure how to treat - if "Ich Attach" will kill them.
<Yes, will work. Some risk to the fry, but not substantial. Even if some fry die, you'll have a billion more before you know it.>
And if you recommend salt instead, or along with it, can you describe how to do that (container, how to deal with divider)?
<See above; also read WWM re: Ick.>
We have a filter that waterfalls water back in and a heater (temp is in the mid-70s). I am not sure the filter is able to work efficiently due to the divider in the tank.
<Your suspicions are correct: by definition, anything that divides the tank up also reduces water flow.>
We've removed the carbon filter because we noticed the Ich (that's what the aquarium guy told us it may be) and were going to treat. I'd used tea tree oil 2 days in a row a few days ago but did not add today when I saw the newborn fry.
<Tea-tree oil products are largely preventatives rather than cure, and have zero impact on Ick anyway.>
thanks for your help!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Hi, Guppy, Lernaea, reading - 03/30/10
Hi, thanks for the help that you have given me few weeks ago, I see that some of my fish's health are improving. I also found a pair of anchor worms in one of my female guppies (V shape from her bottom).. I pulled one out with a tweezers.
<Yowch! Easy to kill such small fishes with such extraction>
but still am trying to pull the other one out..not sure why but that other anchor worm keeps going back into her body when I fish her out to try and pull it out.
<Umm, their name is a hint>
So far that guppy is in quarantine...
<Still need to treat the main system to eradicate the young Anchorworm crustaceans there... lest they develop, infest your other fishes>
I removed all fishes that looked sick into a separate tank (each). Any other ways to treat that guppy with the anchor worm or I have to just wait for it to come out and try again till I succeed?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anchorwrmfaqs.htm
and the linked files above>
Back then a couple of my male guppies have problems opening their fins because of fungus. Right now though...although their fins look fine now..I notice that one of the male started developing something that looks like
black patches around the fins and tail...I attached the best picture that I can take..Hope it helps.
<And here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gupdisf4.htm
and the...>
Thank you.
<Welcome. BobF>

Guppy question, sel. sys., dis.    2/17/08 I've had guppies for years and stopped and restarted a few times, out of frustration of how delicate the females are. <Of all fish species... this standard used to be rock solid... the touchy stock from the Far East has ruined a good deal of the hobby the last decades> I also have a 30gallon planted tank with co2 and such, so I'm not quite a beginner. I have almost enough salt to be considered brackish, think between 1Tbls/5gallon to 1Tbls/10gallon. This is a planted eclipse hex 5 gallon. <Small... hard to keep stable... and with the salt... easy for nitrification to vacillate> I have/had 5 females and 4 males. I think I even had another female but she died back 2 months ago. They are all fancy guppies, so delicate it seems. I got them from two different stores, one being PetSmart (sorry). I've had 2 females die now in the past day. I just did a water change 3 days ago, about 20%, as usual for every other to maybe ever week. The two that died were very pregnant and one of them and possibly the other looked like they were about to give birth (both were hanging out down on the gravel or plants being alone). With that background out of the way, is there anything else I can do to make the females more comfortable and less likely to die? <Yes... see below> This is a constant problem and I only got these fish 2 months ago and already have lost almost half my original females. The temp is usually at 76 but can go up to 79 (the eclipse light always has a tendency of heating the tank up if the room is mildly warm). But lately it hasn't been. Is my tank too crowded maybe too? <Is a factor, yes> They seem happy otherwise. Should I instead be buying more reliable females, <Yes> is it possible I've just had bad luck with the ones I bought? <Mmm, not entirely, no> I think the ones that died today were both from PetSmart if that matters. It's just demoralizing. Thanks for any information. -Erin <Too many Poecilia reticulata on the market are infested with Hexamita (perennially) and Columnaris (seasonally, and in more erratic punctuated fashion)... Guarding against the introduction of these diseases can be accomplished only through careful exclusion/quarantining of all incoming livestock... and treatment with antiprotozoal (Metronidazole often) and possibly antimicrobial (most celebratedly Neomycin...). You might have "luck" with buying/selecting better stock from another source... but I would still at least isolate it for a good two weeks (to weaken pathogens) before introduction to your main displays... Having a larger system would be of great benefit here as well as bolstering the fishs' immune systems through improved nutrition... Do see the Net re the disease organisms mentioned... they can be defeated, excluded... Bob Fenner>

Poecilia; health, FW worm parasite f' as well      7/26/08 Thanks for your reply. <Most welcome.> Sorry to bug you with one more question. <No problem.> One of my guppies has always been "not as well" as the others. He's smaller and experienced some sort of fin rot and didn't eat very well. I would take him out of the tank and feed him on his own. He seemed to get stronger and now eats with the other two. <OK. Now, usually when fish simply look "off colour" with a variety of non-disease-specific symptoms like small size, erosion of the fins, laboured breathing, lack of activity and so on it's most likely water quality is to blame. Check and act accordingly. Now, the complication here is that Guppies are atrociously inbred, and their health is measurably poor compared with the wild type. For example, lab work has shown that wild and "feeder" Guppies (effectively mixed breed fish) can be adapted to seawater without problems, but fancy Guppies cannot, being killed by anything above about 50% seawater salinity. In other words, in choosing bright colours and long fins, we've weakened Guppies and removed some of their natural abilities. So when Guppies seem to fail in aquaria for random, non-obvious reasons, it is sometimes "bad genes" more than anything else. For aquarists after hardy Guppies with low maintenance demands and every chance of lasting a long time, feeder Guppies are (ironically perhaps) a much better investment!> But, how can I tell if he has worms? <Camallanus worms can be a problem with livebearers; they are usually revealed by the emergence of red thread-like worms emerging from the anus. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anchorwrmfaqs.htm > His poop seems awfully thicker than the others and it's brownish/orange and hangs there for a while. <Again, a fairly generic symptom, often associated with bacterial or protozoan infections of the digestive system such as Hexamita. These microbes multiply, irritating the gut lining which responds by secreting copious mucous, making the faeces more bulky and paler-coloured than normal. Treating for Hexamita is possible (e.g. with Metronidazole, brand name: Flagyl) but frankly not always worthwhile with very small fish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm > I tried to take him out of the tank when I noticed it this morning, but somewhere between the transfer, the "hanging matter" got lost and I put him back in the tank. I don't feed them live food or frozen live food, just flakes. I now have 3 guppies and 3 Julii Cory cats. Thanks. <Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Poecilia; health    7/26/08 Thank you for your reply. You say it's not always worth treating, but will he be okay in that tank with other fish? <Perhaps. I didn't say *don't treat*, but rather, don't be surprised if treatment has no long term effect and the fish dies anyway.> I did have water quality issues while I had the guppies, but the water has been (thankfully after hard work getting on top of it) testing just fine more recently. <Good.> Thanks again, Beth <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Poecilia; health    7/27/08 Last email, I promise :) I wanted to know if you had an answer about if it is okay for him to remain with the other fish. He showed signs like this before and so far no one else seems to. Thanks again and have a great day. <So long as he's feeding and not being bullied, I'd leave him in there with the others. You don't seem to have the symptoms of Camallanus worms. In any case, Camallanus worms can't cross infect other fish directly, and the worms need a second host to complete their life cycle, and that second species will be missing from your aquarium (so far as I know). And yes, I've had a great but busy day hosting a nine person lunch party! Hope this helps, Neale.>

Guppy question, dis.  8/2/08 Hello, Last night I noticed that my female guppy had a bunch of orange lumpy stuff protruding from her backside. I assume these are eggs? <Nope. Guppies are livebearers.> They aren't coming off though. They're "stuck" on her. I put her in a breeding container in the tank to keep the other fish from picking at her, but what can I do for her? She's not eating, but doesn't seem to be in pain. Please help! <Without a photo, can't be 100% sure, but I wonder if this is actually a Camallanus worm infection? These look like reddish threads protruding from the anus. Treatment is using a worm-killing medication such as Levamisole, Piperazine or Praziquantel (sold under brands like Prazi Pro). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwwormdisfaqs.htm  > THANKS!! Tara <Cheers, Neale.>

Guppies dying off   5/22/07 Hi all, <Hello.>     I've scanned through the guppies disease FAQ trying to find out what is wrong with my daughter's guppies.  I've hit on some discussions that are close to my example, but not exact matches where I'm comfortable to proceed. <OK.>   My daughter's tank is a 10 gallon tank with some live plants and a pair of 15 watt compact fluorescent bulbs.  The tank was set up and run for 6 weeks prior to any fish being added to it.  It had 4 neon tetras, 3 female guppies and 1 male guppy.  About 6 weeks after the tank was set up, all the fish started getting white specks on their fins and moving to their bodies. <99% certain this was whitespot/ick. Easily treated with commercial preparations.> I moved them to a hospital tank and treated for Ich using Copper Power Green (which contains copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, and nickel sulfate) and left the display tank fallow at elevated temperatures for a total of 28 days. <First question: was there carbon in these tanks? Activated carbon removes medications, so cancels out the therapy. One of many reasons I consider the stuff not only useless but positively harmful to most freshwater aquarists.>   2 of the tetras started getting ragged fins and arched backs (I looked up on your site and found that this matched a common tetra disease).  I put these fish down. <Sadly NTD is very common, I'd suggest ubiquitous.> Her tank was fine for another 6-8 weeks, but then, one of her adult females died without warning.  The next day, her male was looking very lethargic, either swimming vertically (nose up at the top of the water, tail to the bottom) or bobbing around on his side.  He would try to eat, but it seemed to be too much effort for him to get to the top for food. <These "vague" symptoms ring water quality and water chemistry alarm bells. What's the water chemistry? Guppies need hard and alkaline, the precise opposite of what neons enjoy.> A couple of days later, he was on the bottom of the tank, just being swept around by the current.  That night, I put him down too. (small amount of water in a Ziploc baggy, placed in the freezer). <OK, not the most humane way to kill a fish. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasiafaqs.htm >   Another female is starting to look listless and she seems to be having a hard time maintaining her equilibrium.  There are about 30 fry in the tank, and although we've lost a few, most are still alive (in a breeder box).  The female, last night, had an orange color fecal pellet followed by a long trailing, transparent mass (long poop?) coming from her anus.  Not sure if this is a parasitic issue or not. <Unlikely to be parasites; intestinal parasites generally cause emaciation before anything else happens.>   Husbandry - I typically do a 1-2 gallon water change every 2 weeks, using either store vending purified water or bottled distilled water.   <Distilled water? For guppies? How awful for them. In fact not that great for the neons either. Guppies at least thrive in standard tap/faucet water. A pH of 7.5-8 is ideal, and the harder the better frankly.>   Water parameters = 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, ~ 10 Nitrate (measured just prior to the male being put down).   <Ah, the water quality is good, but I'm worried about the chemistry.>   The fish get spectrum small fish pellets.  The fry get daphnia (seems to be small enough for them to eat). <OK.>   When the female died and the male was looking woozy, I did a 25% water change (using purified water from our local stores vending machine).  Yesterday, after putting down the male, I did a 5 gallon water change, using 2.5 gallons of bottled distilled water and 2.5 gallons of bottled purified water (in case the problem might have been removing trace minerals).   <If you use hard water, trace minerals will be there in abundance. The science is actually not at all clear on the degree to which fish absorb minerals from the water. While it is often assumed they can, the actual evidence for it is slight, and diet is at least, probably more, important. Really, there's bucket loads of biology we don't understand about fish.>   Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated! <First check the pH and hardness. If the water conditions are too soft and acidic, as I suspect, then make small (10-15%) changes each day removing the soft water in the tank and replacing it with  regular tap water (dechlorinated, of course). The neons won't be wild about the hard water, but it won't kill them. (The Neon Tetra Disease, on the other hand, probably will.)>   Thanks, David <Cheers, Neale>
Re: Guppies dying off   5/22/07
Neal, <Robyn> Thank you for your swift reply. <No problem.> In answer to some of the questions you raised in the previous email. When the fish were in the hospital tank, there was no carbon present, just a powerhead and a heater.  I placed the neon tetras in a separate hospital tank and they got a smaller dose of the treatment.  The 10 gallon tank, that was left fallow, did have carbon in it, but no meds. <Sounds fine. There's really no reason to use carbon in a freshwater tank, and the space in the filter is better used filled with biological media.> I'll have to get a pH and alkalinity test kits (I had these for my salt water tank prior to it being sold) and I'll be able to get these measurements.  I hadn't thought about the pH differences between the fish species (my bad for not researching better), hopefully they will find a happy medium. <Up to a degree, freshwater fish can adapt to non-optimal conditions rather well. A pH of 7.0-7.2, and "medium hardness" on whatever scale you use will suit practically all freshwater you are likely to keep, with the exception (perhaps) of the hardcore blackwater fish and Rift Valley cichlids.> Our tap water is very hard, however it does come with an ample amount (10 ppm) of nitrates present, which is why I've been doing the distilled water route (again, I need to think fresh instead of salt water, since my salt mix had the minerals/buffering agents in it whereas the distilled water doesn't). <10 ppm nitrates is nothing. Toxic levels for ultra-sensitive freshwater fish is between 50-300 ppm, and if exposed to increasing nitrates gradually, most freshwater fish will stand *far* higher levels. This isn't to excuse sloppy aquarium maintenance, but simply to underline the point that doing bigger and more frequent water changes with municipal water at 10-50 mg/l nitrate levels is far better than doing fewer, smaller water changes with "perfect" water you get from RO or whatever.> I'll try the tap water and see if I can maintain lower nitrates while using it. <At 10 ppm don't worry about the nitrates. Focus on pH and hardness.> So far so good on the NTD with the remaining 2 neons, they look plump and their fins are in good shape. <Very good. This is somewhat my experience as well -- the fish die off one at a time and then the NTD just seems to fizzle out. Breaking the cycle by removing sick fish helps a lot.> Thanks again for your help! David <Cheers, Neale>  
Re: Guppies dying off 5/22/07
  5/25/07 Hi Neale (David again), <Hello David. I suspect I used Robyn's name in the last e-mail. I apologise -- I looked at the e-mail address rather than your signature.>   I've performed 3 water changes (~ 15%) in the last 3 days.  The general water hardness has increased from 4 dH to 8 dH (our tap water is 11 - 12 dH). <Very good. Your tap water is about perfect: almost all fish will thrive at the moderate level of hardness.> I purchased a low pH range kit (6.0 - 7.6) and the tank pH has been in the 7.4 - 7.6 range.  Of course, since the kit only goes up to 7.6, the actual tank pH may be higher, but I have seen 7.4 readings in the tank and our tap water also measures at 7.4. <Good. If you stick with water from the tap, the conditions in the aquarium should be identical. This is especially true if you do big, regular water changes (50% a week) because the water changes will "buffer" any water chemistry changes in the tank, effectively diluting them.>   There has been little change in the status of the female.  She is now mostly on her side, floating at the top of the tank at a 90 degree angle. She can swim, but she only can right herself to maybe a 45 degree angle. <Not good.> There appears to be a small bulge/bubble in her abdomen that acts like a swimming bubble.  In the photo, it would be at the apex of her side at the water level. (see attached blurry photo).  There does appear to be a small gravid spot next to this area. <I'd destroy her. I had a female halfbeak (also a livebearing fish) that developed something very similar. Seems to be a swelling of the ovaries, possibly caused by infection, and in her case blocked the vent. Would eventually kill the fish because she can't defecate properly and the baby fish certainly can't get out. In the short term, almost certainly painful. Best to destroy the fish to prevent suffering.>   Any other suggestions/ideas that I might implement?  Otherwise, I'll keep up with the daily water changes. <Very good. Once you're happy the water quality is good, feel free to buy some more fish. Guppies are, oddly enough, not as hardy as they once where because of all the inbreeding to create fancy varieties. So things like genetic abnormalities are common and resistance to water chemistry or quality problems is lower than for wild fish. "Feeder" guppies are much closer to wild guppies in terms of hardiness, and being cheap, are well worth trying out. They come in lots of colours, and are no less fun for not being "fancy".>   Thanks again. David <Cheers, Neale>

Re: High Mortality Rate, FW, poss. Hexamita/Octomita   7/12/06 One of our guppies that we bought 2 months ago is getting skinny and looks like it has wasting disease. <Could be... parasitic, infectious, genetic...>   Before when I treated with Metronidazole, I used a 10 gallon dosage for my 12 gallon tank.  Should I give it a 15 gallon dosage? <I would not re-treat with Metronidazole... toxic in repeated dosages> Is there anything else I should try? - Molly <Perhaps Praziquantel, another vermifuge... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>
Re: High Mortality Rate...    7/13/06
Well, my daughter gave the tank anther treatment last night hoping to save the sick fish, her favorite fish. This treatment which I used the other times I treated has Praziquantel; N-[[(N-Chlorophenyl) amino] carbon 1]-2,6-difluorobenzamide; Metronidazole; acriflavine. <... Stop. You haven't been reading. I would NOT re-treat with Metronidazole>   Actually most of these fish are new since I treated last time, so they have not received it. <Oh? Oh> It has been about 2-3 months since we last treated.  How common are parasites if you buy from a reputable fish store? <Unfortunately... not uncommon> When I treat should I use the 10 gallon dosage or 15 gallon dosage fro my 12 gallon tank. <Likely you have less than ten actual gallons of water...> We have always gone with the lower dosage.  I am wondering if it is too weak and not fully killing the parasite, thus breeding a stronger parasite.  If this doesn't work do we need to start over with new gravel, filters etc.? <... it may be you don't have a parasitic problem... It may be that prevailing conditions in an established aquarium are interfering (absorbing mostly) the "medicine"... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwdis3setsfactors.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Another livebearer question  12/30/06 Hi Tom, <<Hello, Linda.>> Another question if I may?   <<Certainly.>> What do you recommend for preventing gill flukes?  I haven't had this problem for some time but since I plan to get guppies I want to be prepared.  I had quite a problem at one time after purchasing guppies.  I have tried CopperSafe before but I wonder if there is something better to ward off a potential problem.  I understand if the fish are in good shape and remain un-stressed they can keep many parasites at bay themselves.  What about salt on a regular basis?  I don't keep snails but I may get a stray or two since I plan to have living plants in my new 55gal tank.  Is that a potential source of gill fluke infestation? <<As youre likely aware, Linda, maintaining top-notch water and tank conditions is the best preventative. As to water conditions, these speak to themselves in terms of regular changes, substrate/filter cleaning, etc. As for the tank conditions, be wary of over-crowding and provide hiding places particularly for the expectant females. Youre quite correct that stress-free, healthy fish are virtually immune to parasitic infestation. Ive mentioned this in other posts but it bears repeating: in cases of disease, medications merely control the spread. The immune systems of the fish are what ultimately eradicate the problem. In short, theres nothing better that you can do for your pets than provide the best conditions possible. The Guppies, more so than the Swordtails and Platys, will actually appreciate the addition of aquarium salt to the water. Even fish that dont have a high tolerance for salt will do fine with a modest amount in the tank. Pests, on the other hand, have little tolerance for any. The one admonition I would have for you here is that plants may not do well with salt in the water. Typically, however, this would be at what might be described as treatment levels which would be several times greater than you would normally maintain in your aquarium. In your case, I would cut the common ratio of one tablespoon per five gallons in half and see how both the plants and fish fare at this level. (Sometimes some good, old experimentation is needed to find a happy compromise.) Finally, since gill flukes dont require an intermediate host, I dont think a stray snail or two will pose a problem. Look into treating your plants in a solution of potassium permanganate if you want to avoid introducing even a stray snail. In fact, its really not a bad practice to quarantine plants as well as fish before adding them to the display tank. Goes a long way in avoiding undesireables that may be trying to hitchhike their way into a new home.>> Thanks, Linda Ritchie <<Happy again to be of service, Linda. Tom>>

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>

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>>

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>

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

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