My guppies keep dying - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-29-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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My guppies keep dying

Hello everyone,

I'm not an expert in the business, but I can say I'm quite experienced, so here's my problem:

My guppies keep dying. Yes quite embarrassing actually, everyone says they are the easiest fish to have but for some reason I find keeping Angels and clown fish much easier then silly old guppies.
So whats going on:
1) All fish seem happy (neons, tetras, shoal of clowns and several guppies)
2) All fish are fine, except the guppies they are happy and swimming and one second later I come back and see one dead, and that keeps happening. One at a time, no apparent sickness at all they were perfectly ok no weird behavior at all.
3) Water quality seems ok, PH, amonia, nitrates etc...
4) Partial water changes every week
5) Bateria (CYCLE) is added as recommended for partial water changes

I cant seem to figure out what it is with me and the guppies, any suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-29-2009, 08:21 PM
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Dont know whats going on with your guppies. I would stop adding the bacteria for now. maybe some other people here have some idea whats going on.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-30-2009, 07:04 AM
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Do you add aquarium salt to their water?
I ask this because I use to have somewhat the same problem and it just about drove me into giving up on guppies.
Someone told me to add aquarium salt, So I did and I never lost another guppy after that.

Most everywhere you buy guppies from Add Aquarium salt, and for some reason they sometimes have to continue getting it or they will die.

At that time I tried the suggested adapting down routine, But it would never work, No matter how I went about it,
They always ended up having to be returned to the salt water or they died.

I have since kept everything in Salt water,
and I must say I have had no problems of any kind ever since.
Will never be without aquarium salt

Always in NEED & looking for more Tanks!

Last edited by Chicklet; 04-30-2009 at 07:11 AM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-30-2009, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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I will try that! Sounds like a good tip, and no, I usually don't go with acuarium salt with the fish I have now, but if guppies seem to need it i'll give it a try because I'm just about the point where i'll give up on guppies and go with the angels :)
Thanks a lot! I'll let you know how it goes!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-30-2009, 08:36 AM
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There's a lot of this going around apparently. With our guppies I am assuming it was ammonia...because it is the only thing I've changed about the water and they are fine now. I know what you mean though...I've got six angels that I bought right around the same time that my girlfriend started buying her guppies and has had a whole slew of them die, while my angels have thrived and tripled in size. As far as the salt, I've put some in both aquariums when I started them and then some every other water change. What are the odds your lfs and my lfs have the same fish supplier and we are just getting bad fish?
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-30-2009, 08:47 AM
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if your having ammonia problem then your tank isn't cycled, Theirs your troubles most likely, Some fish don't tolerate as well as others,
Salt should be replaced at every water change, Not every other water change,

Replace water for water with salt added,

Evaporated water, replaced with no salt added, As salt does not evaporate,,

Always in NEED & looking for more Tanks!

Last edited by Chicklet; 04-30-2009 at 08:50 AM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-30-2009, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jpicos View Post
I will try that! Sounds like a good tip, and no, I usually don't go with acuarium salt with the fish I have now, but if guppies seem to need it i'll give it a try because I'm just about the point where i'll give up on guppies and go with the angels :)
Thanks a lot! I'll let you know how it goes!
Salt should not be added to a tank with tetras (except in emergency to treat disease, and even then, be careful). Characins (except for a couple of rare species like Pristella that can actually tolerate brackish water) do not like salt in the water, and I suspect you may have problems in time if you add salt. Characins are sensitive to any chemical, which is why ick remedies frequently suggest half-strength if there are tetras in the aquarium.

Salinity is a major issue for fish. In another thread I've cited Laura Muha's advice from her article in the December 2006 TFH: "Both salinity and pH affect how hard a fish's body must work to maintain its physiological equilibrium--that is, the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. When pH and/or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium." You will note that she connects nutrition and health directly with the environment; adding salt to characin water will open the door to other problems.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 04-30-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-30-2009, 11:02 AM
1077's Avatar
I would be interested in exact readings for ammonia,nitrites,and nitrates along with the pH of original posters tank. Normal ,Fine, and good, don't say squat about what the fishes enviornment is like.
As for salt in dealer tanks where guppys and other fish are kept, it's usually there to help detoxify nitrites which no doubt appear in heavily stocked tanks. Most of the livebearers such as guppies,mollies,platys,and swordtails prefer hard alkaline water and do poorly otherwise.You could have a pH of7.6 but it is the alkalinity or hardness KH that will determine what fish you will have success keeping healthy in the long term. Could be the KH is not to the guppies liking,and could explain why tetras,and Angelfish who prefer neutral to acidic water, are faring better .

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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