guppies dying suddenly - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-23-2014, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy guppies dying suddenly

I have a 20 gallon tank, with gravel substrate, few plants including hornwort (due to running high nitrate). I have or should i say, had several guppies, during the past 24 hours have lost 5 adults and numerous fry. after finding the first three dead, yesterday, with no apparent cause i did a 50% water change,added 1 1/2 tbs aquarium salt to the tank, then noticed a small "fuzzy" area on one of the males, i treated the tank with Tetra Fungus Guard, this morning i found another 2 dead and most of the fry not there. all the ones left are swimming at the top of the tank with exaggerated movements, put the carbon filter back in thinking i had a toxin.
water temp is 78 degrees, tank is 8 months old, but had the fish for the past 2 months with only occasional fatality
ammonia is 0
nitrite is 0
nitrate is 10ppm
ph is 6.4 (stable at that range)

what do i need to do to save the last 5, any help appreciated
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-23-2014, 07:39 PM
I'm so sorry about your guppies. I'm sure someone will come along shortly and answer your questions.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-23-2014, 07:46 PM
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Hello thena! Welcome to TFK. I'm sorry that such a sad story has brought you to us! I am hoping our membership can help you solve these issues quickly. I'm afraid I'm not much on diseases but wanted to ask a few questions.

Before the first deaths, did you do a water change? Could there have been a large temperature difference? A water change without de-chlorinator? Sometimes we get in the zone doing our changes and we forget a step we get so busy and distracted. Is the output of the filter ABOVE the water line? i.e. the return flow breaks the surface? When was the last time you added ANYTHING new? And what was it?

You have mentioned a bunch of different symptoms so I'm grasping at straws hoping it will trigger answers for one of our more experiences members to help you.

Your numbers look good from testing. If you put carbon in, you will pull out your meds. Try to take your time and not do to many things at once. Slow and steady. Really it's about stabilizing this tank now and trying to stop the deaths. But there is only so much you can do and sadly you are going to have to ride this out.

Keep testing your numbers for the next few days... do water changes as directed with meds. Don't make any changes to your filter right now, ie don't clean it.

Good Luck. I hope things settle!!
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-24-2014, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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i found 3 dead then did a large water change, 50%.treated water with "start right" the temp did not fluctuate more than 2 degrees, noted one to have a tiny area of fungus, treated the tank and thought it was over. Then got up, found 2 more dead (not fungus one), looked online was suggested to use salt in the tank. i did. only 1 1/2 tbs. did another water change yesterday again 50%, without salt this time. (never used it before) but fish still at the top. filter is partially submerged but causes waves in the water. I am trying so desperately to save the poor fish. they do not look bad, even the fungus is about gone. my water parameters are steady. was told to add a small piece of coral to help PH to come up slowly as mine runs 6.4 all the time.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-24-2014, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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well this afternoon when i got home from work, went to check on the fish.....down to 4 adults and 2 fry. So sad
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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this morning i got up to find i have no live fish in the tank. not sure where to go from here, all that is left in the tank are some snails and plants, they seem to be OK tho. Can someone tell me what i need to do with the tank, like how to clean it in case it was a toxin. all water parameters seem OK. I use API test kit. the only thing that is off is the ph at 6.4 but seems to stay there.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 07:32 AM
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Awwwwwww! I so sorry! This is so NOT the normal experience but it does happen occasionally to a fish keeper. I'm posting this thread link for our Reference Team to take a look. I'm hoping one of them can give you some guidance on what to do.

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 08:57 AM
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This thread is so sad!

From what I've read, being without a fish host for a time is enough for many pathogens to die off. . .
I'd personally let my tank run without fish for about a month or so before adding anything into the system - a fishless quarantine period.

There are a few things out there that might need more. . .
I don't know much about them, though. :/

If you don't mind my asking. . .
Where on the fish was the fungus?
Is the pH in your tap-water the same as in the tank?
How often do you usually do water changes?

I'm sorry you're going through this, sick tanks are never fun. :(
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 09:00 AM
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Other than the PH being a bit low for guppies... I'm not sure what it could possibly be. Let me see if I can ask someone for you...
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-25-2014, 09:12 AM
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If you have naturally low pH you can switch your substrate to a calcium based one like aragonite. That will raise it in a controlled manner.

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