healing split/ rotted guppy tails - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 02-05-2014, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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healing split/ rotted guppy tails

I know there is probably thousands of posts on this subject.

I first noticed one of guppies had abit of 'nip' in his tail, he's got quite a big, but not very colourful tail. It had some red swelling around it, which comes and goes. I thought it was weird since there has been little aggression amongst my guppies since I got them. I have a 45 litre tank, heavily planted, with 15 guppies. all males. Anyway, being a new and worried owner I rushed to get some medicine and toxin salt (general medicine, which treat fin rot, ulcer etc.) It was then I started noticing some of my other guppies weren't looking too good either. I knew one or two had split tail (I bought them that way but was told they would heal pretty soon -they were pretty anyway-)

What I am really confused is there is a varying degree of damage amongst my guppies. The first group of 4 I got - Tut had a split tail, Churchill, Napoleon and Gandhi were fine. Napoleon now has a healing ragged tail, and Churchill a small split. My second group - Dickens was fine, but has some slight damage at the tip of his tail. Columbus is completely find. Oscar Wilde and Richard lion heart (both have the largest tails) are now showing signs of ragged tails. My third group were all endlers, Leonidas, Aristotle, Darwin and Van Gogh, they are all fine. and my last group, Mandela, Picasso and Marx were all fine, and Xerxes tail was already ragged and split. I am noticing the guppies with the longest, or biggest tails seem to be hit first.

I've had the water tests in stores and everything is fine, Ph abit high, but that will go with water changes. I think I know what has caused this though. when I feed my guppies I give them flakes, but a crush them up into pieces (thinking so the fish will all get some, and it's easier for them to eat) I was told this actually causes a lot of waste food and harmful bacteria. Which would explain why my separate betta tank is doing so well, I only give him two three small pellets and he eats them all.

now it' been 5 day since I added the medicine (once per day as instructed) and changed the water (25% with treated water), and I have noticed some positive result. one guppy with a really ragged tail has started to heal (Napoleon). But I still have noticed some guppies with more split tail (as opposed to ragged) have not healed yet. One is Tut, one of the first four guppies I got when I started my tank (almost a month ago) and the most recent, Xerxes (Whom I got almost a week or so ago - but he's got a split and slightly ragged tail). Also Richard Lionheart and Oscar Wilde (With the biggest tails) are still looking abit frayed at the edges.

These splits aren't right down to the end of the tail, so I can't see why they haven't healed. how long do these things take ? am I just expecting too much too soon ? All are still eating and swimming fine.
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post #2 of 2 Old 02-05-2014, 07:29 PM
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Well! You have about an 11 gallon tank with fifteen guppies. That's the biggest issue right now. Many keep them in ten gallons, but you have to be careful about it since even that is considered a bit small for them, it's a MINIMUM for five guppies. So you have too many. The one inch per gallon rule is one of the worst rules out there that cause heavy over-stocking of tanks and many sick and dead fish, you unfortunately have gone beyond that by several guppies. If you insist on keeping them all, you will want a 25+ gallon tank, go for the long ones over tall or funny shaped ones. Until that cycles, change out 20-30% of the water in this tank per day and treat it with Prime and Stress Coat+ to help. It will not fix it and it's stressful, but it MIGHT help until you get a larger tank. Slowly move them over to it 3-4 at a time each week. It's a long process if you go this way, and you may unfortunately lose many if not all of your guppies if it's not fixed sooner.

Having too many hurts your water quality. The ripped fins will not heal so long as they're continuing to nip at each other, and will get infected and rot so long as there are too many fish in the tank hurting the water quality. You need to lose about 9-10 of those guppies and do a big 40-50% water change, use some prime. Clean water is the way to go with damaged fins and even fin-rot, however, if it's infected, and it sounds like they are, you will want to get some antibacterial meds, I also suggest an anti-fungal to go with that since they often get some when there's a lot of rot and damage. The Maracyn meds are pretty good, but you still need to lessen your stock by a lot and change the water first, wait a few days and then start the meds so your conditioners and/or prime doesn't remove it(some do, not all though). Less of them in there will also lessen the aggression with your males...at least usually it does, male guppies can be pretty snotty even without females in the mix.

Now then, are you also positive ALL of them are males? Females can have colorful tails too. Make sure you don't have a couple females with a bunch of males, they'll kill the girls and each other trying to breed.

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Last edited by Sylverclaws; 02-05-2014 at 07:33 PM.
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