My female guppies are dying! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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My female guppies are dying!

So I have 2 females and one male in my 20 g. Params are steady, nitrite 0, nitrate 30, pH 8.4 (I know it's high, but it's consistent), hardness is 300, alkalinity is 240
I know guppies like lower pH but they have been doing fine for months. One of the females had a cottony patch on her tail so I isolated her for a day and then she had 50 babies. After she was done giving birth I noticed that the other female's mouth was looking weird. Her lips were really fat and she was acting strange. I put her and the other female in a 10 gallon with two new rasboras which I hadn't quarantined before adding them a week ago. I medicated the tank with jungle fungus cure and aquarium salt. This morning, the one with the weird mouth was dead at the bottom :( The other female, whose tail fin was losing color, now has the disease creeping up onto her body at the base of her tail. I'm afraid I'm going to lose her, but at least she had 50 babies... The male is still doing fine in the 20g I'm thinking the rasboras were not the cause of all of this because they seem to be fine and the other rasboras in my 20g aren't sick. My questions are, should I move the rasboras, am I going to lose the second female, and should I be worried about the babies? I separated them soon after they were born. I've done a 10% water change on the 20g.

I suspect columnaris because it was mouth/tail...

My boyfriend, observing my guppy tank:
"Someone should write a book about guppies called 'Everyone Poops. And Then Everyone Tries to Eat the Poop Because They Think It's Food.'"

Last edited by Herbicide; 04-20-2010 at 12:15 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 01:36 PM
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I suspect columnaris because it was mouth/tail...
In that case, I hope you are doing some serious disinfecting of EVERYTHING in that aquarium, mega-waterchanges, and the like. The symptoms sound like it is a distinct possibility. I know of a particular 20G whose occupants were all killed from columnaris in a period of about 24 hours. It's ridiculously contagious.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how I'm supposed to disinfect an established aquarium. I have plants, decorations, driftwood, gravel, a filter... It has only affected the female guppies so far.

My boyfriend, observing my guppy tank:
"Someone should write a book about guppies called 'Everyone Poops. And Then Everyone Tries to Eat the Poop Because They Think It's Food.'"
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 02:38 PM
Flexobacter columnaris is ever present in our tanks that infect our fish when the right condition present themselves, poor water quality and high temp are the biggest reason as well as stress, two types...one slow moving that the fish can often recover from and then the fast moving type that the fish will die within 24 hour and will look as if it was eaten away and gaping holes in their body.
Best treatment I have found is lower the water temp to 75-76F, add an air stone, make daily 50-80% water changes and add aquarium salt 1tsp/gal up to 3tsp/gal, QT all fish with symptoms to treat and also do daily water changes on the main tank to get your nitrate level down, high nitrate can affect the immune response of the fish making it harder for them to fight off the infection.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Already turned down the temp, I'm taking a water sample to get tested, and I'll do another water change on the big tank. Should I do water changes on the qt tank? Won't that dilute the meds? I've added maracyn because the fungus clear isn't working. I'll put the rasboras in a diff container and change the water for a few days before putting them back into the big tank.
I'll also find a new place for the baby gups, because they'll probably spike the nitrites...

Thank you so much for the advise!

My boyfriend, observing my guppy tank:
"Someone should write a book about guppies called 'Everyone Poops. And Then Everyone Tries to Eat the Poop Because They Think It's Food.'"
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 05:36 PM
I don't use OTC medication so I can't recommend anything except to follow the direction on the package.....

Make sure the medication covers gram negative bacteria...but even better to cover both gram neg and pos
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 07:15 PM
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I had good luck using Mardel's Maracyn Plus on columnaris. But don't mix medications without one or two significant water changes in between. And follow the directions.

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]
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-21-2010, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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So the water test came back ammonia: 0, nitrates:"negligable", nitrites: 0, pH: between 7 and 8
Today the female is still alive but her mouth is messed up now, looks like she can't close it. I'll do a large water change and hope for the best, but she doesn't look too good.
:(
I hope the babies are ok. I'll do a water change in the big tank too.

Once the mama either dies or gets better, any suggestions on how to sterilize the 10g she's in to make it a safe fry tank?

My boyfriend, observing my guppy tank:
"Someone should write a book about guppies called 'Everyone Poops. And Then Everyone Tries to Eat the Poop Because They Think It's Food.'"

Last edited by Herbicide; 04-21-2010 at 01:31 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-21-2010, 01:37 PM
I like to use a diluted bleach...20 parts water to 1 part bleach and clean everything, rinse well and use a dechlorinator on the final re-fill

Keep up with the water changes and watch the temp and keep it stable at 76-77F on the fry tank, it also looks as if your cycle may have crashed since your nitrate reading in not showing, but no problem....just keep up with daily to every other day water changes until you get a nitrate reading of at least 5ppm
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-21-2010, 02:15 PM
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make sure there isnt a punp that would suck up the fish (cause it will) iwould upload a photo so that mad entusiasts could probably tell you whats the matter with your fish, dont keep the babys if you dont have room for them all to grow full size other than that just take a print to the pet store (such as pets at home (they are professianals) and hope for the best
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