Guppy Fry and ich?
Okay, so, where to begin? My tank wasn't cycled before we got our feeder guppies, which we're breeding for a friend. We got the guppies almost two weeks ago. I didn't have a clue what I was doing, mind you, but I've been researching as much as possible to have a happy little tank. Thursday evening that friend brought over three more guppies, and early last week he stuck an unidentified plant in our tank. The guppies seem to love the plant, especially the fry, who spend a lot of time hiding in it.
Anyway, Friday morning, I noticed that my guppies were itching. They were flicking themselves against the rocks, the plants, and anything else that could scratch them. I thought it was odd, and started researching when I noticed the fry were doing it also. Research led me to suspect ich. No one had any white spots on them except one fry. I immediately went to petco to try and figure out which ich treatment to get. I didn't realize there were so many! I ended up getting the Tank Buddies Ich Clear simply because it seemed to be the easiest to measure the dosage. I also found one of those ATI Master Test Kits, which our usual lfs didn't have last time I looked.
On Friday night, I tested the water and nearly fell over when I saw the numbers. It's no wonder my little guppies aren't feeling well! I have a ten gallon tank. On Friday the water looked like this:
PH - ~8.0 -- Is this too high?
Ammonia - ~3.0 :shock: I know that's way too high
Nitrite - ~.50
Nitrate - ~10
I did a 50% waterchange before I gave the first ich treatment. Yesterday I checked the water before another water change and the second treatment and the numbers looked like this:
PH - ~8.0
Ammonia 2.0 -- Still way too high
Nitrite - .50
The ich packaging says to do at least a 20% waterchange before each treatment. I'm about to do another water change and another treatment. Should I keep doing 50% watcherchanges since the ammonia is so high, or will this be too dramatic for the guppies? Should I do less?
Also, none of the guppies have any white spots, I think the one fry that did got gobbled up by the large guppy that our friend brought over because I don't see anything on any of them. I also have not seen anyone itching today, and they all seem more relaxed than Friday morning. How long should I continue the treatment? I have read that because of the cycles of the ich, it should be continued for at least 5 days. I wanted to get opinions form those who have delt with it before. Is there anything I should be watching out for since my ammonia levels are high? And, are there any special precautions I should be taking based on the ammonia levels, and/or the fact that we have such small fry also in the tank?
Sorry it's so long, I just really want to minimize the stress of my guppies. They didn't ask to be given to someone with 0 fish experience. I feel sorry for them. :cry:
After further inspection of this thread, I think I put it in the wrong place - maybe... If so, I won't be offended if it gets moved.
Well I went ahead and did a waterchange. I'd changed 20% last night, so I did another 20% tonight. I tested the water before I changed it, and here are the numbers I got:
PH - ~8.0
Ammonia - ~1.0
Nitrite - ~1.0
Nitrate - the color looked to be between 10 and 20
And I went ahead and did their third ich treatment.
On 11/24 you were reading up on cycling your ten gal yet you introduced fish to unnecessary suffering anyway. why? In any event, you have fish in the tank so daily two gal water changes to keep ammonia levels at or below0.25 will be needed. Feed crushed up flake food once a day no more. Follow the directions on medication to the letter. More is not better. Any ammonia levels above 0 are harmful to fish . You are in my opinion cycling the ten gal with fish so water changes to keep the ammonia in check will be neede3d if fish are to survive. Don't add any more fish for now. You should also know that some ich medications will destroy the good bacteria that is needed for a tank to cycle or mature so it could take way longer than normal for your tank to mature or cycle. Hope some of this helps.:|
Thank you. The fish were added anyway because they are not technically my fish. I didn't buy them and was not actually supposed to spend any of my own money on anything for them. We're breeding them for a friend who is tired of buying feeders for his fish. We wanted to cycle the tank first after we read that it should be done, but the friend was ready to put the fish in the tank, and since they're technically his, he gets what he wants. My husband also sees them as "just fish" and thinks I'm being ridiculous wanting to take care of them. I bought the water testing kit and ich treatment before he woke up so he couldn't protest - as I said, we're not supposed to be spending our own money on them. I feel responsible for them though and don't want to just throw them in the tank when they can't do anything for themselves as far as improving their quality of life.
We do feed them crushed fish flakes, I was feeding very small amounts twice a day because I read that fry need to eat more often than the adults, but I will reduce to once.
After our friend brought over three more guppies (and put them in the tank when we weren't here) I told him no more, which he seems fine with.
I use half-doses of the ich treatment because the instructions say half-doses if you have smaller fish. I am glad you mentioned that it may take longer for the tank to cycle with the medications.
Anyway, thanks for the help, I really do appreciate it, and so do the guppies. As aforementioned, I can "play" with the tank (as they call it), but I don't have the final say in what happens with it. It's not technically my tank, and I keep being reminded of it. I also keep being reminded that they're "just fish!" Like they're "disposable" pets or something. I joined this forum because I don't really know what I was doing and don't think it's fair for animals to suffer because of the ignorance of humans. Sorry if I have offended in anyway.
And quick correction, it was almost one week ago that we got the guppies.
I don't think you offended anyone ;-). Anyway, I'm sorry that you have been having so much trouble. I read your other posts, so I already knew that this wasn't your fault when I read it.
The water changes should be fine, you really want to keep those levels at .25 during the cycle. The bacteria mostly colonize on the filter and gravel, so when you do daily water changes leave the gravel alone. You will only need to vaccuum a portion of the gravel each week, and gently swish and clean the filter pad in old aquarium water when it is necessary.
As for the ick treatment, I would just dose as long as the medication recommends. If that is 5 days, then go for it. The fact that they are no longer itching is great, and hopefully they will be perfectly fine once the course of meds is done.
Hmmm...you sound like an animal lover to me. What are you going to do when they become food?? I couldn't do it :roll:. I think you should set up your own tank with some neat fish that have lots of personality so that you can show people that they're not "just fish." Plus, you can make the rules of your own tank ;-)!
If you can get your water parameters under control, I would be surprised if the fish continue to flick. That kind of itching response is quite common for high ammonia conditions. If it turns out that you actually have an ich infestation, there is a good writeup here that will give you more infornation than you ever wanted on ich. The Skeptical Aquarist
And thank you ghreed for letting me know that the ammonia can cause them to get itchy. I didn't know that, and it seems that may have been the problem. I had researched the fact that the fish were itchy, but only came across a bunch of articles on ich - none mentioned ammonia. This is valuable information that I will keep in mind.
Sorry for such a late response, we've had so much family visiting, and the birth of a new nephew keeping me from the computer lol.
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