Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Nastenka 06-21-2010 05:28 PM

Sick Female Guppy, Please help!
Hi everyone,

I recently posted a thread wondering whether my male guppies had some fin rot (

Once I read the replies I stopped treating my tank with Interpet's Number 8 Anti Fungus and Finrot (active ingredient: phenxyethanol 40,000mg/100mls) by replacing the carbon sponge and doing a water change (6 days after the medication was started). It seemed that the meds affected one of my black neon tetras - he lost almost all of his colour, but seems to be okay other than that.

I also noticed that my female guppy's (I have 4 males and 1 female, which I know is a terrible ratio) tail started to look as if it had some jagged edges (before the meds it was perfect!) and over the course of a few days it looked as if it was getting clumped together. She can't swim properly now (sort of jerks sideways instead). The tail is now even more clumped (alost like someone's put glue through it) and has red specs on the edges.

I have remembered that this exact same thing happened after I used the medication last time to treat fin rot (about 3-4 months ago) - my female then actually died. Is this medication off? Or known to be bad? What can I do to help the female? I don't have a hospital tank and won't be able to get one within the next few days

Also, after looking at other picture of fin rot online it seems to me that one of my guppy males definitely does have it. What can I do to help him as well?

Please help. Thank you.

TexasTanker 06-23-2010 09:05 PM

I'd suggest daily water changes, raise the heat and just monitor it. I'm tempted to say this sounds more like velvet that fin rot. If you gave your water parameters and a list of what you have stocked, we'd have a better idea of what your situation is.

Nastenka 06-25-2010 05:26 AM

Hi :)

My water parameters are:

pH: 7.5-8.0
Ammonia: 0 mg/l
Nitrite: <0.3 mg/l
Nitrate: 20 mg/l
Oxygen level: 5-8mg/l

And the occupants of my tank:

4 male guppies, 1 female guppy, 3 cory catfish, 2 cherry barbs, 2 harlequin rosboras, 1 glowlight tetra and 2 black neon tetras. I know it's not the best combination now, but unfortunately at the time when I bought them my LFS didn't advise me to that fact.

I haven't heard of an illness called "velvet" before. I'll have a look and see what I can find out about it. At the moment the female looks as though the receding of the fins has stopped (all of them, not just the tail fin, have been affected). The red specs are gone. She's constantly right the top of the tank and doesn't swim around very much.

Thank you for your help.

Nastenka 06-25-2010 07:29 PM

Hi everyone,

I don't know if anyone is reading this but I really need help urgently. The guppy has taken a huge turn for the worse. When I came home tonight I found her lying on her side at the very surface of the tank (at first I thought maybe she was dead but then I noticed her breathing). Her gills have really flared out, but I don't see any ohter "pine coning" on her body. It looks like her tail/spine have bent around (horizontally) towards her head. I think it looks like she won't make it, but I want to try and make her comfortable (I don't have a quarrantine tank, unfortunately) if I can. Would it be a good idea to euthanize her? How do I do this?

I'm also worried about the other fish in the tank, though all of them look fit and healthy at the moment (apart from some rips and tears in the male guppies' tails).

Please please please help.

TexasTanker 06-25-2010 08:07 PM

i think you need to do some big water changes until your nitrite is 0. Also, I'm not sure what size tank you have, but the fish combo, as you said, is not great. Stress lends itself to sick fish. They become susceptable to ailments they otherwise would not suffer from. In addition to that The bad combos might also lead to fin nipping. Tetra will do this when they don't have a big enough school. I think I've heard similar about rasboras as well.

That being said. Here is a great website with guppy related ailments and known treatments. Salt is almost always suggested. For you to do that, you either have to remove plants and anything sensitive to salt or set up a hospital tank...

Here's the gist of the salt treatment:

Salt Treatment/Salt Bath

This is a treatment that is as old as the aquarium hobby itself. Treating with salt is undoubtedly the safest way to treat fishes. While chemicals such as Formalin, Malachite Green, and copper are considered by some to be more reliable, these are strong substances to impose on a guppy and must be handled with care since they have the potential to cause cancer in humans. Using salt is especially handy with guppies, since they are built to withstand a lot of salt - they do that quite well. Salt is especially effective against fungal infections and some parasitic problems such as ich. If diagnosis is difficult, try salt. Normally the salt treatment lasts 10 days. Note: This bath is not intended as an additional treatment and should not be combined with other medication.

Days 1 - 3: add I teaspoon of salt per gallon of water, every morning and every night. (2 teaspoons /gallon/day)

Days 4 - 7: Leave water alone.

Days 8 - 10: Remove half of the tank water each day and replace with unsalted, chlorine-free water at the correct temperature.

If by day 7 you see any improvement (but not a total cure), wait until day 10 to start changing the water in the tank. Be sure to change half the water once a day, for three days at the end of the salt treatment. Also, don't wait longer than 10 days to start changing the water, as the salt itself can begin to cause problems for your fish.

Nastenka 06-25-2010 08:20 PM

Thank you very much for the info. Could you please explain to me briefly/point me to a link about setting up a hospital tank? I have a very limited budget at the moment, unfortunately, but I'll try my best to get it working.

What do I need? What size tank, what kind of filtration system, heater etc? Also, how can I cycle it fairly quickly (I guess things from my current tank will help?). Will I need to treat all of the guppies with the salt (the males as well)? Also, what kind of salt? Special aquarium salt of some kind? One more thing - US gallons, are you talking about? :)

My current tank is 63 litre capacity (Jewel Rekord 600). Generally I've not had many problems, but female guppies don't seem to do too well (bad ratio of males to females, I know. Plus this one was actually born in the tank and perhaps there were some problems with inbreeding etc).

Thank you for your help and sorry for all the questions!

TexasTanker 06-25-2010 11:15 PM

My hospital tank is/was a ten gallon bare bottom tank with a plain jane ten gallon filter. I kept it at 78 degrees. You can set up a smaller one if you need to. The point is simply to have a cycled place for them to go. I keep one healthy fish in the tank to keep it from growing dormant, and will pull her out if I need to treat anything in it.

If it's new you can seed it with a filter cartridge fresh from your current tank.

kitten_penang 06-26-2010 09:57 AM

aren't the ph for guppies 6.5???? mine were breeding like crazy when i kept it at a constant ph6.5 with a ph blocker

TexasTanker 06-26-2010 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by kitten_penang (Post 412562)
aren't the ph for guppies 6.5???? mine were breeding like crazy when i kept it at a constant ph6.5 with a ph blocker

Guppies do well in water up to 8.0 and ones that have been acclimated to salty water can do well in even higher.

kitten_penang 06-26-2010 04:29 PM

^.^ ty for the new info. i have a tank coming in for guppies soon..... so i'm looking up for some new strain. any i deas?

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