Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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darthfoley 06-13-2007 04:23 AM

Hello all, new here! :)

My wife and I just started in the aquarium world. We currently have a 6 gallon tank with 4 male guppies.

We think.

One of our guppies, a fancy yellow who we call Lemonhead, seems to be acting strangely. He looks more 'robust' than the others, and after a few days of happily swimming with the others, has now taken to hiding in the corner behind the filter's water intake tube. From LOOKING at this guppy, it is tough to make a distinction as to whether it is male or not. I know that sounds like a noobish statement, but it really is - he appears to have the appendage fin AND an anal fin.

We also have a little fin nippage going on from our tequila sunrise (Cuervo) and our turquoise (Bluey) on our other fancy (Crazyquilt).

So, we're a little worried. Any suggestions/advice?

Lupin 06-13-2007 04:54 AM

Welcome to the forum, Darthfoley.:wave:

Please provide us more details about your problem.:) Tank maintenance schedule? Equipments? Water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are the parameters you need to watch out for.

All male livebearers like the guppies should have a pointed fin near their anus which is actually a gonopodium used to insert sperm in the female's vent. Females should have a triangular shaped fin near their anus as well.

Male guppies are very easy to distinguish. They are far more colorful and sporting elegant tails compared to the females.

darthfoley 06-13-2007 05:19 AM

Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 0
Hardness: 120
Alkalinity: 80
pH: 7.6

I don't have an ammonia measure at the moment. The tank is about 5 days old - it was set up and sat for two days, then we bought/added the guppies. The temp seems a little low - it was ok when we set it up but has dropped down to 74 or so at the moment.

I understand Melafix will help with the fin nippage.

mHeinitz57 06-13-2007 09:48 AM

Test the ammonia as it is the first thing to spike in a new tank. 4 fish is actually a lot to start with in a 6 gallon tank and it can spike somewhat fast. Melafix can treat damaged fins but it is a strong medication if it is not that serious. It won't stop fish from nipping eachother though, it just heals damaged fins. Plus, the initial nitrogen cycle is stressful enough...medication would just add to that. If you can remove the fin nipper or add hiding spots to reduce the nipping then you shouldnt require a medication. Just use a stress coat, make sure water quality stays good, and the fins will grow back naturally.

darthfoley 06-16-2007 02:45 AM

Quick update:

According to an ammonia tester we bought, we're at 1ppm.

The water in this tank has become cloudy as well, basically overnight. I'm afraid we might have issues. =/

lioness501 06-16-2007 06:47 AM

i suggest u do daily water changes of 15%/??? to get the ammonia down. also cloudyness can happen with overfeeding. how much do u feed them and how often?

darthfoley 06-16-2007 11:40 AM

I've been feeding them twice a day, about 1/8tsp each feeding.

mHeinitz57 06-16-2007 12:55 PM

cut the feeding down to maybe just once a day and see if problems subside. Cloudiness is often a bacterial bloom often associated with overfeeding and occurs a lot in newer tanks. Continue doing water changes as needed, about 15-25% at a time.

darthfoley 06-16-2007 11:48 PM

Well, we lost the yellow fancy this evening. We were starting a 25% water change and found him. I feel like a bad fish parent. =/

We'll keep up the changes and see how things go.

mHeinitz57 06-17-2007 01:49 AM

you;re not a bad fish parent..everyone experiences some issues and fish loss at some point. Just resist the urge to replace the little guy till the tank cylcles and everything is in control. The worst thing you could do is replace a fish in the middle of a would probably mean a quick death for the new fishy. I hope the ohers do well though, please keep us updated.

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