Sick BGK Help please
First he wouldn't eat anything, now he lays on his side and doesn't want to move. When I got home from school today he was laying on his side and I noticed a few of my little guppies were nipping at him. His fins were frayed and the end of his tail was red instead of white. His tank stays heated, he as driftwood and rocks and plants. In the tank theres just a few feeder guppies, ghost shrimp, and a couple snails. Last night and early this morning he was acting absolutely fine. He was swimming around like normal, I dropped his food in there but I'm not sure how much he ate. (He hasn't been eating lately)
Temp 78 F
Tank size: 20 gallon long.
Fish size: 3 inches.
Plants: Java Ferns, Wisteria, Penny Wort, Riccia
Light: Just the natural light that comes through my window (But the tank doesn't really stay that bright, and my BGK seemed absolutely fine with the light)
I know this tank is small for a BGK, I was going to buy him a 55 gallon this weekend until he gets bigger, then upgrade to a 100 or 120 gallon.
Most of that sounds OK, but the high nitrates may be one problem. This species is very sensitive to water conditions. Some floating plants would help, if none of those mentioned are now at the surface, as they assimilate a copious amount of ammonia and nutrients which will help maintain stability in the water parameters and nitrification, plus they release a lot of oxygen through their roots and this too is critical for this species.
What type of filtration and water movement do you have? While it does not want a raging torrent, this fish does occur in flowing streams and has a need for good oxygen content.
It is a substrate feeder, so foods left on the substrate work best. Try feeding after darkness, as this nocturnal fish will likely prowl arond then.
They also do not like active fish around them, and the guppy is not a good tankmate for this reason. Also, the fin nipping you have witneessed might occur at other times too, indicating the BGK is highly stressed, and that weakens the immune system. The fish on its side being nipped is not a good sign, this should never occur. What other fish are in this tank?
The dim light is good, and lots of wood, etc for hiding spots is good too.
Thank you for your help. I have a few feeder guppies, ghost shrimp, and a couple snails. Late last night I found no help googling his symptoms, so I decided to take him back to the pet shop. They put him in a big tank and put some drops of some medicine in. He started swimming around a little in the store. And they told me, just as you did, how guppies aren't the best tankmate.
I suppose I did stress the poor fellow out. I figure when I get my bigger tank all cycled I might try again or go with an easier fish. He was really neat though.
Thanks for your help.
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