So I've been having this issue since I started breeding guppies. They look great, do perfect, breed and then they give birth and turn into sheets of paper. They usually die within three to five days of this. I'm kinda at a loss.
Tank is ten gallons. Got it late last October for my Birthday, used mature media and water so it pretty much cycled instantly(it was stable within three days and stayed there), I still kept track for several days before adding fish and made sure parameters stayed put.
Test kit: API Master Freshwater Test Kit.
My parameters are: GH 10-11, PH: 7.2 Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are zero.
Temp is always 77-78F.
Lighting is from about 9AM to 6PM. I have LED lights. Came with the tank.
Filter came with the tank, I think it's a whisper.
Substrate is sand.
I do not use any fertilizers, C02 Boosts or tabs.
Haven't added any new fish in several months that were not born into it, no new plants either. I planted the tank first week, I have a lot of them, mostly java moss and small anubias and anacharis.
Currently there are two male guppies and five females. Two juvenile endler/guppy mixes who are male as well, I'd move them but I'm afraid they have a nasty.
I change 25% of the water once per week. Every two weeks I gently wash the sponges in tank water and dump out all excess water from the filter itself and make sure nothing is in there to clog it, it's also rinsed in tank water when I do that. I test the water every day to make sure all stays stable and doesn't get bounced.
I use Seachem Prime to treat water, sometimes I add in a little Stress Zyme when I rinse the filter, just in case.
So anyway...this seems to be a thing with my girls. It's females only. They do great until they give birth, and then they refuse food and die. Usually they start refusing food a day or two before giving birth, no matter what I try to give them(greens, flakes, daphnia, brine shrimp, most frozen freshwater foods available at the pet shops, they wont touch it). They give birth and are paper thin, more even than most fish look after having babies(they are so thin their gills look like they're sticking out. I breed livebearers, so I know what is normal thin and what is far too thin). Usually within a few days of giving birth they die. I've checked three of the mothers to see if something was stuck or torn, even took them to the shop to have them dissected...nothing stuck and no injury they could see, and no parasites.
The males are fat and happy, always have been. Females LOOK fat and happy, and all are very energetic and bright, until they have babies. Haven't had any issues with them, and only one of my females has survived giving birth. The reason I still have any aside from her is because I often keep female kids to breed. c.c Initial females have no relation to my males...however in this tank I'm no longer sure, I can't move or replace anything since I have no idea what's up. lol This has been going on for several months.
I have question marks floating above my head, I just know it. Poor original stock, perhaps? The female I have that is always fine is a cobra/tuxedo mix that I bred and raised myself. But then so are the babies I keep, the original mothers, however, were petshop guppies from Petsmart. The cobra females great grandma was as well though, as were her suitors...
I think I've lost about fifteen females at this point. I have some in my 55 gallon that were doing this, but NO issues with any other fish or male guppies.
Has anyone had this issue before? Or possibly know the cause?