Guppies: Fin Rot - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-19-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Guppies: Fin Rot

10 gallon, parameters?, freshwater, over a year, 3 guppies, betta, 2 neon tetras 7 months now, no quarantine tank, 80 degrees, no live plants - just plastic, AquaTech 5-15 filter - change carbon pad every 2 weeks as well as replacing 2 gallons water with fresh water, no direct sunlight - aquarium lights are on about 8 hours a day, I usually don't vacuum the gravel, tropical flakes - about 2 to 3 times a day.

I've noticed fin rot on some of the guppies. Like the tail fins are being eaten away by something. Is this a bacterial infection? I've used Melafix before but it doesn't do an good job, two weeks later fin rot starts again. Is there a preventative measure for combating bacteria? Is adding a teaspoon of salt to the aquarium a good thing or bad in a freshwater aquarium?

Thanks for any information.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-19-2011, 11:36 PM
Hi there,has the betta got the fin rot too?. If not and its only the guppies it will probably be the betta eating the guppies tails,they do this randomly.I have kept guppies & a betta together & over time all my guppies slowly had there tails eaten by the betta.

Last edited by DOGTOOTH CICHLIDS FTW; 08-19-2011 at 11:54 PM.
post #3 of 11 Old 08-19-2011, 11:39 PM
Hi there you should try broad spectum it worked for me. about the salt was it table salt or aquarium salt?
post #4 of 11 Old 08-20-2011, 01:41 AM
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Yes I agree in that Bettaís & Guppies are a bad combination as the Betta often mistakes/perceives them as a threat due to their colour & flowing fins. I would suggest moving one or the other (a 5 gallon set up would do nicely for the Betta. Neonís really appreciate and thrive best if kept in a proper shoal of 8 or more.

Fin rot can be brought on by stress, water quality or injury or all three. If from an injury it can be bacterial, but often it can be both fungal/bacterial combined.

Stress from any harassment from the Betta could bring it on, but I feel it is a combination of that and poor water quality. May I ask why you never syphon the gravel? It really needs to be a part of regular tank maintenance along with partial water changes, which you should increase to at least 30% weekly imo. Instead of the 2 gallons a fortnight you are doing. I would urge you to find out what your parameters are, seeing that you donít vacuum the gravel, which is where all the toxins will build up from decaying food/fish waste, your parameters could be spiking frequently. Do you have the necessary test kits at all? Also if you have very soft water or the PH is too low, the guppies may not thrive as they prefer hard/alkaline conditions.

As a preventative measure, salt is not needed in a freshwater aquarium and is a bad idea. One teaspoon of salt wonít do very much at all anyway. You can use aquarium salt to help in cases of fin rot, but you also need to consider whether the other tank mates will tolerate it, when you donít have a QT. Is it actual fin rot or nipped fins and if fin rot, how far advanced is it? Usually if caught in time, keeping the water quality at a premium and the fish as stress free as possible goes a long way to help cure it. I would not like to suggest medications without knowing what state your water parameters are in.

You really donít need carbon and it isnít a substitute for keeping up with tank maintenance. If it is encased with the sponge in a cartridge (as many smaller filter media have), replacing it every 2 weeks will just be throwing out all the nitrifying bacteria that is on the sponge as well. I would stop using it!

Adult fish only need to be fed once a day or twice but in very small amounts. They also need a varied diet for optimum health. I would include shrimp pellets, spirulina, frozen baby brine shrimp, micro pellets etc. and frozen bloodworms as a treat, plus the Betta is basically carnivorous, there are flakes/pellets especially designed for Bettaís and he will also benefit from the bloodworms.

You ask is there a preventative measure for combating bacteria. Yes there is and it is keeping up with regular tank maintenance/partial water changes to ensure the water quality remains high.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-20-2011, 06:04 AM
melafix is bad for the betta fyi

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4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-20-2011, 09:08 AM
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I agree with what Beaches has said. Have you tested your water parameters? What is the level of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? In a cycled tank the levels that you should have is ammonia 0, nitrites 0 and nitrates 20 or less. One of the best preventitive measures that you can take in maintaining the health of your fish is keeping the water clean. Also clean water is going to be one of the most important things in helping the fin rot heal.

Water changes should be done on a weekly basis of 30-40%, with a 10 gallon tank 3 or 4 gallons of water, along with vacuuming the gravel when you do the water changes. Knowing what the parameters are will help, I am guessing that the nitrates in the tank are probably fairly high. If you do not have a test kit yet at home I would highly recommend in investing in one. The API master test kit is one that most of the people here use. Liquid test kits are more accurate than the strip tests, and even though a little more on the initiial purchase, you get more tests for your money. If you are unable to get the test kit right away than I would take a sample of your water from your tank to your LFS and have them test it for you, most places will do this for free. If you have them test your water for you have them give you the numbers, not just tell you that it is good or not.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-26-2011, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Dogtooth: yes the betta has fin rot as well. Where can you purchase broad spectrum?

Beaches: no, i don't have a test kit. Can you recommend a brand? I will try changing more than 2 gallons of water weekly and siphon the gravel as well. What about a filter? What type should I invest in if any, for a 10 gallon aquarium?

Thank you everyone for the information!
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-26-2011, 11:07 PM
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For a test kit API makes a good one that most people use here it is the API Master Test Kit, it has everything in it to be able to test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, along with ph, which are the major ones that you need to be able to test. I don't know where you live but Petsmart sells them for about $30.

For filter in a 10 gallon you could use a simple sponge filter, single or double would work. Hagen Elite has sponge filters that quite a few members here use. They attach with airline to an air pump. Maintenance on sponge filters are very simple, when you do your water changes just take the sponge and squeeze it out in the old aquarium water. They will last you a long time, and are cheaper than the HOB. I use sponge filters on all of my tanks and have yet to have a problem with them.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-26-2011, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi BarbH,

I will start looking for an API test kit and a sponge filter. I wonder if Petco sales them.

So the carbon (activated charlcoal) in filter's don't do anything for the water quality?
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-26-2011, 11:47 PM
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Looking at the website they do have the API test kits listed at about $26. I did not see the sponge filters on the site, but their inventory may differ in the store. I have been able to get my sponge filters at Pet Supplies Plus, and also at Pet Provisions. I know that PSP is located in several states not sure if nation wide or not. Not so sure about Pet Provisions. The filter by Hagen is the Elite series on the sponge filters.

As for carbon most of the time it is not necessary, really the only time that I see it in being helpful is after you have added medication to the tank and are at the end of the treatment to help remove the medication. Keeping the HOB for those cases would be good, but even doing water changes will do the same thing
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