Swollen gills - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-11-2007, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
Swollen gills

I have a female guppy with flared or swollen gills. I cannot get a really good look at her since she is constantly on the move, but as best as I can tell the gills are not overly red nor do they have any white patches or parasites. She is interested in food - at least tasting it - but I have not actually seen her ingest anything for the past day or two.

The tank is a 5.5 gallon established tank, but it just had a nitrate spike. At least I know the root cause of the problem. Is there anything I can do for her? I really do not expect her to make it, but she is gravid and I would like to see her improve and perhaps have her fry. I've added some aquarium salt to the tank and I have been doing frequent water changes. She's the only inhabitant right now, so I can treat her right in her own little habitat.

If I do lose her, I am going to have to break down the tank, clean it out, and start over since she is the fourth guppy to die. I just cannot get the gravel clean enough after my goldfish were in there. They made a mess and I didn't realize my gravel vacuum was not strong enough to pull out all of the junk they deposited. Hence the poor conditions of the tank.

Best wishes for your fishes!
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-11-2007, 11:25 PM

If it were my guppy I would add Melafix and Pimafix at the recommended dosage.

IMHO using "stronger medications" now will kill your guppy.

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post #3 of 28 Old 08-11-2007, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
Thanks, Jones. That's pretty much what I thought - meds actually doing more damage than good. I head out tomorrow for the recommended Melafix and Pimafix, if she's still alive by tomorrow. Appreciate the response.[/img]

Best wishes for your fishes!
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post #4 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 01:35 AM

For my edification please "post on" your observations as well as "how this turns out"

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post #5 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 02:54 AM
willow's Avatar
just a thought ....
could you not possibly take her out,and place her
in a container(fish friendly)take the gravel out
and give it a clean ?
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 04:41 AM

Thanks a bunch for your last post as the more input I believe to be the better.

I could easily be wrong here but I did not recommend your proposal because:

1) moving fish I believe to be extremely stressful to them and as she described her fish's condition I believed that the move might cause death;

2) cleaning the gravel now is very similar to the cattle already being out in the pasture and

3) as I "do not know what is wrong with her guppy" but from her discourse I believe that medications "stronger than" Melafix and Pimafix will kill her fish.

If I am "saying something here" which you believe to not be correct please post!

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post #7 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 04:53 AM
willow's Avatar
i do not dissagree with you at all !
in fact i agree.maybe i was a little impulsive.
the reason behind my saying was,that i was thinking
of the gunge that could be within the gravel
not helping the situation.
i whole heartidly(sp) agree with the medicating side
of things too.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
Well, for now, she lives! Thanks again for the comments, all.

Willow, I had indeed thought of moving her and tearing down the tank, but this posed two problems: 1) as Jones pointed out, moving a fish is very stressful and I have had very poor luck with using hospital tanks. They seem to stress my fish out more than they help. And 2) doing such drastic measures to the tank may kill off the bacterial colony, leaving me with an uncycled tank which would also probably kill off my poor girl. I was appreciative of the suggestion, though!

As an alternative, I have been doing a 25% water change every other day and have been vacuuming the gravel each time. So the tank is now much cleaner than before, and it is improving with each clean.

I did take her out for a quick second to examine her more closely and still could not identify the exact cause of the gill inflammation other than the water quality problem. I have heard that sometimes an enlarged thyroid can push out the gills, but I don't know if that is her problem or not.

I will post more as she either improves or continues to deteriorate. The good news is that she does not exhibit any signs of fin rot, which claimed the lives of the other guppies. For this I am extremely thankful!

Best wishes for your fishes!
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 05:33 PM
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fab news :)
keep us updated.
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-12-2007, 06:32 PM

Just thought of something else based on your post:
Originally Posted by Julie's Julies
As an alternative, I have been doing a 25% water change every other day
Your profile does not indicate where you live but if live in a "colder region" have you been "letting the exchange water" warm up to tank or room temperature before the WC.

I am asking this because in "colder regions" the water mains are buried much deeper than in West Texas in order to preclude freezing during the winter.

This "extra depth" unfortunately also produces fairly cold tap water "year round".

A 25% WC with 60F tap water into a tank with a 78F ambient temperature will result in an instantaneous 4F drop in the temperature which your guppy is experiencing.

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