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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I had a well established 10 gallon tank that I needed to combine with my well established 50 gallon planted tank. The 10 gallon only had 3 male guppies in it that had lived their life in there (I called them the three musketeers). The 50 gallon has rasboras, black skirt tetras, and runny nose tetras. I drip acclimated the guppies in a bucket to the large tank and after an hour put them in. All three huddled together in the corner of the tank shaking and breathing fast. I thought at first they were just scared and needed a little time but it’s been three hours now and they’re still in the corner, literally wrapped around each other. Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain they will be dead by morning, but I just don’t understand why.

This is the second time I’ve seen guppies do this. The first time was several years ago when I turned on a new bubbler we got in they’re tank and left it going for about 30 minutes. The entire tank of about 20 guppies did this and afterward all of them died. Is this common with guppies? Do they often die of fright?
 

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I've kept guppies for a long time and have colonies. I have never seen them die from fright. Usually when they behave as you're describing it's because I've done something that has drastically changed the parameters quickly. I'm sure it does happen but I've never experienced it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This morning they are still in the top and one has died. Maybe I didn’t drip acclimate long enough or the temperature of the bucket was colder cause it was out. I feel bad cause they were born in there and had lived in there for a year. The bubbler incident may have been cause by internal damage from the vibration of the treasure chest opening and shutting... it’s just so sad how they huddle together and die😔
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I hate it when stuff like that happens. Maybe a little aquarium salt might help if they are stressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. Actually the one I thought was dead was laying on top of the leaves at the surface, he’s still alive. After watching them I’m pretty sure that they’re stressed because the other fish are nipping at them cause they think they are food... if they would just leave the surface, I’m sure the other fish would leave them alone. Wish I could put them back in the 10 gallon by themselves but we’re remodeling and I had to take it down... thought they’d be fine and even like it in the 50 gallon 😔
 

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Thank you. Actually the one I thought was dead was laying on top of the leaves at the surface, he’s still alive. After watching them I’m pretty sure that they’re stressed because the other fish are nipping at them cause they think they are food... if they would just leave the surface, I’m sure the other fish would leave them alone. Wish I could put them back in the 10 gallon by themselves but we’re remodeling and I had to take it down... thought they’d be fine and even like it in the 50 gallon 😔
Maybe your lfs has a breeder box that you can block the nippers out with.
 

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Guppies aren't dying from fright. Something else is killing them - like extreme parameter differences or something toxic in their environment.

With a new air pump as described above, it makes sense that something dangerous was introduced with the new equipment. That can happen with equipment that isn't cleaned and treated before use. And sometimes because there's something problematic inside the equipment - like gas or debris trapped in a pump's diaphram.

If they're breathing super-fast and huddling near the top of the tank, that suggests there's a problem with parameters to the point that they can't get enough oxygen - or as much as they're used to. (Or something is burning their gills.)

What are your specific water parameters? Do you have a reliable liquid test kit?

pH
kH
gH
ammonia
nitrite
nitrate
CO2?
Ferts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1032024


I decided to set back up their tank in my bedroom and cross my fingers that it doesn’t cycle. I didn’t rinse the rocks or the filter media so here’s hoping 🤞

They immediately started swimming around again, ate, and seem happy to be home. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cycle!

As for the bubbler incident, the bubbler had been in the tank for a while (weeks) before I decided to hook it up and use it. The bubbles it made were pretty turbulent and the chest opening and shutting was loud enough to hear outside the tank. Even though I shut it off after 30 minutes because it was obviously too much for the 10 gallon tank all the fish died within days. I still think it burst their swim bladder or something but maybe it was some sort of toxin in the mechanicals of the bubbler... who knows.
 

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Perhaps one of the black skirts decided he wanted to bully the guppies.
These can be somewhat aggressive.
Seems odd it would be the water, assuming source water is the same and they were acclimated.
 
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