The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't had this problem before. Recently I've had four of my fancy guppy females give up the ghost. Three I expected it from as they were going on a little over two years old.




It was the fourth one that has me concerned. She showed no sign of illness and I don’t believe she was that old. Now that I’m looking at my fish, the majority of the guppies (save the fry) are skimming the surface of the tank and kind of breathing heavily. I tested the water and my nitrites and ammonia are 0ppm and my nitrates are under 10ppm in a moderately planted tank. I just did a 20% water change on Monday.





I also have platies, cories, and a pleco in there that show absolutely no signs of distress. No one has stopped eating in the morning, very ravenous all those guppies are. Cories are lively and all over the tank, pleco is always contentedly sucking on something. I can’t see any spots or marks or fin issues or any other signs of illness that I usually look for. Even all the plants look good, except for the yellowing on the sword.





My pH sits at almost precisely 7, but I have extremely hard water. But it’s never caused an issue before now. Help? Please?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Usually, I would think lack of oxygen when fish are at the top. Is the water warm? Hard water doesn't bother guppies. Are they just looking for food? Guppies are not long lived fish, around 18 months to 2 years, and I have found guppies from fish stores not particularly hardy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Usually, I would think lack of oxygen when fish are at the top. Is the water warm? Hard water doesn't bother guppies. Are they just looking for food? Guppies are not long lived fish, around 18 months to 2 years, and I have found guppies from fish stores not particularly hardy.
I have a bubble wand with lots of bubbles and decent surface disruption. The water sits at 77F all the time, little to no fluctuation. They could be looking for food, little pigs that they are. A lot of them are from my own breedings, haven't actually gotten any guppies from the store in over four years except for two new ones about a week ago, both of which are fine.

Maybe I'm just overly concerned. >.<
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
I would keep an eye on them for a few days. Maybe they are just begging for food if they are not showing any other signs other than skimming the surface. I hope they are all OK! Your tank looks nice, btw, I like livebearers. Such lively little fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would keep an eye on them for a few days. Maybe they are just begging for food if they are not showing any other signs other than skimming the surface. I hope they are all OK! Your tank looks nice, btw, I like livebearers. Such lively little fish.
Thank you! And I will keep an eye in them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
Nitrogen poisoning looks ruled out from the tests.

Next thing I would look at is the amount of surface agitation/dissolved oxygen levels.
From the picture, the water does look fairly still even with the air stone and filter you have going. Even if you don't suspect it's the cause, it wouldn't hurt to increase surface agitation and circulation to be really sure. Although the other fish, even if not gasping at the surface, would be breathing heavily.

If it's not that, inspect for gill flukes or mites or gill disease. Do the gills appear to be redder and/or gill covers/plates look inflamed/enlarged/protruding outward?

Do the fish flash (scrape self against objects)?

If you think it might be hunger, walk up to the tank and act like you are going to feed them or drag your finger across the glass to see if they swarm you hoping for food. Or just feed them and see how eager they are to eat. I don't really think it's that if they are breathing hard. And guppies are grazers, they would be venturing around the tank pecking at things.

Old age may be a possibility, but you did mention a younger guppy dying right around the same time the older ones did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
Inbreeding with no new bloodlines introduced,or rarely, often result's in weaker fishes over a few generation's (genetic's).
Sound's like you have done, (or maybe not) as I do and select a few females and isolate them after they have spawned, or have come of age,and then select the best looking male I can find from new stock which often takes me a good while to find the one or two I like,and then introduce the male to the isolated females to hopefully introduce new genes.
Could be one of the males introduced something and I would be happy if it was only gill flukes.
I am fond of "Purple flake" from Angel'sPlus.com for treatment of parasites and gill flukes also.
If the fish are feeding ,it work's well IMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nitrogen poisoning looks ruled out from the tests.

Next thing I would look at is the amount of surface agitation/dissolved oxygen levels.
From the picture, the water does look fairly still even with the air stone and filter you have going. Even if you don't suspect it's the cause, it wouldn't hurt to increase surface agitation and circulation to be really sure. Although the other fish, even if not gasping at the surface, would be breathing heavily.

If it's not that, inspect for gill flukes or mites or gill disease. Do the gills appear to be redder and/or gill covers/plates look inflamed/enlarged/protruding outward?

Do the fish flash (scrape self against objects)?

If you think it might be hunger, walk up to the tank and act like you are going to feed them or drag your finger across the glass to see if they swarm you hoping for food. Or just feed them and see how eager they are to eat. I don't really think it's that if they are breathing hard. And guppies are grazers, they would be venturing around the tank pecking at things.

Old age may be a possibility, but you did mention a younger guppy dying right around the same time the older ones did.
I suppose I could put a larger air pump with my air stone. None of the other fish are acting like they can't breathe, though. Their gills don't look bad, but some almost look...bruised? Like they have just a light tinting to them, but it's kind of hard to tell because it could just be their coloration as well. No one has been flashing and they're all very excited when I walk up to the tank. Feeding frenzy as per usual.

I just found my tiger pattern male dead this morning. It's rather concerning. For the past five mornings I've woken up to one dead fish, and I know that he was under a year old.

Bump:
Inbreeding with no new bloodlines introduced,or rarely, often result's in weaker fishes over a few generation's (genetic's).
Sound's like you have done, (or maybe not) as I do and select a few females and isolate them after they have spawned, or have come of age,and then select the best looking male I can find from new stock which often takes me a good while to find the one or two I like,and then introduce the male to the isolated females to hopefully introduce new genes.
Could be one of the males introduced something and I would be happy if it was only gill flukes.
I am fond of "Purple flake" from Angel'sPlus.com for treatment of parasites and gill flukes also.
If the fish are feeding ,it work's well IMHO
I mean, that could be it. I actually wondered about that. Maybe no new bloodlines for a while is coming back to bite me in the butt? Again, I can't really seem to see anything physically wrong with them (other than the gasping). They almost are acting like humans do when we have a head cold. Kind of sluggish, lazy, and issues with breathing. But still eat like it's their last meal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,032 Posts
It is possible something toxic got into the tank with the last water change.
You might have done everything you usually do, but the water co could have changed their chlorination method...
Make sure to use a dechlorinator that fixes both free chlorine as well as chloramine.

Keep doing small water changes daily until you are sure the tank is clean, or the surfacing behaviour stops.

A good helping of carbon in the filter is also good in times of doubt....just don't leave it in there for a month.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
Sounds like either a toxin got in the tank (new cleaning lady? Air freshener?) or your test kit is misreading the water quality. It might be something else, but either way, the best way to fix it is to do several big water changes - at least 50%, though 75% or more is better. See this thread for why small water changes don't work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is possible something toxic got into the tank with the last water change.
You might have done everything you usually do, but the water co could have changed their chlorination method...
Make sure to use a dechlorinator that fixes both free chlorine as well as chloramine.

Keep doing small water changes daily until you are sure the tank is clean, or the surfacing behaviour stops.

A good helping of carbon in the filter is also good in times of doubt....just don't leave it in there for a month.
Well. I did a small (like 10%) water change this afternoon and all the guppies perked up, went back to foraging like usual. It was by far the single strangest thing I've seen. Like nothing had happened at all. Our water co did say they were going to be working on pipes fir a while and thus would be flushing the system, making the water full of air bubbles.

Wonder if that had anything to do with this...?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,032 Posts
Could be. Our water was off like that on thursday... looked like milk water for two days from all the bubbles.
Our local supply dam is just across the road from me... Luckily it only has an old free chlorine doser... which doses a little heavy, but only free chlorine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
Well. I did a small (like 10%) water change this afternoon and all the guppies perked up, went back to foraging like usual. It was by far the single strangest thing I've seen. Like nothing had happened at all. Our water co did say they were going to be working on pipes fir a while and thus would be flushing the system, making the water full of air bubbles.

Wonder if that had anything to do with this...?
Yes, Water company in my area flush lines twice a year and they increase chloramine/chlorine content for a few day's during this time.
I have lost whole tank of fish by just dosing dechlorinator for the amount of water I removed/added during this time.(only took once)
Have since, always used dechlorinator such as PRIME and dose enough to treat the number of gallon's the tank hold's .(cheap insurance)
Have also used Tetra Pond safe in same fashion in bait tank's.
I run change water right from the tap after feeling it for temp, and add enough dechlorinator to the tank before opening the valve to let the fresh water in.
They still flush the lines each year as mentioned,but I have not lost fishes during those times since treating for the tank's volume rather than how much I am adding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
If a small water change perked them up, I would continue water changes. Dose dechlor with every water change, even small ones, for the reasons suggested above.

Water changes remove toxins from the tank, and can add beneficial minerals and oxygen.

...haven't actually gotten any guppies from the store in over four years except for two new ones about a week ago, both of which are fine...
Did you quarantine the new fish you brought in? This is very important- they could have brought in some parasite or disease. Then, for whatever reason your guppies are more susceptible than your other fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
Yeah, clearly there must be something wrong if fish are dying and not doing well all around the same time, so I would rule out old age and weak genes being the cause of distress and death (although those do play a role on the fish's immune system strength, but there is still something in/up with the water causing issues).

Sorry I can't offer much in way of diagnosis right now without more symptoms. Best thing to do without further info is to do water changes since it seems to be offering relief. Increasing surface agitation wouldn't hurt either.

Before this, how often did you do water changes? If you can, find out your pH, kH and gH.

I normally don't medicate tanks unless I know what's wrong, but if things are going bad and you can't figure out what it is really and water changes only seem to offer relief, but no cure, then it might be worth dosing gentle meds in hopes that they clear away whatever illness you weren't able to verify. For parasites you could use PraziPro as it's pretty gentle. Melafix, Pimafix and Kordon Ich Attack/Rid Fungus (herbal med) are safe meds you could try out in attempts to find some possible cure without causing any additional harm or stress to the fish (they are safe with plants and inverts).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, clearly there must be something wrong if fish are dying and not doing well all around the same time, so I would rule out old age and weak genes being the cause of distress and death (although those do play a role on the fish's immune system strength, but there is still something in/up with the water causing issues).

Sorry I can't offer much in way of diagnosis right now without more symptoms. Best thing to do without further info is to do water changes since it seems to be offering relief. Increasing surface agitation wouldn't hurt either.

Before this, how often did you do water changes? If you can, find out your pH, kH and gH.

I normally don't medicate tanks unless I know what's wrong, but if things are going bad and you can't figure out what it is really and water changes only seem to offer relief, but no cure, then it might be worth dosing gentle meds in hopes that they clear away whatever illness you weren't able to verify. For parasites you could use PraziPro as it's pretty gentle. Melafix, Pimafix and Kordon Ich Attack/Rid Fungus (herbal med) are safe meds you could try out in attempts to find some possible cure without causing any additional harm or stress to the fish (they are safe with plants and inverts).
I do 30% water changes in all my tanks on the weekends, typically every Sunday except for last week when I did it on Monday when I was gone. They only started croaking after the last water change, so I guess it was the water...?

I know my pH is around 7.2-7.4 straight from the tap and my tank sits at just a smudge over 7. I don't my kH or gH though. Need to find those out.

Bump:
If a small water change perked them up, I would continue water changes. Dose dechlor with every water change, even small ones, for the reasons suggested above.

Water changes remove toxins from the tank, and can add beneficial minerals and oxygen.



Did you quarantine the new fish you brought in? This is very important- they could have brought in some parasite or disease. Then, for whatever reason your guppies are more susceptible than your other fish.
I did quarantine them for four or five days and they were energetic and colorful the whole time. Added them to the tank on last Friday. Everything was fine until Monday's water change. Weird, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
You mentioned the water change made them perk back up so I don't fully assume the water is making them sick. But I do see reason to consider tap water changing and causing issues since you don't think any other factor is new.

Although it still may be another reason you aren't seeing, maybe disease/parasite or something else toxic in the water (besides Nitrogen).
And as Diana pointed out, maybe your strain of guppies may be more vulnerable (for whatever reason(s), poor genetics, etc) to infections than your other fish, including the other strain of guppies that didn't appear to be effected. Although I kind of do find that unlikely, it does sound possible.

5 days is not long enough of a quarantine for many diseases/parasites to show.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top