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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering if anyone has a lot of experience with guppies. I am having a lot of trouble with them. I bought 8 guppies 3 weeks ago. I am down to two guppies and about 20 fry. One of my adults is not really dong well. I have a 20 gallon Tall tank that is medium-heavily planted. Aquaclear 50 filter with sponge pre-filter, air bubbler, and heater set to 81 F. Nitrate 5 ppm, Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, GH 3-5, KH 3, pH 7.7 Initially there were 2 males, 5 females and one youth that I think was female.

Slowly one by one my females died. All I would notice is that they would hang out at the top with their fins clamped. They were a bit lethargic staying away from the others. I thought that as the females died the M:F ratio got out of wack so more died of stress. I am left with one male and one female and I think I have something else wrong with the fish. I have noticed that some of the babies have very pointy tails. Either the tails or clamped or they have been eaten away. Is this a disease?

I thought guppies were supposed to be hardy but I can not keep them alive. I was patient and cycled the tank before I got the fish, made sure all of my levels were looking good, and now my fish are dieing. I am somewhat discouraged. This is my first planted tank and I was so excited to get fish.

Any info or suggestions would be appreciated
 

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Where did you get them? Buying quality guppies online (aquabid.com, for one) is much better than getting the fish the bog box stores offer. You probably just had the misfortune of obtaining bad stock.
 

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The eaten away at and clamped fins, dying off so quickly reminds me of columnaris. Its a nasty nasty bacterial infection that can kill off a tank in a matter of days.

http://www.aquabase.org/member/album/pictures/1FA266390725B68581F5A2E5884A6B45_full.jpg


http://www.animaleriemaxizoo.com/ma..._aqua_conseils/avant_tout/maladie_guppies.jpg

http://www.aquamax.de/images/Krankheiten/Columnaris_Columnaris3.jpg


Do any of them kinda look like the fish from those links? If so, you have Columanaris.. and I am very very sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I bought the guppies from a good local fish store. My lone female does have some roughed up skin at the base of her tail like a mild version of the first pic of columnaris but she is the first fish to actually show problems. Those that died looked normal except for their behavior (fins, lethargic) The fry are too small to see clearly what exactly is going on. So lets say this is columnaris and the rest of my tank dies how do I treat the tank before getting more fish?
 

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I bought the guppies from a good local fish store. My lone female does have some roughed up skin at the base of her tail like a mild version of the first pic of columnaris but she is the first fish to actually show problems. Those that died looked normal except for their behavior (fins, lethargic) The fry are too small to see clearly what exactly is going on. So lets say this is columnaris and the rest of my tank dies how do I treat the tank before getting more fish?

If it is columnaris, and you lose your whole stock. Just restart...

Empty the tank out, clean it out, let everything dry out.

To me that's the easier way to do it.
 

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Columnaris will come in with new fish, so no need to clean and dry the current set up.
I would run it just like you were doing a fishless cycle for a week or two.

Guppies were originally from hard water. The best Guppies I ever had were in a brackish water tank.
If you want to keep Guppies I would raise the GH and KH to at least 5 German degrees of hardness, and double that would be just fine.
Lower temperature, too. Mid 70s is just fine for Guppies and most plants.
What I would do now:
Guppies are quite tolerant of salt, but plants are not. You could try adding 1 teaspoon of salt per 10 gallons.
If you think it is Columnaris, lower the temperature. These bacteria are a lot more active at temps over 76*F. You can medicate with antibiotics that treat Gram negative bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. I am not really sure if it is columnaris. I am not seeing the saddle of white or anything in or around the mouth. My one female just has a really nasty tail. As an attempt to save her I took her out and brushed on some hydrogen peroxide topically just on the tail which I read about online. She is eating today but her tail still looks ugly. I will also try to raise the GH and KH. I am wondering if it is the stress of the water hardness that is bringing on the sickness.
 

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The too-soft water could be contributing to the problem.

I use Seachem Equilibrium for GH and baking soda for KH.

Columnaris is a bacteria that can attack the fish in several ways. The 'saddle' pattern is one way. Fin rot is another manifestation.
It could be other species of bacteria, too.

I would keep up the water changes and emphasize removing organic debris from the tank as well as adding medication.
 
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