7 guppies and a 10 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Guppy' started by Anne Elizabeth Weixler, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. Anne Elizabeth Weixler

    Anne Elizabeth WeixlerNew MemberMember

    Hey everyone!

    I'm a brand new fish pet owner and need some advice...
    After a flurry of equipment and fish buying I realized that fish are a lot of work I used to own 3 Glo Tetras and a betta...now, I have 2 tanks! 3 gallons for my Betta and 10 gallons for my 7 guppies.

    My Betta used to be in the big tank, but my glo fish were all acting up (I eventually took them back after poor advice from Petstore) and replaced them with guppies.

    I bought my guppies a few days apart from each other at different stores. Some of them are THRIVING...the 3 blue ones however...not so much.

    I came home last night to find 2 of them dead :C Both were red tuxedos but as soon as I added them were hiding next to the filter. The 3 blue ones have constantly hung out at the top and since they died....and the other guppies are so active I noted this is not normal behavior.

    The other blue one (just a turquoise) is so lethargic, and doesn't seem to school with the other 4 guppies who are happily playing and swimming together. He has always been that way. I also noticed that he had a long strand of white poop. So last night, I decided to take him out. (I have yet to own fish long enough to have a quarantine tank, medication, etc.) so I put him in my Betta cup that me and my husband kept as a precaution.

    Luckily enough he has survived overnight, but I'm not quite sure how to cure him! Is there anything I can do to save him so I can put him back into the tank? Or is he just not meant to be there...

    I have heard that deschelled peas will fix an internal parasite if he has one...but even if I do that, will he school?

    Tank Details:
    Size: 10 gallons
    Cycle: Today is 2 weeks, one 25% water change
    Water: treated with water conditioner, aquarium salt added after first water change
    Gravel: Yes
    Heater: Yes
    Filter: Yes
    Bubbler: Yes
    Lights: Yes
    Live plant: Yes
    Decorations: Yes (various plants, etc)
    Current population: 4 guppies

    Betta cup:
    1 sick guppy :C

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Nympxzie

    NympxzieValued MemberMember

    What are your water parameters? ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.
    De shelled peas are for constipation not parasites. To cure parasites you will have to invest in medication and since you don't have a quarantine tank you will have to treat the main tank.
    Guppies are not schooling fish either, so you won't see them "school" they usually just do their own thing.
  3. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    10 gallons is too small for seven guppies. You would need at least 20 gallons imo. Guppies are not the best fish to be cycling a tank with, they're not as hardy as some other fish.
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  4. Blk69

    Blk69Valued MemberMember

    I have had similar issues with my guppy. With the stress of being shipped to the pet store and than home, sometimes it is to much for them.

    Your 10 gallon tank has not cycled at only two weeks. This is making your tank less habitable for your fish. Suggest the following.

    1) Don't name you guppies. I hope they all make it but they have a challenge ahead.
    2) Get a water test kit. This is the only way to watch what is going on in your tank.
    3) You are going to have to do more frequent water changes as tank has not cycled. This is a double edge sword and the water changes will limit your good bacteria getting set up in your tank. Forget about the 25% weekly water change till after cycled. Suggest a small 5 to 10% water change daily. If you ammonia/nitrate levels get to high increase percentage on daily water changes.
    4) Do not add any more fish till cycle complete. For me this is the hardest part. lol
    5) In another 4 weeks your tank should be cycled. Post your bio load (number and what kind of fish you have) and we should be to assist with how many additional fish you can add.
    6) Don't feel bad if things go south. It happens to all of us. You have started a new hobby and with a little TLC you can set up a great home for your fish.
    7) Post pictures of your tank/fish on this tread. We want to see. Welcome to our forum.
  5. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! :;hi2

    Guppies can be touch and go, since they are often interbred for color instead of hardiness. I've had guppies go into a fully cycled tank that died within a week for seemingly no reason (perfect water parameters, all other fish were fine)...while the other guppies from that same tank at the LFS have been thriving for almost 4 months.

    If you are only staying at 10 gallons, I would say keep it to 4 guppies. I wouldn't add anything else, except maybe some shrimp or snails.
  6. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore! Sorry that you are having problems.

    The first thing I want to recommend is that you read up on the nitrogen cycle (words are link to article explaining it).

    But basically the cycle goes like this:
    Fish release toxic ammonia into the tank thru fish waste and breathing. In a cycled tank there is a bacteria in you filter media that consumes the ammonia from the water, but releases toxic nitrites. But once again, in a cycled tank there is a second bacteria that consumes the nitrites in the water and releases far less toxic nitrates.

    But in an uncycled tank (i.e. a tank that does not have a filter with the needed bacteria) the ammonia level keeps building as the fish keep releasing it into the water. This ammonia level will soon become high enough tyo kill the fish.

    There are several ways to get a tank cycled. One is to add pure ammonia (i.e. ammonia/water solution with no surfactants, perfumes, detergents etc) to a fish less tank to simulate the ammonia the fish would produce. What will happen is that you keep the ammonia level elevated until you develop the bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrite (it just somehow will magically appear, I have no idea how it gets there but it does). This usually takes about 3 weeks.

    At this point your ammonia level will start to drop as the bacteria converts it into nitrites, so you will need to add ammonia to keep the level up. At the same time your nitrite levels will begin rising. After about three weeks of elevated nitrites you will develop the bacteria that converts nitrites into nitrates. At this point you would be cycled. If you choose to cycle with this method (called "fishless cycling") just let us know and well give you more detailed instructions on the method and some ideas where to find pure ammonia solution (it's harder to find than one would think).

    Another method to cycle is using a bottled bacteria product. I highly recommend Tetra SafeStart Plus if you go with this method. Basically you just add fish and SafeStart Plus at the same time and do nothing but lightly feed your fish for the next 14 days. Again if you deciede to use this method let us know and well give you more detailed instructions, but it really easy.

    The last method is to do a "Fish-in Cycle". This is the least recommended method. With this method you put fish in an uncycled tank and do daily partial water changes (usually 35%-50%) using Prime for your water conditioner. A standard dose of Prime will detox up to 1ppm of ammonia for 24 hours. The daily water changes will keep your ammonia/nitrite levels under 1ppm allowing the Prime to fully detox the ammonia and nitrite keeping your fish safe from exposure. But sadly this can take 6 or more weeks. It's a lot of work.

    So my guess is that your fish died due to be exposed to high ammonia levels due to being in an uncycled tank.

    Best of luck and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
  7. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Stringy poop = infection. Either bacterial or parasitic. You're going to need to medicate your entire tank. I suggest trying something like paraguard first, as it's a pretty general med. If that doesn't work, get back to us with all the info requested in this thread and we'll be able to make a better guess.
  8. OP
    Anne Elizabeth Weixler

    Anne Elizabeth WeixlerNew MemberMember

    So, I tested all of my levels with a freshwater master test kit.

    Ammonias and Nitrates should be at 0 but are definitely not! Everything looks really high! I'm assuming that a lot of this is due to my tank not being cycled for long enough.

    I did a partial water change last night 25%

    The 4 guppies are still alive and kicking

    When I woke up today, the water was super cloudy, and when I tested the levels they are high again. I went to talk to a local pet store manager and he said a lot of it could be because your filter is clogged, and nothing is getting properly filtered. I took it out, and it was dark grey.

    So today, I changed the filter, put more cleaner in the water, put ammonia remover in the water and we will see where we get.

    Planning on doing another water change tonight.

    Let me know what else to do! Thanks guys!
  9. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Ammonia remover can actually stall your cycle. It traps the ammonia in the media instead of promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the filter, which is a long term solution..

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  10. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    So next time don't change the filter. Simply rinse it in old tank water to remove gunk. Beneficial bacteria live on the filter and are necessary for cycling and maintaining the tank. You just threw a whole bunch out :(

    What cleaner are you adding to the water?
  11. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Your filter media is supposed to look nasty - that means it's doing its job. I wouldn't necessarily listen to your pet store manager. He just wants to sell you more filter cartridges.

    If your water is still flowing through your filter, it's not "clogged". It's only clogged if the water is not getting through.
  12. OP
    Anne Elizabeth Weixler

    Anne Elizabeth WeixlerNew MemberMember

    :O NOOOOOOO.......Should I just leave the filter in still? ....I have the old one in the garbage... .... ....awkward.... he said that would help...

    The cleaner I'm putting in is Aqueon Water Conditioner. It says it detoxifies ammonia and helps reduce stress in the fish. So I thought it was a good idea.
  13. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    If it's in the garbage, I wouldn't...who knows what other stuff has gotten into it. If you still had it on hand and it was still wet, then maybe :/
  14. Bijou88

    Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    If you aren't using any kind of a bacterial starter you'll want to be doing at least a 50% water change daily to keep your ammonia and nitrites down until your cycle completes. With that many high bio load fish in a 10g your levels will rise fairly quickly so you may end up needing to do 2 50% changes daily. Just make sure you match water temperatures as closely as you can. I highly recommend that you get some seachem stability. Unlike safe start you can do water changes if necessary while using stability.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  15. OP
    Anne Elizabeth Weixler

    Anne Elizabeth WeixlerNew MemberMember

    Any other recommendations? Should I just do a water change tonight, and let it run? See what happens?

  16. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    You'll pretty much need to do a fish-in cycle but guppies aren't as hardy as other fish for that. You'll probably need to use Prime everyday to protect the fish while the tank cycles.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  17. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Lesson #1 in fishkeeping - do your own research. Never take a petstore employee's word for anything.

    At this point, you're going to need a bacteria in a bottle to get the tank cycled again, and you still need to figure out what's making the fish sick. When using bottled bacteria, you actually can't use Prime (or your aqueon conditioner). The ammonia binder is known to interfere with bacterial growth using this type of culture.

    I would suggest Tetra Safestart, and few, small feedings. No water testing. No water changes. Just do a large water change (with conditioner) and add the TSS 24 hours later. However, you're really going to want to figure out what's going on with your fish first.

    For future reference, if you want to replace the carbon in your filter, it's best to add a piece of filter foam to the box. That way you can change the filter cartridges (which BTW you don't need if you're using foam) without removing your entire BB colony.
  18. Matt68046

    Matt68046Valued MemberMember

    Yes i agree with Bijou, ten gallon tanks need to be taken down to 50% or so with each water change. The 15% or 20% reccomendations are for fully cycled larger 50 gallon tanks.
    While its cycling, keep it warm and keep doing PWC's. Gravel is a really bad choice for substrate. I know its not a permant type setupd for you, but sand or Bare Bottom is much cleaner and can be made to look nice just as easily, without all the feces sitting at the bottom.
  19. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    lol What's wrong with a gravel substrate? It can be cleaned just as easily as anything else and is actually great for low requirement plants.
  20. Matt68046

    Matt68046Valued MemberMember

    Its bad because not everyone has a python some people still use pump action siphons and buckets and that makes it impossible to clean gravel and keep the tank clean.