Bloated, lethargic guppy with stringy poop

Zonotrichia

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 29 gallon planted tank
How long has the tank been running? 6 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 76˚F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? 4 male fancy guppies

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Every 1-2 weeks
How much of the water do you change? ~30%
What do you use to treat your water? Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Vacuum substrate (sand) and water.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API ,aster test kit
What are your parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Less than 5
pH: 7.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once per day
How much do you feed your fish? 1 pinch of food
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Aqueon tropical flakes or Hikari fancy guppy food (alternating days)
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 5 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Past 2 days
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Male guppy appears to be bloated and swimming sluggishly. In the past day, I've noticed several very long, stringy poops that sometimes have food in them and sometimes are almost entirely clear/white.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Guppy is not as active as it usually is and appears to be avoiding its tank mates. Stomach seems bloated.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
In the past day or so, I noticed that our yellow guppy is looking particularly bloated and acting very lethargic and sluggish. He's swimming slowly and generally seems "off." Sometimes he swims with his tank mates, but mostly he's been keeping to himself (hiding behind plants and driftwood, or in the opposite corner of the tank). His fins do not appear clamped, and I've not noticed any pineconing. He has been pooping a lot today, and it has seemed stringier than usual. While usually there's a mix of brown, white, and whatever colors match the food they've been eating, there has been a lot more white/clear poop.

We usually feed every day, but skipped today, thinking that he could be constipated. However, in the past when our fish have been overfed, they haven't seemed so lethargic. What do you think is wrong with him?

EDIT: Right now he has a long string of brown/white poop (the second of the evening) that stretches from his anus to his tail. Has he just been super constipated and his digestive tract is now in overdrive?


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Zonotrichia

First thing that come to mind is swim bladder

I’m not super familiar with swim bladder. He is swimming slowly and seems kind of groggy, but he’s not having a hard time staying upright or otherwise floating/sinking.
 
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Alwaysbina

I’m not super familiar with swim bladder. He is swimming slowly and seems kind of groggy, but he’s not having a hard time staying upright or otherwise floating/sinking.
Well I’m not that good at diagnosing but sound like swim bladder but you should proably get a second opinion
 
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Zonotrichia

As an update, his tank mates started picking on him so we moved him to the quarantine tank. We've started treating with ParaCleanse in case it is parasites and also bought some peas in case it's constipation. (Will try that tomorrow.)

Of note, though, his poop is looking really strange to me. It's like there are gobs of mucus in it, and it is way thicker than I've seen it before.


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Zonotrichia

Well, shortly after I made my last update, the nature of that "gob of mucus" made itself clear: tapeworm :yuck: It is now lying dead (I presume) on the floor of my hospital tank. Really glad that we decided to treat with ParaCleanse! We've had this guppy for 5 months, but never did any preventative treating when we got them. (This is our first batch of fish.)

I'll obviously finish the course of medication on this one guppy. But we have 3 others in the main tank. I have NOT noticed any poop irregularities with them (that I can recall), and they've all been acting normally...if like a trio of jerks who constantly chase after each other.

My question is now: Should we also treat these guys for parasites, with the assumption that they probably have them or will soon have them after ingesting eggs from our sick fish's poop? If we treat them, should we move them all into the smaller 10g hospital tank with the clearly infected fish, or should we just treat the main 29g? From what I've read, metronidazole/praziquantel shouldn't kill the cycle, but I also don't want to use 3x the medication on the larger tank if not necessary. On the other hand, I would feel better knowing that the main tank is parasite free...

Any advice would be very appreciated! This is my first time treating my fish, and I want them to be OK.
 
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Zonotrichia

I would really appreciate any help or advice on this issue.

We are on day 6 of this guppy in his hospital tank. Water parameters are the same as in my original post. He is still looking bloated. He eats, poops (sometimes with food in the feces, but most of the time long, stringy, and white), and swims around slowly, spending a fair amount of time near the surface. He definitely expelled a tapeworm (or two?) after we treated him with ParaCleanse, but I haven't seen obvious tapeworms since then.

This evening, however, I noticed evidence of what looks like pineconing to me.


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I am really worried about dropsy now. I know that dropsy is a symptom, not a disease—and he is being treated for internal parasites. We had originally been following Aquarium Co-op's recommendation of dosing ParaCleanse on day 1, 25% WC on day 7, resting 2 weeks, then dosing ParaCleanse again. But I am wondering if we should add the second dose now, per the manufacturer's instructions?

Is there anything else we can do? Please help; I'm kind of at a loss.
 
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Zonotrichia

We decided to switch to the manufacturer's instructions yesterday and gave him dose #2 of ParaCleanse. He's still having very long, stringy, white poop—mostly mucus casings with the occasional bits of food. Other than the tapeworms that he expelled a week ago, there have been no improvements or positive developments. He seems just as bloated, very slow, hanging out at the top of the tank. Water parameters are the same.

Can anyone comment on the potential pineconing in the photo I posted previously? The raised scales are not visible when I look at him from the top down.

I'm sorry to keep spamming this thread, but I don't know what our next step should be... Again, any advice or guidance would be really appreciated.
 
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Zach72202

The thing to note with dewormers in general is that they kill live worms, not their eggs. The way to kill those is to wait another two weeks after your current treatment is done, so you can then repeat this and kill the juvenile worms that will be growing inside of him.

If you choose to not do a repeat, you may be at square one again, so best bet is to do the follow up and he should get better!
 
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Zonotrichia

Definitely planning on doing a second (well, third) round in 2 weeks! It just worries me that he hasn't perked up at all (nor has his bloating died down).
 
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Jbuds

Definitely planning on doing a second (well, third) round in 2 weeks! It just worries me that he hasn't perked up at all (nor has his bloating died down).
I hope your situation has improved. I have been seeing similar feces out of a danio that is bloated too. I am going to work on improving my water quality first then possibly meds. I think my guy was infected right from the pet store. Please keep me updated on your guppy. It sounds like he is in good hands. I am hoping to learn from your experience and applying it to my danio. Good luck.
 
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Zonotrichia

I appreciate it Jbuds! Yeah, I am assuming my guppy came like this from the pet store, and it just took a while for it to get really bad. We did not quarantine our fish when we got them, but I have been fully converted about the importance of QT and preventive treatment of parasites.

Unfortunately I can't say we've seen any real improvements. We ended up giving him an epsom salt bath a couple of days ago in an attempt to help with the bloat, but it seemed distressing for him so we stopped after 5 minutes. He has mostly been hovering at the top of the tank, though is a little more active during the day. At least today he showed some more interest in food, which is a step in the right direction. We're now in the resting period and will dose again for parasites in 2 weeks. I hope he makes it.

Good luck with your danio!
 
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Zonotrichia

Final update: After my post on Saturday, he stopped eating. Yesterday was spent floating near the surface, or resting on the bottom of the tank. He died sometime last night. We were expecting this, since he really hadn't shown any improvements in behavior or appearance since we started treating, but I'm still sad. Poor fellow. There was probably too much internal damage from the parasites for his body to take.
 
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Jbuds

Final update: After my post on Saturday, he stopped eating. Yesterday was spent floating near the surface, or resting on the bottom of the tank. He died sometime last night. We were expecting this, since he really hadn't shown any improvements in behavior or appearance since we started treating, but I'm still sad. Poor fellow. There was probably too much internal damage from the parasites for his body to take.

I am very sorry to hear. You did everything that you could and you did right by your fish. Hope your day gets better
 
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