10 Gallon Tank Female guppy attacking male guppy

yamato

Hi all,
Just a little back story;
I initially began with a 10.5 gallon tank, where I bought seeds from the local store, and did a dry start method for 10 days. I then filled up the tank and placed a water wisteria bulb and a cobamba caroliniana bulb.
On the third day, thanks to my impatience I went and got a betta fish. I had been dosing with stability the whole time and continued doing it for a week as stated on the label.
I then got two cory cats on the sixth day, and two guppies on the eleventh day.
I noticed a parasitic infestation on the eighth day, as I made the mistake of not disinfecting the plants I picked up from the store. So I started dosing with paraguard for the next 3 weeks.

Long story short, I scrapped the whole tank, took down everything, and stripped it to a bare bottom. Its currently my quarantine tank.

Since a few days, I've noticed some strange behavior from the female guppy. She chases the male, and she's eaten half of his beautiful tail. However she only does this when the lights are on!
Once the lights go off she goes calm. The light for some strange reason makes her aggressive.
Has anyone experienced this? Any idea what's going on? My guess is that maybe its because I just got two of them, if I got some more guppies, she would probably not display such behavior.
 

Demeter

Guppies can be pretty mean when not kept in higher numbers. They will also get mean if the tank is on the smaller side, there are few if any breaks in the line of sight, and possibly because the female is close to giving birth. I've only ever noticed my females getting a bit nippy when they are a few days away from giving birth or when they are new additions trying to establish a pecking order.

Do you have any photos of the two guppies and the tank?
 

emeraldking

Aggression is very individual. Even with socalled friendly species, aggression can still occur. Too small housed, dominance, food availibility or mating issues can trigger aggression.
 

yamato

Guppies can be pretty mean when not kept in higher numbers. They will also get mean if the tank is on the smaller side, there are few if any breaks in the line of sight, and possibly because the female is close to giving birth. I've only ever noticed my females getting a bit nippy when they are a few days away from giving birth or when they are new additions trying to establish a pecking order.

Do you have any photos of the two guppies and the tank?
Hi, sorry for the late response. These are some pics of my current setup. I've isolated the female, so that she won't get a chance to nip the male. I'm waiting to setup my 51 gallon tank.
 

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HupGuppHup

That completely bare, empty tank couldn't be helping.
 

BPSabelhaus

That completely bare, empty tank couldn't be helping.
It’s a good start at least.
Things were fine before? Nipping just started with the bare tank? Something as simple as an old coffee mug in there could provide some alone time.
 

yamato

That completely bare, empty tank couldn't be helping.
Yes but it's temporary, I'm just waiting to setup my new tank. I thought of using the smaller one as a quarantine tank.
It’s a good start at least.
Things were fine before? Nipping just started with the bare tank? Something as simple as an old coffee mug in there could provide some alone time.
Well actually this tank was never cycled properly, so I'm assuming that could be another reason for her behavior. Prior to her attacking the male, she would do a lot of flashing against driftwood. Plus she was pregnant at the time, so it was probably a defensive response.
 

Cream

Yes but it's temporary, I'm just waiting to setup my new tank. I thought of using the smaller one as a quarantine tank.

Well actually this tank was never cycled properly, so I'm assuming that could be another reason for her behavior. Prior to her attacking the male, she would do a lot of flashing against driftwood. Plus she was pregnant at the time, so it was probably a defensive response.
How far down is her pregnancy? Also, adding some fake plants could be a quick solution to help the male get some cover from the female. Switching them from different tanks could cause stress which makes her more aggresive maybe?
Since you haven't cycled the quarantine tank, did you add any quick start bacteria or squeeze your previous sponge contents into the tank
 

yamato

How far down is her pregnancy? Also, adding some fake plants could be a quick solution to help the male get some cover from the female. Switching them from different tanks could cause stress which makes her more aggresive maybe?
Since you haven't cycled the quarantine tank, did you add any quick start bacteria or squeeze your previous sponge contents into the tank
Well she delivered a second time, but I just saw one fry. Unfortunately it was on someone's menu (I suspect the betta). Even after isolating it by placing it in a breeder box, it managed to squeeze through the fine mesh. The male guppy didn't make it either, he was repeatedly nipped by the betta. I didn't notice this until after it was too late. The whole time I had only seen the female guppy chasing him but never the betta. I thought they were community fish. I had an otocinclus which got some sort of eye infection, it didn't survive long.
Regarding the cycling process, I was using stability and I still do from time to time. Last when I checked I got 0.25 ammonia, < 0.25 nitrite and 5 nitrate. I guess it should complete in about 2 weeks. Earlier I had taken some used filter media from a local fish store nearby, and I believe I introduced some unwanted pathogens into the tank because of it, in addition to not disinfecting those live plants and bringing in some of those pesky pests.
The tanks down to just the albino cory cat, female guppy and guppy fry. Two nerite snails and one assassin snail.
 

Cream

I'm sorry to hear about your male guppy, my condolences :(
Since you're in the process of cycling and you still have traces of ammonia, have you done any regular water changes?
Once your tank is nice and cycled, will you be getting more guppies? I hope your betta gets a new tank for himself so you won't have repeats of this. Best of luck sterilizing your tanks!
 

yamato

I'm sorry to hear about your male guppy, my condolences :(
Since you're in the process of cycling and you still have traces of ammonia, have you done any regular water changes?
Once your tank is nice and cycled, will you be getting more guppies? I hope your betta gets a new tank for himself so you won't have repeats of this. Best of luck sterilizing your tanks!
Thanks I appreciate your concern.
About water changes, yes I used to do a 25% to 30% (sometimes 50%) change everyday, as I was dosing with seachem paraguard for 3 long weeks. After the paraguard course, I stopped doing daily water changes, and just do it weekly. I was also dosing with prime in order to allow some of that ammonia and nitrite to feed the bacteria.
Yes I will get more guppies, but this tank is for quarantine, I'm currently setting up my 51 gallon tank. I'm yet to start aquascaping. So once that's done, I'll get a decent number of fish, and not make the mistake of buying just a pair.
Regarding the betta; I gave him to a friend, he looks happy living in a goldfish bowl, I guess he was never meant to live in a larger tank with other fish. He's a social recluse lol
 

BlockHead1981

If you would have put the female betta in last you might of had a chance. IOM female bettas can be community fish, in the right sized thank. I wouldn't try it in anything smaller than 29/30 gallons. I have has success but in bigger tanks. She claimed the tank, the corries should be fine but you should consider a bigger tank or keeping her alone in the 10 gallon. Guppies and corry should be kept in bigger numbers, 10 gallon is snug for just about everything IMO. Im running a 16g now and its the smallest I would ever go, only stocked with 2 small cichlids nothing else.
 

yamato

If you would have put the female betta in last you might of had a chance. IOM female bettas can be community fish, in the right sized thank. I wouldn't try it in anything smaller than 29/30 gallons. I have has success but in bigger tanks. She claimed the tank, the corries should be fine but you should consider a bigger tank or keeping her alone in the 10 gallon. Guppies and corry should be kept in bigger numbers, 10 gallon is snug for just about everything IMO. Im running a 16g now and its the smallest I would ever go, only stocked with 2 small cichlids nothing else.
Hi, thanks for the advice. Yes I'm beginning to notice the cons of having a smaller tank. I haven't had any experience with female bettas, so yet to learn. I'm just waiting to finish off the aquascaping in my 51 gallon tank. Hopefully my fish will be happier in a larger tank.
 

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