Fish death and restocking

s hawk

This morning one of my guppies died. Now I know I am running a less than ideal setup, but it's what I have. Also I did have to euthanize the guppy, as at the time I felt like it was the right thing to do. I don't want this thread to deviate into the ethics of euthanizing a fish. The goal of this post for me is to get somewhat of an idea what the cause of death was, and what to replace the guppy with.

Tank setup
Aqueon Minibow 2.5 LED with stock 50 GPH activated carbon filter pad
25 watt heater (Temp around 75 or just below)
Apump with small petco airstone
40% WC once a week with water dosed with prime
1 anubias nana
Some wisteria stems
1 Tropical fern (Java Fern I believe)
Barebottom tank with rocks and décor
Tank was setup a month ago

I do not have a test kit, but have some water I am going to take to petco for free water testing.
I believe the tank was cycled, but the test will confirm this.

Current Stock
1 male guppy
1 nerite snail

Symptoms/Observations
The guppy was one of the original stocking (the other guppy was most likely bad stock (I have a whole thread on that one) Also the last WC was 40% on Saturday. Blue guppy has been in the tank for about 2 weeks, compared to 3 weeks for yellow guppy. Snail added this weekend.

I am going to go in reverse chronological order. (Yellow guppy is gone)

This morning- Fed guppies to end 4 day fast. Blue guppy eating normally and very excited to eat. Yellow guppy very excited but will not eat food (flakes). He is going around the tank in a frenzy. Now I don't remember the exact order of events but I know he ran into the side of the tank at almost full speed, and either before or after he went swam down to a decoration, sat there sinking until he was on the floor of the tank. He rolled over a little, then swam back up and continued his frenzy. He kept on swimming around the top rI'm of the tank. I went to breakfast, and when I came back he was on the bottom of the tank, on his side and breathing heavily. I couldn't find the blue one, but it heard a thump on the lid, and then saw the blue one. I think he tried to jump out of the tank. I had about 15 minutes or so before class, and I thought he was dying. I didn't want to him to die when I was in class (which would pollute my water, and would be a surprise if my roommate woke up). I then decided at this point to euthanize the fish. He swam to avoid the net, but once I got him in the net he was lethargic

Yesterday- Both guppies obviously on the search for food. They were pecking at the décor and rocks for food. They even chased around a pink stick thing outside the tank. Everything seemed normal at this point.

Before yesterday (Multi-day observations)
Yellow guppy liked to swim vertically up and down this one corner of the tank. On his downward swims you could see his gills were red. I assumed this was just his physiology, and the red wasn't visible from any other angle.

Yellow guppy seemed to be at a tilt sometimes. He was tilted around 15 to 30 degrees to the right when he faced you. I noticed this and was a little concerned, but never seemed to be a problem.


Yellow guppy was fine with flakes but would not eat freeze dried bloodworms. He was also always a little slower with realizing there was food.

His colors were fading a week ago, but then they came back. It was enough for my neighbor to ask if I got a new fish, as he was gone for a week. This was concerning, but they came back.

He also seemed to be a little bullied by the other guppy. I got the "tropical fern" in hopes it would grown into a good hiding place.

Wasn't any bloating at all, and scales were normal

I think that's all the symptoms.

Current tank state

The blue guppy seems fine, he actually is behaving more like a betta. Which is different because the yellow guy was alone for a bit, and went nuts. I did a 40% water change around an hour ago. Although he is staying in the bottom half of the tank, but seems very healthy and active.

Water parameters-I will post these as soon as I get them.

Future stocking

When I bought the blue guppy I told myself that I don't want to buy another guppy if they keep dying. I just can't spend 3.99 every three or four weeks. Also rehoming the blue guppy is not the first option. I don't think I can find a new home for it, or give it to a store. Now the typical answer will be to get a betta, but won't work with another guppy, and is a risk with the nerite. What other fish can I get away with? Or should I try a guppy from my LFS?

Picture from last night from other thread.
 

CindiL

Hi. I don't think anyone would criticize for euthanizing a sick fish if you don't think its going to make it. I would recommend clove oil for the future if that is not what you used.

On to more important matters. Since your 2.5 g is too small for anything other than a betta and a snail, (even 2.5 g tanks really only hold a gallon to a gallon and a half which is hardly enough even for a betta). I would just let the remaining guppy live out his life in the tank and after that replace him with a betta as long as your'e willing to do twice weekly 50% water changes or once a week 90% water changes.

You mentioned not having the liquid test kit but if you plan on being a long time fish owner there really is no way around not having one or you will continue running into fish deaths and have no idea what they died from. Its important to know when to do more water changes and that cannot be determined without the test kid. Even going to petco I think they use the strips (correct me if I'm wrong) and those are highly inaccurate.
 

173ABN

Honestly, you are really pushing it with one guppy and a nerite. 2.5 can work with a betta but even that is cutting it close. 2.5 just really isn't suitable for fish. You could do some shrimp with your nerite. I'd venture a guess that an ammonia spike killed your guppy.


"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ---I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. " -Robert Frost
 

Dovah

No fish should live in 2.5 gallons, not even a betta (in my opinion). I know you don't want this type of reply but it's true.

You should also invest in a master test kit so that you don't have to have your water tested (and interpreted) by questionable sources. You might end up saving money in the long run on gas this way anyways.
 

tyguy7760

So your right. The first response is going to be to rehome the guppy. Guppies need a 10 gallon tank minimum. Trust me I've tried this myself. I have a fluval spec v 5.5 gallon tank which almost has the same foot print as a 10 gallon tank. I tried to keep guppies in it for a few months and failed miserably each time. I finally gave in and decided on a beta. The Beta has been going strong for several weeks and I've had 0 issues with him with my nerite snail. However, I have seen some say that their beta's go after the snails.

Really the only fish that could survive long term in a 2.5 gallon is a betta ..and that's pushing it...unless you want to go with some very rare fish that Anders247 can help with.

Your other option would be to make it an invert tank with shrimp and snails.
 

Jaxsco

The only thing I would recommend in there would be shrimp and/or snails.
 

s hawk

Thanks everyone, I was planning on just keeping this guy to live his life. He seems fine with it, and certainty had the personality of a betta. I saw the water test at petco, and it's not the API kit, but it's not strips. I will look into shrimp some more. I almost got some instead of the nerite snail. The issue is the only shrimp in the area (between petco and LFS) is amano. The long term plan assuming I stay in the hobby (and I want to) is to get a 5 to 10 gallon tank a couple years from now when I'm in an apartment. I just can' t upgrade due to space right now. By the time I get that tank, I will get or have the API kit. My question is how long do they last? I would order shrimp but I don't want to pay the very high shipping for the them. Also I will post the results of the test here. I should have that done sometime in the next couple of days.
 

Neebles

Thanks everyone, I was planning on just keeping this guy to live his life. He seems fine with it, and certainty had the personality of a betta. I saw the water test at petco, and it's not the API kit, but it's not strips. I will look into shrimp some more. I almost got some instead of the nerite snail. The issue is the only shrimp in the area (between petco and LFS) is amano. The long term plan assuming I stay in the hobby (and I want to) is to get a 5 to 10 gallon tank a couple years from now when I'm in an apartment. I just can' t upgrade due to space right now. By the time I get that tank, I will get or have the API kit. My question is how long do they last? I would order shrimp but I don't want to pay the very high shipping for the them. Also I will post the results of the test here. I should have that done sometime in the next couple of days.


I honestly wouldn't even add shrimp at this point, unless you re-home the guppy. You don't want to add anything else to that tank right now. Once the guppy is gone then it's appropriate to add shrimp but don't do it until then. You will only be compounding the problem.
 

Jaxsco

I honestly wouldn't even add shrimp at this point, unless you re-home the guppy. You don't want to add anything else to that tank right now. Once the guppy is gone then it's appropriate to add shrimp but don't do it until then. You will only be compounding the problem.

I agree. Either keep the guppy and change nothing or rehome the guppy and get some shrimp.
 

s hawk

Thanks everyone. I will not add anything else besides maybe some plants later on. But no new livestock.

This is a note I'm leaving for my former self, or anyone in a similar position. Guppies do NOT work in a 2.5 gallon tank. I could of gotten a $12 Betta, which would survive better. Better yet, just don't get a 2.5g unless if you have too. The 5 gallon was just a little too big for me, but I wish I got it.
 

Dovah

Don't be too hard on yourself, s hawk - we all have to learn somehow. At least you are here asking questions!
 

Neebles

Don't be too hard on yourself, @ - we all have to learn somehow. At least you are here asking questions!

I agree. You are definitely going about things with the right attitude. There are countless people on the forums that regardless of what you say, won't listen or agree unless it's what they want to hear. You live and learn and at least you aren't afraid to admit mistakes.
 

New Fish in Town

A breed of shrimp would probably work best. I have a 2 gallon fish bowl that I live planted and set up as a ghost shrimp tank. I have 3 in there right now.
 

s hawk

So I just got back from petco, and I had my water tested. They use strips and I got a harmful reading on ammonia from the test. I talked to the lady, and it was either an ammonia spike or the tank was not cycled, and the latter being the most likely of the two. I then did two things that will make people proud. I bought the API safe start and and stress coat bundle. I also bit the bullet and bought the API master test kit. I just tested my water and the results are 1ppm Ammonia, and 0 on everything else. This makes sense as I did a 40% WC after removing the water I had Petco test. So my cycle didn't start.

Note to former self-GET a TEST KIT.
 

Dovah

Awesome! You are much better prepared to diagnose and treat your water on your own!

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 

CindiL

Great! Would you test your tap for ammonia as well?

So I would do a water change and get that ammonia down to .25 or less, and add in your Quick Start.

What is your normal water conditioner? Were those two actually bundled? If not, I would return the stress coat as it really is just a dechlorinator and pick up Seachem Prime instead.
 

lovesLC

You will get a lot of use out of your test kit! Your future self may be able to use it for a bigger tank as well!
Nothing wrong with the learning process, and this is a great place for answers.
Just an FYI that you can find great deals on tanks ( and fish!) on Craigslist and thrift stores ( even though I know it was more of a space issue). I see free Bettas in the CL pets section all the time because people become disinterested.. And I seem to have a little collection going of 5 and 3 gallon tank kits from thrift stores because I can't walk away from the $5 price tags (hopefully I don't end up on 'Tank Hoarders')
 

tyguy7760

Just a reminder. Wait 24 hours after water change to add in tss

 

s hawk

Whoops added the safe start less than 24 hours after, so I might add some more tomorrow. My normal water conditioner is prime so that's good. Next year I can have up to a 10 gallon tank, and a family member may become disinterested in the hobby by then. I do not know the actual size of the tank, but if it's 10 gallons I will see if I can snag it. If not well ill see where I'm at then. Ill have to read up more on the fish in cycle, and test every day if not every other day. Heck, I might actually get some algae growth this time.
 

CindiL

Its not clear to me whether you have API Quick Start? or Tetra Safe Start Plus?
 

s hawk

Sorry for not being clear. It's the API Quick Start
 

CindiL

Ok. In that case just keep adding in the Quick Start every day. You can dose more than they say, you can't overdose the bacteria. Every day you have ammonia or nitrites dose prime for the full volume of this tank. This will keep your remaining guppy safe. If it gets up to 1.0, (which is what prime protects up to) then do a minimum of 50% water change.
 

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