Guppies gathering around live plant after adding water

Merp

About 2 days ago we added some water to our tank. We did everything as we normally do and then added it to the tank. Afterwards though, multiple started dying and they are now gathering around one of the few live plants we have in the tank. Do you know anything about this or that can help?
 

Demeter

First things first, can you test the tank water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate then list the result here?

How long have you had the tank and fish, did you cycle the tank before adding fish, and what is the tank size plus full stocking? Can you post photos of the fish that are acting off?

Did you use a water conditioner and match the temp of the new water to the tank?

It sounds to me the tank was not cycled properly (nitrogen cycle) so nitrite and/or ammonia is building up, causing fish to behave oddly and die off. I suggest reading up on the aquarium nitrogen cycle for more info.
 
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Merp

Currently we don’t have a test kit so I can’t really say what the levels are.

We’ve had the tank for about 4-5 years and the fish for 5. I believe we did cycle the tank when we brought in some new fish. The size I believe Is 10 gallons. Could you define what full stocking means? Sorry.

Yes we do. We put in the conditioner then wait about 24 hours until we add the new water to the tank.

There all kind of gathering around this one live plant.
 

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pagoda

There seems to be a high number of fish in that aquarium....not a good idea when you have no test kit.

What is your full maintenance routine...how often/how much water?

You definitely need a liquid test kit and I suspect a larger aquarium too...but will let others with Guppy experience approach that.

emeraldking methinks might be the one to advise, but that looks overstocked to me.
 
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Merp

We change the filter about once every week and then add some water about once every 2-3 weeks. Then a partial water change maybe every month and a half to 2 months.
 
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MyAquaticMates

We change the filter about once every week and then add some water about once every 2-3 weeks. Then a partial water change maybe every month and a half to 2 months.

What do you mean by change the filter? If you remove the filter media, you will be removing most of the beneficial bacteria that stop the water going toxic from fish waste. (I've never changed mine in 7 years). If you've done that you may have an ammonia spike happening, which would be what is killing them. You'll need a liquid test kit to know for sure.

The white cloudiness in the water (unless that's a photo thing?) would definitely suggest an ammonia or nitrite spike. In that case, you will need to stop replacing the filter (some filters say to replace them but it's actually harmful and a scam to change the whole media, you only need to change the carbon if you are using it), change water super regularly to keep ammonia down and do a 'fish-in' cycle.
 
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pagoda

We change the filter about once every week and then add some water about once every 2-3 weeks. Then a partial water change maybe every month and a half to 2 months.

I think you might need to change the way you are maintaining your aquarium.

Water changes should be 45-50% every week.....with the stocking level you seem to have I would probably do it twice a week (that aquarium looks very crowded)

Filter media should not be changed weekly. Basically it carries most of the good bacteria that keeps the aquarium healthy/cycled.

Every weekly water change, rinse the filter media in the removed aquarium water to remove poo and muck, place the media back into the filter...only change it when it is literally falling to bits.

You NEED to go get a liquid test kit urgently.
 
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Merp

Normally it’s the little packets with charcoal. Sorry I’m not too sure what they’re called. But we did recently clean the filter. If it is an ammonia spike what do you suggest to fix it?
 
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pagoda

Normally it’s the little packets with charcoal. Sorry I’m not too sure what they’re called. But we did recently clean the filter. If it is an ammonia spike what do you suggest to fix it?

Please get an API liquid test kit

Until we know exactly what the numbers are, its hard to confirm anything

In the meantime, leave the filter media alone and do daily 50% water changes....and maybe look to buy a bigger aquarium too
 
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MyAquaticMates

Normally it’s the little packets with charcoal. Sorry I’m not too sure what they’re called. But we did recently clean the filter. If it is an ammonia spike what do you suggest to fix it?

If it is just the charcoal you are replacing and there is other media (like sponge or whatever) left in the filter it should be ok to change that bit (although it's a bit unnecessary imho, unless you are trying to remove medication). But if you cleaned the filter with tap water then you probably killed all the beneficial bacteria, causing an ammonia spike. The way to save the fish is to keep ammonia and nitrite levels low (and probably use something like Prime to detoxify what remains) by changing water every few days until the cycle is finished and you always have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a readable amount of nitrate, which can take around a month or so on average. But you can only really know you're keeping levels down if you have a test kit to measure them.

In the longer run, you probably need a larger tank for that many fish, as waste will build up too quickly. If money is an issue, you can often find decent tanks for cheap on sites like craigslist or marketplace or aquarium forums. Good luck!
 
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AvaTheFish

That tank is so over crowded, as mentioned for any normally stacked tank a 20% water change EVERY WEEK is mandatory, but for your tank I'd say if you want those fish to live every 3 to 4 days do at least a 20% water change. Yes please do get a test kit ASAP. Also are you conditioning the water? This could be another problem. And finally what size is your filter? I'd say have a 15 or 20 gallon filter in there as well.
 
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dojafish

Might be time to give some of those guppies away! Keep the nicest ones, and best to keep more females than males. I personally prefer two girls for every boy as a minimum. If you can knock down some numbers then it may help a lot for starters. I do agree, with that many fish I would recommend a water change at least once every 3-4 days. If you can reduce the numbers then you can probably get away without a water change for maybe two weeks or more.

Make sure the guppies either have clear access to the water's surface and/or have good surface disturbance from like an airstone or a good filter.

Secondly, guppies like hardwater and I feel like they can get sick more easily if they're in anything else but hardwater. It would be a good idea to see how much calcium content is in your water. If you can't get access to that information from your water supply then maybe consider picking up a gH/kH test kit (and definitely a full set test kit for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH while you're at it), which should be available at your local pet supply store. If you have soft water then you may want to add something to help buffer the tank water, like "wonder shell", or crushed coral, which is also usually available in most pet supply stores with fish.

Just in case you didn't know (ignore if you already know), please try to keep water temperature as consistent as possible. It's getting hot lately so when you do water changes make sure the temperature isn't too different, a sudden change in temperature can put fish into a state of shock, which can stress and possibly even kill them.

Lastly, please know that we are here to help in the best interest of you and your fish! Information can be overwhelming, yes, but we are more than happy to help you and your beautiful guppies through this.
 
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