Guppy advice please

Discussion in 'Guppy' started by Donna Jarrom, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Donna JarromNew MemberMember

    Hi there, I'm new to the forum and new to fish keeping. We have purchased a 20 litre tank for our daughter. After discussions with our pet store we decided to go with a heated tank and have guppies. We did everything as told with the tank, live plants and ornaments were all installed prior to adding the fish. We took a water sample to the store which was ok and we came away with two male guppies. They seemed ok at first and then one of them started hanging round the filter and heater or hiding in the plants, thinking that the water was to blame I took another sample in to the store. The water was fine so I thought maybe adding a couple of extra guppies may help. He does come out every now and again and seems fine but I noticed today that during feeding one of the new guppies is bullying him, he seems to butt him out of the way or swim straight at him resulting in the 'shy' guppy hiding again in the plants.

    Im worried he is going to die, I have read in various threads that there should be a minimum of six guppies or add females but tbh I don't like the thought of them eating the babies....

    any advice?? Thanks

  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Is your tank cycled?

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  3. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!
    5 gallons is too small for guppies. Also,as they mentioned above is your tank cycled?

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  4. Donna JarromNew MemberMember

    Maybe it's different in Australia but I was informed that tank size usually equals 1g of water per guppy? I do know about the nitrogen cycle, as stated I have taken water sample twice to the pet store to be tested for pH, ammonia and nitrates? Both times the pH is in range and no ammonia or nitrates were present.
  5. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    The one inch per gallon or in this case, 1g of water per guppy guideline is outdated and is not entirely accurate. It's like saying you could put a 8" goldfish into a 10 gallon tank. Fish need swimming space and space to turn around.
  6. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah the inch per gallon rule doesn't work.

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  7. Donna JarromNew MemberMember

    The other 3 guppies look very happy and appear to have plenty of room to swim and turn round? I'm more concerned with the one who is hiding in the plants or near the filter? Any advice for him?
  8. AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

  9. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    1g per guppy starts after a ten gallon tank with 5ish males in it. Then you'd want one gallon per each additional guppy.

    The problem with your guppy is two-fold. Possibly three-fold, depending on the store you bought him from.

    One likely contributing factor is water quality. You'll need to test your tank for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and get it cycled ASAP. Brandon provided you with a great link with info about the nitrogen cycle.

    Another likely contributing factor, especially considering he's being bullied, is that your tank doesn't have enough physical swimming space for the fish. Guppies are extremely active swimmers and the dominant males will bully subdominant males. This is why they need a tank with a bigger footprint than your 20 liter. In your tank, there's very little relative swimming space and therefore nowhere for the less dominant male to get away from the ones picking on him.

    He may also just be sick. If he gets into bad shape, you should remove him from the tank entirely to prevent it spreading to your other fish.

    One thing you'll learn in this hobby is to not bother with listening to petstore employees' advice. They are trying to sell you stuff, not get you set up right. There are many fish much more appropriate to a tank your size that a store who trained their employees to give good advice would have sold you instead of guppies. A betta (or fighter in AUS and NZ) for instance is a much better choice and would love a nice planted tank like yours. CPDs would be great, as would many species of microrasbora. Ember tetras would also be an option, depending on the specific footprint of your tank.

    I would take the guppies back to the store if possible, or upgrade to a tank about 2x the size of yours and use your current tank as a quarantine/hospital tank.
  10. Et tuValued MemberMember

    Everyone has given excellent advise. For the time being I would start with water changes a few times a day ( 5 or 6 litres each time ). Provide some extra plants so the sight lines are broken up. Fishlore has directions on how to do water changes. If you have any questions just ask. Goodluck.
  11. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore!!!! Hope you enjoy the site! :D

    Well, was your tank cycled? If not, I highly recommend you read up on the nitrogen cycle (link to article highlighted in blue).

    Get a liquid test kit of your own, even if your store does use a liquid test kit it'll be much faster (and cheaper) to have your own test kit.

    Another thing is, I don't recommend guppies in that tank size, imo.

    As for the bullying, could be because they're cramped. Or it might be because one of them is just mean. IME, I've learned that guppies can be kind of jerks, running over everyone at feeding time and chasing the cories away from their own food.

    And yes, if the fish is weak, that'll make him a target for sure imo.

    Good luck! :)
  12. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    And I def wouldn't add any females to the mix or else you'll wind up with a lot more guppies than your tank can handle.

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