Guppy turning black... please help!!

IamFishNoob

Hiii,

I'm new here. I hope this community can help.

Last week, I got 5 guppies for my 10g (it already had 2 female red wagtail platies). 4 of the female, one male.

When I first got them, one of the females had a slightly black tail. I didn't think much of it, but a few days ago, it started to get really bad. The entire guppy started to become black, including the eyes.

Yesterday, she started swimming weird. She swims on her side and back and darts around in her quarantine tank (I moved her as soon as I saw her like this).

She's constantly at the edges of the tank and swims in abnormal circles.

Right now, only her belly is the original silver color.

Why is she turning black? Why is she swimming abnormally? What can I do to help her?

Btw, the images are from today (She's in the isolation tank). The water is low so that she can breathe easily.
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Trua712

Not sure about the turning black, but the swimming like that may be a swim bladder issue. Does she have trouble regulating her height/position in the water column?
 

IamFishNoob

I think so? She's having trouble swimming. She was fine all last week. What could be the cause of the swim bladder issue, tho?
 

Trua712

Wait, what do you mean?
Fish have an internal “swim bladder” which allows them to remain upright in the water and float/sink on demand. If if ruptures or gets infected they are unable to swim correctly.

Ive been fortunate enough to never have that issue, so i dont know much about treatment, but i believe you can buy medications for it.
 

IamFishNoob

Ok gotchu

Do you know what meds I can get? Are there specifics?

I forgot to mention, right before I found her swimming all weird, she was stuck between one of the ornaments. She freed herself, but started swimming weirdly after that (but maybe she swam like that before and I didn't see).

Could she be swimming like that because she got a spinal injury from being stuck between the ornaments?
 

Trua712

Ok gotchu

Do you know what meds I can get? Are there specifics?

I forgot to mention, right before I found her swimming all weird, she was stuck between one of the ornaments. She freed herself, but started swimming weirdly after that (but maybe she swam like that before and I didn't see).

Could she be swimming like that because she got a spinal injury from being stuck between the ornaments?
That could be. Does she have any clamped fins and is she moving her whole body/tail like normal while swimming?
Im not too good with medication knowledge. Im actually going through a parasite problem with my own guppy and am trying to find a good cure for that.
 

MacZ

The swim bladder is likely affected, but it's not the issue. Just a symptome. Dozens of ailments show balance and buoyancy issues as symptoms.

Looking at the fish... Sorry to say so, but this fish is likely beyond rescue. I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

Guppies nowerdays are massproduced, and thus have weak health and often non-existent immune response.

I would for now keep a keen eye on the other fish and take the time to fill out the

emergency template .

Only medicate when you have a clear diagnosis. Many fish meds are hard on the fishes systems and can kill weak fish faster than the original reason for using the med.
 

IamFishNoob

That could be. Does she have any clamped fins and is she moving her whole body/tail like normal while swimming?
Im not too good with medication knowledge. Im actually going through a parasite problem with my own guppy and am trying to find a good cure for that.
No, she doesn't have clamped fins. She's moving her entire body but is swimming sideways and sometimes backwards.
The swim bladder is likely affected, but it's not the issue. Just a symptome. Dozens of ailments show balance and buoyancy issues as symptoms.

Looking at the fish... Sorry to say so, but this fish is likely beyond rescue. I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

Guppies nowerdays are massproduced, and thus have weak health and often non-existent immune response.

I would for now keep a keen eye on the other fish and take the time to fill out the

emergency template .

Only medicate when you have a clear diagnosis. Many fish meds are hard on the fishes systems and can kill weak fish faster than the original reason for using the med.
Thanks for your reply. Should I euthanize her? I don't want her to suffer. If I should, how can I euthanize her? I've heard of clove oil, but I don't have any on hand.
 

emeraldking

The options of possible causes have already been given overhere. But there's another one. if a brain damage has occured, a fish can swim like this as well. But I've read that she's got stuck before. Even this could be the only reason why she's swimming like this.
Switching colors could be an emotional thing. The mood they're in, can change their body color.
 

IamFishNoob

Switching colors could be an emotional thing. The mood they're in, can change their body color.
Thanks! So, she could also be changing color because of stress, right?
 

MacZ

Pretty much.
Besides clove oil there is no way of euthanizing I can and will promote openly here on the forum anymore. But you can find ways when you use the search function.
 

IamFishNoob

Ok. So how does the clove oil stuff work? Is it possible to use any type of oil?
 

Ouse

Welcome to Fishlore.

Yes, stress is the most likely cause of the colour change. As already requested, could you please fill out the emergency template? It will help us to know more.
Ok. So how does the clove oil stuff work? Is it possible to use any type of oil?
Clove oil is the only one to be used as far as I’m made aware, and using it is the most humane way of euthanising fish. The stuff is usually available in pharmacies. Don’t use it on the main tank; only use it in the little tub the fish is in now.

There is a certain method on how to euthanise fish. It’s not just about dumping the whole bottle into the tub.
 

IamFishNoob

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? -11g
How long has the tank been running? - a little longer than 2 weeks
Does it have a filter? - yes
Does it have a heater? - no
What is the water temperature? - 84 degrees F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) - 2 female red wagtail platies, 4 female fancy guppies (I removed the black guppy, so now it's 3)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? - once a week
How much of the water do you change? - 25%
What do you use to treat your water? - dechlorinater after water changes and API quick start while cycling
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? - just the water

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? - yes
What do you use to test the water? - I test the water at Petsmart every time I go. They use test strips. I don't have a test kit (I'm broke )
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”. - Last time I went to Petsmart (about a week ago)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 8.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? - once a day as soon as I wake up (around 8 and 9)
How much do you feed your fish? - a pinch of crushed flakes
What brand of food do you feed your fish? - tetra min flakes
Do you feed frozen? - no
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? - freeze-dried shrimp

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? - 1 week
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? - 3 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? - guppy turned black and is swimming on its side/back
Have you started any treatment for the illness? - no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? - its tail was slightly black, but it acted normal
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? - swims awkwardly and has turned completely black (the belly is still the original silver color, tho)

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

The female guppy has been turning black gradually for the past 3 days. Yesterday, it turned completely black (Except for its belly which is still silver). Yesterday afternoon, it started swimming on it's side/back and sometimes it would swim in awkward circles. It's currently in a small quarantine tank and is still swimming the same way.
 

Ouse

If your pet shop uses API’s test strips, I’d be very sceptical those parameters are right.

Bump up 25% weekly water changes to 50% weekly.

I’m curious: how do you maintain a constant temperature of 84°F without a heater? Regardless, this temperature is too high and can encourage harmful bacteria to thrive.
 

IamFishNoob

I’m curious: how do you maintain a constant temperature of 84°F without a heater? Regardless, this temperature is too high and can encourage harmful bacteria to thrive.
I live in Cali and it's summer rn sooo

How can I decrease the water temp? I tried floating a bag of ice overnight last week, but it didn't work.
If your pet shop uses API’s test strips, I’d be very sceptical those parameters are right.
They use the tetra easy strips.
 

Ouse

Some do water changes using only cold tap water when the tank is hot. Some might aim a fan at their aquarium. Using dechlorinated ice cubes directly in the tank is also a method of keeping a tank cool during summer.

I can’t comment on Tetra Easy Strips, but someone else might. Sorry.
 

IamFishNoob

Some do water changes using only cold tap water when the tank is hot. Some might aim a fan at their aquarium. Using dechlorinated ice cubes directly in the tank is also a method of keeping a tank cool during summer.

I can’t comment on Tetra Easy Strips, but someone else might. Sorry.
Thanks! I'll try that and see if the temperature decreases. It should be around 76-78 F, right?
 

Ouse

You’re welcome. That is a good temperature range for guppies.
 

IamFishNoob

alr! thanks again!
 

emeraldking

Thanks! So, she could also be changing color because of stress, right?
Yes
 

IamFishNoob

The guppy is swimming better today. But, I saw weird white fungus-like stuff on her head. I have a feeling she has columnaris.

"If you do not see this at first, you may be warned by a few other telltale signals that your fish has been infected by columnaris. Your fish will probably have trouble swimming, almost as if it had been disoriented. On top of that, the fish will start eating less and less."
15 Most Common Guppy Diseases, Parasites, and Treatment | AquariumFish City

How should I deal with this?
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