Help! Guppy Getting More And More Black

guppiesandpuppies

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One of my guppies, a lyretail, seems to be getting more and more black today. I will test the water, but which tests should I do? Is he safe? What could be wrong with him? Should I do a water change now or after the tests? How big of a water change?

Edit: He's been moving around more than usual and sometimes shaking

Edit: Thank God, he's lost a lot of the new black. But I will still test the water and if I need to, I'll do a water change. Do I need to if the test results are good?

Now the black is coming and going. Please help. I'm scared that he'll die

Ok, I finished testing the water. Here are the last few days of results:
6/25/17
1. Nitrate 7.5 ppm
2. Nitrite 0 ppm
3. Ammonia 0 ppm
4. High range pH 7.9?
5. pH
6. GH 7 drops, 120 ppm
7. KH 5 drops, 83.3332 ppm

6/26/17
1. High range pH 7.9
2. GH 6-7 drops 100-120 ppm
3. KH 5 drops, 83.3332 ppm

6/30/17
High range pH 7.9?

6/30/17
Nitrate: impossible to tell. Somewhere from 5 ppm to 30 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: (1) 0 ppm, I think
Ammonia: (2) About 0 ppm
High range: pH 8.1
pH:
GH: 8-9 drops 140-160 ppm
KH: 6 drops 100 ppm

Edit: I added crushed coral to my filter on 6/21/17. Two tablespoons, I think.
 

clk89

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Water changes certainly can't hurt. Have you been having a lot of PH issues?
 
OP
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guppiesandpuppies

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Water changes certainly can't hurt. Have you been having a lot of PH issues?

I did about a 50% water change.

Before I put the crushed coral in, my pH was repeatedly swinging from 7.4-7.9 and back.
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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Could someone please let me know what to do? The water change helped, but now he's getting more black again. I think maybe it's because I need to gravel vac. Is this what he needs?
 
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G

guppiesandpuppies

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It's a 5.5 gallon tank. I just did a gravel vac in which I took out about two gallons of water and put back in about 2.5 gallons. That ended about 30 minutes ago. He's still changing colors. I added Prime for the whole tank volume. Do I need to test the water again? Is there a medication I need to buy? Do I need to buy Stability?
 

OnTheFly

Well Known
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Do you have PICs? My guppies are usually dark when they are healthy and happy, pale when they are stressed or ill. So I'm not sure what you have going without seeing them.
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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Pictures? Yes, I have some. I'll try to find one of him at his blackest and one at of him at his least black.
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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1bb31cf530db39fda1f2fb33754700f8.jpg
4d031bd7ba582cc778f9b28647c81e89.png

The one where he's less black is from a few months ago and is approximately what he usually looks like as far as color (he's bigger now). His colors changing a tiny bit is normal for him. But not this much.
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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Just saw him swimming oddly in the bubbles from the air stone. He was vertical for a second. I'm praying that it's just that the current was a little too strong for him, without him being sick, but as far as I know, it's never been too strong for him before. Also praying that he didn't get injured by it. I'm very scared. Please someone tell about what might help.

I tested the water a few hours ago. Results from that and the last few days:
6/26/17
1. High range pH 7.9
2. GH 6-7 drops 100-120 ppm
3. KH 5 drops, 83.3332 ppm

6/30/17
High range pH 7.9?

6/30/17
Nitrate: impossible to tell. Somewhere from 5 ppm to 30 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: (1) 0 ppm, I think
Ammonia: (2) About 0 ppm
High range: pH 8.1
pH:
GH: 8-9 drops 140-160 ppm
KH: 6 drops 100 ppm

7/1/17
Nitrate 5 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Ammonia about 0 ppm
High range pH 7.9-8.0
pH
GH
KH

I added crushed coral to the filter on 6/21/17and the bag now has brown stains on it and oh, no! I just opened up the filter and grabbed the bag with my hand and I forgot to rinse my hands first and now there are little things floating in the water and I don't know how to clean the filter. Please, please help. I don't want any of my fish to die.
 

OnTheFly

Well Known
Member
His darker coloration does not alarm me at all. It is completely normal for him to attain his adult colors as he ages. He appears to have some half-black genetics. He does look a little thin though. Possibly normal if he is as young as he appears. Some strains are much smaller than others. Is everybody eating? Healthy guppies always have a hearty appetite.
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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His darker coloration does not alarm me at all. It is completely normal for him to attain his adult colors as he ages. He appears to have some half-black genetics. He does look a little thin though. Possibly normal if he is as young as he appears. Some strains are much smaller than others. Is everybody eating? Healthy guppies always have a hearty appetite.

No, I meant his colors are rapidly changing from his close to his normal colors to having more black and brown, and back to having close to his normal colors, and back to more black and brown, and it repeats. The one where he looks smaller is an old pic from about 3 months ago. This afternoon, when I fed them, he had been doing better for a while, and I had to rush to take care of the fish at the office, so I didn't watch to see if he ate. But usually, when I do watch them, they all eat.

And what should I do about the filter? I don't know how to clean it.

AAAA! One of my other fish just ate one of the particles from the filter. Going to gravel vac now and turn the filter off in the hopes of saving my fish. But I still need to know how to clean the filter.
 

OnTheFly

Well Known
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Rinse the filter media lightly in tank water. And try to relax because you don't sound like you are enjoying the hobby. Turn the lights out and let your fish sleep.
 
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G

guppiesandpuppies

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Rinse the filter media lightly in tank water. And try to relax because you don't sound like you are enjoying the hobby. Turn the lights out and let your fish sleep.

Should I rinse the coral bag, too?
 

OnTheFly

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Should I rinse the coral bag, too?
Sure, it won't hurt. You can rinse the inside of the filter box too. Just don't scrub everything down so thoroughly you remove all the BB.
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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When I plugged the filter back in after rinsing the coral bag and the filter media (that's the soft part, right?), tons more particles came out. More than before. What should I do?
 

bopsalot

Well Known
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I'm no expert, but I think your fish are likely just fine. Not sure about guppies, but many fish can lighten and darken their pigments based on their mood/ lighting conditions/ stress level. Generally, I believe darker coloration means good mood and good health. Angelfish are like this. You can lightly clean the filter box with a aquarium safe brush and gently clean the filter media in dechlorinated water, stuff can build up in there, bacteria, gunk and algae and maybe even fungus sometimes. I imagine it's possible that it could be harmful, but not very likely. If it's particles, the filter should recapture them in time and you can rinse them out. I think you're going to be ok! Good luck!
 
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guppiesandpuppies

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I'm afraid of cleaning it out now. I guess whatever he particles are, they were already in there, and my fish aren't showing any symptoms of illness with the particles in there, and I think too many water changes in one day (already did 2 today) will probably stress the fish. And I already added enough Prime for all the water. So I think I should probably just give the filter a chance to do its job overnight and pray for the best outcome.
 

Kellye8498

Well Known
Member
I think you are overthinking this and stressing for nothing. Color changes come with the territory of keeping fish. Maybe the stress of the water changes changed him. Maybe he was lighter before because you weren't completely cycled and now that you are he is happier. I wouldn't worry about it. Just do normal weekly or twice weekly maintenance and keep an eye on them but I'm sure he is a-ok.
 

Kellye8498

Well Known
Member
I have the same fish and he looks like the bottom pic where the fish is lighter when he's really stressed out. He normally looks like the first pic when he's feeling happy and I have left him alone.
 

Kellye8498

Well Known
Member
Just so you don't worry, this is the same fish taken about an hour apart:


1b55faef8b1bf05fb9b5f26fa7120e44.jpg
fec509d27951848e51ccddfe5051ea49.jpg
 

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