Male Guppies Harassing Male Swordtails

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Newby71, May 12, 2019.

  1. Newby71

    Newby71New MemberMember

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    Im new to the fish keeping world. Had a comet goldfish that I bought for my son for 30 cents for two years. He was outgrowing his 10 gallon tank so I upgraded to 20 gallon, stupidly without cycling the new tank.... he died two days later. So now with a brand new 20 gallon tank that I had successfully cycled I added 3 male guppies, 2 swordtails and 4 glofish tetras. The tetras died overnight. Went back to Petsmart, had water tested, it was fine. Waited two weeks, added 4 more glofish, 3 died within 2 days. I’ve since given up on the glo fish. May add a white skirt tetra for my one remaining glofish, but I digress! A lot, sorry Anyway, now more than a month into this with guppies and swordtails, the guppies have harassed the swordtails into flashing up and down the side of tank non stop and they haven’t eaten in 3 days. Tested water again, all within normal limits except it’s a little hard. Went and got 6 female guppies yesterday and added 2 female Dalmatian mollies in the hopes that the guppies would leave the swordtails alone and maybe the swordtails might be interested in the mollies, but not be able to mate and create an overflow of unwanted fry that I was sure the guppies would be providing. The guppies are totally uninterested in the females and continue to follow the swordtails up and down the side of tank. Everyone is acting fine and eating normally except the swordtails. The male guppies take breaks from the harassment, almost in shifts to eat and swim and then go right back to it. Not sure what else to do.
     
  2. TarielBlu

    TarielBluNew MemberMember

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    Take the swordtails or guppies out of the tank
     
  3. OP
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    Newby71

    Newby71New MemberMember

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    And do what with them? I have no other tank. I was hoping there might be something I could do to help them adjust to being in the same tank.

    Also why are the guppies not interested in the females? They are very small, could they be too young?
     
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  4. TarielBlu

    TarielBluNew MemberMember

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    Is your tank heavily planted with lots of caves and hide aways?
     
  5. Crazycoryfishlady

    CrazycoryfishladyWell Known MemberMember

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    It's possible the not eating and flashing is due to an illness and not the guppies.
    Harassment from a smaller fish doesn't really make another fish flash.
    Flashing comes from irritation like when our skin itches when we have bugs on it.

    The males may never leave the swords alone.
    They like to go after the biggest most colorful fish.
    So if the females you got aren't anything special, the males won't care.
    My males even go after each other when the females aren't pretty enough.
    They just want a little love from a pretty lady... What can they say..

    It's possible you could have a few problems since you've gotten a few sets of fish at different times from (the same store?) Petsmart.
    Petsmart and petco have the same breeder, and that breeder sometimes sends in sick fish, and as per company rules, staff arent much allowed to treat the fish in the tanks.
    You might have something like gill flukes or ich causing the fish to flash.

    Gill flukes will cause a lot of flashing and may cause redness in the gills, more red than normal.
    Like super bright blood red at the surface, not just a light red color.

    Ich will create tiny white spots on your fish that look like sand or salt, and takes a while to show up in your tanks sometimes.

    But your fish may also be healthy, except for the flashing.

    You might just have to get another tank ;p
    A 29 for your guppies and 20 for everybody else :D

    Did you get sailfin mollies? The guppies will likely like something with large finnage and bright or similar coloration to themselves.

    Maybe even adding a lot more plants may help deter them by allowing them to explore in the tank more.
    I find my fish love to explore driftwood and plants like ferns or crypts.
     
  6. OP
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    Newby71

    Newby71New MemberMember

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    Thanks so much for the info. A separate tank isn’t really an option, financially and space wise. I thought stress could cause flashing, but if not can I treat the whole tank? Def no ich, tho the glofish does have an odd growth on one side, on gill, behind eye not really sure. I’ll attach a pic. Got them all from Petsmart, same store. And the females aren’t pretty. Again not knowledgeable about all this and thought any female would do so grabbed six of the only ones they had. One died. They’re very tiny, I think 3 fantails but not bright and pretty colors. I think there are enough plants and two rocks for hiding in. Not live plants tho. I have Kordon rapid cure ich treatment left over from Goldie( my poor goldfish) and tetra lifeguard all in one treatment. I thought that goldfish would outlive us because he survived two big infections, one that left a large portion of his side with an open wound. Totally different tank and in the first few months we had him. Anyway, any more advice U can offer would be greatly appreciated. I’m tired of making trips back to Petsmart to ask for advice from mostly kids that don’t know much more than I do

    UGG. Now that I’m really looking at them the glofish has extremely red gills but has since I got him so thought it was normal and maybe one of the male guppies too. More pics added, couldn’t get good or of guppy, he won’t stay still long enuf. sorry. Just want to make this work, I really enjoy them so it started out for my son and now it’s my project. Love just sitting and watching them.
     

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  7. Crazycoryfishlady

    CrazycoryfishladyWell Known MemberMember

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    I can definitely see why they would go after those swords! They're pretty and really bright! Lol
    You might have luck with blue or orange females.
    You can technically never have enough plants.
    Real wood and real plants are a bit more interactive than fake ones since they carry real life on them, and can offer microbial snacks that distract fish.
    When I was looking at fake plants at my lfs, I realized they're basically the same price as the fake ones.
    And some of them you don't have to wprk super hard to care for, like val grasses and wisteria.
    You have decent cover, but could use a bit more.

    I wouldn't treat with any medications unless they're actually sick, but it's good that you have those meds on hand.

    That spot on the glowfish does look odd, but I'm not sure what it would be.
    Does it look fuzzy?
    It could be from flashing.

    If you have a river near by you can go to a sharp bend in it, and you should be able to find piles of drift wood.
    There can be really special looking peices that are perfect for tanks.
    You just take them home, boil them for a little while switching out the water a few times, and then wait for it to cool, and put it in the tank.
    Having more plants live and fake, and real wood, will help distract the guppies a lot.
    My guppies spend so much time running around nipping off of plant leaves they don't have a whole lot of time to truly harass each other without getting distracted by possible food.
    Some members on the forum offer plants and fish super cheap, I have some females I'm looking to get rid of even, and shipping can be fairly reliable even if some people aren't comfortable with it.
    After all... The fish you buy from a store were shipped too...

    The guppy does not look to be red to me, unless it's the (greener?) One that you mean?
    I can't really see his gills in that picture though.

    I'm not sure, but it looks like that may be internal organ coloring on your glowfish?
    The pictures I see online aren't much help since those fish are all so brightly colored.
    Yours is a lot more translucent.
    It does look a little irritated or maybe stressed though? This could be due to having no school, and maybe it's also in poor health since the others died as well, and since the tank is freshly cycled.
    Do you have your own test kit or are you using the stores strips?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  8. OP
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    Newby71

    Newby71New MemberMember

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    I have been testing the water at home with tetra 5 in 1 strips. And took to store twice after the glofish died, but realized they’re using the same strips! When the goldfish first died I tested with same strips and it was high in nitrites and now no nitrites or elevated nitrates so quality has improved. The glofish hasn’t been flashing and the growth doesn’t look fuzzy. Just figured I’d leave it be until he starts acting funny. He’s pretty chill tho he does nip at the others sometimes, I was thinking because he’s alone/ the only one of his kind. I may try looking for a few bright colored female guppies and some live plants and at least one other tetra... not glofish. If I were those swordtails I’d have eaten the **** guppies by now. It’s annoying just watching them! What’s weird is the swordtails have stopped to nip at Dalmatian mollies if they get in their way but don’t address the annoying guppies at all?! Thanks again for the help.
     
  9. OP
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    Newby71

    Newby71New MemberMember

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    I just realized I said the swordtails were flashing, I used the wrong term!! I meant pacing or just swimming quickly up and Dow the side of the tank. They’re not rubbing or banging into anything. They are still eating very little and swimming up and down non stop. The male guppies seem to have let up a little bit. They don’t seem to be ganging up on them all 3 at once on one swordtail. They’re still bugging them but not as much. I don’t know, I wonder if I should get them some females too. Didn’t realize this would get so complicated keeping males only. Also I don’t want to overstock either. Haven’t really figured out how many of these fish is too many in a 20 gallon tank. Went to aqadvisor but that calculator is a little confusing to me.
     
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