Male Guppy Hiding

Jessi

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I am new to fish keeping, and have only had my fish about a month (had the tank and equipment a but longer). I cycled without fish by using my friend's used filter media. Then I added two new fish a week. I have a ballon molly, platy, two guppies, two corys, and two shrimp (done stocking) in a ten gallon tank. I think the tank is well planted and decorated. My guppies were added two weeks ago, then the corys last week. My blue guppy seemed to be thriving until two days ago and now he is just hiding in the corner by the heater constantly. He comes out to eat a few bites and for the occasional lap and that's it. I have never seen any fish bully him but maybe it still happens. Water levels seem good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0-few nitrates, 7 ph, 60ish GH (I know ideally that could be higher). My molly seems very docile. My other guppy is the most feisty but he doesn't seem like a bully either. Any ideas? I want my little guy to be ok, if not thrive! Uploading pics of the tank and guppy in question (named Ice).
 

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jack22

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This doesn't directly address your issue, but just throwing it out as a data point for you, just in case you can use it.

Your guppy is acting very different than my guppies. I have a guppies tank with 2 male guppies for the last 5 months and added 2 females just yesterday. All 4 guppies behave very similarly: swimming quickly up and down near the glass very often but sometimes just swimming slowly around the aquarium. But one thing I've never observed them do is hang near the heater.

I'm wondering what is the normal guppy behavior.

I'm also pretty new to fish keeping. I kept fish for a few years in the 80s without knowing much and all I remember if that they constantly die and I replace them. Only a catfish and another lived throughout the years until I gave the aquarium away. This time around, with the wealth of info, I hope to have 0 fish deaths.
 
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Jessi

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I am not familiar with it. I just looked it up and can see that it's a dark spot on the bottom of the fish. I can't see the guppy clearly enough to tell if it has that though, but I really think the fins look male.
 

Brannor

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We have 4 male guppies, and had 11 females at some stage, now 5 adult and +-80 fry (2 weeks to 6 weeks old). Ice looks very much like a male in the 3rd photo. His dorsal fin isn't as big as some can get, but at first glance... male.

guppy-anatomy.jpg
 

Brannor

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And yes, male guppies WILL hide if they feel threatened/bullied. We have an orange male that goes to hide at the bottom in the corner in in the plants when he is scared (fish net comes out...) and did so a LOT while we still had an aggressive swordtail in the tank.

They also hide quite a bit and 'shake' (put pectoral fins out, and waggle both and their tale rapidly while remaining stationary) when they're in a new environment. Even our boys did this when we moved them from one tank to a new one. They stopped doing it after a few days.

-G
 
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Jessi

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Just an update for anyone in the same situation: I found Ice dead a few days after I posted this. I never saw him be bullied, but I know that was what it was as my molly and my second guppy began bullying my platy. I found that it was helpful to take out individual fish for about 40 min just to see how the dynamics of the tank change. I ended up rotating out each fish in the tank to find out that my second guppy was the alpha, my molly was next in line and still a bully, then my platy, then Ice. And once Ice died, the bulling shifted to my platy. In the end I took back the guppy and the molly. But once I got some new fish my platy started bullying, I guess to be the alpha in the way he had learned to establish dominance. So I took the platy back too. I learned that 1.) Livebearers probably do better in larger space. 2.) Liverbearers definitely can be peaceful or aggressive. 3.) I personally believe that some peaceful fish may learn to bully from being bullied, so it's maybe best to stop bullying before it gets too far.

I have since traded my livebearers for some ember tetras and a true honey gourami, and I will never look back! I adore my honey gourami and the embers are amazing too.
 

IHaveADogToo

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I'm very sorry that your guppy passed away, and that you had to return so many fish. But I think you're right that bullying can be a learned behavior. I had a similar situation with male guppies where they bullied the weakest the one to death, then moved on to the next weakest one. After 2 fish died I surrendered the remaining 3 guppies to a local fish store, and they put them in a "not for sale" tank, and within a month the most dominant guppy had bullied the other 2 to death and he was the only one still alive.
 

Adriifu

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Jessi said:
Just an update for anyone in the same situation: I found Ice dead a few days after I posted this. I never saw him be bullied, but I know that was what it was as my molly and my second guppy began bullying my platy. I found that it was helpful to take out individual fish for about 40 min just to see how the dynamics of the tank change. I ended up rotating out each fish in the tank to find out that my second guppy was the alpha, my molly was next in line and still a bully, then my platy, then Ice. And once Ice died, the bulling shifted to my platy. In the end I took back the guppy and the molly. But once I got some new fish my platy started bullying, I guess to be the alpha in the way he had learned to establish dominance. So I took the platy back too. I learned that 1.) Livebearers probably do better in larger space. 2.) Liverbearers definitely can be peaceful or aggressive. 3.) I personally believe that some peaceful fish may learn to bully from being bullied, so it's maybe best to stop bullying before it gets too far.

I have since traded my livebearers for some ember tetras and a true honey gourami, and I will never look back! I adore my honey gourami and the embers are amazing too.
That's great! Would you still like some help with your current stocking? There are a few issues with your corydoras and honey gourami. Possibly your ember tetras as well (unless they're in a fairly large group).
 
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Jessi

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I'd be interest to hear what you think, yes, though I really think everyone is doing well. I have 8 embers, and I have checked on aqadvisor and I am not overstocked, though I do weekly 30% water changes since I am at my limit.
 

Adriifu

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Jessi said:
I'd be interest to hear what you think, yes, though I really think everyone is doing well. I have 8 embers, and I have checked on aqadvisor and I am not overstocked, though I do weekly 30% water changes since I am at my limit.
You said you had two corydoras, correct? They need to be in same-specie groups of five or more and also prefer at least 20-gallons, however you can get away with it, especially if they're dwarf corydoras. Honey gouramis can be kept in a 10-gallon tank, but prefer at least 20-gallons. Other than that, everything seems all right.
 
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