Sick Guppy Advice?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by kristen06, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. kristen06

    kristen06New MemberMember

    Hello all. I have a small tank with a single 2 year old guppy. He is generally very healthy, but has been swimming sideways/in odd patterns, and seems to have slightly red gills for a couple of days. This has happened before, and we have used "general cure" and cooked peas with success. However, it's happened again and doesn't seem to be helping. We keep the water clean, and his water hasn't changed at all from usual. Any advice, resources or referrals would be appreciated. Thank you!
  2. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore!!!! Couldn't help but notice your UN and I used to have a friend named Kristen! She was very nice, and fun haha! :)

    Anyways, answering some of these questions might help:

    What size tank?

    What are your water parameters? (Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ect.)

    What test kit are you using?
  3. Anders247

    Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
    Agreed with the above, and it sounds like ammonia poisoning to me when you mention red gills.
  4. OP

    kristen06New MemberMember

    It's going to seem like I'm a terrible owner here, but I got him over 2 years ago in a bowl, and by the time I realized it wasn't very good for him, I was afraid to move him out and into a new environment (which I know now is terrible, and will never be doing again).

    I've never tested the water. I've just done the same routine, changing the water 75% with imported bottled water, for over the past 2 years. The water we're using is the same as we've always used but I'm not familiar with testing it. There's also a live plant in the tank that he swims around, but that's it.

    It sounds like from other posts that it could be a couple of things, like ammonia or ick. I've tried the general cure and peas. I fasted him for 2 days and gave him a pea this morning. He's eating, but he's hovering in the bottom of the tank, and his swim pattern is way off.

    Is there anything I can do for him being in a bowl?
  5. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    No filter and no heater?

    If it is ich (which from the description you've given us it doesn't sound like ich), the best method to cure it is to raise the temp. Signs of ich include small white spots (it will look like salt has been sprinkled on him), clamped fins, lethargy, ect.

    I would try to get the water tested, as it definitely sounds like it could be ammonia poisoning. You can try taking in a sample of water to somewhere like Petsmart and they'll test it for you, but beware of the way they test the water, they might use test strips, which are inaccurate.

    In case of ammonia poisoning, water changes are necessary to get the levels down. One of the things that will make clearing up ammonia for good difficult is that you don't have a filter, right?

    Also, unless he's bloated or has swim bladder issues, the peas might not helping the problem.
  6. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    You'll need to test the water so we can deduce if it is indeed ammonia poisoning. I'm gonna assume the bowl was never cycled since there is no filter present.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  7. OP

    kristen06New MemberMember

    Hi, thank you for all of your help! I did a 20-30% water change tonight. We'll see if that helps at all, and I can continue to do that 1-2x per day if it seems like it's helping.

    I haven't fed him tonight, other than the pea this morning. With the erratic swimming, I thought perhaps he was being overfed. I suppose I'll feed him normally tomorrow, if he's still ok.

    I can get the water tested at Petsmart, but is there help for a fish bowl fish? It sounds like there are chips that can help, but they go into a filter. I'm afraid adding a filter at this point may be more harm than good with him in his current state. Is there any way to lower the ammonia levels other than the frequent 20% water changes with no filter?

    It seems weird that I haven't changed the water changing habits, and this is happening now. Bad luck? Anything else that could have caused it? He is quite old unfortunately. He's at least 2-2.5 years old (I got him in April 2013), which I guess is old for a male guppy?

    Thanks again for your help!
  8. BornThisWayBettas

    BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Well, if his stomach is sticking out like he's been overfed then I suppose that's a possibility.

    Without a filter, it's definitely more difficult to rid your bowl of the ammonia for good. Other than water changes, I really don't know of much more that can help. Maybe others have more ideas, though.

    He is pretty old for a guppy, imo. If fish are anything like people and other animals, his immune system might not be what it used to be, and it's just all catching up to him now.

    No problem, happy to help! :)
  9. Anders247

    Anders247Fishlore LegendMember