Urgent! Gasping Guppy!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by PatientStars, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    Hi everyone, I have an emergency on my hands and I don't know what to do.

    My 50 gal has been running for two months.
    Ammonia: 2.0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 2ish? (definitely not 0, as it is not pure yellow, but also not 5 because it isn't bright orange)

    I'm not sure what's going on. I know I threw my parameters out of whack because I recently changed filter systems and ended up causing a new mini cycle in the process. I've been doing frequent 40% water changes (twice a week), and dosing with stability and prime daily. Everyone has been healthy and active, but just now I found one of my fancy guppies up near the surface gasping, with red gills flaring out.

    He struggled with ich when I first got him, and never fully recovered as he still looks ragged and never grew his tail back the way the others who had it did. I'm worried that he's too weak to handle the ammonia spike, but I have a molly with popeye in my quarantine tank and it's dosed with Maracyn, so I'm not sure if I should move him there.

    What do I do?!?! He's the only one showing any signs of distress. Although I did lose one endler last week, shortly after changing the filter system. It had ich as well (they were together when it broke out in a 10 gal).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    It is almost certainly caused by the ammonia. During a recycle, you really need to keep it below 0.25, 2ppm is dangerous, and 2 water changes a week will not cut it. Do a 50% today, and do that daily for multiple days. If you have prime, it won't protect the fish until the ammonia falls below 1ppm. By doing a water change, it should get it to about that level, then dose prime if you have it. If not, keep up those water changes
  3. PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    Ok, thank you! I'm fairly new to this and doing my best to educate myself. But it's a lot to learn all at once. Trying to learn as fast as I can so I don't hurt my fish! I'm really disappointed I myself for messing up and stressing him out.

    Running to do a water change now!
  4. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Good luck! It's the red gills and gasping that point to ammonia poisoning, and I think you are correct that since he was recently having problems he's just a bit weaker right now. I don't know how hardy guppies are, but ammonia poisoning can often be treated and cured with frequent water changes to get the levels down. Good luck!
    Edit: you're doing a lot better than I did when I first started, don't beat yourself up about it
  5. Dandelion-DreamValued MemberMember

    Ammonia levels over 0.5 are dangerous for fish. Seachem Prime is a good ammonia deoxifier, but you should wait a bit for that. Keep up with regular water changes. I've found that Ammo Lock by API is also a decent deoxifier, and tends to crystallize less. If you don't like the smell or the way Prime sort of clumps on the bottle/equipment, then Ammo Lock is the go-to deoxifier for ammonia. Prime is just as efficient, and more versatile. Take your pick.

    Also an unpopular opinion: Seachem Stability can help kickstart your recycle. It's good to not rely on it, though. Good luck with your fish.
  6. PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    I only recently learned about prime and stability on here, so appreciate the clarifications. I had previously been using api stresszyme.

    After frantically doing a 50% wc, the ammonia levels did go down to 1.0. Still high, but better. I'll keep them up and test every day. Thanks for helping me out and not judging, I'm always nervous being a newbie that people will think I'm a dunce for doing the wrong thing!
  7. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Nice! And remember, each water change will only halve the ammonia, so it will take about three days to get it to acceptable levels. And don't worry about being judged, most people on here started out similarly (I was way worse though, you totally have me beat). Good luck!
  8. PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    Haha ok, good to know. Thanks again for the help!

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