Whats next? Could you help figure this out? 3 year old guppy sick

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More than 10 years
Hi. This has now happend to me twice. My fish all die out of a well established tank. I've read everything online and I'm thinking that when adding something, its throwing it off balance. I've done everything right, except QT new fish before adding to the tank. I'm thinking these new guys (orange & white fish?) had something that all my other fish caught. Figuring out what they had still has been a mystery but I'm still fighting the residuals effects with the few fish remaining. One imparticular fish (the mother) was one of the few that I really didn't want to lose. All my guppies were rubbing, so I treated for ich. Then a white bloom type fungus covered my tanks & them. I treated it & the bloom disappeared, except for in their eyes which were all covered with ?fungus? and seemed to have a clear bubble pocket type thing on them. I bought two 5 gallon tanks placed the really sick in one & the not so in the other. Totally dismantled the tank & its now set back up cycling. No clue what they caught as it seemed to be everything I read about, they had fin rot, some were floating as if they were paralyzed & it I tapped on the glass theyd wake up, one has a "tumor" looking cist,
The one thing I question is "worms". How can you really tell if they have worms? They were pooping "red", very similar to a meal worm but & at one point when I treated them for parasites they all pooped a clear, shaped kinda like something that would just be the skin around the worm or poop. It was like a thread. Just recently I saw nats in the tank? WT heck are these, why & how do they come? I saw these white worms, alot of them, which I read about & think it could be the worm of the nat? It appeared that my fish ate these worms quickly.
Sorry for rambling..now I've accepted that I'm going to have to start over with my tanks, I've dealt with the loss of my favorites, and now only have the mother & a few other not my choice, The mother is looking pretty bad. She's floating, in one spot up the water line by the intake. Her gills (all the guppies) have red gills. No its not amonia for sure. I treat the water & do daily water changes & test. All levels are 0. She is fairly large & I noticed today that it appears that her body has a "bubble" thats developed inside? She just had fry a few days ago. Is it normal to have a bubble like this? In addition her body is looking HUGE, bigger than it did prego. I'm worried about it being a parasite growing inside her?
She had fin rot which is getting better, some of the other fish that I've QT are really thin and sick so Im worried the sickness is just making its circle around my 3 tanks.
On another note, I have 22 fry that I'm hoping are the off spring of my favorites gups that died, I've placed them all in a sep tank. What can I do to prevent them from getting sick? Or are they already sick because their mother was infected? Now my son brought this orange fish (and a white one) home. What type of fish is this? It seems to have avoided the sickness that the guppies had. The white fish has doubled its size compared to the orange, but the white is a female. No fry have been seen from this fish in 2 months so I'm not wondering if I need to be worried about the bloated stomach? Could it be a parasite growing?


MD Angels

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
4 years
Hi Dmaibry, welcome to fishlore!

Wow, I am sorry you've had such a hard time with your fish! It sounds like you've been through just about everything!

I'll start by saying that the orange fish your son brought home (if it's the one on the right) is a sailfin molly - and I'm pretty sure its a male.

You have a lot of questions, and I'll try my best to answer as many as I can . . .

I think you are on the right track with worms/parasites. I was researching and looking pictures and comparing with your descriptions and pictures, and I really feel that's the case here.
The white stringy things you see in the tank could be planaria, which are harmless to the fish, but are an indication of over feeding. Now unless you saw these worms actually attached to your fish, (and wont' come off easily) then they are not planaria, but likely anchor worms.

However, I feel like this is an internal parasite rather than an external one, possibly along with bacterial issues. I don't see raised scales, so I doubt its dropsy. However, just now reading that they have red gills makes me think external . . . sigh*

I like that you are doing daily water changes, but do you always: match the temperature, use dechlorinator, and vacuume the gravel of debris? I also noticed that your tank is not cycled (the absence of readable nitrates). At some point, it would be helpful for you to read about the nitrogen cycle.

Ok, here is what I would do. Continue doing daily water changes, and vacuume the gravel to remove debris. Stop feeding the fish for now, as you will soo be medicating and will not be able to do water changes during that time, so the least amount of waste produced is ideal. They do not need to eat right now, nor do they want to I'm sure.

Now we just need to figure out what exactly the parasite/issue is. I would love to get some other experienced members input on this, as I have never personally dealt with an illness like this, and therefore I cannot personally recommend a treatment. I would suggest a medication for internal parasites, - maybe even external as well.

There seems to be a lot going on in your tank.

Until you get this tank healthy, please do not bring home any new fish. Just a few questions of my own- what size tank is this, and what is in the tank (please list all fish, inverts, etc.), and could you please finish filling out this info in your info section in your profile?

We will help you figure this out
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