Why do my guppies always die?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by mrgso, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. mrgso

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    We have gone through so many guppies and I just don't understand. The tank is cycled. These are the stats...
    10 gallon heavily planted +1cave(fake plants)
    nitrite: 0
    nitrate: 20
    Ph: 6.8 (it is naturally very very ,low but we add small amounts of stabilizer dissolved in water changes to keep it steadily almost neutral. Otherwise it would be like 5.2.)
    temp:78-82 usually 80.
    1 male guppy, 2 females and another dying female(isolated), about 20-30 fry of different ages. All belonging to the dying female.

    How it happens is with females they gasp at the surface with a bent spine as if they were trying to escape the water(the tank has lots of oxygen. There's a large airstone and a strong filter.) and then they cant swim anymore and sink to the bottom where they flit around in an attempt to swim until they die. :(
    With males it usually starts with swimming against the current and shaking/bending their tail as if trembling in fear and then they hide somewhere and die overnight.

    Does anyone have any idea what this is? There are no signs of sickness other than not being able to swim and a bent spine in the last hours. (she does have 2 tiny red spots iv never seen before though, possibly scratches from attempting to swim face first/sideways into the gravel.
  2. guppygrl

    guppygrlValued MemberMember

    I have the same problem. I think the guppies just aren't add hardy as they used to be. I have a lot of fry from females who died... and they are fine... but the guppies I bought all but two have died. They don't seem to handle stress to well. Just my opinion. :)

    I even bought 4 females from a local breeder and they died within a week. My water parameters were good. I think they do well in harder water which is what we have here.

    Wish I could figure out how to keep guppies I buy... hopefully others will chime in with some advice.
  3. LyleB

    LyleBWell Known MemberMember

    To me, the bent spine suggests possible genetic defects. This is becoming common in Neons that have been inbred. Perhaps the same with the guppy. I would buy some stock from other breeders, several of them if possible. Introduce some diversity within your population.
  4. OP

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    this is a video of her and the rest of the tank just to give an idea of what we're dealing with. Also in the vid. she doesn't move much but as I'm watching she tries to swim every once in a while but only flips in circles.
  5. Eienna

    EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    It may well be gill flukes. They eat away at the fish's gills and cause the gills to get clogged with mucus as the fish's defense system tries to get rid of them. Her gills do look extremely inflamed to me. Praziquantel is effective against them and should not injure your healthy fish, so give that a shot.
  6. OP

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    sounds pretty close...but would gill flukes cause her tail to bend like that? (just want to be sure before I risk the entire tank over one fish.)
  7. guppygrl

    guppygrlValued MemberMember

    What causes gill fluke?
  8. Eienna

    EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    My other thought is fish TB, but I think that causes lesions.

    It might, it might not. I'm not sure it's an anatomical bend as much as a stress one. In any case, ridding your tank of any parasites should be a good thing. Praziquantel (PraziPro) will not hurt your BB.

    @guppygrl: It's a type of parasite.
  9. luke355027355027

    luke355027355027Well Known MemberMember

    My dumb question is. Do you buy them like this and if there normal how long does it take for their body to bend. Also does it bend overnight or slowly over time
  10. OP

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    they're not bought like this and it seems like it bends overnight. It happens anywhere between a couple of days and a couple of months after buying them.

    Eienna I will try that. Thank you. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  11. Yeoy

    YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    I know that in guppy fry, inbalanced doet can cause needletail and spine misshape. I don't know about adults. I had guppies from a LFS and a breeder. All the LFS ones died within a month or so, the others didn't. I guess it depends on your source, in regards to fish quality.
  12. OP

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    OH! I forgot one important bit of info. When we bought this fish, she was imported from a foreign country. (they didn't tell us till after we bought her.) This was about 2 months ago. I'm just confused as to how it would be a parasite if nothing new has been introduced to the water since then. :(
    Also the prazipro is not sold in any stores near us? And to rush ship it here would be like $30. (there's no way. :( )She's currently in a salt bath and I'm hoping that having her separated will encourage healing. What I'm scared of is that it really is gill flukes and the whole tank is about to go down. :0
    Still dont know why she's bent though. Now that i have her confined i could look closer and it looks almost like her skeleton is bleeding!(not literally. I mean the bones are redish.) Also the scales where her body is bent are beggining to pop up from the strain and blood is rushing to her head. 0_0 Almost wondering if the bacteria that causes fish TB is in our water supply and has been taking them out from the start! (is that even possible? Our town's water is known for having serious issues and most people don't drink it or they filter it.) Is this a case where I should euthanize or keep trying with the salt? :(
  13. Yeoy

    YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    Most diseases that fish get are present in the environment, like the common cold for us. So when they become stressed or weak they then fall victim to the parasite/disease etc... I can't comment on treatment as I don't know sorry.
  14. Eienna

    EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Well, you may wish to let this one go. Focus on getting the treatment for the rest of the tank (at a much more reasonable shipping cost), and a proper QT. It doesn't help keep disease from spreading if they're separated but still circulating with the tank water. A separate tank with separate filtration and equipment is your best way to go.

    The thing about parasites is that they can often remain undetected until the damage to the fish's system becomes critical or even terminal.

    Which country did she come from?

    I really, REALLY hope for your sake that it isn't fish TB. If it is, you'll have to scrap and sterilize your whole setup and start over from scratch. Even gill flukes isn't a good scenario, but as I said, they have shown responsiveness to PraziPro. You may be able to get it at a reasonable price (and shipped relatively quickly) from amazon.com.

    I want to emphasize that I am not a professional, nor am I terribly experienced compared to many other forum members. I'll shoot a couple of them a PM and see what they think of the situation.
  15. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi, sorry you're having troubles with your tank and live stock.

    Question: What is your source water? Tap, well, rain? Is it possible you have a contaminated water source? [sorry, just realised you answered this in post 12]

    I don't really have too much experience when it comes to fish disease, but one should always start with the water. Stability in water parameters is the most important aspect of fish-keeping, as opposed to chasing numbers.

    I would consider changing your water source if possible (distilled water would be fine).
  16. OP

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    We lost her. :( Thank for the help though. Right now all the others seem happy and healthy and the water's still clean. I'm going to focus on getting a quarantine tank. (Christmas money?) What size would you recommend assuming im never going to have any fish larger than 3 inches? (the main is a 10g)

    Also, this should probably be a separate topic, but i was wondering, when the fry get old enough to be considered 'fish' (well....like something someone would want to buy.) What seems to be the best way of getting rid of them? Our lfs puts donated fish on the adoption board for free so they could end up anywhere from a professional keeper to an unintentionally abusive newbie to some bigger creature's dinner. Not really sure how to sell them. Do I just get foam containers and an aquabid account and leave it at that or do i have to have some license or ship them with a special service or something?

    On a side note, I know that putting her in the breeder wasn't stopping it from spreading. It was more so to keep her from getting pecked at by others and battered around trying to escape the holes in the gravel/bubbles and filter.
  17. guppygrl

    guppygrlValued MemberMember

    I can't answer your questions but wanted to say sorry about the loss of your fish. :(
  18. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    If its any consolation, there are many of us that have particular species that we just can't seem to keep.

    Getting rid of live bearers can be quite challenging. You can try giving them away as pets, but the fry keep coming. In my opinion the best thing to do is find someone who wants them a feeders. I would much rather deal with one person than have to constantly search for new people on which to unload them. It may not be the best outcome for them, but at least you know they aren't going to suffer for too long. Like you said, who knows who will wind up with them if you turn them over to the store. It may seem a bit cruel, but fish eat other fish. That's just nature.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  19. Eienna

    EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    To answer your question, no, I don't believe you need permits unless the shipment will be going through customs. I believe you can list that you only ship within the US.

    Another 10g or maybe a 5...From experience I say you should have one at least big enough to throw all your fish in temporarily.
  20. OP

    mrgsoValued MemberMember

    ok. thank you all so much. Hopefully all will go well from here. :)