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Guppies die one by one


CorydorasEthan
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My aquarium faces a seemingly endless wave of struggles. My guppies (mostly males, though I don't know if this has much relevance) seem to be dying one by one. Every guppy that dies is very thin and moves lethargically, up until the point where they die. I believe this has a connection with the introduction of three Otocinclus from a chain store of which I (unwisely) did not quarantine. Two of said otos died in the first two days, and the third one survived. This has led me to believe that the otos had internal parasites of some sort before they were introduced. Could this be the case? If so, I have API General Cure which I will start treating promptly.

Water Parameters:

  • 150 GH
  • 75 Nitrate
  • 0 Nitrite
  • 0 Chlorine
  • 0 KH
  • 6.4 pH

Temperature is kept around 72-74. Would raising it help?

Thanks for the help.

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Since they're wild caught 99 times out of a 100 yes, they probably are carrying something. I actually have used Seachem's Paraguard on them many times with success. As long as general cure will treat parasites it may work. I like Paraguard because it also treats Ich among other things. Depending on what they have raising temperature could help- or not. I would say maybe start with the meds since you haven't narrowed down what it really is. 

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On 9/8/2021 at 10:00 PM, CorydorasEthan said:

My aquarium faces a seemingly endless wave of struggles. My guppies (mostly males, though I don't know if this has much relevance) seem to be dying one by one. Every guppy that dies is very thin and moves lethargically, up until the point where they die. I believe this has a connection with the introduction of three Otocinclus from a chain store of which I (unwisely) did not quarantine. Two of said otos died in the first two days, and the third one survived. This has led me to believe that the otos had internal parasites of some sort before they were introduced. Could this be the case? If so, I have API General Cure which I will start treating promptly.

Water Parameters:

  • 150 GH
  • 75 Nitrate
  • 0 Nitrite
  • 0 Chlorine
  • 0 KH
  • 6.4 pH

Temperature is kept around 72-74. Would raising it help?

Thanks for the help.

Temperature is fine. Nitrates look to be creeping up a bit. If the pH is normal (like if this is what it is always at and out of the tap), should be okay. Otherwise, if you notice that it has dropped, maybe address that. 

Since you have the meds and didn't quarantine, that's what I would do (along with a partial water change to lower the nitrates a bit). 

Also, make sure that they are getting fed enough. I notice that my guppies can drop weight pretty quickly if I don't keep up on enough food. 

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On 9/9/2021 at 12:51 AM, Zenzo said:

Temperature is fine. Nitrates look to be creeping up a bit. If the pH is normal (like if this is what it is always at and out of the tap), should be okay. Otherwise, if you notice that it has dropped, maybe address that. 

Since you have the meds and didn't quarantine, that's what I would do (along with a partial water change to lower the nitrates a bit). 

Also, make sure that they are getting fed enough. I notice that my guppies can drop weight pretty quickly if I don't keep up on enough food. 

Thanks I'll make sure to follow these steps!

On 9/9/2021 at 12:51 AM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

Since they're wild caught 99 times out of a 100 yes, they probably are carrying something. I actually have used Seachem's Paraguard on them many times with success. As long as general cure will treat parasites it may work. I like Paraguard because it also treats Ich among other things. Depending on what they have raising temperature could help- or not. I would say maybe start with the meds since you haven't narrowed down what it really is. 

Thanks for the advice!

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What is the PH out of the tap?

I noticed 0 KH, which can cause PH swings or a PH crash. That could cause enough stress to take them out. Additionally, if they are new to you, and came from water with vastly different parameters, such as a much higher PH (which guppies would probably appreciate), they could be experiencing some shock, which can take a few days to show.

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I have had similar experiences with buying guppies from a store, chain or local. I have had guppies die suddenly after a few hours to about the 72 hour mark and never had any idea what the problem was other than I hear that guppies aren't as hardy due to inbreeding. That's the answer I had typically got from Facebook groups. So like other have mentioned it is probably something they're carrying or something in the tank, say you just set up a quarantine tank where the biological filter hasn't had time to get established....

This might be a good resource, https://aquariumscience.org/index.php/17-6-guppies-and-livebearers/

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On 9/9/2021 at 8:53 AM, JettsPapa said:

Are your guppies locally raised, or did they come from a store?  I don't think I've ever kept a store bought guppy alive for longer than a month.

So its not just me. I only by guppies from the store if I know where they came from, and they have ridiculously good colors, and then I try to breed them immediately. 

All else aside, check if your store uses salt in their water. I hate stores that do that, but it does happen. If that is the case, next time you by guppies that have salt in their water, add some to their new tank and do 2-3 water changes a week to ease them into salt-free water.

The reason they add salt is because many overseas breeding facilities use half fresh and half salt water because it is cheaper than full on fresh. I personally would pay $5 for a healthy fish vs $2 for an unhealthy one.

 

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On 9/9/2021 at 6:53 PM, Guppy Guy said:

So its not just me. I only by guppies from the store if I know where they came from, and they have ridiculously good colors, and then I try to breed them immediately. 

All else aside, check if your store uses salt in their water. I hate stores that do that, but it does happen. If that is the case, next time you by guppies that have salt in their water, add some to their new tank and do 2-3 water changes a week to ease them into salt-free water.

The reason they add salt is because many overseas breeding facilities use half fresh and half salt water because it is cheaper than full on fresh. I personally would pay $5 for a healthy fish vs $2 for an unhealthy one.

 

Definitely not just you, we got some really pretty ones from Petco and they died one by one, I did get a batch of fry out of them so I'm hoping they will be healthier! 

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On 9/9/2021 at 8:21 PM, GameCzar said:

Definitely not just you, we got some really pretty ones from Petco and they died one by one, I did get a batch of fry out of them so I'm hoping they will be healthier! 

Nice job on the fry. I’m led to believe that some of the guppies can’t breed, as I managed to keep 1 alive for about 3 months in a tank full of females with him being the only male, and they still didn’t breed.

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On 9/9/2021 at 6:40 AM, quikv6 said:

What is the PH out of the tap?

I noticed 0 KH, which can cause PH swings or a PH crash. That could cause enough stress to take them out. Additionally, if they are new to you, and came from water with vastly different parameters, such as a much higher PH (which guppies would probably appreciate), they could be experiencing some shock, which can take a few days to show.

Yes the pH is out of the tap. However, they have been in these water parameters for around a year now.

On 9/9/2021 at 7:53 AM, JettsPapa said:

Are your guppies locally raised, or did they come from a store?  I don't think I've ever kept a store bought guppy alive for longer than a month.

Yep my guppies are locally raised. The colony has been going in my tank since last year.

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I noticed your ph is low.  Guppies fell apart on me at low ph soft water from my tap. I get water from my outside hose faucet because it is high ph and very hard. Guppies generally like high ph hard water. The ph/gh/kh alone may not be your cause as they were ok prior to otos but may make them fragile/stressed just enough to be succumbing to whatever the otos may have introduced.  I’m sorry you are struggling.  Getting my colony stared was the worst but once they are born in my tanks they become tanks.  

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On 9/12/2021 at 9:27 AM, Guppysnail said:

I noticed your ph is low.  Guppies fell apart on me at low ph soft water from my tap. I get water from my outside hose faucet because it is high ph and very hard. Guppies generally like high ph hard water. The ph/gh/kh alone may not be your cause as they were ok prior to otos but may make them fragile/stressed just enough to be succumbing to whatever the otos may have introduced.  I’m sorry you are struggling.  Getting my colony stared was the worst but once they are born in my tanks they become tanks.  

I really appreciate that you shared your struggles getting started.   It has allowed me to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel! 

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I can tell you that I am using my well for my tank water and it is literally liquid rock.  After aerating for 24 hours it a ph close to 8 and a TD’s of 200 plus.  My guppies are breeding like no tomorrow.  I have had them for almost 2 months now and have 3 drops of fry and they are eating machines! 
Because of the water I have I have done fish that thrive in that water…so pretty much all livebearers …guppies mollies platys and swords.  
I know @GameCzar your going to get this figured out and have a great colony of fish!

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@Guppysnail Okay thanks for the idea.

On 9/12/2021 at 10:37 AM, Colu said:

I agree with @Guppysnailyour pH is.on the low side for guppy's i would add some crushed coral to help raise your pH to above 7

Will raising the pH cause stress to the other fish (Corydoras, pearl gourami, flying fox, otocinclus) that could cause them to get sick too? I don't want to risk losing even more.

Also, a quick update on the problem. I've treated with API General Cure because I had it available, but it doesn't seem to be helping at all. Paracleanse is on its way here. Whatever the problem is seems to only affect guppies, not the Corydoras, gourami, or flying fox. The one oto left from my recent purchase is showing symptoms now though. The guppies have been dropping like flies now - I've lost at least 15 of them. Mostly males and a few juveniles, but just now a full grown female. They'll look pretty healthy/eating, and then after a few hours one might become lethargic. In less than a day, they lose color and die. Then it happens again. It's really frustrating and I don't know what it is now. Do you think it's still internal parasites? Maybe fish tuberculosis? Wasting disease?

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.

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General cure and paracleanse have the same active ingredient praziquantel and metronidazole if it were wasting disease you want to treat with Fritz's expel p active ingredient. Levamisole or a medication containing flubendazole I think his is cause by low pH and KH if you add small amount of crushed coral   so your pH and KH gradually increases  your other fish will be fine  @CorydorasEthan

Edited by Colu
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On 9/12/2021 at 12:52 PM, CorydorasEthan said:

Will raising the pH cause stress to the other fish (Corydoras, pearl gourami, flying fox, otocinclus) that could cause them to get sick too? I don't want to risk losing even more.

I would think it would stress the others. I was just offering info on why it may have affected them so harshly.  I don’t adjust water ever so I really can’t give you that kind of recommendation 

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On 9/12/2021 at 7:35 PM, Guppysnail said:

I would think it would stress the others. I was just offering info on why it may have affected them so harshly.  I don’t adjust water ever so I really can’t give you that kind of recommendation 

I use crushed coral in all my tanks if you add it gradually it will slowly raise pH and KH not stressing them out if you add large amount in one go that will raise your pH more quickly stressing your fish  out

Edited by Colu
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What @Colu said: raise the pH slowly. 

 

Livebearers need calcium at rates similar to or *higher* than inverts and snails.

Think about the calcium needs of a pregnant human, needing to support their own bone growth in addition to their growing young... but multiples.

 

In my experience, males will die before females, maybe to ensure best genetics for breeding?

The lack of wasting... wasting disease is generally pretty obvious (look up Dr Diana Walstad & wasting disease). If it is wasting, most breeders will euthanize the whole batch rather than fight a losing battle. 

 

I don't think it's wasting disease, though.

I suspect the guppies were kept/ bred / raised with salt in their water. Now, in your tanks, not only no salt but also too soft, the guppies are succumbing to bacteria that is always present and they simply are not yet hardy enough to withstand the stress.

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Thanks so much guys. My only concern with adding crushed coral is with my Corydoras pygmaeus, who have been in the tank and these water conditions for about a year. I know wild caught pygmaeus are used to more acidic pH levels, so I was wondering if they would cope with the change in pH.

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@CorydorasEthan make any changes gradually. 

Fish are a lot more adaptable than we give them credit for, and most of us don't go out and measure the pH and total hardness daily on a pond, creek, lake or river.

If we did, we would rapidly learn how a lot of 'aquarium gospel' is merely myth.

Watch your fish.

Document the dates you add things, how much you added and of what, water parameters when you add, and 24 hours later, and fish behavior. 

 

Monitor for a week and add a little more. 

This allows you to find the perfect balance for your fish and your tank.

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I have wild caught and tank bred Pygmy that were in with my guppies and now in the same water in their own tank. They are thriving. I started them in these conditions when I got them. As @Torrey and @ colu said fish are adaptable with slow change and I imagine they would be fine. 

Edited by Guppysnail
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