AquaRank.com

FishProfiles.com Message Forums

faq | etiquette | register | my account | search | mailbox
# FishProfiles.com Message Forums
L# General
 L# The Hospital
  L# Why do Guppies keep dying?
   L# Pages: 1, 2
 Post Reply  New Topic
SubscribeWhy do Guppies keep dying?
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
Well I dont know whats going on. My guppies have been dying off randomly, some days none, some days as many as 4-5 fish. I have checked my water conditions: ph 6.8, temp 80F, ammonia 0 nitrites 0 nitrates 5ppm
No signs there
I have treated with salt, no luck, with melafix and pimafix, nope, with Marcyn 2 nothin, and im plain out of ideas. This has been going on for the past 2 months, and most of the fish that die, I can see no external signs of death.
This is the oddest thing, I can be sitting watching the tank, and a fish will swim by, stop by the glass to say hello as usual, looks perky, looks shiny eyed, physically perfect, then all of sudden the fish looks suddenly agitated, zooms off at high speed across the tank, then flips belly up and is dead. This happened with 2 fish last night, a guppy and a platy.
The only symptoms I have seen, resting on the bottom (yet they come to the top to eat), some appear slightly thinner than usual but nothing extreme , no red gills, no red lines anywhere, no abnormal behaviour, just the common resting on the ground. So what gives?
I recently took a huge load of young fish to the LFS and reduced the bioload significantly, and I have in the past 4 months added an additional filter to the tank (running a Cascade 150 and a Cascade 100).
I am almost ready to take every single guppy in to the pet store and sell em off before they all die. Im stumped. Does anyone have any clue as to my guppy die off mystery?
Oh and not just guppies have died, but mostly guppies. 2 platys have died, one was one of the instantaneous deaths I mentioned earlier. I lost all my 4 cherry barbs as well. Strangest thing. Wish I had some clue. Ive tried every fish health diagnostic in the book, every test, water changes, everything. Nothing helps, it just keeps happening. I am ready to give up on guppies forever. I just cant handle seeing their beautiful little bodies wash up dead with no signs of what killed them!
ARGH!

Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Report 
victimizati0n
**********
-----
Banned
Posts: 1217
Kudos: 1105
Votes: 31
Registered: 29-Apr-2004
male
i might not of seen it, but what is tyour stock ,and the size of the tank?

Also, what was your old stock before things started dieing?
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Sin in Style
**********
----------
Mega Fish
Posts: 1322
Kudos: 1117
Votes: 164
Registered: 03-Dec-2003
male usa
could be a number of things with out actually being there.
it could be bacteria or internal parasites. wotn be any signs of problems with these diseases.
it could be something your spraying in the room like perfume or air refreshener. happens all the time, the mist from these can float to the tank and collect on the surface then gets eaten with food. can also be absorbed into the water.
it could be temp swings that you arnt catching. what size heater in what size tank?

many things leave no signs behind makeing it easy to diagnose so try to include as much info as possible.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile Homepage AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
I might not of seen it, but what is tyour stock ,and the size of the tank?
Also, what was your old stock before things started dieing?

Tank is 25 gallons, occupants before deaths were 5 neons, 4 cherry barbs, 3 tiny baby yoyo loaches, 2 corys, assorted platys (mostly juveniles) and assorted guppies (also juveniles) I cant tell you numbers other than lots! Thats why I added the extra filter and then reduced the number of fish. I kept only 9 platys and about half the guppies. Still lots. I plan to take another batch of guppies in, but I dont want to do that when they are dying.

it could be something your spraying in the room like perfume or air refreshener. happens all the time, the mist from these can float to the tank and collect on the surface then gets eaten with food. can also be absorbed into the water.
it could be temp swings that you arnt catching. what size heater in what size tank?

I dont spray any type of air fresheners, perfumes, febreeze, furniture polishers in the room at all, and I have an Air Purifier in the room for my allergies and asthma and cat dander. Anything I have sprayed at any time I make sure to cover the tank with a thick towel prior to and for 30 minutes after spraying, even for the carpet. Thats like 2 times a year though when I do spring and xmas cleaning.

The tank is 25G and the heater was recently replaced due to failure with a Rena Top-Cal 150W submersible.
The temp did drop about 3 degrees, but hasnt fluctuated at all that I noticed until that time, I check the temps on all my tanks 2 times a day to ensure temp stability. The heater died when I was at class and was promptly replaced.

I also forgot to mention, I also treated the fish with wormer meds at the start of the sickness and with Jungle Brands Fungus Clear, and then with JB Parasite Clear.






Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Sin in Style
**********
----------
Mega Fish
Posts: 1322
Kudos: 1117
Votes: 164
Registered: 03-Dec-2003
male usa
how long ago was this temp drop?

where did these loads of fish come from? did you drop them in all at once adding to the bioload really fast?
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile Homepage AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
Aerobic bacteria is good. It thrives in oxygen rich water. We want aerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria is bad. It grows where oxygen rich water is void. It is responsible for sometimes stealthy infections.

Aeromonas/pseudomonas infections have a tendency to pick off fish in a more chronic fashion over days, weeks or months.

Subtle Initiators of Anaerobic Bacteria
Prior to the die-off, was there any time in which the filter was off for one hour or more (power outage, tank maintenance, etc.)? If so, did you dump the stagnant water, replace media and clean the filter out before restarting? Good bacteria consume remaining oxygen in as little as an hour giving way to anaerobic bacteria in filters and filter reservoirs when they are off. Marineland advises cleaning out filters if they are off one hour or more.

Do you have any decorations in the tank that are capable of holding stagnant water? Many of the fancy things they have on the market have voids and some are almost completely sealed where very little water can get in (they typically bubble for a while after putting them in. These things are dangerous for building anaerobic bacteria because well oxygenated water cannot move through them. It puts bad bacteria in the water column at higher numbers. Those fish who experience some type of temporary stress (mating, harrassment from other fish, temp shock - and yes, 3 degrees is enough), may not be able to fight it off. Such decco needs to be removed and a partial water change performed. I put a fake cave in my tank in the early days and went to move it some 2 months after putting it in. The awful smell of hydrogen sulfide came up and I saw this sludge escaping from a tiny hole in the bottom. I grabbed the gravel vac and siphoned it out, dropped a bunch of airstones in the tank to dissipate the gas and got lucky. I whipped that sucker right out into a snow bank still oozing the sludge. Nasty!!!

Another way it happens is if you have gravel that is compacted in one area. Anaerobic bacteria can develop and get into the water column. It is wise to do gravel vacs in small sections of your tank in such a way as to pull out any gunk, right to the glass. Planted tanks may be an exception, where roots are moving the soil.

While it is easy on my 20 long, I make a habit, once every 4-6 weeks to pull out everything on one side of the tank and go right to the glass. Then a week later, I do the other side. I pull out any non-rooted plants and trim, pull out my wood and caves and get it all good. Its amazing what gets down in there.

Suggestions
If you have no live plants that require thicker substrate, then gradually thin it out until you are about only 1/2 inch thick to 1 inch max with gravel. This also helps the gravel circulate oxgyen rich water. It is the deep stuff that never gets air that becomes a danger.

If it were me, I'd lower that temp 1F daily to 77F. 80 seems hot and provides less oxygen in the water. I would do a series of deep gravel vacs (slowly so that gases and bad bacteria are siphoned out and not merely stirred). I would then place the tank on a round of the new Jungle Anti-Bacteria Medicated Food to help nock out any low lying infection waiting to bloom into death.

Definitely keep your numbers low. While it was necessary for you to offload fish, you may have spread an infection from your tank to countless other tanks by taking fish to the fish store. In all fairness to others, I would allow the young to be consummed for a while and don't add or offload any new fish for at least 6 weeks.

The Praziquantel in Jungle's Parasite Clear would have eliminated most intestinal parasites, except camallanus. These are easily seen when the fish is at rest with red worms dangling from the vent. The Jungle Anti-Parasite Medicated Food would be required in this case as Levamisol, one of the ingredients, is the most effective.

Last edited by Cory_Di at 23-Jan-2005 10:17
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
To the first question where did the fish come from? They are baby fish that have been born in that tank and slowly built up population over time.
I never add more than 3-4 fish to any tank at any time.
I took them to the pet store PRIOR to any illnesses.
Yes, when the power went out here, I did the filters. I had to get up at 4 AM to do it! I was not impressed, took me an hour to get one going again after it was not happy with the power outages.
I vac my gravel in sections, making sure even the gravel under decor and plants gets done.
It is a heavily planted tank, and it has a massive 24 inch long bubbler in it that releases fine bubbles.
I dont know about lowering the temp, these fish have been in 80F for almost a year for most of them. It hasnt had any ill effects. Guppys and platys prefer warmer temps I have been told time and time again.
I treated for Camallanus with wormer meds, I have not seen any sign of a parasite. No ich, no flukes I can see, fish are not itching, nor breathing heavy.
Like I said before, I can watch a perfectly healthy looking fish zoom off before my eyes and then suddenly drop dead.


Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
Sounds like your bases are covered, Pete.

If they continue to drop, especially if you get several again, I'd do a round of medicated food for the tank to see if it stops.

Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Sin in Style
**********
----------
Mega Fish
Posts: 1322
Kudos: 1117
Votes: 164
Registered: 03-Dec-2003
male usa
"The tank is 25G and the heater was recently replaced due to failure with a Rena Top-Cal 150W submersible.
The temp did drop about 3 degrees, but hasnt fluctuated at all that I noticed until that time, I check the temps on all my tanks 2 times a day to ensure temp stability. The heater died when I was at class and was promptly replaced."

how long ago was this temp drop?
if it was within 2 weeks ago it could be after shock.

fish shimming fine for months then all of a suddon freak out and die within hrs it has to be something drastic causing it.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile Homepage AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
I lost 8 more fish tonight, 7 guppies 1 platy
I checked my water again, ph 6.8 ammo 0 nitrite .5 nitrate just above 5ppm. I assume the nitrite is due to the dead fish
I added some prime just to make sure and I will do another small water change on wednesday since I will have no time tomorrow
None of the fish that I fished out today showed any signs of what killed them
Nothing visible with the naked eye anyway
Cory_Di - I looked today at the LFS's and called around, and noone sells any medicated fish foods at all. Do you know what I could use to make a medicated fish food? Would maracyn-2 tabs powdered work?
I am beginning to suspect some time of microscopic gill or blood parasite.
I noticed several fish tonight seem to be "wasting" or "getting thinner" Not in like just the belly area, but all over thinner
My Corys and YOYOs look fine
Should I get them out of there? Is there a risk they could be carriers of this even though they suffer no symptoms?
Should I quarantine them before putting them in my 90g?


Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
Any chance you can isolate remaining livebearers? You can treat in a separate tank where you won't have to further compromise the biofilter.

That's the big question: Bacteria? Protozoan or other parasite?

You did right using Parasite Clear and that would have killed off any skin/gill flukes, as well as, intestinal parasites. Typically intestinal parasites don't kill en masse like that - it is more slow and chronic, anyway.

I'm wondering if these fish may not be going through a costia infection or something. You used Fungus Clear which is a pretty good antibiotic.

If you can isolate, consider a round of Rid Ich Plus, aerating the water very well as the formalin is a gas an takes away o2. Isolate by taking as much of the original tank water as you can without depleting 30% and replacing with identical temp water. You can use a rubbermaid bin. If you can find a small heater, stick it to a plate at the bottom so it doesn't make contact. Your tank is warm and you wouldn't want it to drop to room temp overnight. That would be too fast.

What do you have left?

Did you notice anything at all about the bodies? Blood pin points at the base of the fins? Streaks? Excess slime? Blue hue?

Is anyone in the tank breathing rapidly?

Last edited by Cory_Di at 25-Jan-2005 11:03
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
I am down now to 9 platys and probably about 30 guppies between the ages of 4 months - 1 year
There is also 6 neons in there.
I did what I thought best and removed the 3 yoyos and 2 corys to quarantine last night. They seem happy and will be fine in the 5g by themselves.

I did notice last night that 2 female guppies (I have lost primarily females) had what looks like raised sores. Not read, white scaly looking patches with the scales slightly raised, primarily on the upper "shoulders" area of the fish. Could this me "Aeromonas"? I decided to try treating again, this time with a dose of Maracyn-2 and Furan-2 (they can be used synergistically), so that covers gram positive and gram negative bacteria, and some parasites.
I did a large water change last night prior to treatment.
The furan 2 is nitrofurazone, furazolidone, and methylene blue.
I also lost a platy, and the platy had raised scales down one side over a large "black" area
Its so sad to seek out dead fish daily

Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
You've got a columnaris infection going on there. In my many fish medicine books there are loads of pictures focusing on columnaris and it has many ways of manifesting itself, including what you are describing. Just look at some of the things this bacteria can do, and livebearers are notorious for having to battle these things:

- mouth fungus
- body fungus
- saddleback lesions
- white filmy lesions at the caudal peduncle (sometimes bordered by red)
- localized raised scales - sometimes just a few
- areas of scales outlined in white

I just hope you do not have problems combining the Furan-2 with the Maracyn-2. I would have opted for Maracyn and Maracyn-2. Maracyn (erthromycin) for whatever reason is effective against columnaris despite being a gram positive drug. Minocycline would be dosed only to prevent or cure any potential secondary infections resulting from the external ones. On the other hand, Furan-2 should suffice for both conditions and I would probably use it alone. It is very strong so watch your fish carefully.

Monitor ammonia daily.

Columnaris increases in virulence with temp and spreads faster. It is most virulent at 77F and higher. Therefore, I would advise lowering the tank temp by 1F daily until you get to just below 77F. It won't stop it, but it will aid the bug less.

Salt also hinders it. If all scaleless fish are out of the tank, I strongly encourage a full dose of rock type aquariums salt like Doc Wellstone. If you put it a disposable Glad container with holes poked in it, you can sink it for a very slow dissolve. It will take days. Use 1 Tbsp per 5 gallons in the container. Allow it to fill with water then drop it to its side where the salt will begin to dissolve out. This will also replace lost electrolytes. Fish with any external wound or lesion risks osmotic imbalance as electrolytes are lost through it. Don't use this method if you have a flake type salt as it will dissolve too fast. That will have to be predissolved and manually added over a 48 hour period.

Here's the way I set it up.

Cory_Di attached this image:


Last edited by Cory_Di at 25-Jan-2005 15:58
[/font]

Last edited by Cory_Di at 25-Jan-2005 15:59
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
And here it is in the context of my 36 gal goldie tank. One fish is always catching his fin in the intake and bloodying it, despite my efforts to put something in front of it. I just throw some salt in there when he gets messed up.

Cory_Di attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
Ok, we are going to try this one more time.

Does it resemble this? Note the outline scales that are slightly raised.

Cory_Di attached this image:


Last edited by Cory_Di at 25-Jan-2005 16:05
[/font]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
Yes thats exactly what it looks like Cory!
I didnt put quite a full dose of Furan in there, I did 2 tabs cuz I didnt know if I could accurately measure out half another one.
Is there any chance at all of the fish recovering?


Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
I know where this came from too, my sister and I went out one day about 2 months ago, each purchased 4 healthy looking guppies from the same store. Within days our fish started dying. She is losing fish daily same as I.
I will advice her on the proper treatment as well.

Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cory_Di
**********
---------------
-----
*Ultimate Fish Guru*
Posts: 7953
Kudos: 2917
Votes: 25
Registered: 19-Dec-2002
female usa
Have your sister give the Maracyn a round (not maracyn-2). You can dose Maracyn-2 with it to prevent or cure secondary infections, but the columnaris requires the erythromycin. Mardel advises Maracyn for columnaris, despite the whole gram negative/positive issue. If your sisters tank has no cories or other scaleless fish, then she too may want to try the furan-2 without any maracyn.

I don't know that it is a good idea to use a half dose. If all you have left in the tank are livebearers do the full dose. If you need help, we can try to figure it out. If you are still unsure, yes it is probably better to err just slighly less than to put in too much.

What are the package instructions on dosing? How many tabs to a gallon? How many gallons is your tank? Figure you have just under that due to gravel taking up room and decorations displacing the water.

That picture is one of several ways columnaris presents itself. It is highly contagious with a high mortality rate. Keep an eye on those cories and loaches as well. If they show signs, dose their tank with half dose of Maracyn, not Furan-2. Maracyn is a bit more gentle.

Do the salt in that main tank - they need it. Slow dissolving is critical so they don't go into osmotic shock. You can either use the method I described or you can predissolve it and dribble a little in over two days.

I hope you'll lower the temp on that main tank - it may buy you the time you need to let the antibiotic kick in.

Keep us posted.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that some of the fish that died with no apparent symptoms, could have had the same infection only in their gills. It is even more deadly when it strikes the gills. Another good reason to salt the tank as it is soothing on them.


Last edited by Cory_Di at 25-Jan-2005 20:54
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
I am going to discontinue the use of the Maracyn 2. I am going to continue on with the Furan 2 for the full dosage, and see how things go then. I have already begun to lower the temperature, and will pick up some aquarium salt tomorrow when I am in town.
I will keep an eye on the loaches and corys.
I did tell my sister about it this evening.
I will keep you posted on how things turn out, so far the fish appear same as before, with no deaths today noted so far *hopes*
Thanks for all your help Cory_Di!


Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
So_Very_Sneaky
**********
---------------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Posts: 3238
Kudos: 2272
Votes: 201
Registered: 10-Mar-2004
female canada
I forgot to mention the dosage I am using of Furan-2. It calls for 1 tablet per 10 gallons. I added 2 tablets, the tank is 25g. Thats almost full dosage. I dont want to try to measure it out in half as it is one of those plastic pills with powder in it that you open and pour into the tank.
Also, there is 3 marbled hatchetfish and some neons in there and the med doesnt specify whether or not to use a full dosage on Tetras.
The fish so far seem to be reacting well to the medicine.
No more deaths so far, and the fish havent worsened.


Come Play Yahtzee With Me!
http://games.atari.com
Http://www.myleague.com/yahtgames
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:37Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
# Pages: 1, 2
Post Reply  New Topic
Jump to: 

The views expressed on this page are the implied opinions of their respective authors.
Under no circumstances do the comments on this page represent the opinions of the staff of FishProfiles.com.

FishProfiles.com Forums, version 11.0
Mazeguy Smilies