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Old 06-09-2006, 07:48 AM   #1
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Guppies losing tail color

I bought 4 guppies 2 days ago. Last night 1 of the 4 seem to have lost all the color off his tail - he's hiding at the bottom of the tank and did not come out to eat. 2 others are moderately affected with up to 3/4 of the tail color missing. One seems fine.

The fins are there, they've just lost their color, the edges do not appear ragged.

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.).

3 guppies. Loss of tail color - looks like the color has been "sucked" right off.


2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.

pH 8.2, NH3 = 0, NO2 = 0, NO3 = 10 , temp = 80

3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?

29 gallon, 1 month. Guppies purchased 2 days ago.

4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.

Whisper 60

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?

1 dwarf coral platy, 3/4" - 4 platies 1.5" - 5 panda cories 1.5" - 1 neon tetra 1" - 12 mystery snails 1"

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?

30% PWC yesterday; vaccumed bottom (bottomless tank), PWCs done weekly

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?

New fish purchased 2 days ago; drip acclimated over 90 minutes


What do you think it is ? and how can I treat it (remember, I have snails in the tank so I need invert safe meds)

Thanks a mil


8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?

no changes other than the fish

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?

no changes to diet; Hikari micro pellets, tetra flakes, hikari sinking pellets
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #2
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Loss of color is a general sign of stress. After 2 days your fish should be settling in and should not be that stressed so we need to find the cause of this stress.

Did you get 1 male and 3 female guppies? A possibility is if you have more than one male they could be picking on him, but in a tank that size with that many fish, I wouldn't think so.

Your water is on the high side of their PH toleration but its within reason so I don't see any problem with the water parameters.

In short I guess I would observe him and see if his color comes back over time, if it doesn't we need to more actively find what is stressing your fish.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:36 PM   #3
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Guppies died after losing tail color

I had to go out for a few hours, so I removed the 3 that were affected and put them in the pail I use for PWCs and added a small airstone. 2 of them died while I was out. The one that is left still has no color on his tail. I did notice that on one of the two that died that the color was also gone from the back of his body.

EDIT - ALL THREE HAVE DIED NOW. Could be that I put them into shock when I moved them into the bucket - Hubby was complaining that we would be late so I used tap water and prime - diff pH (7.6 tap vs 8.2 tank) - temp was approx the same. (end Edit)

They are (were) all males - there is one left in the tank and he seems perfectly fine at this time.

I'm very concerned about the rest of the tank actually - I hate to think that a disease might have been introduced. I do know that the guppys were at the LFS for a week and I checked the tank to ensure there was no sign of illness in any of the fish in the tank before purchasing them.

On the pH - I can't seem to get it down. My tapwater tests at 7.4(ish). I did add some sodium bicarb when I first set the tank up as I was going to do African Cichlids, then decided it wouldn't be the best fit for the fish. I've done at least a half dozen PWCs since them, ranging from 30 - 50%, but the pH still won't come down.

So do I need to worry about the rest of the tank ? (I'm going to set up the 10gal for the bettas today so that I can use one of their 2.5g as a qt / hospital going forward).

SECOND EDIT: I lost a panda cory now too - could have been the newly added one, difficult to tell them apart
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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