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Old 02-17-2020, 09:06 PM   #1
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Dying guppies torn back fin

I have a 36 gallon freshwater aquarium started a year ago with 6 glofish, 1 3Ē gold gourami, 1 2Ē catfish algae eater and now down to 4 from 6 guppies.
Filter type marineland Bio-wheel penguin 200
Current water parameters are:
Temp 78-80
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 20 (how could it possibly be if no ammonia has been detected?)
Nitrite 0
Ph 6.0
Kh 0
Gh 120
Last gravel vacuum and 25% water change 4 days ago.
Generally 25% water change every 10 days and gravel vacuum twice a week.
Feeding them once a day in the morning with TetraMin Tropical Crisps, alternated with Omega One freshwater flakes and randomly with Api Tropical mini pellets.
We have some serious problems with our guppies added a couple of weeks ago, bought from PetSmart. One of them, female, had a large tummy so we assumed she was pregnant and prepared a nursing floating tank for the delivery. They were doing very well, all of them, they were playful and swimming together. A few days ago suddenly I just found one blue guppy dead without back fin.. immediately I thought he had been attached. That same night I put the female inside the floating tank. In the morning when I freed her I noticed her back fin was torn. But she was all alone so she couldnít be nipped by no one. In a day or so her fin slowly got worse and this morning I found her dead and the back fin completely gone. Now a third guppy is in a critical condition. His tummy got bloated but I canít really see pine cones like skin to think of dropsy. His back fin also got some tears. A forth one now is just still at the water surface. The last two seem swimming and eating ok and the other fish too.
Any expert advice to try to save them and to understand why and whatís possibly going on with them?
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:10 PM   #2
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Is it torn or fin rot?

Ammonia has been processed into nitrate thatís an indication that your tank is cycled which is good.

it could be that they had fin rot and / or parasites from the store. Any sign of stringy poop from the swollen ones.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:08 AM   #3
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Fin rot I guess.

Yes, the female that died had stringy poop. While the yellow one haven’t eaten and pooped lately. He’s been laying on the bottom of the floating tank, moving his side fins and gasping, since this morning.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:14 PM   #4
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Sounds like parasites could be playing a role then. I donít have much experience with them Iím actually currently dosing my tanks for the first time ever after noticing white stringy poop. Iím personally using Pratzipro but I have very little experience with anti parasitic meds so youíll need to do some research (or maybe someone with more experience with meds will come by!)
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:02 PM   #5
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I can’t thank you enough, libertybelle. After reading your reply I did some researches about fin rot and added Melafix that luckily I already had at home. The yellow guppy has survived through the night and his fin hasn’t got any worse which is a really good sign. The other one also looks better to me. I’ll keep doing the treatment and will update you. I wish I had posted earlier so I could have tried to save the orange one and her fry.
Let’s hope!
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:13 PM   #6
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That is a very mild medication. Might make the tank look a little bubbly and it can effect oxygenation so look out for any gasping at the surface and maybe add an air stone if you have one. Otherwise it’s pretty Easy on the fish but not super strong for severe issues so keep an eye on progress.

It also will not touch internal parasites so if you’re seeing white stringy poop the Melafix won’t help that.

Glad the fish made it through the night!
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:34 PM   #7
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He is not eating and pooping at all. His tummy not looking good. I have Herbtana natural expellant for parasitic diseases. I am already treating water with melafix.. will it be good to use both medications at the same time?

I have a bubble stone inside the aquarium but yes, I noticed the gold gourami going up the surface a lot when I poured it into the water.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:47 PM   #8
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Iím not familiar with that med but Iíd by wary. Most medicines warn not to use more than one at a time so unless someone else has experience with them itís probably best to stick with one at a time.

I donít think thereís any particular reason to suspect parasites over constipation at this point so you should probably keep treating it like that. A fish that big is not going to starve, lol, so Iíd let it go and just offer peas every couple days. I think you could also repeat the Epsom salt bath. no more than 30 minutes (shorter if the fish shows distress obviously) every other day or so. Iíve read of people doing it daily but I dunno if that would be too stressful.
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Old 02-20-2020, 02:44 AM   #9
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Sadly he didn’t make it. His tummy was badly bloated. Dropsy?! It is not the first time I lose fish this way, of dropsy, if that is what it is, and it is so frustrating.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:23 PM   #10
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Always guppies? Other fish? Are they dying of this soon after being added or after being in your tank for a while. If they’re all from the same source and often having this problem when new perhaps the source tank has something going on.

I gave up on guppies from my local big box store because everything else was doing fine in my tanks but whenever I brought in guppies they never made it more than a week despite textbook perfect parameters. Eventually I was forced to conclude that maybe they just get weak or inbred stock that aren’t very hardy or were too ill/stressed already.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:26 AM   #11
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Before this guppy I experienced dropsy with two female bettas, in two different times. The first Betta died with dropsy. After sometimes I put a new one and in a few months her body bloated and eventually I lost her too.
Probably I may address this topic to a related post since this is about fin rot. But I really need to understand how to prevent this from happening, now I just got scared to introduce new fish even though water parameters are monitored and all fish should be compatible to live together in their own community.

Back to the fin rot, yesterday I went to three different fish stores and they all told me Melafix should fix the problem (I did one mistake though, I didn’t take the activated carbon out of the filter). I bought a larger air stone to release more air bubbles to better cope with the drop of oxygen.
Remaining guppies all have it now. Would it be a good thing to do a daily water change before adding a new dose of Melafix? Along with that salt in the tank would provide some benefits to all the fish? If yes how often should I drop it?
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:42 AM   #12
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Are you using a liquid test kit to check water quality? When was the last time you checked and what were the most recent numbers.

The thing is recurring fin rot is very commonly a side effect of poor water quality; I’m wondering if we’re missing something on that front. Clean water is the number one thing that helps fin rot so I would absolutely do daily changes while dealing with fin rot.

“Dropsy” is a symptom rather than an illness itself and is common in bettas when there is too much feeding and non ideal water parameters. Constipation and resulting issues from overfeeding is quite common in bettas. How much were they usually fed. Were they in 5gal+ filtered / heated tanks?
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