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Old 04-30-2020, 08:42 AM   #1
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Sick Guppy

Hi guys,

I have recently started with my very first aquarium (22 gallon) and i am experiencing some difficulties. after setting up the tank and let it run for a few weeks to get trough the nitrogen cycle, i bought my first fish (2 black molly's). Everything went fine for a week, so i bought 2 male guppies and some nerite snails. Again, evetyone seemed happy and active. Then i made the mistake to go to the wrong store (a big plant/garden/animal) store to buy 10 cardinal tetra's. This turned out to be a big mistake as i saw the fish getting sick very soon after i put them in the tank (after acclimatization ofcourse). first one lost his colour and died soon after. I went back to the store straight away the next day and they told me to use Esha 2000. by the time i got home 2 more had died and during the treatment the rest of them (all except one) died. Luckely my mollies and guppies acted like nothing was wrong and just kept enjoying themselves.
A week later the store offered me 10 new cardinal tetra's after i submited a complaint. I decided to give them another chance (my second big mistake).
The first day the cardinals where fine but soon after i saw the white dots of Ich. Again i went back to the store and they gave me Esha Exit to treat it. Nevertheles, 7 of the new cardinals have died since then (4 days ago). i have, with pain in my heard, accepted that these tetra's will die aswell and hope that the rest of my fish will stay healthy. Luckely i see no traces of the white spots anymore on ant of the fish.

Now comes the relevant part: Yesterday i noticed one of my guppies was acting strange. He was not eating and was shaking his upper body continuously while staying near the surface. This morning i noticed that he was not twitching anymore, but about 70% of his tail was missing. when i looked half an our later, the rest of his tail was missing to. I suspect my mollies or the other guppy ate his tail for some reason.

Now he is floating near the surface for the most time and clearly has trouble swimming properly. he is stil not eating and looking miserable. sometimes he trys to swim around and then get pushed around by the current (with is not that hard).

What can i do to make this guppy's life a bit better and let him heal? i do not have a spare tank where i can put him in. any idea what happened to him?

My water parameters are as follows:
Nitite: 0
Nitrate: 1
GH: 8
KH: 10
PH: 6.8-7
cl: 0
Temperature : 25 celcius.
got quite a few living plants and floating plants.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:52 AM   #2
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I suspect your tank isnt cycled. Simply running a tank for a few weeks doesnt cycle an aquarium. Did you put any source of ammonia in the tank during this time (Pure ammonia, fishfood, shrimp)? Dont believe everything a store employee tells you. Their job is to sell you fish, and if they get sick sell you medication and if they die sell you more fish.

What is your ammonia reading?

First thing to do is a water change. 50% at least. You havent mentioned water conditioner. Make sure you use that.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:11 AM   #3
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I suspect your tank isnt cycled. Simply running a tank for a few weeks doesnt cycle an aquarium. Did you put any source of ammonia in the tank during this time (Pure ammonia, fishfood, shrimp)? Dont believe everything a store employee tells you. Their job is to sell you fish, and if they get sick sell you medication and if they die sell you more fish.

What is your ammonia reading?

First thing to do is a water change. 50% at least. You havent mentioned water conditioner. Make sure you use that.
Thanks for the reply,

I cycled my tank by putting in the plants and substrate, periodicly putting a bit of fishfood in there and putting in a bactery starter. ofcourse my heater, lights and filter where on. That is the proper way to cycle a tank right? or did i made a mistake?

in response to your ammonia question: the teskkit i have, does measure that value. i am planning on buying a kit that measures that the next time i visit a fish store.

i did use water conditioner, I am living in the Netherlands and people on local fora told me it's not nessesary for the Dutch Tap water. Nevertheles, i still use a little bit, just to be sure.

What makes you think the problem is with the water? my other guppy and my mollies seem perfectly fine, so i am a bit unsure as to what have caused it (thats why i described the whole situation in my post).
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:20 AM   #4
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Your method of cycling is valid, but without a test kit showing ammonia you have no way of knowing if the cycle ran its course. You are ahowing very little nitrates so i dont think it has cycled.

The fact that you have very little nitrates tells me your tank isnt cycled. The fish you introduced might be what introduced sickness into the tank, but if your tank isnt cycled that is the more pressing concern. Test for ammonia ASAP to see if there is a problem.

Do a water change, get a test kit that picks up ammonia (preferably a liquid test kit, not strips). Test every day until you are sure the tank is cycled. If you get noticable ammonia or nitrites, 25% water change. When your nitrates start rising and you are no longer seeing any ammonia and nitrite your tank is cycled.

My understanding is that medication can adversely effect cycle during the cycling process. So the first thing to do is get your tank cycled before looking at treating the sick fish.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:24 AM   #5
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Your method of cycling is valid, but without a test kit showing ammonia you have no way of knowing if the cycle ran its course. You are ahowing very little nitrates so i dont think it has cycled.

The fact that you have very little nitrates tells me your tank isnt cycled. The fish you introduced might be what introduced sickness into the tank, but if your tank isnt cycled that is the more pressing concern. Test for ammonia ASAP to see if there is a problem.

Do a water change, get a test kit that picks up ammonia (preferably a liquid test kit, not strips). Test every day until you are sure the tank is cycled. If you get noticable ammonia or nitrites, 25% water change. When your nitrates start rising and you are no longer seeing any ammonia and nitrite your tank is cycled.

My understanding is that medication can adversely effect cycle during the cycling process. So the first thing to do is get your tank cycled before looking at treating the sick fish.
Thanks for the explanation.

When i was waiting for the tank to cycle i did measure high nitrite and nitrate values after a week or 2. My understanding was that as soon as they drop, you can assume the cycle is done and you can slowly start adding some fish (and then monitor the nitrite and nitate values agian to make sure they dont spike again).

I will go and get something to measure ammonia later today or tomorrow. thanks for the advise.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:34 AM   #6
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A brief explanation of the nitrogen cycle in case you arent aware of it. Fish waste, uneaten food etc produces ammonia. Nitrosomonas bacteria consume the ammonia and produce nitrites. Nitrobacter bacteria consume this and produces nitrates. Some nitrates will be consumed by plants, but mostly this is removed from your tank by water changes. If you are seeing nitrates lowering without water changes, unless you have a very heavily planted tank, you might not be doing the test correctly.

Im not saying your tank isnt cycled, but the very low nitrates hint at this. And without knowing that your ammonia is 0ppm we cant know one way or the other. Also 2 weeks is a very quick fishless cycle. Not impossible but unusual.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:42 AM   #7
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A brief explanation of the nitrogen cycle in case you arent aware of it. Fish waste, uneaten food etc produces ammonia. Nitrosomonas bacteria consume the ammonia and produce nitrites. Nitrobacter bacteria consume this and produces nitrates. Some nitrates will be consumed by plants, but mostly this is removed from your tank by water changes. If you are seeing nitrates lowering without water changes, unless you have a very heavily planted tank, you might not be doing the test correctly.

Im not saying your tank isnt cycled, but the very low nitrates hint at this. And without knowing that your ammonia is 0ppm we cant know one way or the other. Also 2 weeks is a very quick fishless cycle. Not impossible but unusual.
Thanks again, i will look into the ammonia measurement.

The tank is now 6 weeks running, so i hope the cycle is already finished.
Any other idea's about the strange thing that happened to the guppy? do you think it could affect my other fish as well?
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:57 AM   #8
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Loss of fins is generally caused by poor water, and the best solution is water changes. The Esha 2000 you mentioned is a general purpose medication that ive used (without much success in all honesty) and it claims to treat finrot.

I honestly think the best thing to do at the moment is to make sure you keep good quality water. You could set up an emergency quarantine, using a plastic tote box, small heater, airpump/filter if you wanted to separate it from the rest of your fish.

https://youtu.be/zlZWWjGuFA8
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