Swollen belly, fuzz, and die-off??

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Aquarium Advice Activist
Feb 24, 2010
Northern BC
I have a ten gallon freshwater tank. It has been fully cycled with fish in it for nearly a year. pH is 7.8 and stable.

For the longest time I have had three fancy guppies in this tank with no problems. I find the females don't live long after their first or second batch of fry, though. I have had the same male for several month now and he has seemed healthy.

I was given about half a dozen small guppies from our lab tech at the college the other day - only one survived. The rest died within days but the existing guppies have seemed fine until now. The male has a swollen abdomen to the point where he looks like a pregnant female, and there is a slight fuzz on his back if you look closely. He has been loosing colour in his tail. Another of my females is showing this fuzz (and her abdomen is large but it's hard to tell if that is just pregnancy) There are also a couple of 4 month old fry in the tank.

I recently bought two aquatic plants for the ten gallon: a heteranthera zosterifolia and a limnophila sessiliflora. The first one (the bushy one) is thriving and growing and looking healthy. The second one has rotten brown leaves and looks very sad.

I tested this tank yesterday for ammonia and nitrite and found zilch.

I have had platies in this tank before that had a fungus growing on them, and I treated the water with a walmart type "fungus eliminator" but I don't know how effective it is. It seems to slow down the progress of the fungus and even make it dissapear but the fish did not live long after that.

Does anyone know what this is, what causes it, and what I can do to prevent it in the future?
It sounds like fungus again, and I would recommend Melafix. It won't kill your biological filter, and it's all natural. Sorry about your fish. :(
I'm going to go to the petstore tomorow and see if they have that or something else - I would hate to put somnething in my tank that would destroy the good bacteria. In the meantime I put another tablespoon of aquarium salt in there and raised the temperature a smidget. If the plants die because of the salt, so be it. I only tried the plants because everyone seemed to like the chemical benefits of having live plants. I was fine before without them so no loss.

Temp is 83 degrees right now. An article I read said you can safely increase it (slowly) to 86 and that it would help kill off parasites.

All the fish do seem very lively and are not 'acting' sick, so hopefully I caught this early enough. I assumed the new fish died because they weren't used to the different water conditions.

Any thoughts or advice is welcome and appreciated!
Yeah, the temp is good for ich and stuff, but I am not sure about fungus. They sell Melafix at Wally World too.
also get pimafix if you can find it and treat both at the recommended dosage... daily 50% pwc's will also help. did you qt the new fish or just toss them in with the rest? Regarding your temperature, im not 100% sure on this, and if i had time i would research for you, but im not sure if higher temps help or hurt fungus type diseases. I had columnaris in one of my tanks and raising the temperature (my gut instinct) actually made it worse until i discovered that higher temps actually increase the reproduction rate of the bacteria that cause it. Not sure if thats the case for all fungus type diseases, but it is for columnaris
yeah, I didn't quarantine them... :oops: They were given to me when I got some duckweed off a friend, although I didn't really want more fish and they weren't the ones I was wanting to breed, I'm a softy and said thanks! I considered just putting them down but thought that would be mean and un-necessary, but some of them did look a little pekid when I put them in. I did add the new tankwater gradually to their jar to get them used to it, but of course that wouldn't have done much good if they were already diseased. One is still alive and appears healthy. I also didn't have a place to qt them either, Lesson learned!

I might be bringing home a couple of fish from kamloops when I go next weekend, so I will prepare for them in advance.

I will look for this melafix and pimafix at walmart since I am going there too today. The pet department at our walmart is a disaster area all the time. Stuff all over the place, they run out of stock for so long and don't replace it. They had 5 aquatech filters broken open and robbed of their filter cartidges because they didn't have the cartrdges in stock for several weeks. The ripped up filter boxes have also been scattered around the department... for several weeks!:rolleyes:
Higher temps aren't good for the fungus cure. It makes the fungus grow, well, like a fungus. Kinda like putting your tank in direct sunlight when you want to rid it of algae. But I totally agree with the pimafix addition.
Alrighty, so I brought home both the pimafix and melafix, did a 50% water change, removed carbon from filter, and treated with 5ml of both (in a ten gallon tank) I also gave about 1.5ccs of the melafix to the 1.5 gallon tank just in case there is some cross contamination going on.

I think the infection is "dropsy" as i have looked at several pics online and the infected fish looks just like the male guppy I have. He has swelled up like a ballon and his scales are sticking out, and he's covered with a fine whiteish layer.

Should I also treat the 5 gallon once it has finished cycling, before I move the fry into there? I suppose it wouldn't hurt. That won't be for a while yet.
hmmm... he's hanging out at the top by the heater now. Not a great sign, I take it.:(
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