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FAQs on Guppies 1

Related Articles: Guppies, Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs:  Guppies 2, Guppy Identification, Guppy Behavior, Guppy Compatibility, Guppy Selection, Guppy Systems, Guppy Feeding, Guppy Disease, Guppy Reproduction, Livebearers, Platies, Swordtails, MolliesLivebearer Identification, Livebearer Behavior, Livebearer Compatibility, Livebearer Selection, Livebearer Systems, Livebearer Feeding, Livebearer Disease, Livebearer Reproduction,

Male Tangerine Delta Guppy

Guppy disease I have a female fancy guppy in a new tank with rather high nitrates - I think maybe 40ppm but using strips so it's hard to tell. When I bought the fancy, she looked a little tired, but was in a mixed tank, so I took a chance on her. Now her body is  drooping, especially her tail. I remember that this had happened to me once before, but I don't remember what medicine they gave me for her. Anyway, the other guppies are rubbing up against her and a second one is showing symptoms. Also there are fry that were born yesterday in that same tank which are now in another tank (my fry tank).  What disease or parasite would cause this? <Not a parasite... age, poor nutrition, lacking water quality... can though> I see no other noticeable signs or symptoms. Also, is it possible that the fry may have caught this also? <Look to your water chemistry... doing regular water changes, keeping pH and alkalinity middling to high, offering a mix of fresh and prepared foods... Bob Fenner> 
Re: guppy disease Okay, here's the deal on water quality. The hospital tank and the "clean" tank I never bothered testing, because the "clean" tank was brand new, I knew it needed to start cycling, and I just added aquarium salt and Bio-Spira. But within 48 hours, I was adding meds to the tank which I knew would mess up water quality. <Yes> Same with the hospital tank. I have two other tanks - one has the fry in it, the other had Neons and a Cory catfish. Both had Bio-Spira and initially were testing well, but suddenly shot up in nitrites - I don't know about ammonia (using test strips for the moment), but I assume they were high also. I did 50% changes on both tanks, and added more Bio-Spira. It shot up again in nitrites, which normally doesn't happen with the Bio-Spira. Two of the guppies showing no symptoms were taken from a medicated tank and put in with the Neons.  Then I started reading the labels on "tank starters" that I had used before the Bio-Spira came in (I have it shipped in). One of them has some kind of "miracle granules" in it that absorb the NITRATES! So the two tanks that haven't been medicated are off the charts in nitrites, the nitrates are getting absorbed, and there's nothing I can do about it until I can restart the "clean" tank and more Bio-Spira arrives (hopefully today). <Yikes... some of the dangers of not cycling/waiting... and mixing products> The clean tank I KNOW has no granules in it, because when I cleaned it I took the whole thing apart and washed the undergravel system, the gravel and everything (which I dread having to do again). That is the tank I want to "re-start", and that is the tank I was afraid held some kind of disease. I cannot do anything about the fry tank, because I will kill them trying to suck out the granules from the gravel. They will just have to try and get by on water changes until they are big enough to transfer to another tank. To the best of my knowledge, there are no diseases in either the neon tank or the fry tank, but of course I can't put sick fish in there either. The nitrites will definitely kill them - I can't believe the Neons have made it!  <Can be tough, make it through cycles if start off healthy> The reason I have not said anything about water conditions in the two tanks I was asking about - the "clean" tank and the hospital tank - is because I know they never had a chance to cycle, and they were being medicated, so they COULDN'T cycle. I haven't bothered wasting expensive test strips testing something I know isn't right. <> My tap water comes out with 6.8 ph and between 20 and 40 in nitrates. <! This is way too high... even for your drinking, cooking use... I would look into a means of getting better source water...> <Editor's note: The EPA has set guidelines for what substances are allowable, and at what levels, in potable/drinking water.  If in doubt, ask your municipality for a copy of their "Consumer Confidence" report, a.k.a. "Water Quality Report".> pH in the neon and fry tanks is fairly high - 7.4 to 8.0 - and the only reason I can think of is because the gravel IS old gravel, and it was mixed with a little coral gravel from when I lived in Nashville and the city water was so hard, and my tanks were overcrowded, it was the only way to keep the tanks balanced. The gravel in the neon tank was never even rinsed after being  brought up from Nashville, as was the case originally with my "clean" tank. <I see... well-written> The two Popeye fish are actually looking a little better this morning, and they WERE being treated with extra aquarium salt as well as the Kanamycin. I have no Epsom salts though. <Can be gotten from grocery stores, pharmacies... over the counter> Your email cut off halfway through a sentence, so I am assuming you were suggesting doing a fishless cycle on the "clean" tank. <Yikes... didn't see this... Ahh, perhaps this is the message Jorie was referring to> I think that's a great idea, I just don't know where to put the three sick guppies (two Popeye guppies who had fungus which I think is now gone - it was on some damaged scales up around the head areas of both fish; one birthed prematurely and is rather young, has some red on her belly up near the gills, is bent all the time with her tail hanging down, sometimes rests on the bottom on her tail, and one time started going into sideways contortions while still bent downwards behind the head - she is the one I am treating with Spectrogram). The only thing I know of to do is put all three sick guppies in the hospital tank after it has been rinsed and some salt put in, and then start that other tank cycling. Then I guess I just keep doing water changes on the Neons and fry, and pray that they make it until there's a clean tank ready. <I would "risk" putting them in with the Neons... what they "have" (environmental) not likely "catching". Bob Fenner>

Fancy Guppies HI, My name Is Louis I love Fancy Guppies I have two males that are very healthy, but whenever I get a Pregnant Guppy she always dies the temp ranges from 75-80F usually higher than 76F what do you think I'm doing Wrong They Just die before I put them in a net is it a Disease? <Doubtful... more likely a matter of environment, nutrition, possible damaged livestock from the get-go...> I have a question I Feel bad about dyed fish so I help take care of them as much as can I have 2 painted tetras A smaller pink one and a larger green one my green one Has a rounder (larger) stomach do you think it is carrying eggs is there any signs I can look for? <If you "feel bad" re the practice of dyed fish... please don't buy them... this "casts a vote" in the wrong direction> And I Have an old Male Betta he never eats is that okay? <... What would happen if you didn't eat? Bob Fenner>                Thank You,                Louis E

Sick Guppy, the Net My male guppy swims at the top of the tank, and then stays upright. He then sinks and stays in his upright position. What could be wrong with him, and what can I do to help him. I also have a female guppy who is pregnant and she floats downright. What might be wrong with her and how can I help? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyfaqs.htm  Bob Fenner> 

Hopeful Guppy Breeder Hi, I have been desperately trying to breed guppies for a few months now, but I haven't had any luck yet. Right now I have a guppy that has a been pregnant for quite a while now and has been pregnant for at least five weeks now. I have been able to see the eyes of fry inside her body for quite a while and I have had her in a glass breeding case that separates the fry when they are born for almost two weeks. It seems like she isn't getting much bigger and is just stuck and not making much progress. Do you know what I could be doing wrong? <Perhaps nothing... it might be that your guppies are just young...> Is it possible to have a guppy in a breeder for too long? <Mmm, not really... unless water quality is eroding... can remain, become pregnant again in the absence of males (able to "store" sperm)> I have finally decided to let her out in the tank hoping this will speed up the pregnancy. The temperature is around 80 degrees F and there are 3 tetras, two Corys, and an Otocinclus in the tank. Should I put her back in the breeding cage? Please help me in any way you can. Thanks, Danny <Danny, do you have more than this one female guppy? Your chances of breeding success are much better with more broodstock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Pregnant Guppy Hey, thanks for your reply, as I was reading your message, my guppy began to have babies, and she had a total of 25! I am very excited, and they look very healthy. I caught ten when she was out in the open and then I put her back in the breeding cage where she had the rest of her babies. One weird mutant fish had two heads, and one stayed in its egg, but otherwise they all look very healthy. Thanks, Danny <Ah, congratulations! Bob Fenner>

Guppy fry Hi, <Hello> I bought a guppy (no idea what kind) for my community tank and I knew she was pregnant so I put her into a Marina floating breeding trap last night.  She had 4 babies today and they are separated from her by a v-insert. Can you tell me what I do now? <Remove the female if she is done giving birth... and the "V" part of the trap if it is removable... to give the young more room... and carefully feed them on crushed dried foods often (two plus times daily) till they are large enough to not be consumed by your other fish livestock...> How long do I wait to release them into the tank with the other fish, 2 other female guppies, 2 male guppies, some small platy's, tetra glow lights and a small tiny Chinese algae eater? What do I feed them? How long do I wait to release the mother back into the tank?  Any information would be much much appreciated as this makes me a "first time mom" lol. <Bob Fenner> 

Baby Guppies! Hi! Thanks to you guys I now have 3 beautiful two week old guppies. However I do have one quick question, two out of the three babies have very large round tummies. They are pooping regularly pooping and the colour of the poop is fine. The other baby who does not have a large tummy is a bit small then the other two a follow them from a distance. Is there any need for alarm or is every thing ok? Thanks for any advice. Lena <Grind their food fine between your fingers if it is flake, twixt two spoons if pellets... and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: pregnant guppy Well it does look like babies.. and she's been in the net for like a day now and not much is happening.. she's also been having red... blood looking waste... is this a sign? <Not a good one> Also is she safe in the net or will she be stressed out?   <Hopefully not too stressed... put the terms "pregnant guppy" in your computer search tool/s and read a while. Bob Fenner>

Guppy fry Hello.. I've been reading some of the faq's and I'm still not very certain if my guppy is having babies or not. It's been 1 to 2 weeks since I thought she was pregnant and now I noticed that she was really fat, so I went out and bought a net and I just put it in the tank I have all my other fish in.. all she's trying to do is get out of the net.. I'm still not sure if she pregnant or not. Help?  Thanks, Nick <If you look REALLY close near her vent, the part of the body near the fin on her abdomen... you will be able to see the actual babies inside your guppy... their eyes mostly... IF she is close to giving birth... Bob Fenner>

Guppy question Hi I am sorry to bother you but I was wondering why my guppy might be healthy one day but then very unbalanced the next day.  I thought my Dalmatian molly and my fancy guppy were pregnant so I put them in the breeding nets but then this morning my female guppy was swimming lopsided just like my male Dalmatian was a week ago but recovered I was just wondering what could be the problem? <Likely just the handling, moving... NOT a good idea to move Poeciliids close to parturition> also could you send me a picture if you have one of a pregnant guppy, I keep reading about a dark spot near the anal fin but I don't know what this looks like. Thanks Victoria <Should be able to find on the Net using your computer search tools. Bob Fenner>

Guppy Fry Hello, I have 4 guppy fry that were born Dec 21, 2004. They are in a net box. How long before I can put them in the main tank? Thanks, Liz <The short answer is as soon as they're big enough not to be eaten. Many factors control growth rate so there is no way to give you a time period. Personally, I do not like keeping fry in the breeder. I want them out in the main swimming and getting strong. So if it was me, I'd wait until they are swimming strong and you're sure they're eating, then release them and cross my fingers. Adding plants like Java Moss will give the fry a place to hide. Overfeed a little so the adults don't get too hungry. Or you could but in a divider and raise the fry in one side. Don>  

Breeding trap Hi, <Hello...Jorie here> I have 5 female guppies in a 10 gallon tank.  I think one of them is about to have babies soon because it is a lot fatter then the other ones. <Likely so...> I have a breeding trap but there is nothing to separate the mother fish from the baby fish.  I have checked other sites and some have said that the mother must be separated immediately, and some sites say that the mother fish wont eat their babies for a couple of days because of  a hormone.  I thought I would ask you. Can you tell me if I should get another breeding trap that separates the fry from the mother or do I just keep the mother in the breeding trap I have now. <I've never had any of my livebearer (either platys or guppies, don't have personal hands-on experience with guppies) moms eat their fry...usually it's the other fish in a community tank that will do so.  You should be OK leaving the mom and the babes together, but do be aware fish behavior is never a completely certain thing! Worst case scenario, with livebearers, rest assured there will likely always be more little fry...soon, more than you know what to do with...>                                                                   -Jason (this site has given me a lot of info. about fish, Thanks.) <It sure does...I still learn new things from WWM on a daily basis! Good luck with the fry, Jason...welcome to the world of fish (livebearers) that puts bunny rabbits to shame!>

Pregnant Guppy Questions First of all great site, it has helped me a lot. I have got a really fat guppy and her gravid spot is black but I'm not sure if she is pregnant. Could you please help? Also how long does it take for the fry to be born? Thank James <It sounds like she is preggers. Most adult female guppies spend their lives this way. Keep her water warm (78 or so) and give her time. Most will give birth in 3 to 6 weeks. Many factors involved though, temp being at the top of the list. Don>  

Breeding guppy male & female ratios After about 20 years of not breeding fish, my husband and I are again buying tanks, etc.  We have chosen to breed 6 kinds of fancy guppies.  After 3 months, I am noticing an "imbalance" in the male/female ratio in the fry.  At least 3 of the breeding trios are throwing far more females than males.  It is about 2 males to 18 females.  Is there any environmental reason for this?  These fish, being show quality, are inbred quite seriously.  Is that fact a more reasonable explanation?  The fish are in hard water/reverse osmosis water half and half.  Ph is 8.4  They are getting a variety of excellent foods. Do you know of any references or source of info, where I can research this?  Thanks, XXXX@sbcglobal.net < Fish have no sex chromosomes like humans so their sex is determined by external factors. Unfortunately you are going to have to play around and find out what they are. Temp? Possible, water temps in excess of 80 degrees creates more males than females in some dwarf cichlids. pH? Could be, some west African cichlids have sex ratios determined by pH. The higher pH creates males while the lower pH creates females. To determine what is going on I would recommend only changing one factor at a time to find out what is needed. If you lowered the pH while changing the water temp then you don't know what is causing the skewed sex ratios.-Chuck>

Pregger Guppies I emailed you earlier about my pregnant guppy and how longs would the pregnancy take... <Gestation period is somewhere around a month, but it's really hard to pinpoint exactly.> Well she has had one baby so far and she is having spasms which just look like she is trying to get out of the tank <Have you tested the water parameters? If she's trying to jump out of the tank, that may be a sign of ammonia or nitrite poisoning...check ASAP and do a water change if needed.> I'm not sure what to do and how long its going to take for the others to be born ...HELP> <Best thing to do is not stress her out by moving her around. Keep her calm and keep the water clean.  Do you know if she's a juvie? The younger the fish is, the smaller the batch of fry...if this is her first pregnancy, you may only get one or two little guys. Just be patient, my friend!> <P>( she isn't on her own in a tank she is in a Birth tanks ) is that ok? <By birthing tank, do you mean her own separate tank, or a birthing net of sorts? If it's the latter, I think that's great, and in fact, I just had a platy give birth to about 8 fry in a similar set-up.  I'm not a huge fan of the birthing nets, but please let me emphasize that you should NOT move your pregnant fish at this late stage in the game...that could needlessly stress her out and cause problems.  Again, just keep the water conditions good and keep her calm...everything will be OK! If she seems really stressed, perhaps turn off the tank's light for a while...> <Good luck, Jorie>

Lustful Guppy Hello WWM. My question is can guppies and mollies mate? My male guppy is swimming around with my female orange molly.  He makes circles around and sticks his lower fins out like he's trying to poke her in the belly. I have a pregnant female guppy which he currently isn't as interested in. Is this normal or is he going crazy? Thanks for your help. Mrs. Robzilla <As you are seeing, male guppies are randy little fellas. Best to keep 3 or 4 females with him. Will he mate with the molly? Yes. He'll mate with a bubbling plastic mermaid, but no offspring will result from either encounter>

Guppies, young Hello, I have 5 female guppies in a 10g tank and 4 males in a separate tank. I recently moved all of the females (about 2 weeks age) One of my females was getting rather large. Last night when I looked at her, the black gravid spot was gone and no babies. I guessed that she had a miscarriage. Then the next morning when I was feeding them her gravid spot was back! I was very surprised. Since then that has happened a few times and with a few different females. I don't understand! All my reading are good and there not in a high traffic area. What could be causing this, and where do the babies go? I would greatly appreciate any information you have on this strange occurrence. It would be very appreciated. < The black spot you are referring to is actually the eyes of the fry. If she is giving birth then the fry may be eaten by the adults or sucked into a filter. If she has room the fry move back up into her body and the eyes are less noticeable. After being fed the fry may be displaced by the food in the females gut and once again moved back to the rear of the body cavity.-Chuck> Thank You:                      ~Lena~

Split Tailed Guppy Hello, My fish tank has grown slightly.. thanks to the help you gave me last time.   Now I have a ten gallon with a Pleco, and 9 guppies of various "kinds" as well as a 1 gallon with 7 fry.  My question rises from one of the males. Recently his tail has started to "split."  At first I thought he had gotten pulled against the water pump so I isolated him to give him time to heal.  However, over night his tail has continued to split and now its in about 5 sections.  The fish no longer swims around and stays horizontal with his tail down.  Any idea what could be causing it?  I'd very much like to save  him if at all possible but I'm concerned for the rest of my tank as well.  If this is a disease what would you suggest I treat the tank with?  And if not a disease is there anything I can do to help him recover. Thank you Rhyesa <Hi Rhyesa, Don here. It still could be physical damage. The injured tissue could be dying off. It usually grows back with just clean water and a little salt to prevent fungus. If it continues to get worse treat with an antibiotic for tail/fin rot. Oxytetacycline usually works. But I do see another problem. The Pleco puts you way over the limit for a 10 gallon tank. They can reach a foot and produce tons of waste. Water quality is yet another cause of fin and tail problem. When we suggest you get a larger tank, we do not mean you also get more fish. We mean give each fish more water to help dilute the pollution that the fish create. Your Pleco needs a new home>

Freak Out Guppy! Hi WWM crew! <Hi...you've got Jorie this time.> I know I've been asking a lot of questions lately, but its because I just found out about your web site! ( and I love it!) <Excellent...and welcome!> I had a female guppy 2 and a half weeks pregnant and I moved her to my smaller tank( 10 g). It took me a while to catch her but when I did she seemed pretty freaked out. <I've never seen a fish that really appreciates being moved, but sometimes it is necessary, in the fish's best interest...they usually get over it.> So I put her in the smaller tank and she went and hid. Four hours later I came back to check on her. She was hiding and her gravid spot was gone but there wasn't any babies. And now when ever I go near the tank she swims around franticly and hides. I brought the rest of my female guppies into the tank to see if that helps. She seems calmer but still freaks out when I come near the tank. <Well, to be honest, this is pretty drastic, but I have heard/read that undue stress during a fish's pregnancy can cause a miscarriage.  Generally, it's  not a good idea to move the fish when pregnant unless absolutely necessary.  If you're trying to keep the fry, perhaps consider mating the fish in the "birthing" tank, then removing the male when her pregnancy becomes apparent?  I'm sure in time she'll get over this...how long has it been? And, is there adequate coverage (i.e., plants, decoration, hiding spots, etc.) in this new tank? Is the tank in a particularly high-traffic area?> If there is anything I can do please let me know. Also why is she acting like this? Thanks for your help:      ~Lena~ <Lena, I'm sorry your fish lost her babies, but trust me, she's a livebearer and will soon enough become pregnant again! Again, try not to move a fish during it's pregnancy (especially later on in the process) and perhaps try the method I specified above, with regards to moving the male out of the tank when it gets closer to the time your girl is ready to give birth.  Good luck, Jorie>

GUPPIES! Hi! First off let me say that I love your site! < Thanks> Anyways I have a 20 gallon tank with 9 guppies and 5 small goldfish (who will soon have there own tank!). one of my female guppies very big and soon I will move her into her own 10 gallon tank. the 10 gallon tank is at 80* F and the tank she is in now is about 75* will this cause a problem? < The warmer water will increase her metabolism but is well within her normal range and she will be just fine.> also will she get lonely? < No not really.> she's only had her black gravid spot for 2 and a half weeks. is it too soon? < It is very difficult to say. Some females with few fry don't get too large while others get really really big before they give birth. You probably should have something happening within the next week or so.-Chuck> please respond very soon I need to know. Thanks a bunch: Lena

Guppy reproductive behavior Hi: My name is Christopher. I brought some common guppies as a starter for my 10 gal tank, I didn't go with goldfish cause they are to messy. Ok the fact is that I bought about 30 and one is giving birth and has 2 fry stuck midway and has not come out all night and I do not know what to do. Also I know nothing about guppy breeding at all and the only thing I have found on the net are some vague description of the event but nothing to clear on the event. This is the scenario : I have a 10 gal tank with florescent hood, heater, 4 live plans, gravel, bio filter, 2 carbon filters, four catfish, water conditioner, stress enzyme, stress coat, cycle; do I have everything I need? Do I need more? And what do I do about the fry? Please help? :-< <This all depend on what you want to do. Guppies are livebearers and will eat the fry if they are not separated. If you do not want to keep the fry then the adults will simply eat them and they will spawn again very shortly. If you want to keep the fry then put the pregnant female in a breeder net or breeder trap and when she gives birth the fry will be separate from the parents. The fry can then be moved to a different tank where they can be raised on baby brine and crushed flake food.-Chuck>

Guppy Birth My guppy is having fry right now but I have no idea when she is done having them? Does she lose the gravid spot completely? If you could help, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much. Melissa Putman <Hi Melissa, Don here. No, the spot will not disappear. The only way to tell is to watch her. If she's dropping every 10 or 15 minutes, then goes a hour without any more fry you can be pretty sure she's done. Congrats on the fry!>

Sexing Guppies Hi there, Could you please explain the difference between male and female guppies? I can't seem to find anything concrete, Thanks <Females are larger, less colorful, and have a fan shaped anal fin. Males are smaller, more colorful, and have a pointed anal fin. All young look like females until they mature. A mature female will also have a black spot just above the anal fin. Don>

Help! Fighting Guppies! Hi, I really need help. I've had a male guppy all summer and I recently added another. They are the only one's in the tank. The problem is, is that they seem like they are fighting. The one I've had longer, who is bigger seems like he's using his tail as a shield to get closer to my new one and once he gets close enough he tries to nip him. If my new one (Hermies) turns to get closer he swims back a little. My older one kind of seems like he is circling Hermies too and the keep swimming sideways to flash their tails at each other. Is this for territorial reasons? Will it stop or should I take Hermies out? I really don't know what's going on. < When guppies are being well kept they seem to concentrate all their efforts on breeding. Males will try and chase other males away while trying to attract females. Try lowering the temp by a couple degrees and see if they cool off.-Chuck>

Guppy Fins Hi, I searched the site and couldn't come up with anything regarding this situation. I just bought my son some fancy guppies, he had a Betta, but he grew really bad fungus in just 24 hours and died. This isn't the first time this has happened to the kids with Bettas, so I figured I would try a different kind of fish. Guppies were my next choice because they are equally as colorful, you can keep more than one, and the kids would get to see their babies.     Anyhow, this one male, I believe to be a red neon guppy after searching all over the place trying to find a picture that was similar, although his tail is variegated, not solid red, does NOT have a top fin on his back. He has a chunk out of his tail as well, (the guppies were in a tank with BARBS of all fish, He is swimming around fine, eating like a pig, like he has NEVER  been fed in his life, but has no top fin. Was it bitten completely off? Is this a genetic mutation? Will it grow back? His back is completely smooth, there is NO evidence of a fin ever being there. But the other guppies, we have 2 trios (4 all together) in 2 separate tanks (I have 3 kids and one on the way) and ALL of the other guppies have fins on their back. This male is very pretty and once his tail grows back, will be stunning, I was just wondering about the back fin. He looks odd without it compared to the other guppies. Also, one of the females I noticed today (it's been  2 days since we got the fish) has a small whitish speck on her tail where it was also bitten. She was in a tank with all of the other fish, as she is with 3 other females and 2 males right now. Nobody else has any  specks.  It seems to definitely be related to the fact that her tail was  bitten and has formed some sort of scarring/parasite right there. Should I treat?  I have a medicine called Quick Cure that is for protozoan and parasite infestations.  Ingredients are formalin and malachite green. She doesn't seem distressed at all, but I don't want it getting out of hand and spreading to the other fish. Especially since most if not all of them do have slight tears in their tails from the constant tiger barb harassment. Thanks so much for your time, you have the best site for questions and information regarding all aspects of fish keeping. Thanks so much for your time. Cheers. Jennifer in Maryland, USA <Hi Jennifer, Don here. The missing fin sounds genetic since you see no scar. If so, it will not grow back. But as long as he's healthy he'll be fine without it. Torn, bitten fins will grow back unless they are lost all the way down to the skin. The white spot may be dead, or growing, tissue. However if you see more, salt-like spots then your fish have Ick, a parasite that can kill. The med you have will clear it, but is very harsh. I would not use it unless we are sure it's Ick. I prefer to use salt to clear Ick. A little salt will also help the fins regrow. The Betta problems you had sounds like pH shock. If the pH of their old water is off more than a few tenths from their new home you need to add tank water to the bag slowly over an hour or two to allow him to adjust>    

Guppy Death Thanks Don. I do think it is genetic. He is fine, ferocious little eater and crazy little swimmer. Just no top  fin. He looks weird compared to the other guppies, but it makes him unique. The female since the time I wrote passed away, she started staying right at the top, kind of not moving much at all, and I noticed that not only did she have that spot, but her body started to kind of turn whitish up to her anal fin, it looked kind of rough and thick and wasn't transparent like it started but opaque white. The others are all doing great, and I put salt in the tank as soon as I set it up because I read that guppies are happier with a tablespoon to 5 gallons of water. My most recent Betta is doing fine, knock  on wood. I didn't know that the pH would cause such rapid fungus growth. YIKES! The others would never eat or even swim around, but  this one is going on 3 days of doing well. Eats like a crazy, attacks his food even though it is all already dead! LOL Again, thanks so much for your information. Have a great week. Cheers. Jennifer <Hi Jennifer. Keep a close eye on the other fish that were in with the dead female. This updated description is a little scary. It's not Ick. It could still be water quality or may be bacterial in nature. Watch for bloating, weight loss, curved spines or red wounds. As for the old Betta problem, a big swing in pH can cause the fish to produce large amounts of body slim to try and protect itself. I think that's what you saw on your Betta. The actual pH is not as important (in most cases) as keeping a steady pH. When you add new fish you need to let them adjust slowly. An incorrect pH, or even a small swing, does not cause fungus but may stress the fish to a point where it's ability to ward of an infection is lowered. A big swing in pH can kill. Don>

Dying Guppies Hello, I recently  bought some fish (2 male guppies, 2 female, and 3 Kuhli loaches) and I'm not  sure what happened. A female, a male, and one loach have died, but my water  seems fine. My temp is 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit, pH is 7.2, and everything seems  normal! Nothing seems wrong before they died, but I had the same problem  before. All of my fish died one by one, and the bodies looked nasty. One  fish was all fuzzy, and the other ones looked like their eyes were missing! Please help me figure out if this has anything to do with my fish now. Thanks, Jessica PS. all of my fish  left (1 male guppy, 1 female, 2 loaches) seem fine and completely healthy...the  female is even pregnant! <Hi Jessica, Don here. Need some more info help you figure out what happened to your fish. Do you check ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? If yes, post the numbers. how long has the tank been set up and running? Did the fish get fuzzy and loose their eyes before or after they died? A pH of 7.2 is fine for most fish, but a sudden change can kill. Next time check the water you bring them home in. If it more than two tenths difference add a little tank water to the bag. Repeat this several times over an hour or so while the bag floats. BTW, you should always keep more female guppies than males. Male guppies are very aggressive breeders. Having more females spreads out that aggression>  Huge Guppy Dear WetWebMedia,     I have a 10 gallon tank and 4 fish (1 male guppy, 2 females, and one white fish <??>). One of my female guppies has a dark spot on her belly but she's not very big, and one is huge but there's no dark spot. <"Huge" Are you sure this is a guppy? If you mean fat, then there should be a black spot. It will get darker as she readies to give birth. If it is a guppy, fat without the dark spot, it may have an internal infection or be constipated> I bought them 2 weeks ago and they were in the same condition that they are in now. <Not a long time. Most give birth in about 3 to 5 weeks. Was the tank running prior to getting the fish?> I put the big one in a net breeder, <Good, if she does not seemed stressed> but I still see no babies. <give it time> When can I expect them to have birth. <As above> Are they even pregnant? <Most healthy adult female guppies spend their lives pregnant, so I would guess "Yes"> I have searched the internet for two weeks and have still found no answer. pleeeeese help me. <Give her time. Meanwhile, if this is a brand new tank, start doing small water changes. About a gallon or two a day. Match temp and use a dechlorinator. Do you have a heater? Guppies do best in the mid to high 70's. Cool temps can slow birth. Don>                                                 -Jason age 14

Guppy Woes Hi Crew, I have some guppies that I don't know a whole lot about. The one in particular though is very dark, She was not this way when we purchased her. Recently I have seen her rubbing against the tank & Swimming into the side with some force. <Many causes for this. Ick and poor water quality at the top of the list> I have noticed that she appears bruised, I don't know if she has internal bleeding or what the case is? <Is she showing red patches? Bloody wounds?> I did put some ick medication into the tank. <Ick would show as salt like white spots on the fish. If none of the fish show this we need to get the med out. What did you use?> She is pregnant, <A life long condition for an adult female guppy> She doesn't seem like she's dying? What would cause this? My children really like these fish. We had some in the past but due to a house fire we lost them all. <Great way to help the kids get over such a loss> The tank with this female was a gift to them when we rebuilt & I would like to save her if at all possible. <Pressure ON> Thanks, Kelly <Hi Kelly, Don here. I'm going to need a lot more info before I can help. But the first thing to do is start changing out the water. Unless you see white spots on the fish it was a mistake to add the Ick medicine. Some are very harsh to the fish directly. Others can kill the good bacteria in your system causing the water to foul. I would do a healthy water change of about 30% right away. Make sure you match temp and dechlorinate. Repeat in a few hours and then daily for the next few days. Now the questions. What size tank and type filter? Is the tank heated? How many/types fish? If all guppies, how many males and females? How long has it been running? Do you do regular water changes? If so, how often and what percent? Do you use a gravel vac? Do you test the water? If not take a sample of both your tank and tap water to your local pet store. Get the actual numbers, do not accept "Everything's fine". Better would be to pick up your own test kit. We need numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Test the pH of both the tank and your source water. We will need the results to continue, but the water changes may help. Good luck. Don>    

Pregnant Guppy Question I know you have been asked a lot of pregnant guppy questions,( I read through the FAQ's, but I couldn't find the exact answer I need), and I am sorry to ask another one. <You don't have to apologize for asking questions...that's what we are here for! I'm Jorie and I'll try to help...> I bought a female Blue Mosaic guppy on 8/11/04, she was at least a week pregnant then. <Am curious how you know how far along she was then?> She is still pregnant now. She had one live fry 5 weeks ago. <Sounds like she is rather young; livebearers, incl. guppies, tend to have smaller batches of fry (even single babies, as in your case) the younger they are.> She is very big right now and I can see the eyes and part of the babies bodies, but she still has not given birth. I originally put her in a breeding net, that is where she had her one baby), then I moved her to a 5 gallon tank all by herself. She has been there for 4 weeks and still no babies. <It's very difficult to say exactly when a livebearer will give birth.  Generally, the gestation period is around 4-6 weeks, so I'd expect any time now. And, especially so since you can see little eyes through her gravid spot.  Best thing you can do is keep her in a stable environment with as little stress as possible - the 5 gal. tank you've set up for her sounds perfect!> I have put her back in the breeding net in a 10 gallon tank with ballooned-belly mollies. I have put a plant in the breeding net for the babies to hide in and for her to relax better in the net. She does not seem stressed at all and my water chemistry is perfect. <Well, hindsight is always 20/20, and as I said above, I would have left her in the 5 gal.  But since you've moved her, I'd give her a few days (do make sure she isn't being harassed and doesn't become stressed by the breeding net).  If no fry in a few days, I'd put her back in the 5 gal. (maybe throw in the plant, if possible - you are right, that may indeed comfort her) and be as patient as possible. You'll likely wake up one day to lots of little teeny tiny guppies swimming around!> Why isn't she having her fry? Is she going to have her fry? I would really appreciate it if you can help answer my questions. <Hopefully I've answered your questions. Just be patient, my friend; as long as she's eating normally, not stressed out and you keep up the good water conditions she'll be just fine, I'm sure.> Thank you <You're welcome.>

Pregnant Guppy        Thank you again for answering my questions.<MikeD filling in> To answer your question on how I knew she was about one week pregnant when I got her, I have done a lot of research on breeding guppies. I found pictures of pregnant guppies from start of gestation period through almost delivery time.<While I applaud your determination and ingenuity, that just doesn't work.  Exterior appearance is subject to too many variables...age of the fish, size/bone structure of the fish, number of young in the batch, etc., etc.>        I have moved my guppy one last time. I took her out of the breeding net and put her in the 10 gallon tank that the breeding net was in. Unfortunately, I have her in with 5 ballooned belly mollies, but she is eating very well and has all this time and she is getting along well with the mollies.<not all that bad an idea. If the mollies are well fed they tend to be far less cannibalistic on their young, with the mother still the main danger.> The reason I moved her out of the 5 gallon is I just got really frustrated with her, ( I have stayed up many nights watching and waiting for her to have her babies)<I know that feeling well....3 children and hundreds of litters of young and clutches of eggs in innumerable creatures with actual deliveries witnessed at about five-ten over 50 years.>, and I went and bought 2 green-spotted puffer fish and I had to put them in their own tank, and trust me I feel really bad that I got frustrated and bought the puffers and took away my guppy's tank)<Has one killed the other yet?>. So my plans with her is just to keep a good eye out for when she has her babies and try to save as many babies as I can. The good thing is with the 10 gallon tank, there is plenty of really good hiding places for the babies to escape from being eaten.<I hope that you're referring to floating plant life or a nylon mop, as the babies are generally drawn to the surface and rarely make use of rockwork, caves and such.> Well, I think I have taken up enough of your time, Jorie. Again, thank you for answering me back and in a quick period of time.<Good luck to you.....I still have to admire your persistence.>

Lady Killer I am wondering if you can help me with my "killer" guppy. He has killed 5 females in the last month. <I'd name him "Ted"> Right now he is the only fish in a 10 gal tank other than my Plecostomus. <If this is a common Pleco he will get very large. Over a foot! And he makes tons of waste. Not good in a 10 gallon> I have done my best to keep 2 females in with him at all times. I don't know what to do with him. He is a very pretty fish and I would like to breed him but it is beginning to get rather expensive to keep replacing the ladies! How long does it take for a male to impregnate a female? <A second, poor things> Could I put a couple more in, wait a week and take him out? <Yes, but see below> I am so angry with him today I just want to flush him! <Don't EVER do this! Mean and cruel. Take unwanted fish back to the fish store and donate them.> Also, are things like temperament genetic for fish? Do we have any idea? <Not sure. Some species are naturally aggressive. But each fish within a species is an individual> Because I would really hate to breed him and have all the babies be the same way. <All male guppies are aggressive to the females, but not all to this degree.> Any help would be greatly appreciated because I really hate to see my fish suffer. <Then never send one the Big Tank in the Sky via the toilet> Anna <Male guppies can be very aggressive breeders. Best to spread the aggression by adding 4 or 5 females for this extra randy fellow, along with some hiding places. Dense plants like Java Moss would be good for both the female and the fry to hide in. Be aware that most of the females you buy will already be pregnant. They can store sperm and use it for several batches of fry. Breeders will keep very young virgin females away from all males until they pair them up to ensure they know who Dad is. So just because he's the only male in your tank does not mean he is the father. Don> Guppy stock Dear Dr. Fenner, <MacL here with you tonight> We are a new aqua farm in the Northeast (Avondale, PA) starting up in production guppy culture.  However, we are running into some breeding problems and are looking for people already established in production guppy culture.  <Have you seen this site? multiple links for guppy clubs and people breeding guppies. http://www.deltaguppies.com/links.htm> Do you have any experience in guppies or do you know of anyone in this business who would be willing to talk with us and share their expertise? Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. I think the guppy clubs will be able to help you substantially with stock. Good luck, MacL> Monique LaBarge Avondale Aqua Farm Avondale, PA

Guppies, Chuck's go Dear Dr. Fenner, We are a new aqua farm in the Northeast (Avondale, PA) starting up in production guppy culture.  However, we are running into some breeding problems and are looking for people already established in production guppy culture. Do you have any experience in guppies or do you know of anyone in this business who would be willing to talk with us and share their expertise? Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. < Many of the guppies found in the US come from farms in Asia. Check Aquabid for specific breeders or do a Google search for American Livebearers Association and they may be able to point you in the right direction.-Chuck> Monique LaBarge Avondale Aqua Farm Avondale, PA

Guppy business/breeding in PA 9/24/04 We are a new aqua farm in the Northeast (Avondale, PA) starting up in production guppy culture.  However, we are running into some breeding problems and are looking for people already established in production guppy culture. Do you have any experience in guppies or do you know of anyone in this business who would be willing to talk with us and share their expertise? Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Monique LaBarge -Avondale Aqua Farm Avondale, PA <cheers, Monique... Anthony Calfo here - fellow Pennsylvanian :) I'm not sure exactly what kind of advice you need, but I suspect you can find your answers in several folks regionally who have large established fish rooms that have emphasized guppy production through the years. I'm most familiar with my hometown FW club folks. Chuck Bailon and Dr Sallie Boggs (national grand master BAS breeder) are just two folks to tap for info in GPASI (Greater Pittsburgh club). DO try to network with such folks in-state and abroad (do keyword searches for their sites/members directories online). Perhaps even better - there are Guppy enthusiast associations (national)... advertised in popular mag.s like Aquarium Fish Magazine (in the back/index/classified ads). These are the places I would start. Don't hesitate... most of these folks are like-minded as you and generous with information. Best of luck, Anthony>

FW fish breeding business/central filtration 9/24/04 Anthony, Thank you for the information.  I will check out the names you mentioned. Do you know of anyone who is into commercial guppy production using a recirc. system?  Those are the people we need to contact. Thanks again for your help. If you think of anyone else, please let me know. Monique <most wholesalers of all commercial quantity livestock use recirculating/central filtration systems. When you employ proper quarantine protocol for all new livestock coming into the facility, and then good husbandry once in - central filtration is optimal and recommended. It only fails when we fail to obey proper handling (like strict QT and cleanliness, etc.). Do get yourself a subscription to some of the industry trade journals like Pet Business, Pet Age or Pet Supplies Marketing. In them you will find indexes with contacts to all sorts of useful products and services for your business. Best regards, Anthony>

Fancy guppies acting strange and water levels Hi, my name is Ashley and I have a 10 gal. tank with 2 fancy guppies (I think they are both males), 2 glass fish, 1 algae eater, and as of tonight only 1 Gourami. I have had these fish for almost 2 months now and they have all been living together from the beginning. I have a few questions actually. One is that I don't know how to tell if the guppies are males or not. < Female guppies tend to be larger and have less color than males. In the back lower section of the fish females will have a regular fin and males will have a tube like structure instead.> Two (this is my main question) my guppies tend to stick together, but I have noticed that the two of them will seem to 'gang up' on one of the glass fish and follow it around the tank all the time. I don't know if the glass fish are male or female either. I don't really know if this behavior is normal for guppies or not. < There is something about this glass fish that has gotten your guppies attention. Either they see something on this glass fish that reminds them of something to eat or if you have two boys then they may be trying to breed with the glass fish. Hard to tell why fish do these things sometimes.> Finally, my last question is that my water levels have been going crazy and I don't know what to do about them. The first thing that was wrong was the ammonia level was high, when I got that under control I noticed that the nitrate and nitrite levels were going up. I went to the pet store and they told me to put something called a Nitra-Sorb that would remove the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, but it hasn't seemed to help. Please help me I think that my fish are in stress because of the nitrite and nitrate. < All new aquariums go through an adjustment period. Go to Marineland.com and look at Dr. Tim's library and you will see articles how a tank normally cycles. Some products tie up the ammonia in the water but the bacteria are still able to break it down causing nitrite spikes. High nitrates require that the filter be serviced and maybe the gravel vacuumed too during a water change. Make sure you are only feeding them enough food so it is all gone in a couple of minutes. Excess food causes many of the problems you are describing.-Chuck> Thank you. P.S. -- All of the other water levels (pH, ammonia, alkalinity, and hardness) are fine.

Guppies MacL Thank you.  I think I will be busy today following up on some great lead <So glad I was able to help MacL> ideas! Have a great day. Monique

Tail fin decrease in guppy Hi. I have a major problem with one of my male guppies. He is a green cobra guppy. Anyway I just bought him yesterday at the local pet store and he looked very healthy. When I woke up this morning I noticed about 90% of his tail fin was gone. I believe he is going to die soon. Please help me so if he dies I know what to do in the future.     P.S I predict that one or two of the females in my tank ( 20 gal.) is responsible for this Tell if this prediction is Correct. < I don't think so. A power filter intake tube may have caught his tail. Barbs and Bettas can do this kind of damage too. I suspect it may be tail rot caused by a bacteria infection. Isolate the fish and see it gets worse. If it does then it is rot and you need to treat it with antibiotics like Furanace or Erythromycin.-Chuck>

Guppy Babies 12 Aug 2004 Please Help. <Hi Rachel, MacL here with you and I'll try my best.> I'm wondering, my guppy has had babies, 4 of which look to be about 4 five days old as they have developed the black in their tails, but she still seems to be continuing to give birth as I am finding very tiny fish every day. <Its possible for her labor to continue on for a while but I think four days is a long time. Usually in my experience its over within 24 hours. I think what you are seeing is different growth rates of the guppies based on water quality and how much food they are getting.> How long will she be 'in labour' for and how many is she likely to have. She is still quite fat. <She could have a second delivery time or its possible that she's just not gone back to normal after her birth.> I did not know she was pregnant as I only have 1 female and 1 male. <Congratulations Rachel, its a fun experience raising the babies. You might want to provide something that floats near the top for cover for the babies.> Rachel Heath

Guppies  8/2/04 hi pls could u help me I have been trying 2 find information on baby guppy fry, I have had my fry in a birthing tank,  I was wondering how long is it that I have 2 leave them in there 4, they r about 4 months approx., is it ok 2 let them  go in2 the tank with the other fish now thanks Ross <<Dear Ross, I will need you to re-type your email please, using the proper grammar and punctuation.  It's a bit difficult to understand. Thanks, Gwen>> Guppies sick? 7/28/04  Thanks for your help but there is no chlorine in our water its rain water, I don't treat my water with anything except maybe some ph down. What's ick and how do I treat for that? I don't have a LFS is there something else I can use to treat them? <If you are using rain water then there is no alkalinity to the water and it is very soft likely to have a pH crash. Guppies don't like soft acid water. I would add a tablespoon of rock salt to 5 gallons of water and some buffer to bring the pH up to at least 7.0. Some crushed coral will help buffer the water. I would not use the pH down. Guppies could easily take a pH up to 8.0. -Chuck>

Please help my guppies! 7/28/04  I've tested the water everything is fine but my new guppies I put in last night were all floating or upside down this morning. What's happened to them can I save the remaining 6 that can still swim around? < Hard to say. Check the water temp make sure it is around 75 to 80 degrees. Make sure you used a water conditioner that gets rid of chloramines and not just chlorine. Chloramine is deadly to fish. I think this is you problem because everything happened so fast. -Chuck>

Sick Guppies 7/29/04 hi sorry to email again but it really is an emergency! The full story-  I have a 12L tank with bristlenoses, tetras and Danios, there were guppies but they died. I just brought a new setup and 16 guppies. I put the bag of guppies in the big tank so I could set them up their own new guppy tank (8L). I realized later that the heater was going to take a while to heat the tank so I let the guppies out into the big tank thinking I would move them over when the other was ready. This morning most of them are hanging out at the surface, some are upside down some are on the bottom lifeless but alive. 5 are still ok. So I took all the unsolvable out and moved the 5 still oks into the new tank(24* and ph 7) Now one of these is sitting on the surface looking like the others what do I do?? I've done a 20% water change and had the water tested at the pet shop all is well they said. But still they are sick I really cant lose them all I just cant!! please help me urgently! I've read through previous questions but cant find anything that will help. < If the other fish are OK then it sounds like the guppies went into some sort of shock. From the symptoms you describe I assume that it is related to water and not a disease. I recommended adding some salt to the water @ a tablespoon per 5 gallons. Use a good water conditioner that will get rid of chloramines as well as chlorine. I would also ad a pH buffer that will keep the pH above 7.0.-Chuck>

Re: guppy lifespan (Sorry.. forgot to sign my name. How rude of me) What is the normal lifespan of a guppy? < As a rule of thumb I usually go with "an inch a year". So little guppies usually last a year maybe two. I am sure there are master guppy breeders that excellent care of their guppies and can get three years out of them.-Chuck> Ophelia

Guppy Temperatures <Hi, MikeD here> I know that cold water guppies can be turned into warm water guppies. But can warm water guppies be turned into cold water guppies?<That's a yes and no question. While they can tolerate less than tropical conditions, they still can't survive in temperatures that approximate freezing or nearly so> If so how is this done?<Veeeery slowly! As long as the temperatures are allowed to drop gradually, I've seen guppies in 60 degrees F. water, but any sudden changes in temperature will still cause systemic shock, often followed by an outbreak of "ick", a protozoan parasite of fishes.>

Guppy Sex Hi, this is Lauren and I have a 10 gallon tank with 1 male balloon belly molly, 1 male guppy (was 2), 2 female guppies, 1 glass fish, and 1 sucker fish. I think that both of the female guppies are pregnant, they have the gravid spot but they are both still small. I have noticed in the past 2 or 3 days that the only male guppy left has been following 1 of the female guppies constantly and won't leave her alone. Should I separate the male from the females since they are pregnant or just let nature be? Thanks a bunch ~Lauren <<Lauren, it would be best to separate the female, otherwise the male will harass her to the point of exhaustion. Buy her a breeding trap, available at most decent LFS's. Also, make sure you have lots of plants so the fry will be able to hide from the adults, who will eat them. Plastic plants work fine for this. Some companies even make floating plants specifically for fry to hide in, check your local fish store! Good luck :) -Gwen>>

Pregnant Guppy I have a pregnant guppy and she looks like she will have her babies anytime.   I was wondering if you are able to put a pregnant female guppy in with the baby fry that are in the fry net?  Or will they eat the babies?  The babies are about 1 week old.  Thanks, samnow2001 <<Hello. Yes, she might eat the fry that are already in there, it depends on how hungry she is and how big the fry are. You can try putting her in and then see if she goes after any of them, if she does put her back into the main tank. Another idea is to get her a breeding trap (fry net) all for herself. -Gwen>>

Guppy Woes Hi crew, My daughter has a small (25L) tank stocked with Guppies and a few plants.  Until recently, there were 8 fish, but over the last few days three have died. One of the remaining five now looks like he's going the same way. The only symptom the dead fishes exhibited was a gradual slowing down over a period of 24 hours or so, spending the time at the top of the tank. I've seen no other obvious sign of distress - no rapid breathing or erratic swimming - just a gradual decline in vitality. It's like they just wind down until they stop. I haven't been able to detect any obvious cause of death on the corpses - no white spots, rotting areas or trauma.  The tank has been running for several months and apart from 2 deaths very early on, the fish have appeared healthy until recently.   I tested the water today and got the following results: Temp: 25C pH: 8.2 NO2: 0 ppm (undetectable with my test) NO3: <10 ppm O2: 8 ppm I then carried out a 30% water change, in case there's some problem with the water that I haven't tested for. Should I keep carrying out large water changes?  The water is reverse osmosis, remineralized with Kent RO Right to a conductivity of 0.45 mS which I believe equates to a general hardness of about 8 dGH. I then add aquarium salt.  I'm not very experienced with tropical fish and I don't want to try any "cures" without some idea of what the problem is. Can you suggest what could be wrong and anything I could try to help save these fish? Many thanks John Kellett <<Dear John, have you tested for ammonia? This can be present without any signs of nitrite showing up if your biological filtration has been disrupted. Please test for it. The water changes will help, but to be sure, test for NH3/4. Ammonia is present for a good week or two before the nitrites show up in normal cycling. Therefore, there could be trace amounts in your tank, even though nitrites show zero. Test it and let me know, please? The other thing that bothers me is that you are going to great trouble to use RO water, yet your pH is 8.2?? Wayy too high for a normal guppy comfort zone. What is your tap water pH? Let me know. Also, how much salt are you adding? and why? salt is not required unless some malady is being treated. Small amounts are generally used as a safety net by many people, I do not condone it unless necessary. Healthy guppies should not need salt. Guppies and mollies are not the same thing :P -Gwen>> 

Guppy Growth - 06/03/2004 Hi again, <Hello. Sabrina with you, today!> I have another question on guppy fry growth.... I've searched the web for a guide to average fry growth but haven't yet found one. <Not very surprising; growth of the fry is dependent upon many, many factors - most of which are under the control of the aquarist, and easily influenced, like water quality, temperature, food, and perhaps even light cycles.> My question is this: In my experience male guppies are a lot more colourful then the females, the females having drab bodies with patterned fins. <Essentially correct.> So, am I likely to be able to sex the fry in this way? <Not likely. Once you begin to see great amounts of color and modification of the anal fin, you can be pretty sure you have a male. However, females are a bit trickier - males can look just like females if they are not yet fully developed. Some males will take much longer to develop than others, and it may be well into growth before they begin adopting the changes that would indicate male gender. So, basically, if it looks like a male, it's more than likely a male, but if it looks like a female, it may go either way.> Thanks for all your time, Liam <Thanks for writing in! -Sabrina>

Diseased guppies and fry. help!!! Fast!! Please help me if you can....I searched and searched the WWM site plus the web all over, and I can find no for-sure answers for this problem, and I'm scared if something isn't done quickly, all my guppies will die.    Just to let you know before I go into detail, all water parameters are good, with Nitrites and ammonia at 0, Nitrates at around 5.(lowest # on chart) and pH around 7. Temp. is between 78 and 80. I have also treated the tanks with salt, and have not seen much, if any improvement as of yet....(1 tbsp/5gall)...yes salt for FW aquariums also....my not so sick guppies have become a little more active. but that is the only improvement.  Here are the symptoms...    15 gallon tank...has 2 Corys., 1 Pleco, 1 Betta...all doing well as if nothing is going on!!!  Also 5 guppies....not doing good at all.  Recently lost one other female guppy...thought it was old age...she was around 2, but maybe not because of old age. and thinking she may have spread disease....her symptoms incl...thinning of caudal peduncle and partial paralysis in that she mainly used her pectoral fins to swim, weakness and paling...she still ate somewhat, but not much.  Eventually, when I knew she wasn't going to improve, I euthanized her.  Now one male is displaying the same symptoms....especially loss of color...almost turning white, paralysis of tail to the point where he is tail-standing...head up vertical, tail resting on substrate, weakness, and not eating...also thinning of peduncle.  One other male is still rather healthy, but will tail stand occasionally in a corner, not on the substrate.  All the rest, which are 3 females, only move when fed, they do eat, but besides this they just hang motionless in the water....not active, but appear strong, and healthy. no weakness or wasting of tail region yet.  What could this be??  I've read numerous things. but I guess without a microscope I could never be sure, any ideas??  TB??  Skin flukes??  Columnaris??  It is so hard to treat when I do not know if it is bacterial, fungal, or parasitic!!  I am treating with salt..1 tbsp / 5 gall. but maybe I should increase dose...and it's obvious the whole tank has something...but the Corys, Pleco and the Betta are unaffected!!   Also. a 5 gall tank full of guppy fry...water parameters also good. I do a 2L water change daily....fry were doing well, then...I'm thinking I passed over what was ever in the 15 gal tank to the fry tank, when I found a fry in the 15 and put it into the 5....I have slowly been culling the sick ones, trying to stop it from spreading....but it seems hopeless...about 1/3 of the fry are floating at the surface, not looking good...you can see there caudal fin turn pin shaped as if its all stuck together or they are keeping it clamped.  I have found no dead ones as of yet...and also have salt in this tank...1 tbsp....plus Melaleuca in the hopes it will help...seems like there is no improvements....   Do you have any suggestions or ideas what could be going on??  Should I kill of the sickest male??  Is this hopeless, are they all going to die??  Please reply as fast as you can, my guppies need you!!      Sorry to seem so demanding, but I am desperate and hate seeing my fish suffer.  Thank you so much....for any help you have. <With the tail clamping that you are describing I am thinking Columnaris. Treat with Kanamycin or Furanace. Remove the carbon in the filter. The medication will affect the good bacteria in the filter and in the gravel so be prepared to recycle the tank after medicating.-Chuck>    Gupp-arama
Re: Diseased guppies and fry. help!!! Fast!!..to Chuck...
Hi Chuck...Thanks for you reply and your help... So you also think it may be Columnaris....the medications you mentioned, Kanamycin or Furanace, is there any other way??  Is it that serious to absolutely need strong medication, or will more salt and high temp help. plus water changes??  All I currently have for medications are..........1)..Fungus Eliminator. contains. sodium chloride, Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone, potassium dichromate and 2)..ICH guard. contains ..triethylene glycol, Victoria green, Nitromersol, acriflavine.  My LFS is over 1 hour away, and all I have here is a Wal-mart..and the above is all they have for medications.  (If any of them are any good for this problem???)   I had to euthanize my sickest male guppy.  I do not want to lose any more...plus I want the fry to survive also...so you think that they have the same thing??  Does Columnaris cause this partial paralysis and weakness, thinning (knife-back look),  loss of appetite, and paling??  If medication is the only way to put a stop to this, let me know, and I will make the trip to the LFS...or if the medications I have on hand that I mentioned above will help. let me know and I will use them.. If needed, what products contain Kanamycin or Furanace??                                                           This problem is such a mystery to me....I was getting ready to invest in a larger tank. but now I am very discouraged and stressed over the state of my guppies.  Also, why are the Corys, Betta, and Pleco not affected??  And, if I do have to use the meds you mentioned. are they harmful to any of the above mentioned fish??  Or to plants or snails??  (snail  death would cause massive decay as their population is large and in need of serious culling)  Thanks Again...Gupp-arama < You will not be able to cure this with salt and higher temperatures. The parasite covers the body and the fins and immobilizes the tissues and causes that faded look. The fungus guard may help and it is worth a try. Some fish seem immune to everything while others seem to catch every thing. Guppies are fairly social fish and are constantly bumping in to each other and then probably spreading the disease to each other. The Furanace turns the water green and it would be harmful to plants. Try DrsFosterSmith.com to order medications online. Their catalogs also contain some good info and tips. They sell both medications by their name.-Chuck>

Guppy Sex Hi there, A guppy of mine has recently spawned some fry, and I was wondering; at what age can you tell if they are male or female. At the moment all the baby fish seem to have normal anal fins. Does the fin modification occur later in life? Thanks, Liam <<Dear Liam; male guppies will develop gonopodia later on, at sexual maturity. I can't really say at what speed they will grow. But with frequent partial water changes, good nutrition, (proper husbandry), the fry should grow quickly. -Gwen>>

Boy Guppy + Girl Guppy = Baby Guppies! you know you said that I should get a male guppy well I have I had 3 all ready and she still hasn't her fins are turning blue which is a big difference and she has been going in the castle and the it is very dark could it mean she is going to give birth? and how long does it take until I get your emails? >>Hello. I just placed a reply to your message last night, Chuck I believe was the person who gave your message attention. I must ask you to please punctuate with proper capitalization and periods, commas where appropriate, as you're making our job more difficult by forcing us to retype the queries. All message get archived onto the site, and for uniformity and readability sake we much prefer proper punctuation (this site is an international resource, and lack of punctuation can make reading very difficult for non-native English speaking folks). Also, if you would please, look on the Daily Questions/FAQ page. There you will see a notice I have put up regarding our crew and current status during this year's Interzoo show in Germany. We are operating with a fraction of the normal number of volunteers, and cannot give non-emergent messages priority status. A guppy that is not making babies is not a priority for us, even though I'm sure it's causing you some worry. Please understand that we are all doing our best to keep up with all queries, that this will not be a permanent situation, and that, as an all-volunteer crew, we must spend only a certain amount of time each day on messages. We all thank you very kindly for your understanding. >>Now, to more specifically address your question, you may very well have an IMMATURE male guppy in your tank. There are new strains coming out all the time, and you may be forced to rely solely on the anal and pelvic fins, as well as coloration of abdomen of the fish in question to determine sex and whether or not it's gravid. Female livebearers ALL have rounded pelvic and anal fins, whereas ALL males of the group have very pointed fins (to aid in delivery of sperm). There should be pictures and/or illustrations to be found via Google (though I'm not sure if we have such on site) showing very clearly what this looks like to help you determine sex of your fish. Believe me, if you have even ONE female guppy in a tank with even one male, you WILL have baby guppies coming out of your ears before you know it (unless you also have certain types of catfishes and little cover for the babies). I've never seen guppies demonstrate furtive or secretive behavior prior to birthing, as, say, horses do, I think the fish in question just likes the cave. If you don't have about 2/3 of the tank thickly planted, this will continue. I always strongly recommend that folks thickly plant their tanks, either real or faux plants, in order to see most natural, comfortable behavior for their tasty little fishes. I hope this has helped, and again, I and the rest of the crew thank you and everyone else for their understanding when messages aren't answered as quickly as hoped for.  Marina and the WetWebMedia Crew
Boy Guppy + Girl Guppy = Baby Guppies! - II
>Sorry for the trouble I have caused but I am not Fiona I'm her son Anthony and I'm 12. Could you please send the emails a lot easier to understand as some of the stuff I don't Quiet get. >>Alright, Anthony. But first, let's cover a couple of points. If you're twelve, you're at least in the 6th grade. Capitalize and punctuate your messages from now on. If you can't do it, have your mom help you. The only word in that whole thing you capitalized was next to last! Alright, I feel much better now. The title of my response is telling you what you need to know. If you have one girl guppy in that tank, and just one boy guppy, then I can guarantee you that you WILL get baby guppies. Let the other fish eat them, or you'll have more than you know what to do with. Your problem, I think, is that you're not actually sure which ones are boys and which ones are girls. If it's a fancy guppy (all pretty), it used to be that ONLY the pretty ones were the boys, and the girls were all plain looking. But NOW that's not true anymore. NOW even the girls are pretty looking, so you have to look at tiny fins by their butts (where they poop). And that's hard to do if you need glasses. Go to this site and look at this picture  http://home.comcast.net/~chimbolo/bulletin.htm  http://home.comcast.net/~chimbolo/images/logomain.jpg  The guppy that is #2 counting from the left is a girl guppy. I can tell because of her bottom fins, especially the ones by where she poops. They're bigger and rounder than the boys' fins, which are pointy. Also, the girl is bigger than the boys, with a bigger belly, too.  Make sure your tank is planted thickly in areas, about two-thirds (2/3) planted. Don't feed the fish too much, only what they can eat in a couple of minutes once or twice a day. I think that's it for now. Marina, someone else's Mom (well, two someone else's') 

Pregnant Guppy? the dealer at the shop said my female guppy was pregnant but it has been 2-3 months and she still has not given birth. she definitely has not had an abortion, her scales have turned shinier and her anal fins have turned dark and blue is she ok because I have a breeder and I have been putting her in there recently and still nothing but I had a swordtail that I got then same time as her and she hasn't given birth will my guppy be ok? < If the guppy has not given birth by now then she probably won't. She may still have the "eggs" inside her and need a male to fertilize them get a male guppy and wait and see.> also my swordtail just gave birth is there any way I can make them grow faster ? < Keep the waste products down like ammonia , nitrite and nitrate with water changes and feed foods high in protein. Higher temp.s in the 80,s will help too.-Chuck> 

Fish Fry  hi chuck its Anthony again you know you said that I should get a male guppy well I have I had 3 all ready and she still hasn't her fins are turning blue which is a big difference and she has been going in the castle and the it is very dark could it mean she is going to give birth? <It could be or else she is sick and trying to find a calm spot to rest. Only time will tell.> I have 1 other swordtail but this one is red and she was small this morning and now she is very big I put in a breeding trap and she swam to the bottom with it and got out can you tell me which is better let her give birth in the trap or let her give birth in the tank I did with my other one and I found 17 to start with then I found 2 others then I just found 1 other now I have 20 < If your fish are well fed and there are lots of hiding places for the fry, like lots of floating plants then it would be ok to let her give birth in the tank. If your tank doesn't have much cover and lots of fish then I would place her in a breeding trap. Chuck>

My guppies have ick I've been treating my tank for Ich for 3 days now. It doesn't seem to be clearing up. I have 6 guppies and 2 babies (guppies also) . I'm using Cure-Ick. The ick doesn't look horrible. It is just sprinkled on. It is small little spots. all of my Syno-cats came down with the ick first but then started to develop a white film over their body. Which also covered their eyes. The medication I'm using says use for three days. It is a Malachite Green-formalin base. Should I try something else? < That is the right stuff.> Unfortunately where I live the only place that is slightly fish experts is Pet Smart. I'm really worried about losing the babies. They are still going strong but I've noticed that now they have a little bit of ick. they are only 4 days old. The Ph is around 7.4-7- < Make sure the water temp. is around 80 degrees. And do a 30% water change every other day. The parasite likes under the skin of the host for a couple of days and can only be killed when it is off the host and free swimming. Your catfish do not like the medication so make sure you follow the directions when it comes to treating catfish. Watch for ammonia spikes because the Ich medication may affect the good bacteria that breaks down ammonia and nitrites.-Chuck>

Guppy Sex Dear WWM, How or when can I find out the sex of my baby guppies? I have three that survived to be big enough to roam around and I don't know how to tell male from female. I'm not a breeder, I just have a female that is popping them out like crazy! Please let me know if there is a way. Thanks, Aube <<Dear Aube, yes there is a way. If the fish are mature enough, the males will be smaller, their bodies more colorful. The females will be much bigger, with full, round bellies, and a dark spot under their bellies, near the tail. Females also have much less coloration, most are solid gray, but the more fancy species have colored tails with gray bodies. -Gwen>>

Guppies Dying Hi. I have a 2 ft. x 2ft x 1 ft. tank, and use a overhead box filter, and also a submersible heater. I have about 20 guppies in the tank, 12 neon tetras and a algae eater. Recently, my guppies start to behave strange. They will stay either near the surface of the water, but not gasping, or they stay at the bottom of the tank. Those staying at the bottom of the tank will attempt to swim up, but when they stop swimming, they just sink to the bottom. I have lost about 8 of them over a week, and more seems to be dying. I've added aquarium salt, but no improvement. What should I do? Thanks for  your help. Wally <<Dear Wally; First you need to test your water. I will need to know your results of the following tests: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. PH also, if you can. I also need to know how often you do water changes, what the tank temperature is, and if you have recently added any new fish to this tank. Do you add salt to this tank? Certain strains of guppy can be fragile, and require excellent water quality, stable temps, and high quality foods. It could be anything from weakness due to parasites or bad water quality, to a bacterial infection. But if it's a water quality issue, and you treat the tank, you could do more harm than good until you get your water into shape. So please get back to me with your test results :) Thanks, Gwen>>

Sick Guppy  3/21/04 Hi, I have a sick guppy that I don't know how to treat, I'm not even exactly sure what is wrong. Hoping you can help me. I moved him to my 10 gal. QT tank 4 days ago because I noticed his poop looked funny. Sometimes it comes out clear, stringy, and with some white globs. Which I've read is indicative of internal parasites. <Yes, those can be the symptoms, along with eating & still skinny or not eating at all.  The problem is, guppies aren't wild-caught fish & rarely come with internal parasites.> Sometimes it comes out like a tan/orange color and is very thick and curls up when it is a long  string of it. It is so thick it actually looks like it would be very painful for him to pass it. It doesn't appear to be a worm or anything though. It's odd because I have had him for about 4 months now and he has always been very healthy and hardy and active. Even survived an Ich outbreak (due to buying infected fish without QT first) in my main (46 gal.) tank without getting one spot. This was before I realized the importance of a QT tank, and treated the Ich outbreak in my main tank. How could he have gotten sick? Could it have been from stress from my tormentive Mollie? <Could be.>   I read that food laced with Metronidazole would be an effective treatment. However, I could not find any so I bought some Parasite Clear fizzing tablets made by Jungle. I treated once, and then did a 25% water change. He then seemed to be eating more and his poop looks like it is trying to return to normal but it has still got some areas of clear, white string in it. He is swimming around a lot more now, seems like he feels somewhat better. His tail was also looking a little ragged it had one rip in it, but I thought if I cured him his tail would cure itself. But now his tail is getting worse. It is becoming more ragged and has two blood spots in it. Twice now I have even seen a little bit of blood float off into the water when he moved. I have some Fin rot medication should I use this? And should I treat with the Parasite Clear again? <Internal parasites can only be treated internally, by treating the fish's food.  By the fact that the Jungle product made your fish feel better, I don't think this is the problem.  I really think your molly is the problem--they can be quite vicious.  Your guppy felt better because the molly wasn't bothering it anymore.  Starting treating you guppy with a combo of Melafix & Pimafix for it's tail.  I'd find a new home for the molly.> Thanks so much! Stacie <You're welcome & good luck.  ~PP>

Pregnant Guppies Hi, I have two pregnant guppies (it was three) that I have had for about 4 months. I bought them when they were very pregnant.  They still haven't had their fry.  My water temp. is 76 F. I have been feeding them every once and a while frozen brine shrimp.  I try to change the water every week.  Please help. I think one more is on her way out. <<Dear Jacob; Pregnant guppies do not always mean fertilized guppies. The females will grow eggs in their bellies, but without sperm, the eggs are simply re-absorbed back into the females body. Then she will grow another batch, until a male comes along to fertilize them with his gonopodium. Some males will attempt to impregnate the females, but they could be sterile males. If your females are dying, you need to check a couple of things; first, are your females getting enough protein in their diets? Female livebearers are constantly making eggs, this requires a varied diet using high quality foods. Read the labels! And buy good quality, you get what you pay for, cheap foods are made with cheap ingredients! Also, make sure your water quality is good. Ammonia should be zero, nitrite should be zero, and nitrates kept as low as possible with regular, partial water changes. If you don't have test kits, get your LFS to test the above parameters for you, and keep track of what they are. I would recommend you at least buy a nitrate test kit, and use it to figure out how often to test your water. Nitrates should be kept around 20-60ppm for guppies. -Gwen>>

Guppy Problem Thanks in advance for any help. We have a 10 gal tank with 1 male guppy, 2 female guppies, 2 male and 2 female platys and 2 tiny Neon tetras.  Last weekend the fish showed signs of Ich so I treated as directed on the "Jungle Super Ich" treatment bottle and the Ich disappeared.  It is now 2 days later and although I don't see any more salt-like specks I have found the strangest thing on my male guppy.   His one fin (sorry don't know the correct name but the one by the gills) looks like it was dipped in white chocolate.  It's thick and heavy looking and he's obviously having to work hard at making it work the same as the non-affected one.  I've made the assumption that I had just not noted this strange fin before and that it's a heavy collection of Ich concentrated in that one spot and that being heavy it wasn't fully treated by the first Ich treatment.  I'm currently doing a second treatment.  As always the carbon filter is removed for the period of treatment.  The Jungle Ich doesn't have very good instructions on it though.  How many 24 hour treatments are safe to do if this fin does indeed have a thick coat of Ich and if it doesn't completely clear in a normal 48 hour Jungle Ich treatment cycle?  I'm also curious how Jungle Ich can clear a tank of Ich in 48 hours if the lifecycle of the Ich parasite is 4 days?  Doesn't that mean that some of the Ich parasite is going to survive?  I don't' think I like this "Jungle Ich" but it is a whole lot neater and tidier than the capsules which I can never cleanly get open. Two other questions with regard to Ich treatment. 1)  After treatment, do I always put a new clean charcoal filter into the filtration system?  Can Ich be re-transferred back to the tank in the previous "dirty" filter? 2)  Does Ich treatment kill unborn fry or young fry/hatchlings? Thanks again, Barb >>Hello. It sounds to me like your guppy has fungus on his fin. You will need a different medication for that, go to your LFS and ask for an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal med, and follow the instructions. As to how many Ich treatments are safe, it depends on the medication and how the fish react to it. Some species, like clown loaches, are quite sensitive to medications. Generally, you can treat most species of fish for longer than 48 hours, even up to a week, but I don't recommend it, because you should not need to. I have never had a problem treating fish for two days with meds like Quick Cure and Super Ich Cure. They work exceedingly well. If an Ich problem persists after the first few days of treatment, then generally there is another problem that needs to be dealt with, either the water parameters are off, or the fish has an internal problem as well. Yes, always put carbon back into the filter after a treatment is finished. A small water change won't hurt, either. And yes, Ich treatments can be toxic for newly hatched fry. Not sure about unborn fry. One of your questions bothers me...what do you mean by "can the Ich be re-transferred back to the tank in the previous "dirty" filter"? First of all, yes, it can. But I don't understand why you would remove any filters from the tank, you need to keep the filtration running at all times! If you are referring to the removal and re-addition of carbon bags, well, you should rinse the carbon thoroughly when you remove it, and let it dry on the countertop, and then rinse it again before re-adding it to your filter. -Gwen>> Sick Guppy hello!! I enjoy your site. I bought 2 male and 2 female guppies about a month ago. since then 2 have died and I am left with a male and a female. and now the female is showing the same symptoms that the other two displayed before they died. I don't want to lose her !! they all appeared healthy when I bought them but one at a time they have been dying off. they start swimming around less, their top fin lays down and the tail doesn't fan all the way out. they don't swim around much but just sort of lay on the bottom, for several days. they will come out to eat, but then go straight back to lying on the bottom. I first lost a female, then a male, and now my remaining male seems extremely healthy but the female does nothing but lie on the bottom . when ever she does come out, he constantly harasses her. should separate them? I don't want to lose my guppy girl. what should I do? my tank is 2 gallons with an air pump and under gravel filter. Thank you, Amy <<Dear Amy; I have a few thoughts here. First, yes, you may separate them. Do you have another heater for her? I am going to assume the tank is a relatively new set-up. This means that 4 fish in a new 2 gallon tank will have a serious ammonia and/or problem. Hence, the deaths, and fin rot on the other fish. There are a couple of things you can do to fix this problem. First, do a water change, and then try to do 50% every few days. Second, watch to see if the remaining fish rub themselves on anything in the tank, this will indicate a parasitic infestation, to boot. You should have your water tested at your local fish store as quickly as possible; ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates must all be tested, you may write down the results and compare to the following: a healthy tank should have zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and low (20-40ppm for guppies) nitrates. Anything else means plenty of water changes will be required to keep these fish alive until the tank cycles. If your water tests out okay, then it is probably a parasite, as guppies are prone to body slime disease. Make sure the temp is stable, at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can treat them with some salt, for minor infestations, or antibiotics for more advanced infestations with secondary bacterial infections. -Gwen>>

pH change & Dead Guppies  3/16/04 I had an excruciatingly painful experience last night with my guppies!  I had put a bowl with the water from the aquarium itself inside this aquarium.  So it was the same water - I thought.  I put fish in it that were pesky or causing trouble to the community and so it was kind of like a "jail house" for bad fish.   <Hmmm, that's what breeder nets or quarantine tanks are for.> I had this bowl inside the aquarium for at least a week, maybe two, with a male platy who kept trying to "eat" my albino cat fish.  I was afraid he'd eat him alive eventually, so I put him in there.   <Kind of odd... My Cory catfish can hold up against dwarf puffer teeth.> Then there was a female guppy which had given birth to about 6-7 babies and was being hotly pursued by about 4 male guppies, so thinking she needed a rest, I put her in there.  I noticed that she had scoliosis, so wasn't expecting her to fully recover.   Then about two days later, I found her dead in the bowl.  I thought she'd died from the skeletal deformity she'd had, or something related to the stress from giving birth. <Probably tuberculosis, extremely contagious to humans-- http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-07/sp/feature/index.htm> The thing that got me yesterday was this:  I saw these 4 male guppies had begun to harass the other female guppy and were relentlessly chasing her, so I put all 4 of them inside the bowl to "do some time for bad behavior," and to give the female guppy a little rest.  Then, to my amazement, about an hour later, I was going to turn off the light to go to bed and I looked and saw that ALL 4 MALE GUPPIES WERE LYING DEAD IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL!    I fished them out, and thought I noticed one's tail had disintegrated, but I'm not sure about that.  There others' were all intact, but they were all dead. I then checked the ph in the bowl and found the ph to be acidic, about 6.2 or so.  The water in the main aquarium was at about 7.0 or maybe 7.2.  So that's about 1.2 points difference!  I didn't think the water would be that variant since it was the original water from the aquarium, but I hadn't tested it since I put it in there about two weeks ago. <If there is no water flow getting into the bowl (like it would in a net breeder) then the ammonia & waste produces by your fish will build up in there, causing the pH to drop.  Your fish probably died from ammonia poisoning.> Meanwhile, the original platy is still alive inside the bowl with the acidic water and is showing no signs of stress.  Why, then did all 4 guppy males die within one hour or so after being put into the bowl???  The only possible explanation I can think of is that the ph change was too drastic for them!  Is that a possibility?  I thought they would be maybe stressed out by such a change, but not DEAD!!!  Please advise.  Is there some other possibility that I am not able to see?    <I'm afraid your platy is doomed in that bowl also.  Get a breeder net, or set up another tank for quarantine or to keep your more aggressive fish in.> Thank you very much for your thoughtful advise! <You're welcome & good luck.  ~PP> Leslie Wilson

Guppies Gulping I have a tank of guppies that are fairly new along with some Cory cats.  All of the guppies have started swimming at the top and just hang around there but wont ever go to the bottom. <You didn't mention how large the tank was, but it probably is due to a lack of oxygen for the fish.> I thought maybe they weren't getting enough oxygen and switched to a stronger filter/power head but they are still doing it.  Can you tell me what it may be?  Thanks! <I suggest you get a air stone and an air pump.  Adding this to the tank will raise the oxygen level in the water dramatically.  Good luck. -Magnus>

Expectant Mother Guppy - 03/12/2004 I recently purchased a female guppy who I thought was pregnant. When I got her home, I noticed her gravid spot was a red color. It seems to be getting darker, and she looks like she is going to pop. Is she pregnant or is she sick? Please help. <Sounds to me like she's pregnant.  Hopefully she'll be providing you with some babies quite soon!  They do tend to get utterly huge before finally giving birth, so what you're describing sounds normal, no worries.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Colorful poop Hi, I'm not an expert on the guppy hobby but I'm not completely new to it either. But, the other day I was watching them and one of my females had a rather long poop attached to her. That didn't interest me very much but the fact that the poop was very colorful did. What does that mean?!?!?! <have you added anything to the tank?  new decor?  changed the food?  Guppies tend to pick at things in the tank, be it the decor or any new item.  Some of my fish had nibbled at a rather gaudy piece of decor a friend gave me to put in my tank.  And my fish was passing the color flecks it had nibbled off of the item for a week before I removed the eyesore.  I would be worried if the fish was acting strangely, or perhaps it looks a bit swollen.  Fish can have discoloration in their waste if they are sick, or if there are intestinal problem.  Monitor it and see if it continues. If so then it's best to set up a small quarantine tank were you can move the fish away from other tankmates and medicate him easier.> At first I tried to look at it from all other angles because I was sure that I was just "seeing" things. But I am positive that that poop was red, green, and maybe a little blue. What is it?!?! Please help and hopefully it's nothing serious :S. -Rebecca- Thanks, in advance. <I don't think that it is totally serious, unless it persists.  Just monitor what the fish is eating.  If there is a change in the fishes normal actions then it could be an internal parasite problem that might need medication.  -Magnus>

How many guppies? Well, to start with, that is... (03/05/04) <Hi! Ananda here this windy morning...> Believe it or not I finally have my Eclipse tanks set up with water in them.  Will be ordering my mollies in the next few weeks.  Have to stabilize the aquarium, etc. <My goodness... *ordering* mollies? In most places, they're pretty common.> My question today is how many female guppies per male so that they are comfortable??   <Two or three females per male.> My husband is setting up a small guppy tank (6 gal) and wants to know the male/female ratio.  Me, I want to know how many fish would be happy in that small of a tank. <For that tank, I'd say two females, one male, and some ghost shrimp to help out with tank janitor duty.> I really appreciate your prompt responses.  My order for Sailfin mollies is forthcoming-    Thanks so much, Marion <You're quite welcome. Do wander over to the forums at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk -- I'm always happy to babble on about mollies. Wild-colored Sailfins are my favorite. --Ananda> Guppy Questions Hi... I came across your site and I thought that you may be able to answer my question about my guppy I got the other day. I am new to the guppy hobby, but I bought two new guppies and I got them yesterday from my local fish store... One male and one female to add to my 10 Gal. Tank already containing one female guppy, two platies (one male one female) one female swordtail and then algae eater and a Cory fish. I observed yesterday that my Male guppy was trying to mate with not the female guppies in the tank but instead my male platy! Is this something to be concerned about!?!?!?! Is it possible to have a Homosexual or Bisexual fish? I'm kinda wondering if his decided habits are something that are "normal", or not... I have never seen it happen before in fish, so I was wondering if you had heard of this ever before. I also woke up this morning and noticed that the female guppy I got yesterday happened to give birth to two (from what I could find) baby guppies! I wasn't expecting her to drop her babies as of yet but I guess sometimes in life we are surprised by those things! HUH? But what I was wondering was is it possible that she only had the two? or is it just most likely that the others weren't so fortunate to make it? :( I appreciate any words of advice that you can give me! Thanks, Derek >>Hello Derek; Congrats on having babies :D It is possible your female is still young, age and size will determine how many babies she will have at a time. The other problem is that with the swords and platies in there, most of the babies will be eaten before they have a chance to grow up. You can add some java fern, duckweed, or other multi-leaved live plants to give them somewhere to hide from the adults (ask at your LFS). Your male guppy sounds young, also. No, he is not gay, but he is confused :D :D Just kidding. Are you positive that your platies are male? Do they have gonopodia? Instead of a normal fin on their belly like the females do, males will have a pointy gonopodium pointing backwards, near the tail. I would not worry about it, your male will have plenty of energy to chase the females around :D One thing that does concern me is your stocking ratio...this tank is full up! I advise regular partial water changes, weekly. Same temp, please. Make sure you have a good thermometer, to use at the sink. Also, please buy yourself a nitrate test kit, and keep your nitrates low, say around 60ppm or lower, 20 is better. Good luck! -Gwen<<

Sick guppies        Hello, I'm having a problem with guppies dying. They are in a community tank (20 gal) with a couple mollies, two white clouds, a SAE, and a 1-inch fw puffer (adult size, no worries, he doesn't even try to eat the baby guppies). >>Hello :D I think will eventually have a problem with keeping puffers and guppies together. Puffers are notoriously aggressive fin nippers, and will start shredding tails at some point. The mollies can also be quite aggressive. What is the scientific name of the puffer? (Tetraodon travancorius?) These are two species that I would NEVER recommend to put with guppies, as generally, guppies should be only kept with non-aggressive fish.<< Oh, and there are currently two adult male and two adult female guppies (the number of small guppies varies with time, of course... maybe three tiny guys right now). This problem has been going on for a couple of months, and I'm at the end of my rope trying to figure it out/solve it. The symptoms are rapid breathing and progressive loss of energy, and a decreased interest in food. Some of the fish occasionally flick against the bottom. Only the guppies show symptoms/die. >>Normal, since guppies are the least resilient fish you have in the tank.<< I've treated the tank with Maracyn and Maracyn 2, thinking that this is an infection of the gills, but no success in eradicating it- every few weeks another fish starts having breathing problems. I have added aquarium salts to the tank (tsp/gal), having read that that will help with the breathing and should make an inhospitable environment for the infecting agent... not inhospitable enough, apparently! I have checked my water quality for pH and ammonia- 7.4 and 0 ppm (comes out of the tap at 7.2ish). I change the water regularly (every 1 to 2 weeks). >>You will need to treat with an anti-parasitic medication, like Super Ich Cure, or Quick Cure. I like Quick Cure because the Formalin in it helps against gill flukes. Remove your carbon, of course. Your pH is a tad low for mollies, and perhaps the puffer, too, depending on the species of puffer you are keeping. You have tested ammonia, but what about nitrite and nitrate? We really need to know this. Nitrite is just as toxic as ammonia, and a nitrite spike can last quite a long time. How much water do you change? What percentage, that is..<< Part of the reason that this has gone on so long is that only one fish at a time ever shows symptoms then dies, so I've thought that I had cleared up the problem previously, only to go through the same agonizing process a week or so later. Also, a friend who has many years of fish experience told me not to worry, that the guppies that were dying were probably just old...  >>I doubt this.<< I won't take advice like that again from anyone who regards my fish as just a food source for bigger fish! It's now affecting fish that I know are only 7 months old. Please help if you can! I feel so awful watching them get sicker and sicker, not knowing what else I can do for them! Thank you! Sarah O PS I think I comb through your site about once a week, learning a bit more about aquaria and fish each time. It's a great resource, thank you for providing it! >>As I mentioned, go to your local fish store and buy an anti-parasitic medication. Your fish have gill flukes, a parasite. -Gwen

Have got some guppy fry (8) <Congrats on being a new parent.> - 4 are losing their tails? They are about 4 weeks old. Do you know why? & If I can save them. Thanks in advance, Di. <If their tails are looking sharply cut, then the larger male might be nipping the fins because he thinks they are competition.  But, most likely the fish are suffering from something called Fin Rot.  You can treat with Tetracycline (from Mardel Labs), which can be found at most pet shops.  Hope that helps. -Magnus>

Guppy Gender I recently just purchased 2 tequila sunrise guppies... I was wondering what the female looks like different to the male I think I have both males but their top fins look totally different! <The fin on top, the "dorsal" fin, doesn't really aid in determining guppy gender.  Guppies come in such a wide variety of color and patterns, the color of the dorsal fin doesn't necessarily have anything to do with gender.> On one it is orange with a little red on it.  On the other guppy it is just clear with very little pale pale orange on its top fin, so I was wondering if I had a male and a female tequila sunrise guppy? <Look at their anal fin, that's the fin on the fish's belly just in front of the tail.  If this fin is pointed and held next to the body, the fish is male.  If it is fan-shaped and spread open, it is a female.  Females will typically be less colorful overall than males are.  Wishing you and your guppies well,  -Sabrina>

Gobs of Guppies Hello, about a year ago I started out with 4 baby guppies.... 4 male and 1 female.  Well... today I've got about 15 full grown males and about 10 females.  I currently have a 10 gallon tank with nothing but babies, <Guppies might be a great tool for explaining exponents....> a 15 gallon tank with the females and just recently moved the males to a 39 gallon tank.  How many guppies would be a good number for the 39 gallon tank?   <20 adult guppies or so would probably be comfy, if it's well filtered.  If you are extremely diligent about water quality, maintenance, and have it heavily filtered, you could probably keep more than that.> Also at what age should I be sure that the females are removed from the male tank to prevent unwanted breeding? (I just put about 15-20 larger babies in the big tank with the males).    <As soon as you can recognize that they're females, it'd be best to pull them out.> In another 5 gallon tank I have 4 Long Fin Leopard Danios and 3 Danios that I'm uncertain what they are.  Their entire bodies are cream color and their bodies are much bigger then that of the long fin leopards.  Any idea on what type of Danio that these fish are?   <They sound like giant Danios - these will very, very quickly outgrow a 5g tank - I would consider the tank "full" with the four leopards.> How do I know what gender the Danios are?   <That can be very, very difficult.  Once mature, females will be a little more robust in the belly, and males a little more slender.  Pretty tough to tell.> Also, I know that the 5 gallon tank is not big enough for the Danios and have considered putting them in with the male guppies in the 38 gallon tank but.....I'm unsure if they are compatible with the fancy tailed guppies.....   <Danios are pretty nippy, but for the most part, they keep it to themselves.  I think you could try this.  Be prepared to remove them, though, if it doesn't work out.  Just watch for aggression and nipped guppies.> I how have an empty 20 gallon that I was going to use for the babies....I guess I could use that for the Danios if they would not be compatible with the guppies.   <A good idea.  Might want to try them with the guppies, and fall back on putting them in the 20 if it doesn't work out.> What larger fish would be a good tank mate for the male guppies?   <You could try dwarf or pygmy Gourami, or if you want some active bottom-dwellers, loaches, Botias, and Corydoras catfish are all nice.  In the 39g tank, a few weather loaches might be a lot of fun!  Do keep in mind that any fish you add to the 39g tank will reduce how many guppies you can fit in there, as well.> Every time I get a tank I intend to get rid of one of the others.....it's not happening.... always seem to need the extra one :-)  Thanks,  Donna <That's certainly the way with guppies!  Why not consider trading in/selling some of the guppies at a good, reputable local fish store?  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina

Guppies (12-18-03) I love guppies but am not so fond of other livebearers. Can you suggest some fish I can put with them? I have a 55 gallon.<You should be able to find lots of fish choices here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm.  Cody>

Guppy Tale Dear Wet Web Media Crew, <Sabrina here, this evening> Yesterday morning I noticed that a part of my guppy's tail was missing and that there was a tin red line (blood probably) on the tail edge where the part was missing. During the day it got worse. The red line spread onto the rest of the tail edge and it looked like it was "eating" the tail.  The fish is eating well, there are no signs of aggression in the tank (as I could see, they all have been very friendly: 3 guppies, 3 platies, 2 very small gold algae eaters), the water in the tank is fine, <What were ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH readings?  Be sure none of these are out of whack> and the rest of the tank community seems fine. I isolated the fish anyway <GOOD MOVE> but its tail is still getting worse and I have no idea what to do. Please help! <It sounds like the guppy has fin rot; I would treat this fish with Kanamycin sulfate (sold by Aquatronics as 'Kanacyn') or Spectrogram (also made by Aquatronics), which is a combination of Kanamycin and Nitrofurazone.  Just follow the instructions on the box, and maintain impeccable water quality; with all due luck, this should be fixable.  Kudos to you for quarantining, excellent move.  -Sabrina> Alisa

Boy vs. Girl Question - Where For Art Though My Little Guppy? >Do tequila sunrise guppies come in females?   >>They most certainly DO, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to develop this strain.   >The store where I got mine says they are all male.  Please let me know. CR >>Maybe all your store has that are IDENTIFIABLE (their big mistake, in my opinion) as Tequila Sunrise gups are males, and that's the thing you see, females quite often aren't anywhere nearly as pretty.  Because of this, and customer demand for "the pretty ones" (maybe also because of the guppy's proclivity to produce more profusely than rabbits), they could have decided to only carry males.  Marina

Fungused Guppies Hi, <Hello.> I have just discovered that my guppies have fungus. I have also noticed the largest female has very red gills on one side and it seems to be protruding compared to the other side and the other fish.  Is this caused by a bacterial infection from the fungus? <Probably not.  I would assume this is a minor genetic deformity.> If so, what treatment should I be using?   <If it *is* genetic, there's probably nothing to do about it; believe it or not, some angelfish are actually bred to have inadequate gill covers, so their gills are visible or exposed.  Often seen in goldfish, too.> I have done a 50% water change and am using a treatment for fungus, have removed the charcoal from my filters (running two while the new ones sets up its biological filter).   <Wonderful.  What are you treating with?> I have added a new plant and am wondering if that has contributed to the problem. <Although it is *possible* to bring in illnesses with plants, it is usually external protozoan parasites that this happens with.  I highly doubt the plant brought the fungus.> I have two Plecos in the tank who seem to be doing fine.   <Check to see if the fungus treatment has special instructions for scaleless fish; Plecs are scaleless.> My only problem is that they don't seem to like the algae discs I have been feeding them and it is difficult to remove all the remaining food without disturbing the plants and tunnels that the Plecos like to hide in. <What kind of Plecs are they?  Some are strictly carnivorous.  The 'generic' Plecostomus usually only takes algae wafers as a last resort; try sliced, blanched zucchini (to blanch, boil very briefly - like 10 seconds or so).  Weigh it down with a plant weight or a rock, and you'll be all set.  They should absolutely love this.  I also like to feed my 'veggie' Plecs frozen Formula Two cubes, made by Ocean Nutrition.> I realize that the food remains have probably caused the problem of the fungus in the guppies <Uhm, might possibly have contributed, but water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH) should also be suspect; please test these levels, fix if necessary.  Keep up with regular water changes, too.> so have cut down the amount I am feeding the Plecos. <I think a change in diet will please all.> Is there anything else I should/could be doing? <Other than testing/fixing the water and changing the Plecs' food, it sounds like you're on the right track.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Regards Dawn (NZ)

Guppy Books Hi Sabrina, <Hi, again!> Dawn here.  Thanks so much for the speedy reply regarding the guppies.   <Sure thing.> Do you know of any good guppy books that I could buy as I haven't been able to locate any so far in my local bookshops. <Do try Amazon.com, perhaps; the handful of guppy books I've seen there have some useful reviews by purchasers.  A trip to a large-ish bookshop like Barnes&Noble or Borders usually comes up with something; I've seen some good ones at both places near me.> Thanks again.  This site is amazing.  Dawn <And thank you, Dawn, for the kind words.  -Sabrina>

Baby guppies Hi Guys, <Hi, Dawn!  Sabrina here.> My name is Dawn. I am based in Hamilton, NZ.   <And a hearty hello to you, from sunny silicon valley, in California!> One week ago my 9yo daughter purchased 9 guppies (5 male, 4 female) for our 40 litre tank. The females were pregnant and we are now the proud parents (surrogate) of approx. 30 fry.   <Congrats.> We have partitioned off about a third of the tank for the fry to live in for now.  How often should we feed the fry and what would be best to use?   <There are commercial fry foods available, but guppies will grow beautifully on a small amount of crushed flake food a couple of times a day (crush the flakes into almost a powder).  Adding some floating Anacharis/elodea will help feed them as well, and give them cover to hide in.> How often should we do water changes now that the load has increased.   <I'd go for weekly, or more often, if you can manage it.  Just test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate regularly, and keep the ammonia and nitrite at zero, and nitrate as low as possible.> How quickly will the fry grow?   <Depends on water quality, feeding, etc. - should be pretty quickly, though.> We have also purchased a new filter for the tank which we are running concurrently with the existing filter. I am hoping to avoid going through the new tank syndrome by keeping the biological filter going in the old filter while the new filter sets up it's biological filter.  Will this work? <Sounds like an excellent plan.> Thanks for your time and for such an amazing, informative site.  Dawn <And thank you for the kind words!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina.>

Guppy pregnancy Hello. I have a female guppy that is/was very pregnant. I moved her into a breeding box and she immediately began dropping clear bubble like things. What are they? She slimmed up a little, but is still quite round and her black spot still shows. Help please!  Thank you,  Tami <It sounds like some (possibly all) of the young came out prematurely or were aborted or stillborn.  This could have happened due to stress from moving into the box, stress from being hassled by the males (men.... sheesh), possibly water conditions like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate out of whack.  Check your water parameters, and do water changes if necessary to correct.  Let's hope for now that she's still got forming young to have, and see how things go.  Good luck!  -Sabrina>

And on to guppies. Thanks so much for the advice, now I've got yet another problem that something seems FISHY.  lol Anyways, I also have a 10 gal. with guppies and one of my guppy gals is pregnant I mean pregnant she is BIG very big.  I can see the eyes of the fry.  I've had her in the breeding box and nothing.. I've let her out to swim for exercise but the males harass her what should I do?  How can I help her have those babies??   The best thing of all to do is to have a completely separate tank for raising the babies in, and to put her in there to have the young.  At this stage in her pregnancy, do not net her, as that can damage or kill the young in her.  Instead, use a cup to scoop her up if you have to move her around.  In any case, for right now, it'd probably be best to keep her in the breeding trap and put some small floating plants in there, or a couple sprigs of elodea/Anacharis, just something for her to have some cover and hide, if she needs.  Don't let her in with those males, they'll drive her nuts, I'm sure!  It does sound like she's about to pop, so I wish you great luck with your soon-to-come little ones, and have fun!> Thanks again Love the site.  Keep up the good work.  Dena in Indiana. <And thanks again for the kind words :)  -Sabrina>

Guppy quest 'ello, <'ello.> I'm thinking about using my 10 gallon tank for guppies so I was doing some research before I went ahead and made plans to convert it to a proper guppy home. <Yay!  Glad to hear you're researching first!> After doing a lot of reading I noticed there are a lot of conflicting ideas on the proper care of guppies. Most sites seemed to deal with the idea of breeding & showing guppies. That isn't something I'm into just yet (what would I do with all the babies? lol), so I was wondering if it is possible to have a tank with just male guppies and no female guppies without them harassing each other? <This is possible, to some extent.  Keep an eye on fins and tails and aggression, just in case.> My tank currently has white gravel which I heard is harmful for guppies, is this true? <As long as it's gravel, not crushed coral or aragonite, you should be okay.> If it is, should I get a different type of gravel or get rid of it completely? <I always stick with a natural look.  Seems more 'realistic' to me; I like having a slice of a river carved out and put in my world.> Also, I have plastic plants, would it be better to have live ones? <Personally, I prefer live - but that's completely up to the individual.> Some sites stated that live plants will promote harmful elements while others said they're beneficial to the guppies. <As long as you stick to 'easy' plants (Vallisneria sp., java fern, java moss, Anubias sp., Anacharis/elodea, so many others.> I have a 'bubble stone' to help add oxygen to the water and in the past my fish loved to swim against the current it created, is it okay to use with guppies? <Absolutely!> I can adjust the strength of the bubbles if needed. I was also reading about 'cycling' and how that works, I have a single female platy in my tank right now. Is it okay to add a duo or trio of guppies right away or should I clean the tank and wait the suggested 2 month period? <It shouldn't take two months to cycle - here's a link to cycling FAQs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/estcycfaqs.htm > What about 'mystery' snails, can I add one to a guppy tank? <Sure.> Thank you for answering my questions! -Dream <You bet.  -Sabrina>

Guppy Problems <Hi! Ryan with you> I have two problems with my guppy. <Shoot> A very thin threadlike item is sticking out of the anus of my guppy.  When I saw this I put it in a "sick" tank and got parasite/dog dewormer stuff...and nothing happens. <Don't be so quick to diagnose...make sure you know what's wrong before you medicate.> What is even stranger is the feces of the fish.  The feces problem scared me because it looks like intestinal wall hanging from its anus with feces inside...but it comes out bulgy and twisted and is very thick and hangs on the fish for a long time.  The anus also protrudes.  Then the feces eventually falls off but I still see a very thin red short "string" hanging out of its anus. <Eek. Could be a protozoan.  Flagyl is a possible antiprotozoal, but I don't know if I would mix this with what's already in your sick tank. What kind of filter are you running in your QT?> I have looked online for answers but have not found one.  I thought it might be round worms, Camallanus, threadworms, hookworms, etc.  It has not swollen up and is still eating and swimming around.  I do not want to put it back into my main tank because I don't see anything wrong with the other fish and don't want to infect them.  <Good idea, also no need to stress this fish anymore. Patience, and control!> I am just concerned with the feces.  It looks like it is encased in intestine, but it eventually comes off with the casing. < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm> Please help...I don't know what more to do. <Keep up the water quality, and give it time.  Get that old medication out of your tank, and treat accordingly.  If you have a good LFS, bring a sample of the feces to them for a second opinion.  Good luck! Ryan> Thank you.   

Guppy Problems Thank you for your response.  <No problem> After I emailed you, I went straight to my LFS and told them the sordid tale of my guppies poop.  "It's coming out of its a$$?!!!!"  I said yup.  He gave me a bag of mystery food to feed to my guppy.  What do you know...no red thing sticking out. <Great!> And its feces is much improved.  I did completely empty the tank out and rinsed in of all of the old medication. <Good procedure> Then I fed it the mystery concoction and it is gone.  I am going to leave it in the sick tank for a few more days before it gets reacquainted with its buddies. <May want to make it a week minimum> I was amazed that after everything I had put my guppy through, it survived and looks much happier. <Nature works in funny ways!  That's part of the beauty> Thanks for your help. <anytime! Ryan> -Ruth

Sick female guppy >I have a female guppy - she is what would be considered a feeder guppy - that is ill with something that I can't figure out.  She has a good appetite, looks fine, but she has some sort of spasms. She twitches constantly, even when she swims.  I recently lost another female that was having these same symptoms.   I have been unable to determine the cause of her problem and no one has been able to help me. This female and the one that died had about 25 babies between them.  I have only been keeping fish for about a year and did not realize how prolific guppies were.   >>LOL!  Yes, guppies and some other livebearers, indeed.  Worse than the rabbits, they are. >At one time I had several nursery tanks.  Now I have gotten all the males and females separated.  I really have become quite attached to my mama guppy, so if you could please help me I would be grateful.  Her only symptoms are the spasms.  Sometimes I see a little clear, stringy feces but it looks normal most of the time.  She has no spots or other visible symptoms.  She does hang near the surface in one corner or the other and can stay there for hours except when I feed her, but she is constantly twitching.  My pH, ammonia and nitrite levels are all O.K.  I do a 25% water change every day and have added aquarium salt.  I have tried molly bright, clout and parasite clear with no results.  I hope you can help me figure out what is going on.  It feels terrible to watch her this way and nothing helps. >>Of course it does.  Now I'm a bit perplexed, because between the odd poops and the twitching, I'm really thinking parasitic infection.  The aquarium salt is almost always a help, especially when using antibiotics.  The Clout, let me tell you, is some powerful stuff, too.  I think I recollect there being some warning to not handle the stuff if you're pregnant, too.  I would continue to use an antiparasitic medication, and I don't think it's necessary to do these water changes daily, every two or three days is plenty enough, and it doesn't sound as though your troubles are water quality related.  If she's still eating and appears to be in otherwise relatively good health, then I would not hesitate to continue with an antiparasitic.  You may also concurrently use a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as Melafix, Spectrogram, or Maracyn/Maracyn II.  I'm sorry I couldn't be more definitive, I do hope this helps.  Best of luck to you and your Mama-gup!  Marina   Thanks, Angela

Guppies We inherited a fish 30 gallon tank with tetras. My husband went out and bought two guppies male and female. The male is acting very jittery the past few days. He has been just fine. His color also seems to be getting much darker. Is this normal for male guppies or should I be concerned. Thank you <Without more info I cant say for sure but it doesn't really sound like something to be too worried about. He may just be adapting to the different tank or any number of other things. Keep an eye on him for symptoms of disease (white spots, rapid breathing, etc.) but don't worry too much. Ronni>

Guppies dying We have a 120 gal. tank with guppies, Neons, catfish, platies, rainbow or red tailed sharks, and algae eaters. In the last 5 days 6 of our guppies have died. All of the other fish are doing fine. We had a female die giving birth 5 days ago, only 4 made it. Ever since then guppies have been dying everyday. Why are the guppies dying and not the others and what could the problem be? <It could be any number of things. The first thing to do is check your water quality. I'm assuming the dying guppies are showing no signs of disease? Sometimes this will happen for no explainable reason. I have noticed with my own Guppies that every once in a while they will go thru a period that I will lose several in a row even though everything is fine. Ill go thru a week or so period losing a bunch and then it will stop and I wont lose any for months. I still haven't been able to figure out why this happens. Sorry I couldn't give you more info! Ronni>

Re: New Tank Problems and General It seems my Ph was off. I have bad eyes. It took me a few hours but I got it neutral finally, and I plan on doing a 20% water change soon. My store is giving me a refund on my 2 guppies (14 day guarantees are so cool). Ill keep you posted :) -Ray in Texas <Glad you were able to pinpoint the problem and that your store is working with you. Good luck! Ronni>

Tailless Guppies Hello, <Greetings! Ronni here trying to answer messages in between the chattering of my teeth, its COLD!> I recently purchased 3 male guppies and some females to match, I have managed to lose all the males, but the females appear to be very well, I felt that they either had fin and tail rot, or had been fighting, the last time, that I had the fin and tail rot, all the fish suffered from this, but this time just the males, if that is what it was.  Is this possible?  I have treated the tank, but I want to replace the males.  Do you have any suggestions?   <Are the guppies the only fish in this tank? Its uncommon for guppies to inflict much damage on each other, especially to the point of dying. It may have been fin rot so keep an eye on your females. Go ahead and get some more males but be sure to quarantine them for several weeks before adding them to your tank. In this case the QT period will serve a dual purpose by allowing you to make sure the females and the new additions are fine without risking them infecting each other with something.> I also have a pair of swordtails, and I believe that she is pregnant, if I just leave her in her tank, how my days will she give birth?  This is the first time, that I have had babies from anything other than guppies, so I don't know much about them.  They are just in a community tank with some other non-aggressive fish. <It should take about 34 days from the time of breeding for the first batch of fry to arrive and the female can have babies several times from a single breeding. Raising the fry is like raising the fry from Guppies. The Swordtails will eat the babies so be sure to have plenty of cover for them and feed them a powdered food.> Thanks, Becky <You're welcome! Ronni>

Re: Tailless Guppies Thanks Ronni, I know that feeling about the cold temperatures outside, as it is pretty cold here. <Its warmed up a little here today. At least its warm enough to snow, its dumping on us. Sure is pretty though!> Your letter was a big help, especially with the swordtails, as I have never raised fry from them before.   <Glad I was able to help!> I visited the pet store that I purchased the original guppies from, last night, and discovered that the males indeed had the tail and fin rot, as there were others in the tank, that also had it!  The females look great, and I have since treated the tank, I found some healthy guppies, and I hope that all goes well. <I'm glad you were able to find out the cause of it and were able to find some healthy males. Good luck!> Keep warm, and Thanks again, Becky <You too! Ronni>

Fish swimming vertical I have a 30 gallon freshwater aquarium and one of my rainbow guppies is swimming vertical.  He hangs at the top of the water line and was swimming at an angle, now he is more vertical.  This happened just in the last few days.  Is there anything I can do to help him? Thanks, Stephanie <Unfortunately, this sounds like a swim bladder problem. There is no definite cure for this. Some people have had success with Epsom salts though, Go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com and use the Google search box to search for Epsom Salts to find the correct procedure. Ronni>

My guppies are dying Hi, <Hello> I bought guppies about three weeks ago 4 females and 2 males.  I bought a starter kit aquarium and did all the necessary testing.  About a week later one of my guppies got red spots all over her and died...then another one (the same thing) then another one...now I only have three females left...and one of them just started developing the same spots. One of the mothers just had a bunch of babies so I separated them in a fry net.  What am I doing wrong?  Will the babies die?  Help! Carolyne Chaput <If your water quality is normal (Ammonia/Nitrites 0ppm) it sounds as if there's a parasite problem. Place the affected fish in a quarantine tank and treat them with a medication for parasites. Your LFS should stock something. If possible, separate the babies into an entirely different tank from the adults to reduce the risk of them getting it. Ronni>

Guppies Stuff Hey guy. <<You got the girl today. :o) Ronni here.>> I just had one or two quick questions about Guppies. When guppies are pregnant, I've heard of something called a "Pregnant Patch" that appears on the guppies, what is that and where is it located? <<I haven't heard this term before but I'm going to assume that it's referring to the dark spot that appears on the belly of a pregnant female. If you look to the lower back of the belly you should see a dark spot, this is the babies that you are seeing thru the skin of the mother. Generally what you'll see will be an eye. Even if you can't see this spot (if you have a dark female you may not be able to) it's always pretty easy to tell when a female is pregnant just from the size of her belly. And odds are, if she's been with a male for even a tiny bit of time, she *will* be pregnant!>> Also, I hear that it's extremely easy to get guppies to breed and I would eventually like to have a tankful of them.   <<Definitely easy to get them to breed, they will breed no matter what you do!>> Is there any variable I can adjust to entice them to go about it quicker other than raising temperature? Because I've heard that that help in breeding almost any freshwater fish.    <<I've never even adjusted the temp in my guppy tank. I just keep mine at a normal temp. and my females are always having babies.>> Oh, and one more thing, Must I isolate the fry from the parents or the other guppies?  I'm half thinking they may be eaten. Thanks for your time guys. <<This is the hardest part but there are several options. The fry are so small that it's nearly impossible to catch them to isolate them. Once you see the babies you can catch the adults and move them to a different tank. Or you can use a breeding trap but these often don't keep the babies contained and can cause undo stress on the mother. My favorite option is just to put lots of plants in the tank and let nature take it's course. Some of the babies will undoubtedly still get eaten but many hide in the plants until they are large enough to hold their own. You can use either fake or real plants. Some of my favorite real ones for this are water sprite, duckweed, and elodea. Watch the water sprite and duckweed as they grow rapidly and can take over. Hornwort also works quite well and so does java moss but the moss is worse than anything I've ever seen about taking over a tank and once you have it it's nearly impossible to get rid of. Remember that diseases can be transported just as easily on plants as on fish so if you go with real ones a QT period is necessary.>>

Skinny guppies <Hello, Ananda here answering the freshwater fish questions...> Hello. I have been raising guppies for a long time and here lately I have been challenged on how much I know, from fish I have bought from the pet store, from ick to fin and tail rot. But this skinny guppy thing I have no idea they just wouldn't eat. They are so skinny its sad to see them like that. I have treated them with internal parasite guard with no response from them. Do you know of any thing I can do to get them to eat. thanks RHickman <I would try feeding them a high-quality frozen or freeze-dried food, like frozen bloodworms or freeze-dried Tubifex worms. If that does not work, try feeding them some live brine shrimp, which most fish find irresistible. Once they start eating, try again with the frozen or freeze-dried foods. Brine shrimp are not nutritionally sufficient for a long-term diet, but they do work well as an appetizer for fussy eaters. --Ananda>

Freshwater skin problem Hello a fish health question I hope you can help me with. <We'll give it a shot!> I have a female guppy, she has a red line on her side following the line of her scales about 5mm long surrounded by  skin that is turning white. She is kept in a community tank with good water conditions, the other fish do not show aggression towards her, could you please enlighten me on what it is. Also it has only showed up in the last day or so and she does scratch herself on occasion. <Hmm, could be ick (indicated by scratching) or it could be a fungus/bacteria depending on what it looks like. Small dots or lots of them is likely ick and patches are usually fungus/bacteria. When you determine this then go to the freshwater section of WetWebMedia.com for treatments.  Hope this helps you out! Craig>

Guppy Babies Hi I have set up a 10-12 gallon tank, I added fish over the last few weeks and have developed a slight nitrite problem. I am using cycle and feeding fish every 2-3 days as advised. The nitrite level is dropping very slowly, the fish I have include, 2 Plecos 2 male, 3 female guppies, 6 neon tetra, 2 catfish (Something like Doradid or something I have forgot the name). The problem is one of the female guppies has just given birth to 43 babies. I just want to know if this will cause problems or as I suspect help to mature my filter as they grow. Also how long would it take for my set-up to mature properly. (I was told the problem would go in a week following the New Tank setup on the bottle of cycle.) This has not happened. I have already lost faith in their advice since they told me something which had led to the death of a couple of fish. <I am not a big fan of their fish selection either.  The guppies prefer hard alkaline water, while the Neons prefer soft neutral water.  The Plecos (depending upon species) will outgrow this tank in time.  If the tank is new it may still be cycling, hence the nitrate problem.  Cycle (the product) may help, but it will still take time to cycle (the process).  The babies will add additional fish load to this tank.  I would go with frequent partial water changes to get the nitrates and ammonia down.  Best Regards, Gage> Thanks a lot

Where to purchase quality guppies Dear www.WetWebMedia.com Crew, I like to know where is the best place I can purchase show quality guppies. I have been hearing that there are a lot of scams and fraud on the internet businesses that sell live fish. Do you know of any good hatchery near the San Francisco Bay Area (or Northern California) or perhaps a reputable internet site where show quality guppies are sold? <I would look for positive feedback from other hobbyists as to where they got good fish from. Our message board is here http://WetWebFotos.com/talk/. Also, look for a local aquarium society. There is a good chance you could meet a local breeder at one of their meetings.> Can you also recommend me a place or internet site where I can purchase aquarium rocks and decorations at reasonable prices? <We have a ton of links for e-tailers on the website, www.WetWebMedia.com> Thanks a lot! Ann <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Emergency! Need help on guppies Dear Craig, <<Hi Ann,>> I wish I could return the fish but I can't because there is a no return policy at this guppy hatchery. I've gotten the help of a friend and she was able to set my Ph, ammonia, and nitrite at the right setting. The fish seems to be ok because it is actively swimming. <<Did the guppy hatchery tell you what you have? The first thing I would do if I were you would be to invest in a good book so you can find out everything you need to know to keep your guppies. You have enrolled in a crash course and there is more to learn than can be explained by e-mail. There is a ton of information on the Wet Web Media site if you find the name of your fish and type that into the search engine at the bottom of the page. I can tell you will need a filter and likely a heater depending on your location, you should get some test kits and monitor your water quality and perform water changes to keep waste from becoming toxic until the filter matures, several weeks.>>  Is there anything else I should do or look out for? My friend said the plant will help with the oxygen. Is that right?  <<Without a filter and water changes the fish and the plant will die from wastes. The plant may also need light.>> And what should I feed my guppy? I have no idea. Can you give me a brand name.  <<Not really. Any of the commercial flake foods will work.>> I have not fed my guppy yet since their arrival. Can you also tell which brand of water conditioner that is good for guppies. <<This is dependent on your water. You need to get a good book, some test kits, a filter, perhaps a heater, and fish food, in that order. Read the book before you buy the other stuff. TFH sells some decent short books on all kinds of tropical fish. Better get going, there is much to learn! That's half the fun!>> thanks so much Craig <<You're so welcome Ann! Craig>>

Re: Emergency! Need help on guppies Hi Craig, <Hi Ann> Thanks again for your kind help. I appreciate it very much. I have a question about what my friend recommended. My friend recommended that I add a tablespoon of rock salt and Furazone Green for a new fish in a new tank is she right? I am not familiar with Furazone Green is that an antibiotic? I asked the person from where I bought the fish from and he said that he does treat them with Furazone Green and salt. And by the way, he said that my guppy is a Japanese Blue Grass Long Fin Guppy. Will the Furazone Green be ok for this kind of guppy? Thanks again! Ann <Your friend sounds like she has some experience with livebearing guppies. This is a common name for your guppies, you need a family/species to look up information. If you bought these from a commercial guppy breeder than I would follow their advice, (IE: Furazone) as they likely know the condition of their stock. Use aquarium salt. The Nitrofurazone is commonly used when transferring these little guys to prevent disease. Follow the label for both. Some bunch plants will help your water quality which during this break-in time will be very important. Please go to WetWebMedia.com and type in "Guppies" in the Google search engine, it will show you all the articles on guppies. They *can* survive without a heater depending on how warm your house is, but I do recommend a small heater to provide a consistent temp. A live-bearing guppy book would be a great addition as well. They breed fairly quickly so don't be surprised..... Have fun! Craig> 

Emergency! Need help on guppies Dear wet Web Media Crew, <<Hi Ann, sorry you fell for this. This is clearly the fault of the store you bought these fish at.>> I did a stupid thing. I bought some expensive show quality guppies without even having a tank set up. So I hurried to the pet store to buy a 3 1/2 gallon tank and cleaned it with rock salt and hot water. Then I added tap water to the tank. Next I added 1 tablespoon of rock salt. Should I have done that? Then I added which I believe is a water conditioner called Ph 7.0 Seachem Neutral Regulator. There was a measuring spoon inside this bottle and I added 3 spoons of it. Next I tested the ph of the water and it came back blue which read at a ph of 7.6. I thought that was bad for the guppy so I added about 4 more spoonfuls and it was still the same result --blue. What should I do? Do you think the rock salt is causing the ph to be so high? I am seriously considering buying water at a pet store where I can buy reverse osmosis water for my fish ...is that ok for my guppy? My guppy has been in its original bag for one whole day already and I am getting afraid it might not have enough oxygen. I have asked two pet store owners whether I need a heater and filter and they said "no." They said as long as my room is constantly hot and that I have a plant for oxygen that it should be ok and that I change the water weekly too. Is this advice correct? My brother in-law bought the same fish and is in the same situation is I am. I notice his fish like staying in the bottom is that normal? Please help me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much! Ann <<Okay, I'll give you my best advice. Return the fish ASAP so they will survive. They are surely extremely stressed right now. Then get a good book on the fish you want to keep, properly set-up the tank and run it for two to three weeks with perhaps one inexpensive fish until it completes the nitrogen cycle, then perhaps entertain the idea of adding a couple small fish. I could give you all kinds of things to do to save the fish you have right now but honestly it would be like giving you a wolf cub and a bag of dog food and turning you loose. It won't end well and you will get discouraged and quit altogether. Instead, return the fish and get the information and equipment you need to be fully prepared for keeping fish. (not at this pet store) This is a very common problem, please don't feel alone!!! DO find a reputable fish store to help you. You will know it right away because they won't sell you fish before you have a cycled tank and they won't sell you a tank and fish at the same time. I'm truly sorry for your bad experience, I hope this helps you get started the right way. Craig>>

Emergency! Need help on guppies Dear wet Web Media Crew, I did a stupid thing. I bought some expensive show quality guppies without even having a tank set up.<I am a victim to the impulse buy as well.> So I hurried to the pet store to buy a 3 1/2 gallon tank and cleaned it with rock salt and hot water. Then I added tap water to the tank. Next I added 1 tablespoon of rock salt. Should I have done that?<That is fine> Then I added which I believe is a water conditioner called Ph 7.0 Seachem Neutral Regulator.<I am fairly certain this will remove chloramines, but read the label just to be sure.> There was a measuring spoon inside this bottle and I added 3 spoons of it. Next I tested the ph of the water and it came back blue which read at a ph of 7.6. I thought that was bad for the guppy so I added about 4 more spoonfuls and it was still the same result --blue. What should I do?<I would take a sample of the water to the pet store and have them test it to make sure your test is reading correctly.> Do you think the rock salt is causing the ph to be so high?<Nope, check the ph of your tap water, it is probably the same.> I am seriously considering buying water at a pet store where I can buy reverse osmosis water for my fish ...is that ok for my guppy?<That is fine, but tap water should work as well.> My guppy has been in its original bag for one whole day already and I am getting afraid it might not have enough oxygen.<If they packed the fish in O2 they should be ok, but you are cutting it kind of close, there is probably a lot of waste building up in the bag water.> I have asked two pet store owners whether I need a heater and filter and they said "no." They said as long as my room is constantly hot and that I have a plant for oxygen that it should be ok and that I change the water weekly too. Is this advice correct? <I would add a heater just in case the room temperature drops, temperature swings are no good. What kind of filter do you have on this tank? I would not rely on a plant to aerate the water. Weekly partial water changes are good. My brother in-law bought the same fish and is in the same situation is I am. I notice his fish like staying in the bottom is that normal? <They should become more active as they adjust to their new environment.> Please help me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much! Ann <I would float the fish in your tank so that the temp in the bag is the same as the temp in the tank, then open the bag up and add some tank water to the bag. Wait a few minutes then add some more tank water. By this time they should be ready to go. You do not want to add the water from the bag into your tank. You can pour the fish through a net, or carefully pour the water into a separate container, then transfer the fish. Please visit the link below for more information. Best Regards, Gage. http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwtips4beginners.htm>

Inducing Parturition in Guppies Hi I have a pregnant female guppy who seems to be have been pregnant for ages. She has looked like she is about to drop for the last couple of days but hasn't. is there any way in which I can induce pregnancy (birthing)? <have you considered playing Pop music non-stop for like 12 hours around the tank... that would make be lose control of all bodily functions and fluids> Thanks Mathew O'Neill <Hmmm... otherwise, let me share the observation that guppies have a short gestation. If it seems like yours has been pregnant for months... then what has actually been happening is that fry have been dropped (and eaten!) and the mother was promptly gravid again. Guppies like many livebearers store sperm and can/do have multiple broods (amazes aquarists that didn't know it after the male has died in the tank with each successive brood :) The birthing should NOT be induced or fry will be born prematurely. Slightly higher temperature speed up metabolic processes. Anthony>>

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