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How Long Do Fish Store Guppies Live?

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#1 trianglekitty


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 10:10 PM

I've been losing one guppy every 3-4 weeks for the past few months, and I really don't understand why. The ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are all in normal range. There's been no big PH changes and temp is fine. I have noticed my tank suddenly developing brown film algae and I'm not sure why that is, but no other changes.

The symptoms are weight loss and hiding, then they die. They can look fine and then be gone within 24-48 hours. They also tend to have ragged fins, as if the other guppies are picking on them more.

The only thing I can think is just old age. I know guppies can live up to 3 years or longer, but it seems like I've read pet store quality guppies tend to be inbred and weaker. My guppies were probably about a year or a little less.

Any thoughts? I'm down to four and don't plan to add any more guppies once they are gone, but I'd like to do my best for those remaining if it is something treatable.

As a side note, the other fish in the tank (cories and rasboras) are fine- I haven't lost any of them or had problems.

Edited by trianglekitty, 12 September 2011 - 10:11 PM.

#2 Ducatiman


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 10:45 PM

Tell u exactly what it is. Columnaris. Guppies used to be very hardy but because of intensive breeding are now very weak. Poor store fish keeping or transit problems or any kind of stress brings this disease on and almost untreatable. Last month I had 50 male ad 50 female guppies delivered. I lost 35 females and 33 males within 4 days. They were mail order. Company replaced them and this second batch is a bit stronger but still loosing a dozen or so.. Symptoms- fish get White patches, bad fins, White mouth, stop eating, gasping and die.

#3 elisew


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Posted 12 September 2011 - 11:37 PM

The brown film you describe sounds like diatoms which is normally associated with new setups and I believe it can be produced from ammonia spikes. It can be cleaned by rubbing it off with your fingers before a good water change.
How often do you carry out a water change and what percentage of water do you change? You say that the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are all in normal range? What test are you using and what are the actual results that you're getting please?

Guppies are generally a lot weaker these days than they used to be, poor stock, interbreeding etc has unfortunately had a detrimental effect on an awful lot of stock that's imported to the stores but my concern is more with your water quality than the strength of the stock to be honest.

Can you please post the test results and the name of the test kit that you use?

#4 fish48


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Posted 13 September 2011 - 12:25 AM

Guppies used to be very hardy and are still very hardy

#5 trianglekitty


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Posted 13 September 2011 - 12:33 AM

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20

I do a 60% water change once a week. The tank has been established for almost a year.

My test kit is the Master API liquid test kit

Edited to add stocking level:

5 hengli rasbora
6 cory cats
4 male guppies

The tank is a 20 gallon, and the filter is a biowheel rated for a 50 gallon tank

I'm familiar with diatoms from my 'younger' less established tank- whatever this brown sludge is, it doesn't rub off nearly as easily. With the diatoms, I can wipe it off with just a finger- this I have to scrape off with my fingernail (or scrub off with a scrubber). It's only in a few spots.

My other concern is a population surge of pond snails, which would also point to more waste or ammonia. But I'm being very careful not to overfeed, so I'm not sure what's going on.

I will say my API kit is about a year old- I'll pick up a new one tomorrow. Maybe I'm getting false readings?

Another thing is my suction cups that hold my bubble wand down look 'eaten'- they look rather rough and not like new. Could something be leeching into the water?

Edited by trianglekitty, 13 September 2011 - 12:43 AM.

#6 trianglekitty


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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:23 AM

Update- they were out of master kits until Friday, but I picked up the API liquid test for just ammonia. The rating was 0, but I just did a water change yesterday, so I'll keep testing this week to see if it starts to climb (the tank is fully cycled, so it shouldn't).

I did have my biowheel stop spinning last week- I thought it was just for a few minutes (the hood pressed back against it) but maybe it was longer and I lost my bacteria colony.

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