Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

female guppy with clamped tail

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by stacey falls, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. stacey falls

    stacey falls New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have a female guppy who appears to have a clamped tail. she was fine yesterday, but today she doesn't look great.

    it is a fairly established tank. i have 0 ammonia. i have 8 guppies total, one is male and 7 are female, in a 10 gallon tank.

    i have a good filter system and no obvious diseases. i don't know about nitrite levels, but since our city's water has a lot of chloramines, i always use a water conditioner that takes care of nitrites too. like i said, though, the tank is pretty well established.

    over the summer, i had some problems with cyanobacteria. i got a new filter, and that seems to have cleared the problem up. i see no visible cyanobacteria anymore. now and then i get a little snail who rode in on some plants.

    i can't figure out what is wrong with her. my water quality seems good. it isn't overcrowded, yet, she looks really unhappy. any ideas?

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Hi and a very belated welcome to the forum :)
    I am sorry for the late response but your thread has been hiding somewhere on the forum and only just been made available to me to see :)

    How long has the tank been set up for?
    How often do you do water changes and how much water do you change?
    Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?

    How long has the new filter been running for?
    How do you clean the new filter and how often do you clean it?
    Is the old filter still running on the tank with the new filter?

    ------------------------
    Do you know what the general hardness (GH) and pH of your water is?
    You might be able to find the GH on your water company's website or by telephoning them. They will also have the pH but I would prefer to know the pH of the tank water because it can be different to the tap water due to fish food and waste in the tank.

    If you don't know the pH and GH, take a glass full of tank water to the local pet shop and ask them to test it for you. Write the results down in numbers. If the shop says "your water is fine", ask them what the results are in numbers. When they test the GH ask them if the test is in ppm or dGH, they give different results.

    While they are testing the water you can also get them to check the ammonia, nitrite & nitrate. Again, write the results down in numbers. You can also take a separate sample of tap water to the pet shop and get them to check that for nitrate. Some countries have nitrates in their water supply and this ends up in the aquarium. It's a good idea to know what you have coming out of the tap as well as what's in the tank.

    When you get the results from the water tests, post them on here along with a picture of the fish clearly showing the problem.

    Have you added anything new to the tank in the last 2 weeks?

    ------------------------
    If you have some spare time and want something to read, the following link has some information on what to do if your fish gets sick. It is pretty long and boring but worth knowing. You can print it off and read it in bed to help you fall asleep. :)
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-to-do-if-your-fish-gets-sick.450268/
     
  3. stacey falls

    stacey falls New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    that guppy died the day after i posted this. though i am still interested in making sure other fish don't die. to that end here is my response to your questions. (note, within the last few days, i notice about 3 or 4 new fry. is it possible she was pregnant and died in childbirth?)

    How long has the tank been set up for?
    In its current incarnation, it has been up since August.

    How often do you do water changes and how much water do you change?

    Every month or so, I do a 10% water change.

    Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?

    yes.

    How long has the new filter been running for?

    about a month or more.


    How do you clean the new filter and how often do you clean it?

    at first i cleaned it a lot because of the cyanobacteria buildup. lately, it doesn't get as gunky, so maybe once every couple of weeks. i just rinse it all in tap water then dunk it in a bucket of water treated with the water conditioner.

    Is the old filter still running on the tank with the new filter?

    no.

    ------------------------
    Do you know what the general hardness (GH) and pH of your water is?

    GH--not sure pH--8.36

    Have you added anything new to the tank in the last 2 weeks?

    no, not in the last two weeks,-though, after the filter seemed to take care of most of the cyanobacteria, i noticed some still under my rocks and marbles at the bottom, so i took all the marbles out, rinse them and put them back. i didn't wash the rocks, just the marbles. i also didn't change the water. i did that about a month ago. i also noticed a plant that wasn't staying rooted very well. it kept coming unrooted, so i put it in a little terracotta pot, like a potted plant, to give the plant more depth. and i added a rock with little holes and nooks for fry. that was all about a month ago.

    also, note, this tank is in an environmental science lab, and right now my students are doing water quality tests, so i also happen to know my dissolved oxygen level is 6.0 ppm.

    nitrates are high, higher than 3 ppm
     
  4. stacey falls

    stacey falls New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    actually, i think the filter is about 2 or more months old.
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    11,200
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Clamped fins and tails can be caused by poor water quality, bacterial or protozoan infections. Normally it is from poor water quality that encourages protozoans to flourish in the water and they do the damage.

    Female livebearers (including guppies), do sometimes die during labour, however the clamped tail would suggest something else, or possibly a contributing factor.

    ------------------------
    I would recommend bigger water changes done more frequently. If possible do a 50-75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each week or at least once a fortnight (preferably 75% each week). Fish live in a soup of microscopic organisms ranging from bacteria, fungus, protozoans, flukes, and various other things. The big water changes help to dilute nutrients and disease organisms in the water making it a healthier environment for the fish.
    Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    When you do water changes make sure you use buckets specifically for the fish. If possible get a couple of new buckets and use a permanent marker to write "FISH ONLY" on them. Keep those buckets with the fish keeping gear and don't let anyone use them for anything else.

    ------------------------
    Filters should be cleaned at least once a month and every 2 weeks is great :)

    When you clean the filter materials, you should wash them in a bucket of tank water. When they are clean, wash them in a second bucket of tank water and then put the filter materials in the aquarium or a bucket of clean tank water.

    Wash the filter case and motor under tap water, then put the filter materials back in the filter, fill it up with tank water and turn it back on.

    ------------------------
    Tanks kept in science labs sometimes get cleaning products on them (from the cleaners). It is a good idea to put a sign on the tank addressed to the cleaners saying "Do not touch aquarium and do not spray anything on or near the aquarium".

    This should help prevent the cleaners from using various products on the tank and possibly poisoning the fish.

    Cleaning products are not an issue with the dead guppy, I am simply mentioning this because I have seen aquariums in schools and various other places that have been sprayed or contaminated by the cleaners.

    ------------------------
    If any more fish get clamped fins, the best thing to do is a big water change and gravel clean the substrate, then add some salt (sodium chloride) that does not have any anti caking agents in. You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

    If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

    Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

    The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate will affect some plants. The lower dose rate will not affect plants.

    After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that.

    ------------------------
    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.

    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

    ------------------------
    There's more information about what to do if a fish gets sick at the following link. It is similar to what I have written above but more in depth. It's long and boring but might be worth a read if you have some spare time. I suggest printing it out and reading it in bed to fall asleep. :)
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-to-do-if-your-fish-gets-sick.450268/
     
  6. stacey falls

    stacey falls New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page