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Guppy emergency!

claire’s_lil_gups

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Hello, everyone --

I had four baby guppies in a five-gallon tank -- three males, one female. As they got bigger and the males got more excited, I got a ten-gallon for my female guppy. I moved her into that tank, and I got a second female and put her in as well. I let the tank cycle, tested the water, floated the bag, everything. But for a day or two after being introduced, the two fish would just hang at the very top corner of the tank behind the heater. I was worried, so I put the divider up in the old tank and moved them there, and they were immediately fine again.

Earlier today, I changed one third of the water. The three males are active and completely fine, but the three females are sitting at the top again. When I had the four fish in the tank together a while ago, they never had issues with water changes. Even after I moved the original female and new female to the old tank, they were always fine with water changes. Why does this keep happening? I didn't do anything differently than usual, and I didn't change enough water to disrupt the cycle.

Thank you for your help,
Claire
 

Colin_T

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There might have been something that contaminated the new tank and that has stressed the 2 females and weakened them. Then moving them into the old tank will stress them again, and if you did another water change on the old tank just after moving the females in there, that would stress them too.

Test both tanks for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

Leave both females in the males tank and don't do another water change for a week.

When you do a water change, get a clean bucket that is only used for the fish, and fill it with tap water. Add the recommended amount of dechlorinator to the bucket of tap water and aerate it for at least 5 (preferably 30) minutes. This will allow the dechlorinator enough time to come into contact with and neutralise any chlorine/ chloramine molecules in the water, thus making it safe for the fish.

After the water has aerated for at least 5 minutes, then use it to fill the tank.

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Post some pictures of the fish so we can check them for diseases.

And increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.
 
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claire’s_lil_gups

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There might have been something that contaminated the new tank and that has stressed the 2 females and weakened them. Then moving them into the old tank will stress them again, and if you did another water change on the old tank just after moving the females in there, that would stress them too.

Test both tanks for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.

Leave both females in the males tank and don't do another water change for a week.

When you do a water change, get a clean bucket that is only used for the fish, and fill it with tap water. Add the recommended amount of dechlorinator to the bucket of tap water and aerate it for at least 5 (preferably 30) minutes. This will allow the dechlorinator enough time to come into contact with and neutralise any chlorine/ chloramine molecules in the water, thus making it safe for the fish.

After the water has aerated for at least 5 minutes, then use it to fill the tank.

-------------
Post some pictures of the fish so we can check them for diseases.

And increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.
 
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C

claire’s_lil_gups

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Thank you for your reply. They look a lot worse this morning.

I didn’t change the water immediately after putting them in the old tank — they were there for a few weeks.

I’m really worried. What do I do?
034CB0AB-B0B7-4645-94BC-0C1DB8082614.jpeg
1FA8D1A5-16E2-4CC5-BE77-DB24C89677A5.jpeg
 

Colin_T

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check the water quality
do a water change and gravel clean the substrate.
add some salt.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 2 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water.

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 4 heaped tablespoons 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 using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.
 
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claire’s_lil_gups

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I checked the water quality recently (everything was fine), but I will do it again. I don't know why the two females are affected but the three males aren't. I will add aquarium salt, too.

I just fed them and they were swimming around and eating just like they usually would. Now that the food is gone, though, they are hovering at the top again.
 

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