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Help! Guppy is swimming vertically, has become bent, and is missing part of his tail!

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by ElleGee, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. ElleGee

    ElleGee New Member

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    Hi, I'm new here.
    We have a 10 gallon tank with 6 guppies, 3 Mexican dwarf crayfish, and three racer snails.
    Last week ,all fish were healthy. A few days ago, I noticed that one guppy was swimming a little funny and he was slightly curved to one side, like a C if you were looking down from the top of the tank at him.
    Since then, it's been a few days, he has begun swimming more vertically - still active and looking for food, but having trouble. This morning, half of his tail has suddenly disappeared.

    Is this fungal? Bacterial? Is there hope for him? I don't want to infect the rest of the tank. I called Big Al's when he got curved, but they said to leave it and do nothing at the time. Everyone else in the tank seems okay so far. We did have one other guppy that died out of nowhere about a week ago, he showed no signs of illness though. He was just dead when we woke up.

    We have cleaned the regularly, about a third of the water, with the vacuum siphon thing, and have added the good bacteria drops in the water, and water conditioner every time. We are reserved about feeding them too much. We also have live plants in the water.

    Any suggestions?? Thanks!
     

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  2. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I hate to have to say this but guppies have become big carriers of fish TB. The bent, C-shaped spine is a symptom. The tail could be stress. Any other fish that could have nipped it off?
     
  3. ElleGee

    ElleGee New Member

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    I
    I appreciate your quick response. The other fish aren't aggressive towards each other. I've never seen any of them nipping at each other. Where would TB come from - the fish store? He was fine for weeks (we got it maybe six weeks or two months ago) and suddenly developed this. The last things we added to the tank were the snails a few weeks ago.

    Is there any way to treat TB? Will the other fish likely be infected as well? Darn........
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    It's not Fish Tuberculosis (TB) that's causing this.

    All freshwater crayfish are nocturnal scavengers and will attack fish at night. They should not be kept in aquariums with fish because eventually someone gets eaten.

    The guppies either have a bacterial infection or are being attacked.

    ------------------------
    How long has the tank been set up for?
    Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?

    What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH of the tank water?

    What sort of filter do you have?
    How often and how do you clean the filter?

    Have you added anything new (fish, plants, wood, etc) to the tank in the 2 weeks before this started?
    Do you add plant fertilisers, supplements or anything else to the tank?
    Are there any other fishes in the tank?

    ------------------------
    Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for the next 2 weeks or until the problem is identified. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

    ----------
    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.

    The crayfish will be fine with salt.

    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.

    If there's no improvement after a couple of days with salt and water changes, then post some more pictures of the fish.
     
  5. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Well, Colin and I have a difference of opinion here. Sadly, no, you can’t treat TB. Better to euthanize the fish. Bacterial infections won’t cause bent spines or c shape spine but can cause fin rot. Just my opinion.
     
    #5 Deanasue, Oct 19, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  6. Cheezy Chedda'

    Cheezy Chedda' New Member

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    Ive had a specific guppie for months now and shes had babies. However I noticed about a week ago her tail is curved downward like bent. Shes eating and swimming fine however.
     
  7. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Just keep an eye on her. TB will cause their spine to bend into a c shape.
     

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