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Please tell me she wont die?! Pregnant Guppy

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Feb 19, 2018
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As the title says: I have a pregnant guppy, been rather inactive for two days, which I know is fairly normal for pregnancy, but today she has developed a bulge near her anal fin. Surprisingly, she has come out of hiding, and is much more active than the last two days, but the bulge is concerning. I've read horror stories about fry getting stuck and killing the mom, and I'm hoping someone who has had the unfortunate experience, can advise on if this looks to be the case?

Tank is 20 gallon high, up for a few months. I know the nitrogen cycle. Water check is 0/0/15ish, ph 8.2, temp 78°F. Tankmates are 3 male guppies, 5 female guppies (6 including her), 3 otocinclus, honey gourami, half a dozen or so guppy fry. Use UGF w/maxijet 600 powerhead with spraybar on powerhead, and Aquaclear 50. Have airstone as well. No other fish show signs of illness, though recently lost neon blue dwarf gourami to what I believe was DGIV. Tank is fairly heavily planted. Also, I now feed once a day, to avoid overfeeding, variety of foods, frozen omega one super brine shrimp, tetra flakes and crisps, omega one pellets, fresh veggies, dried shrimp treats.

Pics below. Thanks in advance for any help!

She looks ready to drop. Keep her calm and let her be. Hopefully she will give birth without any problems.

Is this her first batch or has she given birth before?
If guppies are going to have issues giving birth it is normally their first time.
She has given birth before. Twice I THINK, as I had another female that looked pregnant and as though she may. Have given birth the same day. That blonde with orange tail has always been rather large. We call her "Big Momma" cuz she almost always looks ready to drop, other than the cloaca? (Or whatever the birth canal is called), and her gravid spot gets super enormous like it is. But she has seemed to have something bulging for nearly 24 hours now, and been hiding for over 72 hours.

However, lifting the lid and thoroughly inspecting her today, I noticed her left pectoral fin looks like someone took a chunk out of it. She has been hiding so well, even I hadn't been able to closely look at her, so it may have happened before her being shy. I dont think its rot, as it's only the one side, and only the pectoral fin. She swims a little wobbly, but she has for about a week, due to her size I think. So maybe its that? I'll keep you updated.

Also, another female I have, looked totally normal when I got her. Was normal for a few weeks, even though she was getting fatter due to pregnancy. Then, overnight it seemed, she developed an S curve in her spine. Might have happened over 2 or 3 days, as I didnt watch tank super close for a few days due to work. But now, she has the weirdest body shape, accentuated by her fat belly. I dont think it's normal, as none of my other females have had that happen. Maybe you can tell me if its TB, or if its genetics that showed upon weight gain, or something else? I'll get a pic up.

The bent female I would say is genetically bent and being heavily pregnant has exaggerated the problem. She could also be full of worms or have a growth in her, both of which would exaggerate the bent spine. Having lots of calcium in the water when they are young helps reduce spinal deformities but if its genetic then her parent/s had the same issue. Just monitor any fry she has and hope they aren't bent too. But good diet and lots of minerals in the water will provide them with a good start.

If you haven't treated the tank for intestinal worms you could try doing that after this current female gives birth and see how they look. Intestinal wormers are pretty safe but it is best not to add anything if the female is about to give birth.

Re: the fat guppy that is hopefully going to give birth. You could try raising the temperature a couple of degrees (to about 82F) and see if that helps.

The damaged pectoral fin won't be fin rot in your tank.
Just curious, I agree, it's not fin rot, though mine was just a guess, and yours is a statement I believe to be fact, but just curious, how you know it's not fin rot? Cuz its only one fin with one fish? Cuz my parameters are good? I just want to know, so I can avoid silly noob questions in the future. :)

And is the worm treatment the praziquantel or prazipro one? I have all shrimp in their own 10g now. So the 20g is just guppies, oto, gourami. The fish store, told me to try "Herbtana" when my gourami first showed signs of sickness, supposedly an herbal thing, smells like lemon and garlic, but obviously did nothing for the gourami if he did indeed have DGIV. In fact, I wondered if it actually caused more issues, since gourami is labyrinth fish, maybe the herbtana has same effect as the melafix, and makes it hard for labyrinth fish to breath? I have no idea.

I will keep a vigilant watch on all fish, especially ones mentioned. After I see them moms pop, I'll dose whatever the worm one is, just to be safe, as long as it doesnt totally destroy my BB, which i dont think it does on that one? And I am pretty sure I have HEAPS of calcium in my tap water, since anything that gets wet, anywhere in the valley, ends up with water spots. Rocky mountains, rocks, tons of minerals, and I know for certain my TDS are 300+, and they read 300 running through a PUR filter, no idea what it is without the filter! Thank you again for all your help @Colin_T I do appreciate it! I can directly attribute a good portion of my new addiction/hobby of fish, to you and your help!:-I dont drink, but if you do, and you are ever in the USA in Montana, hit me up and I'll buy you a cold pack. Lol. I owe ya.
Finrot is normally caused by bacteria or on rare occasions protozoans damaging the fins and bacteria getting in after the fins is damaged. It occurs in tanks that don't get cleaned enough and have poor water quality and lots of gunk in the substrate.

Good filtration from an established biological filter, regular gravel cleaning and cleaning of the filter, and big regular water changes prevent this issue from occurring. This is also the best way to treat the problem, big water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate. If that doesn't fix the problem within 24-48 hours then sometimes you add a medication to deal with the bacteria but normally clean water and good conditions will allow the fish to heal itself.

The physical signs of finrot include any fin (but usually the tail) starting to split and getting a cream/ white edge and red lines thru the fin. Red lines are blood being pumped to the wounded area (inflammation) in an attempt to fight off any bacteria that might be present, and to repair the damage.

I'm pretty sure PraziPro is just Praziquantel in a liquid form and does not have any other medications with it. Although it does have something to help the deworming stay soluble in the water.

Praziquantel only treats tapeworm and gill flukes and can be used for whitespot, but not much research has been done on that. You require a different treatment (Levamisole Hydrochloride is commonly used) for thread and round worms.

Normally you treat for thread/ round worms first then do tapeworm, but it doesn't matter which way you do it as long as you leave a few days between using the different medications and do a couple of big (75%) water changes between using them.

Neither Praziquantel or Levamisole have any effect on filter bacteria and only affect certain types of worms. And both are very safe for all fishes.

Herbtana, sounds like a hippy herbal concoction and probably best avoided if it has garlic or lemon juice in. Lemon juice can drop the pH and garlic is bad for most animals, including birds and fish. Not sure what effect citric acid has on fish but cats and dogs hate it so probably not good for fish either. And citrus peel can leave an oily film on the surface of water so you could be correct in it acting like Melafix on labyrinths.

The easiest way to treat the gourami iridovirus is to try and boost the fish's immune system by keeping them in good water at a nice temperature and feed them up with vitamin supplements. And then treat secondary infections that occur, and hope for the best. :)

As for your fish addiction, it has nothing to do with me. Go find someone else to blame for your MTS :)
Lol, too late @Colin_T I already told my wife today, it was your fault. After having issues, then getting advice from you, and others, on here, it didnt feel as daunting of a task to keep fish in good health.

I have been doing heaps of water changes, since I left most of the guppy fry in the tank, and for the first 10 days of their lives, fed 4x/day, so I did 10-15% ever day gravel vac, and 30-40% every 4 or 5 days. I've tested water every other day at minimum, usually every single day, have actually bought a second set of nitrate tests, the master kit ones didnt last me long. Temp is a constant 78°, hasn't fluctuated even 1° in months.

*NOW, for the bad news... My lights are on a timer for 10pm to shut off. About 10 minutes before they shut off, I saw big momma hovering just on the outside edge of hornwort, still breathing and flapping her fins. Was finishing an RCS drip acclimation on my other tank, been about 2 hours of that going, look in main tank, and see big momma wedged in between hornwort and glass, sideways, not breathing!:rip::shout::shout::shout::sad::byebye:

Now my M:F ratio is off AGAIN! 3:5 Althoufh Sophie isnt what he used to be, and doesn't pester the girls near as much, acts more as the tank ringleader, and they sleep next to him, to avoid the other boys trying to nail them.

Anyways, took her out of the tank, gently pressed on her belly, and out pops babies, nearly fully formed I think, maybe were already formed, and died inside wanting out? I'm not sure, I'm no birth expert. I dont recall seeing a rule about putting pics of dead fish? If there was, I'm sorry, I just wanted to see if you think that indeed was the cause of her death, was the inability to give birth? And the chunk out of her tail, was my fault grabbing her and it broke off, the rest of it is her as I found her.

how do i delete my
That's disappointing that she died. Complications during pregnancy :(

it's fine to post pics of dead fish. They give us information about health and illness. And other people can see what happens when things go wrong.

Your not having much luck with store bought guppies. Hopefully when your baby guppies have grown up you will have fewer issues with them :)

In an established tank you don't have to test water quality every day. Once the filters are working properly you only really need to check for ammonia and nitrite if you lose a fish to an unknown illness, or if the fish are looking off colour, gasping at the surface or have a cream/ white film over their body. The cream/ white film is excess mucous produced by the fish to reduce the chemicals coming in contact with their skin and is a warning sign something is not right.

Nitrates & pH can be checked once or twice a week before a water change. If the nitrates are above 20ppm then do a water change.

It's also a good idea to check your water supply for pH and nitrates about once a month just to make sure something hasn't changed recently.
Psychological trauma due to prolonged exposure to the spongebob crew :p (you do know I'm kidding right).

Been following your progress with interest - not jumping in so much cos I finally managed to get a job so I have other things to do with my time (not better but at least I get paid :rolleyes:). It seems to me you are doing all the right things and providing a great environment for your fish. So just thought I'd let you know the two reasons I stopped keeping guppies.
  1. Having to find new homes for them when the fry grow up
  2. Lots of deaths
Not really wanting to start a debate on how guppies have been bred / treated over the last few decades but it is a fact that they aren't very hardy and don't live very long. But the fact that they are such prolific breeders means you always end up with more than you started - although that may be a tough sell for your little guy. How is he doing on coming up with names for all of your new arrivals BTW :D.

So keep doing what you're doing and enjoy your fish.
Psychological trauma due to prolonged exposure to the spongebob crew :p (you do know I'm kidding right).

Are you sure the spongebob crew is actually aquarium safe? Some plastics and paints can start to break down after prolonged submersion in water.
I HOPE spongebob and crew are safe, as I purchased them at Petco, specifically for the aquarium! I think they are Penn Plax or something brand? I am sure it is devastating to the fish though. It is LITERALLY, the only thing I would change about that tank if I had my way, it's the only fake/unnatural thing in the tank. Well, and the heater, filters, and the gravel isnt as "natural" as I want. I'll have to get another pic up of the tank in the near future. I intend to put up a thread about a new tank addition soon.

As for the guppies @seangee my wife and I have already agreed, that when the batch of current adults is gone, we will no longer be doing guppies. We MIGHT keep some of the fry, IF they are just TOO gorgeous to give up, but even then, ONLY males. I am already over run with fry! There are about a dozen in the main tank, from 2 day old now, to 3 weeks old. It is fun to watch them grow, however I see firsthand how they got named "million fish" as my bent spine momma, gave birth to AT LEAST 88 FRY! I know that EXACT number, as I counted all 86 I caught and put in a breeder net, and know that I left at least 2 in the tank, which does not include however many the adult fish ate, and I know for a fact at least a half dozen were consumed, as I witnessed it, and witnessed activity that appeared to be fry being eaten, but didnt actually see the fry enter their mouths. But OMG exhausting! The only reason I saved them, was to put them in the 10g, to try and split my bio load a bit, until I can get rid of some...

I will stop doing water tests every other day then @Colin_T as I havent seen ammonia/nitrite in months, and nitrate is usually 10-30, but I do minimum of two small weekly changes, if not one of those being a larger one. I like to feed blanched spinach, but as they go all "shark week" on the spinach leaves, some falls to the floor, and not all of it gets picked up, along with hornwort occasionally dropping needles, is the reason I do at least two times per week. I've found that the levels seem more consistent this way, and the fish dont seem to mind, except the newest one. The guppies all come up, and actually "kiss" my arms and my hands, no fear or stress is apparent on any of them when doing water changes, which is good I think? They dont even wait for me to close the lid when I put my hands in with the food, and will be attacking the spinach while I'm trying to suction it to the glass!

Oh, and @seangee my son does surprisingly well with the death of the fishies, and even says "at least they wont be sad anymore right daddy?" Its pretty cute, and mature of him. No way hes coming up with names for ~100 babies though, and how would you recognize them all? But ya, I'm getting the heck out of this livebearer game for sure! I'm down to 3 males, and 3 females now! One got what I believe to be dropsy, actually have pics of her I could put up if needed, and the other I simply have no idea what happened, it was fine one night, swimming, eating, no clamping or gasping, and floating the next, with no apparent injury or illness? So ya, this unknown death thing that seems to HEAVILY plague females, moreso than males, and the ridiculous amount of fry, has put me off guppies. Plus, the main reason we got them, is because our very first tank was a little 3gallon, and I was told that guppies would be best for that, (2 males). Since I have a 20g and a 10g(shrimp/qt tank), I have a few more options on the type of fish I can keep! :)

... Although... I REALLY need another third tank, because I REALLY want a Pea Puffer!!! I got the MTS something FIERCE! :fish::fish:
The guppies all come up, and actually "kiss" my arms and my hands, no fear or stress is apparent on any of them when doing water changes, which is good I think?
They are tasting you, preparing for their big day :)

If you keep a number of the young guppies they should have a lot less problems than the adults :)

And kids can tell the difference between 100 baby guppies :)

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