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Help! Guppy fry dying, pointed tails [Archive] -


View Full Version : Help! Guppy fry dying, pointed tails

February 21st-2009, 11:27 PM
Help! I'm a new guppy owner. Have spent 20 years with fish of varying types, last large african cichlid tank. These all did well. Stoppedhaving fish for about 15 years. Then about 4 months ago I sent up a small (15 gallon) tank. Plan was to have guppies. Had 3 plus a Cory cat. Tank cycled, lost one guppy. Seemed fine otherwise, water quality good. Added a clown loach - oops! Would grow too big but didn't research it enough. Anyways, turned out to be an agressive one - chased and fin nipped my guppies and cory cat :( Returned clown loach to pet store however one guppy died, one started having red gills and sitting on the bottom of the tank. Treated tank with Tetracycline. Red gills improved and guppy more energetic but never fully recovered, died. In meantime had added two more female guppies. Both had babies within 10 days of adding them to the tank. Only found two from first female, then 18 from second. Very excited! Placed them in plastic breeder trap with side vents. Second mom took about 3 days to give birth to all the babies, then never started eating and died 2 days later :( I fed the babies baby brine shrimp once daily and crushed general flake food once daily. They all did great for 2 1/2 weeks, then mysteriously (to me) started to have thin, pointy tails and die. Two had bent tails up like a "V" for a couple of days before dying. I then removed all babies from plastic trap and placed in net trap instead as I was concerned possibly water not circulating well enough in that trap as babies getting bigger. Still babies kept dying. Seem to eat well and be active then get pointy tails, look a little thin, swim with tails crooked or on their heads then die within 24 hours of originally looking thin. Eating right up until last 12 hours or so before death. No visible spots, etc. Other babies still look good but each day 1-3 die so only 6 left! Water tested - no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates. pH 7.2 Aquarium salt in water - 1 tablespoon for 5 gallons. Temp had been at 75 F but increased it to 80 F over last 2 days to see if it would help the dying fry. Adults seem fine, occasionally scratch. Aquaclear filter, foam plus charcoal plus ammonia chips. Have undergravel filter (I know, I know - controversial - but had one for 20 years previously with fish doing amazingly well). Good aeration. Some real plants, some fake. Real plants seem fine - few brown tips on the grasses but no rotting leaves or other contaminators. Got desperate yesterday and added Mirafix and Pimafix to tank water in hopes would help with some hard to see fungal or bacterial infection?? 3 more baby guppies died overnight since added treatments but remaining 6 seem alert, fat little tummies. Two have pointy tails though, one of which seems like the tail is bent a bit side to side like a snake when viewed from above. Originally I was wondering if I overfed the BB shrimp - the two days before the babies started dying I had added a larger chunk each day (frozen type) than previously - the babies ate very well and ate it all but had VERY large bellies. On some sites it has mentioned that this can cause intestinal blockages. Since then (about ten days ago) have only been feeding BBS every 2-3 days in small amounts. Have fed crushed flakes/crushed bottom feeder tablets/crushed algae tablets all mixed together and crushed very fine, tiny amounts 3-4 times daily so tummies slightly round but not excessive. But still dying!!! Help!!! Any ideas before last 6 die?? Should I keep treating with Mirafix/Pimafix?? I was doing 20% water changes twice weekly, full clean of tank with filters and suctioning gravel about 14 days ago (every 3 weeks or so). Add chloramine/chlorine remover drops to water before adding water to tank along with salt as above. Don't have significant water evaporation so not a problem with too much salt added or anything. Ideas anyone??? :confused: Please????

February 21st-2009, 11:37 PM
Are you sure there is not some kind of small parasite from when you added the clown loach?

Anytime I had a problem like that with fry I used Aquari-Sol and it seemed to clear it right up.

February 22nd-2009, 03:41 AM
Thanks for the help! I'm wondering if there IS some kind of disease or parasite but I can't actually SEE any abnormalities on the guppies. I actually looked at the closest local pet store for Aquari-sol after reading a bunch on diseases and meds on the web but they didn't carry it. Then I took the Mirafix and Pimafix instead as they are supposedly fairly guppy fry friendly and I am just wildly guessing if it's a bacterial or fungal or parasitic infection. If you've found Aquari-sol has worked for you and not killed the fry, I'll call around and see if I can find some tomorrow. Hmm - so then would I stop the Mirafix and Pimafix? Or finish the 1 week treatment of these first before using Aquari-sol? By which time my last few babies may be dead?!? Argh!! I wish I could magically know for sure what they are dying from and what if anything could help!

February 22nd-2009, 04:04 AM
Maybe not put all of your guppies "in one basket"...perhaps separate in to two groups. Divide the healthy looking ones to a clean jar of water with half old tank water if its not from that tank...if it is use only clean water that is conditioned and same temp...and treat the others in the tank. This way you wont be wrong all the way...and some guppies live to reproduce. Watch both closely. I have had this save lives! Quick cure has been one of my favorite meds. I dont have enough experience with prima fix and melafix..yet. I used them in the Moscow tank..some lived some didnt. The fry did survive the treatment amazingly. Clean water and a gallon jar is the best magic cure I have found.

February 22nd-2009, 05:07 AM
well sounds like closed fins and alot of times its tiny parasites that cause it.

Aquari-Sol will work for that.

Quick Cure will probably work as well.

February 22nd-2009, 06:33 AM
Thanks again for the replies!

I'll try to find some Aquari-sol tomorrow or Quick Cure if not that. Hopefully my little babies will hang in there. If not, I guess I need to treat the tank anyways in case it IS infectious, so the next batch of fry won't succomb to the same thing!

Sigh. I get attached to the little critters!

February 22nd-2009, 06:38 AM
Well keep the temp up and lights off till you get something.

I would add alittle salt maybe that will help some.

February 23rd-2009, 10:17 PM
Well, here goes. I've added Coppersafe to the tank yesterday. Aquari-sol is no longer available around here. The local stores are hoping to eventually get it again but there's no distributor right now. Coppersafe was the closest thing I could find. I am continuing to use Pimafix as well, but have temporarily stopped the Mirafix as it seems to create a lot of bubbles on the surface and "thick" appearing water (bubbles float slowly to the surface from the airstones) therefore I was worried it would affect the little guppy frys' oxygen exchange too much(?). Who knows. Seemed like too much to use all three meds at the same time. Anyways, another fry died overnight - I now have only two left. They are still eating and seem quite active but I don't have a ton of hope for them. We'll see. The adults and cory cats seem to be doing fine with the meds in the tank so far. Wait and see now . . .

March 9th-2009, 06:40 AM
Hi!! I've got great news! The Coppersafe did the trick! I lost one more guppy fry within 12 hours of putting it in (too sick, it didn't work quite fast enough) but my last, final guppy fry revived and is doing great 2 weeks later! She had a pointy tail as well but was a bit stronger I guess as she lived long enough for the medication to work. Her tail is full open again and she's very energetic and gobbling up food! There definitely must have been some type of parasite in my tank. The adults had been doing fine but occasionally scratching. Since adding the Coppersafe 2 weeks ago I haven't seen a single fish scratch! Thanks so much for your help - although I didn't manage to organize myself to post the dying fry question to you soon enough to save all my fry, I'm sure the next lot will do well since the tank is parasite free now!:D
Thanks again!

March 9th-2009, 10:25 AM
Awesome! :) great to hear and glad to help! :D