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Sick, or maybe lazy, Male Fancy Guppy
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)20:29    Post subject: Sick, or maybe lazy, Male Fancy Guppy Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I am new to the forum and I don't have too much to offer--fish really aren't my thing, turtles are! But, Almost a month and a half ago I purchased a five gallon tank. I don't do anything fancy to it, just regular water changes and I add the appropriate water condition to it. There is no heater, and the fish really don't care.

I have fake plants and gem-stone gravel. There are two small neon tetras living in the tank, two male fancy guppies, and a yellow mystery snail. I feed them frozen brine shrimp, origionally purchased for a mean little dwarf puffer who lives alone now. Basically when its food time, everyone goes crazy and eats. Everyone has an appitite. Even the fish that I think might be sick?

So, the fish in question is a male fancy guppy. He has been with me from the start. He always eats, but never too much. Recently, the other male guppie that he origionally came with suddenly died. I don't really know what happened, he never looked sick. And, if anything, I thought that the tetras would die since they are more sensitive. But, not tetra deaths.

After the male guppie died, about a week ago, maybe a day or two after he died the other male guppy (the one in question) started being all lathergic. He will a lot of times just sit at the bottom of the tank, or swim up to one of the plants and plant himself in between a few leaves and just stay there. Whenever I break out the food he is the first one to jet over to it. He has quite the appetite. At first I thought that maybe he had parasites or something. So, I treated the water with anti-parasite stuff. But, I have noticed that he seems to be 'panting' a lot. Like, you can see him move his mouth and breath very very fast. I would think if it were a water problem, that the tetras would defently be sick, as well. I thought that maybe my guppie was sad that his friend died? The tetras came in a pair and the guppies were paired, and they were always together in their own groups. So, today I went to the store and I bought a small, young, fancy male guppie to maybe help the other one out. He still just sits on the bottom.

Can anyone give me any pointers as to what the problem may be? I don't add aquarium salt, but I've never really had a problem and I do have a snail and I thought that I wasn't supposed to add salt with the snail being in there?

Thank you!
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Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: 2007.01.18(Thu)14:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and Welcome!
First - does the tank have a filter? What are your water parameters? (Nitrites, Nitrates, Ammonia, etc.) How often do you do water changes? How long has the tank been running and did you cycle the tank?
Finding out those things will help us help you.
The fish you have are tropical fish and need a heater. Lethargy and death can be caused by too cool of water.
I also believe that you are pushing the limits of a five gallon tank with that many fish. A five gallon is really only big enough for one fish (like a Betta, however, IMO it's even too small for a Betta - others will disagree on that point), or snails and some shrimp. Tetras are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least five or six to maintain health and happiness so they really need to be moved to a larger tank or returned to the store.
The description you gave makes it sound like the Guppy was needing more oxygen (filter) or you have an ammonia problem.
You do not need any salt in that tank. These are freshwater fish and not brackish water fish.
135 gln. freshwater tank
29 gln. freshwater tank
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.01.20(Sat)15:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,
Yes, the tank has a filter. The filter is internal and includes charcoal. I don't test the water, but I really don't know if there is a serious problem with the water considering it is only one fish that appears to be having problems. All of the other fish in the tank are very active, and ARE NOT gasping for air. If there was a problem with the parameters of the water, wouldn't all fish of the same breed as the one in question be having problems? Or, wouldn't all of the fish be in trouble? I do partial water changes every week at least. Sometimes I do them more often. I understand water and filtration and I know never to do too much or else I'll kill off all of the good bacteria-- I have a 20glong tank and a 55 gallon tank-- a rena filstar XP3 for the larger and an XP1 for the smaller. I've had both for many years now. I've kept fish in the 55 gallon tank and they have thireved, fancy guppies, but since then I've had to remove all of the pants because the resident of that tank destroys them, they get clogged in the filter, and I have a lot more work to do.

The tank has been running for over 1.5 months now. If cycling means to run it good and well before the fish are actually put in it, yes of course I did that. It was running about a week before anything was put in there. With the appropriate water conditioners and such.

I understand that you think I need a heater for my fish; however, the tank water, as well as my house, is kept about 75 degrees year round. I hate the cold. Its why I don't have a heater for the fish--because their water isn't cold. I have a heater in my other tanks, but if I would move any of the fish over to one of them they might become someones dinner by wind of my turtle. I understand you belive that I am pushing the limits for a five gallon tank, however, because the fish are very small, one gallon per fish doesn't see too drastic to me. I know tetras are schooling fish and I had three of them at the begining, but within hours the smallest one died. After that, the two pairs of fish seemed to stick to their pair and get along really well in the tank. I would have replaced the tetra but they don't seem to be unhappy.

So, I guess the main question I have is if somethink was wrong with the water paremeters, wouldn't all of the fish be having problems, instead of just one?

Best Regards--
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