Guppies strange behaviour

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
Dear All
I am new here. Let me introduce myself. My name is Lucas and I have set up my "low tech" tank at 6th of November.

Here are some details about my tank:
- 60l tank
- 11W light ( I know its very poor, but thats how I got it with the lid, I am planning to upgrade it next week by adding another 15W bulp plus reflector, all in all I should get at least 0.5W/l)
- as a begginer I have made some mistakes and I didn't use proper substrate, all I have is a white sand mixed with gravel. I am adding root tablets once a week to support my plants.
- 100W Tetra Heater
- aquael fzn-3 external filter (cascade)
- 100 APS Tetra air pump with long air stone

- water parameters:
NH3/NH4+ - 0.00 ppm (present reading - just bought the test kit)
NO2 - 0.5 mg (was like that at 19th November), I am assuming its close to 0ppm now as my ammonia is 0 as well.
NO3 - 5-10mg/l (was like that at 19th November when I have borrowed test kit from my friend)
pH - 6.9 in the morning, 7.2 - evening ( I have a digital pH meter, so I am doing a lot of measurments to track my water pH changes)
KH - 40mg/l (measured at 3rd Dec)
Gh - 80mg/l (measured at 3rd Dec)
Free Cl - 0 ppm
Total Cl - 0 ppm

- plant list:
nymphoides sp "Taiwan"
Utricularia graminifolia
Anubias bart v. Nana
Bacopa caroliniana
Cabomba caroliniana
Egeria densa
Lilaeopsis mauritiana

- Fish list
Bronze corydoras (2x) - introduced to the tank 2 weeks ago (both fine, very active, looks healthy)
Corydoras paleatus (2x) - introduced to the tank 2 weeks ago (both fine, very active, looks healthy)
Ancistrus dolichopterus (bushymouth catfish (1x) - introduced to the tank 2 weeks ago (looks fine)
Guppies (4x) - 1 male, 3 females - introduced to the tank 1st of December
Neon Tetra (4x) - introduced to the tank 3rd of December
Cardinal Tetra (2x) - introduced to the tank 3rd of December

Here is the description of the problem that I have recently encounter.
Last saturday I have bought 4 guppies from local Pets at Home store and introduced them to the tank, they were all fine, look very healthy, eating and swimming very fast.
On monday I have received 4 Neon tetra and 2 Carinal Tetra from my friend, I have moved them to my tank somewhere around 6pm. After an hour or two I have noticed that my Guppies started behaving very strange.
Guppies stopped swimming around the tank, staying in one place just near the water surface
IMG_2448.jpg

Forgive my the quality of the photo. Photo taken with iPhone.
Below a photo presenting my tank in full:
IMG_2419.jpg

I have done a partial change of water (10l) yesterday evening, thinking about NO2 poisoning. But my other fishes are just fine.
This morning male Guppie refused to eat... I am gettin worried!
Is it possible that the Guppies went through some sort of shock after introducing Neon Tetras? Are they sick or stressed?
Please HELP!
Thank you in advance!

EDIT: I have made a short movie to show you all what is it look like:
http://youtu.be/AphN1WzrU5c
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
My air pump is on all the time. I will measure the COD's tomorrow.
Just to mention this again, this started happening almost stright after I have introduced my Neon tetras.
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
I've done few test today:
Refractive angle: 3.368 same as DI water
Conductivity: 144.5 uS
COD's (Chemical Oxygen Demand): 42mg/l

Anyone could help interpreting these results?
 

gmartins

Member
Joined
31 Jan 2011
Messages
308
Location
Azores
I think your COD value is a tad large but it does not necessarily indicate much as COD not only measures the amount of biologically active substances such as bacteria, but also biologically inactive substances in the water.

What I find interesting is that your water is quite soft, whereas guppy tend to live in mildly hard water in their native habitat. If this is problem for captive-bred gyppy however I don't know.

Have you changed anything that may have increased the current? I find that gyppy struggle a bit and tend to stay in areas where current is lower.
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
Nope not at all. I have only changed around 10% water twice.
The area where I live (West Yorkshire), got pretty hard water.
It says on YW website:
"The water supplied to the zone is classified as being slightly hard to moderately hard water, which is river/reservoir derived. As we have a gridsystem in place whereby we can move water around the Yorkshire region as required, occasionally the hardness of your water may vary."

Calcium - mg Ca/l 44.5
Magnesium - mg Mg/l 3.6
Total Hardness - mg Ca/l 50.4875

I have a piece of bog wood in my tank, is it possible that it is making my water so soft?

The sample of water which I have used for COD's analysis was collected at 7 AM. (note that i am switching my fillter off overnight (6 hours). I know I shouldn't but my tank is in our bedroom and my wife keeps saying that she can hear the fillter running and it won't let her sleep... I know I KNOW!:)
So maybe that is why is a bit higher, I will collect another sample on the afternoon and measure it in the lab tomorrow (I have an access to a lab at work).

Regards
Lucas
 

hinch

Member
Joined
31 Oct 2011
Messages
693
Location
South Yorkshire
you're switching your filter off for 6 hours a night?
I'm surprised the tank isn't completely dead! over night with no fresh oxygen flowing through it all the blahblahblahblah in the filter and the bacteria is dying and rotting so when you turn your filter back on the first thing that comes out of it is 99% toxic. stop turning the filter off! if the missus doesn't like it either tell her to sleep in the spare room or move the tank out of the bedroom
 

gmartins

Member
Joined
31 Jan 2011
Messages
308
Location
Azores
virgojavier said:
The area where I live (West Yorkshire), got pretty hard water.
It says on YW website:
"The water supplied to the zone is classified as being slightly hard to moderately hard water, which is river/reservoir derived. As we have a gridsystem in place whereby we can move water around the Yorkshire region as required, occasionally the hardness of your water may vary."

Calcium - mg Ca/l 44.5
Magnesium - mg Mg/l 3.6
Total Hardness - mg Ca/l 50.4875
Well... your TDS reading is saying otherwise - that you have pretty soft water.

GM
 

spyder

Member
Joined
7 Mar 2011
Messages
1,020
I would investigate the P@H tank that you had the guppies from and see how they are getting on there. Guppies are virtually bullet proof. If you have water quality issues your tetras should give the early warning signs, not the guppies.

And as to what Hinch posted about the filter. 100% uptime is required. It's a piece of kit you can't just turn on and off when the Mrs wants to sleep. We can see who wears the trousers in your household. ;)
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,720
Location
Cumbria
Guppies are a strange fish often wrongly categorised as being bullet proof and used to mature tanks. I have V soft water and have never had any luck with these fish. They only seem to last a few month where more "sensitive species" do alright. IMO they do prefer harder water, also when keeping things like tetras unless in large numbers they to tend to like having a nip at long flowing tails. Keeping larger numbers reduces it but doesn't totally stop it. When there are a few of them they seem more interested in each other than other species.

You probably don't want to hear this but as previously mentioned knocking your filter off is a definite no-no. The filter is the life support system for the fish, without it you're depending on the plants to deal with waste bi-products which anyone using these walstead/natural principles if you like is a fine tuned, can go wrong any moment set up with everything in perfect balance.

What you have done by introducing the fish just lately is put extra demand on the filter which needs to gradually build up enough bacteria to deal with the extra load and then knocked it off. With no supply of oxygenated water the bacteria you need will die off in large numbers and possibly even become toxic. The next time you knock it on this will all be spewed into your tank.

Earplugs Maybe?
 

Clifford

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2012
Messages
42
Location
Leighton Buzzard
Guppies are farmed on a vast scale and as a result of much inbreeding many of the guppies available in shops seem susceptible to just about every ailment there is.

Most guppies are nowhere near hardy!

In common with most of the poeciliidae family they "naturally" hail from hard water areas.
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
I would like to say big thank you to all for very helpful posts!
Female Guppies are better now, started swimming normaly. Male still stays in one place, refuse to eat again. Will see if he will get hungry today. If not then I am afraid he wont take it much longer...

BTW. Filter was left switch on last night:)
 

hinch

Member
Joined
31 Oct 2011
Messages
693
Location
South Yorkshire
give it a few days to settle down and balance out perhaps do quite a large water change and it'll all be fine again.
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
Unfortunately I have lost all my guppies now... and I have started loosing my Tetra Neons now.
There is 11 of them in the tank now. 2 b
Here are my recent test results:
pH 7.1 (evening measurement)
pH 6.85 (morning measurement)
Water Temp. 26.5
NH3/NH4 - 0 ppm
NO2 - 0 ppm
NO3 - 10 ppm
COD's - 35 ppm
TDC - 117.1 ppm
Free Cl - 0
Total Cl - 0
GH - 6 d
KH - 3 d

Fishes:
Bronze corydoras (2x) -
Corydoras paleatus (2x)
Ancistrus dolichopterus
Panda corydors (3x)
Cardinal Tetra (3x)
Neon Tetra (8x)

First I thought its the swimming bladder because one of my Tetra Neons was swimming like that " \ " but now I am pretty sure that it is Mycobacterium....
All the symptoms:
Weight loss, non-healing open ulcers, a distended abdomen, loss of appetite, fin erosion, unusual coloration.

Am I doomed? What to do..... HELP PLEASE!
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,495
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I'd try to change some more water and then see what the COD value are (it is a bit of a strange thing to measure, are you using the potassium permanganate method?). The air pump doesn't really make up for not having the filter on, if you can't run the filter 24/7, you need to reduce your stocking.

I would be worried about any COD values greater than 20 mg/l, but the TDS value is low, so something doesn't quite add up. Plant growth looks really good, so I might stop adding the root tabs for a while.

Both Guppies and Neon Tetras are often of dubious quality due to in-breeding etc so it may be totally unrelated to anything that has happened in the tank. Personally I'd not add any more fish for a while and see what happens. My suspicion would be that things will settle down with-out any more deaths.

cheers Darrel
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
Thx Darrel
i have managed to convience my wife and from more then two weeks, filter is running non stop 24/7:)
CODs are being measured in the lab in the company that i am working for. Im using a spectrophotometer to determinate it. All the test methods used in the labs are validated according to the iso standards, so i am pretty sure that the readings are quite accurate.
I am going for a two weeks abroad tomorrow. Im gonna leave my fishes alone, see whats gonna happen.
maybe my absence will help lol:)
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,495
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I am going for a two weeks abroad tomorrow. Im gonna leave my fishes alone, see whats gonna happen. maybe my absence will help
They should be all right for a fortnight.
CODs are being measured in the lab in the company that i am working for. Im using a spectrophotometer to determinate it. All the test methods used in the labs are validated according to the iso standards, so i am pretty sure that the readings are quite accurate
That makes sense, as it isn't the sort of thing you can do at home. They are probably using potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) in conc. sulphuric acid (H2SO4) as the oxidising agent, it tends to give a higher COD figure than potassium permanganate (KMnO4), because it is a much more efficient oxidiser. Potassium dichromate is coloured orange/yellow (depends on the pH) and since it is reduced to chrome ion (Cr+++) which is green solution, spectroscopy can be used to measure the reduction of the dichromate with the water. I think it is read at 350nm, but I'd have to check. If any-one is interested in the process it is described pretty well here: <http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Research/COD-215nov.pdf>.

COD is usually used for more polluted water and 5 day BOD for cleaner supplies, no chance of them being able to do a BOD instead?

cheers Darrel
 

virgojavier

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2012
Messages
99
Hi Darrel
You are right. Here is the brief description of the method which I use:
The results in mg/L COD are defined as the milligrams of O2 consumed per liter of sample under the conditions of this procedure. The sample is heated for two hours with sulfuric acid and a strong oxidizing agent, potassium dichromate. Oxidizable organic compounds react, reducing the dichromate ion (Cr2O72–) to green chromic ion (Cr3+).
When the 0.7–40.0 or the 3–150 mg/L colorimetric method is used, the amount of Cr6+ remaining is determined. When the 20–1500 mg/L or 200–15,000 mg/L colorimetric method is used, the amount of Cr3+ produced is determined. The COD reagent also contains silver and mercury ions. Silver is a catalyst, and mercury is used to complex chloride interferences.
350nm are used if you want to measure it in ultra range which is 0.7 to 40 mg/l
i will repeat my tests after my holidays
merry Christmas
Lukasz
 
Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,720
Location
Cumbria
Never being one to look down my nose at science but I think this is more to do with the fish than what you're discussing with Darrell. Like mentioned neons and guppies are strange animals and seem to be bacterial disease magnets in my experience. I always have suffered with fin rot in guppies and neon tetra disease where the colours fade and I don't believe it's the way I look after them and more to do with bulk breeding.

Sounds to me like you got off to a bad start with the tank by knocking the filter off and loading up with fish. Fish that are susceptible at the best of times. These have picked up an infection and it's spread like wild fire. Start again with some big water changes and a filter clean. Some blackwater extract products and leaves can help reduce bacteria levels by having a light sterilising affect or products like Myxazin by waterlife is a pretty good product for killing off certain bacteria (do not use with inverts in the tank) copper based medicine is not shrimp friendly! If you wanted to go the whole hog UV sterilisers are at the top end.

Build your fish stock back up slowly and try and pick which fish look healthy and have been quarantined in the shop not just fresh in this morning. If you see any signs of problems don't add any more fish until it's cleared up. Adding more fish is just adding more hosts.
 

Similar threads

Top