kerchung kerchung
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  • Posted on: 11/6/2013 22:31
Why did my guppy die? #1
Please see video in link below too...

Guys, I wonder if you can shed any light on why my guppy died. :(
This is my first tank and only had fish in for 4 days and already there's a casualty.
I did a fishless cycle as suggested on a newly purchased Biorb Life 30 with heater set to 25 degreesC. Took around 50 days for the cycle and did a 80% water change at the end of cycle. Tested the tank before introducing fish and made sure Ammonia and Nitrite levels were 0.
Introduced 3 guppies and 1 Molly on Saturday, following procedures recommended. i.e. leave the bag in the tank for 15 mins etc.
At first all of them were very spritely, seem to love the space and love the food I feed (Aquarian Tropical Flake).
All was well until this morning where I noticed one of the guppies was quite still and hanging around the back of the tank. The others are still as spritely as the day I got them, but this one showed no interests in the others and just stayed near the back of the tank. A few hours later I thought it had gotten better as it was swimming a bit faster, but it was also gasping for air. I kept an eye on him and he seemed to really struggle and runs out of energy, sinks to the bottom and sprints back up again to gasp for air. This went on for about an hour, it was agony watching him die and I couldn't do anything about it :(
I quickly moved him into a bucket of fresh water, which I've been preparing for water changes, so the water is aged and de-chlorinised. And he did the same thing in this bucket, until he completely ran out of steam and died :(
It was so sudden, although he was struggling at the end, it seemed like such a quick death, i don't know what happened.
All the other fish in the tank seem quite happy, no sign of disease.
Tested the water and the levels are:
Ammonia 0ppm Nitrite 0ppm Nitrate 50ppm PH 8.2
I held him in my hands when he died and he looked as beautiful as the day I got him, I noticed 1 tiny red spot on his belly.
So what could it be?
I did try to feed them a few Hikari Staple the night before as I got it as as a sample. Their mouths were too small to take them. Could it be food poisoning? or he couldn't digest such a big pellet? Could it be just old age? Could the Nitrate and PH levels be too high? how comes the others are ok?
I'd be most grateful if someone can give me a clue so that I don't make anymore mistakes if it is my fault.
TL;DR?
New to fish keeping, first guppy died after 4 days. Other fish ok. Have no idea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQyM34zjhaM&feature=youtu.be
Sick Guppy
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 11/6/2013 23:26
Re: Why did my guppy die? #2
Hi

What level of ammonia did you use to cycle? Not that I think it's that to be honest and he was possibly sick when you got him.

However, you will have problems ongoing because the tank is far too small for the fish that are in there. A 30 litre tank (less than that once gravel etc are accounted for) really isn't big enough for any fish at all, and definitely not for Guppies or Mollies. Have a look at the cares sheets for Guppy and Molly and you'll see what I mean.

In the interests of the fish, it would be best to return them to the shop and restock with shrimps or snails rather than fish.
kerchung kerchung
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  • Posted on: 12/6/2013 0:09
Re: Why did my guppy die? #3
Thanks fishlady.

I cycled the tank with ammonia bought from Robert Dyas. The ammonia levels hovered around 3-4ppm during the cycle. In hindsight, I should've let the ammonia level go down to 0 before topping it up again, but I kept adding more when the levels went down to around 2.

I purchased the tank way before discovering this forum, or even doing my homework first. Had I known, I would've bought a bigger tank.

The current stock is 2 guppies and 1 molly. Do you think that's ok?
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 12/6/2013 9:37
Re: Why did my guppy die? #4
The way you cycled is fine. It's best to top up continually as you have done so there's no problems there.

The main problem is the tank is just too small for the fish you have, whichever way you look at it. In terms of water volume, typical stock level (as a very rough guide) is 2.5cms of fish length at adult size per 4.5 litres of water. This assumes a decent filter system, but the Biorb Life has only an undergravel system which is less efficient and more so because of the very small size of the tank floor. Your 30 litres is more like 27 after gravel etc is accounted of which would give a stock level of (27/4.5) x 2.5 = 15 cms of fish at adult size. Two Guppies at up to 6cm long is 12 cms already, then the Molly is another 15cms on top so the tank is overstocked by that measure.

On top of that, different species' have different needs in terms of how many of their own kind they need in a tank and how much swimming room they need. Guppies need to be kept in groups to avoid stress and if you have both sexes you need at least 2 females per male to prevent a lone female being harassed by the male(s). In an all male group there need to be at least six or so to prevent one being dominated by the others. The tank won't support that many, and then they also really need a 2ft long tank for enough room to move and keep out of each others' way when needed. The Molly needs a tank at least 3ft long and 12 inches wide.

Really, these tanks just aren't suitable for most of the typically available fish species' and having seen the price, they're terribly overpriced as well.