ilovefish22 ilovefish22
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  • Posted on: 16/5 22:06
Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #1
My Guppy (male) which is about a year old is lying on the bottom, sometimes it is on its side. It appears not to be able to swim to the top of the tank.
I have a 70 litre tank with 4 other guppies and 1 platy.
My water readings using the API test kit are:
PH: 7.6
high ph: 8.00
ammonia : 0.25 - persistently
nitrite: 0
nitrate:0

I have a heater and water is 22 degrees Celsius.
I have lots of live plants.
i do a 25 -30 percent water change every week. i use tap safe and also leave the water standing for at least 24 hours before adding. i add warm water to match temp.
i try not to replace the medium in my fluval filter too often - prob every six months.
i wash out the medium in the dirty water every week.

i have checked on line and it appears that my fish may have swim bladder. i put him in a shallow dish so that i could feed him. he seemed hungry and ate some cooked mashed pea but then the effort seemed to exhaust him.
However some sites say that i should not feed him for three days other say to hand feed him ? i dont want him to starve as he prob hasnt eaten anything for a while.
Others say to raise the temperature but also say that guppies do not respond well to water temp changes? .
some say add salt but other say that guppies do not like salt.

Mostly he does not move unless i move the tub. I have returned him to the main tank as i was worried about oxgenation in the tub.

i was wondering if am changing my water too much and that it not allowing a bacteria to grow ?
he seems like he is suffering and this has been going on for days now.
i was thinking about euthanasia but then he ate the pea so i want to give him the best chance that i can...

can anyone advise me if there is anything else that i should do ?
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 16/5 22:47
Re: Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #2
Sorry to read about this. I can only reply briefly / in point format (apologies):
* not quite sure why persistent 0.25 ammonia and 0 nitrate - possibly accounted for by filter going through a cycle every time you change the media (which really oughtn't need to be changed at all);
* water change % is absolutely fine - bacteria grows in the filter media itself, so the proportion of a water change doesn't affect that;
* all fish have a swimbladder - however, this may malfunction for various reasons (eg internal digestive blockage, bacterial infection, etc);
* shallow dish to feed cooked mashed pea - great, and worth repeating that when you can (eg daily); no right/wrong answer re fasting .v. feeding but, in my experience, would definitely err on feeding pea as you have done;
* also, having been nursing an ailing elderly fish myself for several months, I found Hikari First Bites helpful to continue to provide nutrients as floats in the water column where released and thereby ingested without fish having to move towards it;
* re temp, stability of temp is best (but may tolerate a small and gradual increase - but no more than 28'C);
* re salt, https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk ... -questions-on-using-salt/ might be useful;
* if you have tub plus spare filter (putting in portion of media from main tank filter) or an airstone for oxygenation, that would be ok; otherwise, risky for longer than short temporary reprieve;
* alternative is to lower tank water level in main tank to just above level of filter (and push filter down low) - less distance to struggle in;
* I would avoid euthanasia if fish still eating / showing some form of life enjoyment; however, on basis of description so far, *if*/when he also stops eating (etc), then a different matter.
Hope helps and makes sense.
ilovefish22 ilovefish22
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  • Posted on: 17/5 20:39
Re: Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #3
Thank you so much for replying to me so quickly.
It is so distressing watching them when they get ill and i feel so helpless.
He is not really any better, he is still eating a bit when i take him out of the tank.
I did increase water temp just by 1 degree and put in aquarium salt. Just a maintenance dose.
hopefully that might help..
thank you and take care
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 18/5 14:30
Re: Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #4
I couldn't agree more with you - I've had a lot of my elderly fish dying in recent months and indeed it is very distressing when options for treatment/care start to run out. It's precisely a week since my last one that had been in a poor but stabilised way for 2 months took a sudden further-downhill turn and it still feels very raw.

If/when the time comes that he stops eating and detriorates to the extent that he's writhing/rolling around or upside down and gasping or his tankmates start pecking at him, then I see you've been given advice previously on two options. On the basis of my own experience ~7 times, I'd very much advocate the clove oil over the Aqua-Sed - the clove oil has always been a 2-5-second few flicks of the tail before death (and thus a definite kind 'despatch'), whereas the Aqua-Sed on both occasions has resulted in the fish 'resurrecting' from its writhing upside-down position as though panicking and attempting to escape and has been a much longer process and traumatic to witness (I wouldn't use it again - I'd rather let nature take its course over that).

Hope that's helpful.
ilovefish22 ilovefish22
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  • Posted on: 18/5 20:29
Re: Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #5
Thanks again for your support.
unfortunately this morning i found him still lying on the bottom of the tank on his side. He was gasping and hardly moved when i lifted him out and he wasn't interested in food.
I put him to sleep with the clove oil.
i know there is so much loss and sadness going on just now in the world but i wept for my little fish. is it mad to love your fish ? I know it is the kindest thing but it is just so so awful.
It sounds crazy but i could swear that he used to watch me through the glass, my sofa is right next to their tank and i am sure that they can see me.
Thanks again
Liz
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 19/5 13:59
Re: Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #6
Sorry to read about that.
I'm in 100% agreement with you about how sad it is to lose a fish - not only do I weep for mine (on realisation that I may need to intervene to spare them any more suffering, during 'the process' itself, and from time to time for several days afterwards), and my heart has been heavy and a lump in my throat for the past 8 days since I had to do the same as you did.
What you say about them watching you through the glass is absolutely not crazy at all - they do very much. I noticed this in particular in recent months as each of my elderly fishes' lives came to an end via a slow demise; they seem to do it more then. In fact, my latest fatality had been in an isolation tank for 2+ months and spent his time in one corner, observing me constantly. When I moved to sit at the table for my meals within 12" of him, he wiggled and 'interacted' with me throughout - so no, the fish watching you is definitely not imagined. You'll know this also from how they watch you but, if you move a limb, they'll move in the expectancy that they're about to be fed.
Fishyfishfish Fishyfishfish
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  • Posted on: 19/5 21:02
Re: Guppy lying on the bottom - conflicting online advice. #7
I read this thread and had to reply - firstly my condolences for your losses, I had to put to sleep a platy and a danio in recent weeks, and it never gets any easier.

I wanted to reply regarding your fish being able to see you; I am borderline obsessive about interacting with my fish, and so are my family members, and I can assure you that they watch you on a regular basis. I actually sit at the table in front of the tank and 'wave' at them, and they immediately come to the front/top of the tank and they've got one thing on their mind: food!

I shake the Tetramin tub in front of them and they know immediately what it is and what it's for, there's no doubt about it; they don't respond in the same way to any other item. I sometimes don't think people understand just how intelligent they are.

My mate is a dog lover but even he has a look (particularly when I force him) and he's noticed how they interact with someone interacting with them.