Guppies - parasites?

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Guppies - parasites?

Postby Jodypuss » 2008-02-09 12:56

Hello,

I am new and I am hoping that someone will be able to help me.

I have a 38 litre tank with 10 guppies - 6 females, 4 males. I have had this tank for around 8mths now so it is well established and my guppies have produced many fry over the months.

Just before Christmas, one of my large breeding females died. She had been pretty listless for a while but had no external causes for concern. When she died, I had a good look at her body and there seemed nothing untoward so I put it down to natural death as the rest of the tank were healthy and breeding well. Then another got ill and died so I had a good look at the fish.

I had had the same fish for around 6 months and not introduced any new fish before they started to die. I had however recently been to the local fish shop to buy some new live plants. While we were there (I only remembered this when pondering later about the fish) that one of the mollies in the shop had a worm coming out of it's side and I am worried that I brought some sort of parasite into the tank via one of the plants (as they use the same sump system for all of the tanks in the shop).

I noticed that the fish in my tank had started to flick against the rocks and one had a white stringy worm looking poo. The 'worm' if that's what it was, was dead and there were no little swimming ones in the water or on the sides of the glass. It seemed to have a round ball end, a thinner middle about 1.5cms long and then another ball on the end.

So I bought and treated the whole tank (minus carbon) with a bottle of Waterlife Sterazin Parasite treatment as this treats for gill and body flukes and intestinal worms. During the treatment a few more fish died and the others were very unhappy but I completed the treatment exactly as it said on the bottle.

At the end of the 10 day treatment, I put the carbon back into the filter and did a large water change. The fish really picked up and all seemed very happy again and were back breeding.

Since then I have got a new trio and pair of guppies (from a reputable breeder, not the lfs) and they have been fine up till this week when they are flicking again and all seem a bit lifeless. Another of my large female guppies died last week (once again, not a mark on her) but seemed to be gasping for breath (even though the water quality is very good, they have an air stone and regular water changes).

The water is fine as I regularly test it, but I just don't seem to be able to get them back to normal. I am worried about adding more treatment to the water as I know it isn't good for them, so was considering buying some parasite food for them from the USA.

Please can someone advise as to what they think this could be. It seems to affect the females moreso than the males (who are still trying to mate with everything in sight).

Thanks very much!
Jody x
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Re: Guppies - parasites?

Postby KittyKat » 2008-02-09 17:33

Hi Jody,

You seen to have acted sensibly in light of the problem. Just to check, did the new fish show any signs of worms? Are all the fish feeding well? Do your fish have any spots or marks on their skin? Or any scales missing? Do they look like they have lost weight?

Firstly I would like to clear one point up: not all treatments are "bad" for the fish, it really depends on what the ingredients are, although you would be correct in thinking that most are. Treated food will be a more direct method of treating the fish if it is parasites that they have but the ingredients tend to be the same or similar to the liquid treatments. Some fish foods on the other hand will have additives like garlic, which do not actually treat the fish, but help by strengthening it's immune system so that it can fight the disease itself.
It might be worth trying a general antibacterial treatment like eSHa 2000, and if the symptoms continue to worsen, re-dose the tank with the Sterazin as it seems to have helped last time. I think that what happened was that the first time you dosed the fish tank with the Sterazin became (more) immune to whatever they were suffering from, but the new fish were not and the parasites/bacteria/virus was contagious for them and once they got infected they passed it back to the original fish.

It is good practice to guaranteed new fish and get them used to your local water before putting them in with fish you have already had for a while and checking all the tanks in the store carefully before buying anything, you can always come back another day.
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Re: Guppies - parasites?

Postby Jodypuss » 2008-02-09 18:18

Hi,

Thanks so much for the advice. In answer to a few questions:

The new fish are fine - good in size and everything looks normal (no spots/marks/scales missing). They were very lively originally and the males still are but the females (along with the older females in my tank) seem very listless and spend a lot of time simply hanging in the water. They get excited around feeding time but don't seem to eat very much food once it's in there. They are fed on a combination of frozen food (bloodworm, bbs, daphnia) and flake food. I bought the new fish from a reputable breeder to try and avoid these sorts of problems! :(

I will do what you suggested and buy some of the eSHa 2000 to try first. Just out of interest, does Melafix do the same sort of thing? My sister uses it sometimes for her Betta if his tail gets a bit raggy - I know that this is antibacterial too but if it's not as good, I will pop down to the lfs tomorrow and buy some eSHa 2000.

Thanks once again for the advice and I will keep you posted!

Jody x
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Re: Guppies - parasites?

Postby KittyKat » 2008-02-10 14:26

Melafix ingredients: 0.2% de-foamer, 1% tea tree oil (Melaleuca), 1% emulsifier (to make oil mix in with water - egg white), 97.8% water. Might as well go out and buy some pure tea tree oil and mix it up yourself, 1ml of oil per 100ml of water and then pour into the tank. Try the same with aloe vera oil, works better, IMO.

I tried Melafix before and it never worked for my fish. Any chance that the females might be old? That is another common problem when buying fish that results in them catching something and then dieing early.

As for male/female diseases, I haven't come across any yet that affect either one or the other but not both.

Also, of course crushed garlic works, but that will usually result in the whole house stinking of it ;) If you do want to try that, crush a clove and then float it in an only stocking in front of the filter outlet.
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Re: Guppies - parasites?

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Re: Guppies - parasites?

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