guppy-diseases-parasites-remedies

Guppy Diseases, Parasites & Remedies

Unfortunately there are many diseases and parasites that can harm your guppy fish. The good news is that many of them can be cured. In this article I will try to present you the most common guppy diseases and infection, prevention and remedies.

Important: it is easier to prevent diseases than to treat sick fish!

The most common guppy fish diseases such as ick (white spot), velvet (gold dust), fin rot and flukes can be cured with the Seachem ParaGuard from Amazon.com medication.

Here are some very basic steps to prevent most of the diseases:

  • Keep water parameters and temperature at required levels
  • Feed your fish well, but do not exaggerate
  • Maintain your tank regularly, perform weekly partial water changes
  • Remove any dead fish immediately from your tank
  • Inspect your fish visually on a daily basis
  • Remove any sick fish from your main tank and place into a hospital tank
  • Before introducing new fish to your main display tank, keep them in a quarantine tank for 3-4 weeks

For more information about guppies please read my guppy fish care guide, where I share my experience of more than 15 years of keeping guppies.

Stress

Most diseases in your guppy fish are caused by stress. Stress weakens the fish immune system and they become more vulnerable to infections and parasites.

Stress can be caused by a lot of factors. Guppies, in their natural habitat are surrounded by plants, three roots, branches, leaves on other hiding places.

In order to reduce stress, provide your fish with enough hiding places: live aquarium plants are ideal for this purpose.

An over-crowded fish tank can also be a huge stress factor for your fish.

Guppies are peaceful fish, however if you keep other, more aggressive fish (beta, gourami, angel fish, barb fish) together with your guppies, they might suffer.

Too low or very high temperature is also a stress factor for your fish. Add a heater to your aquarium, in order to keep the water temperature stable.

Water quality is also a huge factor when it comes to stress, but also plays a big role in the development of illnesses. Do weekly partial (30-50%) water changes, ensuring that the fresh water you are introducing into the tank has the right pH range, right temperature and it is chlorine free.

Most Common Guppy Illnesses and Diseases

Important: in order to raise the chance of curing your guppies you should always keep medication at home for the following most common guppy diseases.  Now let’s see in details, which are the common diseases that can kill guppies.

White Spots – Ich, Ick

Probably the most common problem in the fishkeeping hobby is the white spots, also known as ich or ick. Ick is not deadly, if treated in time.

Ick is actually caused by an ectoparasite (ciliate protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) and it is very easy to detect. The fish start rubbing their skin against rocks, plant leaves, decoration or to the sides of the aquarium. They can also lose appetite. You will notice small white spots on their skin and fins.

Curing ick is not that hard. There are various medications, but you can also use aquarium salt.

How to cure ick:

  1. Raise the water temperature slowly to 80 F
  2. Add your medication in the recommended dose: I use Seachem ParaGuard
  3. OR Add aquarium salt at a rate of 1 teaspoon per gallon
  4. Keep this stage for 4-7 days
  5. Decrease the water temperature slowly back to normal
  6. Perform a big partial water change of about 70% siphoning the substrate as much as possible

You can cure your fish from ick in a hospital tank; but you also have to apply the medication or salt to the tank, where the fish got sick.

Velvet (Oodinium)

Velvet disease is similar to ick but rarely occur in the hobby aquariums. The body of a sick fish is covered with tiny gold colored dots (similar to gold dust). This disease is highly contagious and can quickly spread to all your fish.

Velvet is difficult to be noticed in the early stage, because the dots are so small. Usually fish keepers realize too late that something is wrong, when the skin of the fish starting to peel off and fish start bleeding.

How to cure velvet:

  • If discovered early, velvet can be cured with copper medication (I had great success with Seachem Cupramin)
  • For best results, turn off the lights on your aquarium until the disease is completely cured
  • Perform 70-90% water changes once your fish are symptom-free

Important: copper medication is deadly to shrimps and snails, so be careful with it. Also note, that once you apply copper to a tank, you can’t keep shrimps and snails in that tank anymore. Copper can’t be washed out from a tank. Be careful with it!

Fin, Tail Rot

guppy-fin-tail-rot

Guppy Fin, Tail Rot Disease

Rotting fins and tail is a bacterial infection in guppies. It can also be caused by fungus that grows on the nipped fins. Usually the fins and tail of the sick fish looks like it is stuck together. Poor water quality, and ammonia burns can also cause rotting tail.

It is important to know what causes the rotting fin, because bacterial infection and fungus are treated in different fashion.

If the fins and tail does not have any damage, but has an obvious sign that is started rotting, most likely it is caused by bacteria.

If the fins or tail is damaged, and started rotting, most likely it is a fungus that causes the problem.

How to cure fin, tail rot:

  • Separate the sick fish to a hospital / quarantine tank
  • In case of bacterial infection treat with antibiotic such as Maracyn, Maracyn 2, Tetracycline or Seachem ParaGuard
  • In case of fungus, treat with special medication – always follow instructions
  • In case of “ammonia burns”, provide your fish with high quality water

I highly recommend treating your sick fish in separate tank, because you don’t want to apply the antibiotics or medication to healthy fish.

Guppy Disease (Protozoan)

Protozoan is a tiny parasite that affects mainly guppies. It can be also harmful for other fish, but guppies are the most common that gets infected by this parasite.

The parasite attaches to the fish’s skin and slowly enters the fish body through their muscle until reaches the bloodstream.

This parasite usually develops in unheated tanks along with bad water quality.

How to treat protozoan:

  • Add a heater to your aquarium and keep a stable water temperature
  • In early stage Malachite Green or Formalin can cure this disease
  • In more advanced stages, copper medicine such as Seachem Cupramine should be used
  • After treatment, perform 50-70% partial water change

You can prevent protozoan guppy diseases by heating the aquarium water and doing regular partial water changes.

Columnaris & Mouth Fungus

guppy-columnaris-fungus-infection

Guppy with Fungus Infection

Although it looks like a fungus, this infection is actually caused by bacteria. The bacteria colony is usually formed on the fish’s mouth or middle area of the body as a big white splash. The sick fish have trouble swimming, because the infection slowly paralyzes the muscle. They also lose their appetite.

The bacteria is highly contagious and mostly affects female guppies; however male guppies can also be infected if the illness is not treated. It can wipe out the whole fish colony in a tank.

How to treat Columnaris and mouth fungus:

  • The key to successfully cure Columnaris is to start the treatment as soon as you see the first symptoms
  • You can use Maracyn antibiotic or Formalin (which is a strong chemical) to cure this disease
  • Adding aquarium salt to your tank can also be effective: do a 50% water change and add one teaspoon of salt per gallon every day for 3 days. Leave the salt in the water until the fish are cured. Perform a big 50-70% water change.
  • A 30 minutes potassium permanganate (KMnO4) bath can also cure Columnaris. Use this treatment carefully. Potassium permanganate is a powerful oxidizing agent and you should not exceed 10mg/l in the bath, because it can burn your fish.

Avoid over-crowding your fish, perform regular water changes, add adequate filtration and ensure good water movement and aeration in your tank in order to prevent Columnaris disease and mouth fungus.

Dropsy

guppy-male-dropsy

Sick Male Guppy – Dropsy

Dropsy is caused by bacterial infection that usually infects the liver or kidney causing the abdomen to become filled with fluid it cannot expel. The fish becomes swollen, discolored and sometimes distorted and the scales look like spine cones, elevated from the body. The belly will become bloated and the fish can have problem swimming. Bloated belly can also be caused by a fluid buildup in the colonic cavity. This can be the result of water pollution, genetic disorder or feeding.

Feeding too many blood worms or long high stress can cause dropsy.

How to treat dropsy:

  • Unfortunately dropsy caused by a bacterial infection can not be treated, because the bacteria cause damage in the fish’s internal organs. By the time the fish presents any symptoms, there damage is so big that there is no return.
  • If the swollen belly is not caused by bacterial infection, there are things you can do: provide the right water parameters and feed variety of good food.

Some guppy fish keepers reported, that Epsom salt can slow down this disease, and help the fish relax, however it won’t cure dropsy. If you want to treat your fish, you should not treat the entire aquarium, but you should give an Epsom salt bath to the sick guppies. Put 2 tablespoon of Epsom salt to 1 gallon of water, and put the fish in it for about 30-45 minutes. Make sure that the water has the same temperature as the water in your tank. Best is to use tank water for the treatment in a separate container.

You can prevent dropsy disease by ensuring good water quality and providing a variety of high quality food.

If you want to learn more about the dropsy disease, please check out my linked article, in which I go into more details.

Swollen Gills and Gasping

Guppies and generally fish breathe by taking water through their month, and then releasing it through their gills. They take oxygen out from the water with their rake. Rake is similar to lungs, and it is a very sensitive organ.

Swollen gills are usually caused by ammonia or carbonate poisoning. Ammonia is a highly dangerous toxin. It is the result of decomposing fish food, organic matter and fish waste. Carbonate can be found in different rocks and substrate.

Ammonia in low quantities will burn the gills, which will become inflated. In higher quantities, ammonia is deadly.

Swollen gills also cause guppies gasping for air at the surface of the water.

How to treat swollen gills:

  • if your guppies has rapid gill movement and are gasping for air, you should immediately do a 50% water change
  • also monitor water parameters during the next few days and test for ammonia
  • stop feeding the fish for few days, because feeding can cause ammonia spikes
  • you can also add nitrifying bacteria (you can purchase API Quick Start from Amazon)

Red Blood Spot on Guppy Stomach / Body

red-blood-spots-guppy-fish

Red Blood Spots on Guppy Fish Body

Red blood spots on the stomach or body of guppies can be caused by ammonia or nitrites poisoning.

This usually happens in new aquariums, which are not cycled yet. A new aquarium can take up to 6 weeks to be fully cycled.

If you introduce fish in a new aquarium, most likely the ammonia and nitrite level will raise quickly, because there are not enough beneficial bacteria to transform these compounds into nitrates.

Ammonia, in smallest quantity is deadly for guppies and most fish. Nitrite is also highly toxic, and will cause poisoning and serious damage in the fish.

I receive lots of emails from beginners, who just started their guppy aquarium and their fish are dying for no obvious reason. Well, ammonia and nitrites are an invisible killer.

How to treat red spots:

  • Red blood spots on belly cannot be treated, but it is possible to save the fish if the poisoning level is not too high and you take action in time

It is better to avoid ammonia poisoning than dealing with it. Please allow your aquarium to cycle for at least two weeks, better is to let it sit for 6 weeks.

If you add fish before the aquarium is cycled, use a test kit to measure ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels (0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, 10-40 ppm nitrate).

Change water frequently; once a week might not be enough with a new aquarium. Measure the water parameters and change the water if you see any sign of ammonia or nitrite.

You can buy the Seachem Ammonia Alert from Amazon, to constantly monitor ammonia level. This tool is not as precise as test kits, but it can give you a good indication on the ammonia level.

Reduce feeding or skip a day to avoid ammonia buildup.

Using live plants in your new aquarium is also really beneficial, because some plants will absorb ammonia from the water.

Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (VHS)

This disease is caused by a virus within the blood of the guppy fish. The first signs of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia are lesions on the body. Later ulcer and sores will develop and fins will start rotting. Pale gills and bulging eye can also be signs of VHS. The fish will eventually stop eating and become darker in color.

How to treat viral haemorrhagic septicaemia:

Popped Eyes

Fish pop-eye can be caused by a wide range of factors, therefor is very hard to treat. Popped eyes can occur due to bad water quality, bacterial infection, dropsy, fungus, tuberculosis or other internal parasites.

Pop-eye might not be deadly, but it can cause blindness to your fish.

How to cure pop-eye:

  • It is very hard to cure, because it is not obvious what is causing it
  • You can start medicating your wish with different treatments, however you might cause more harm than good

Swim Bladder Disorder

Swim bladder is an internal organ in fish, which is filled with gas and helps in controlling their buoyancy. This organ is also responsible for keeping the fish at current water depth and keep balance while swimming.

In guppies swim bladder disorder is not a very common problem but it is usually caused by high stress: moving guppies from a shallow to deep water. The fish will float at an angel or upside down, unable to control the swimming and keep the balance.

Poor water parameters such as high ammonia can also cause disorders in swim bladder.

This is a video of a sick guppy fish with swim bladder disorder:

Swim Bladder Inflammation

This problem can be spotted very easy, because the fish belly looks distend and starts swimming with the head pointing to the substrate, standing on its head.

This is caused by a virus and unfortunately cannot be cured. Fish with such symptoms should be removed from the tank and destroyed right away.

Gill Flukes, Gill Worms

A tiny white worm that can be viewed with naked eye causes the gills of the guppy fish to bleed. The fish is constantly gasping for air at the water surface or sits at the bottom of the aquarium having a hard time breading.

How to treat gill flukes:

  • You have to treat the whole aquarium with special medication – follow instructions. If discovered in early stage, fish with gill flukes can be saved. However you can’t do anything for fish with bleeding gills.

Gill worms are introduced in your aquarium usually by adding new fish or plants. This is why is important to keep newly purchased fish in quarantine. Bad water quality will also encourage the spread of gill flukes to other fish.

Camallanus Internal Worm

guppy-camallanus-worm

https://www.myaquariumclub.com/treating-camallanus-worms-8289.html

Camallanus is one of the most commonly found parasites in guppies. This parasite can reach up to 0.8 inches in length and is sticking out from the anus of the fish. It is easy to distinct from wish waste, because the Camallanus has a brown or orange color and has a movement similar to worms.

Occasionally other fishes my attack the Camallanus, which is sticking out.

There is no much proof of where the parasite is coming from. Fish breeders reported that these parasites are mostly found in guppies that are kept outdoor in ponds and fed with live Cyclops.

How to cure Camallanus parasite:

  • Camallanus is usually treated with Levamisole (commonly known as Ergamisol) for at least 5 days, but Fenbendazole and Parcide X or D works as well.
  • Perform substrate vacuuming, complete filter cleaning after
  • Do huge water changes: 70-90%
  • After 3 weeks repeat the Levamisole treatment, clean filter and vacuum the substrate again

Avoid feeding live Cyclops to your guppy fish in order to avoid this nasty parasite.

Hexamitiasis – Hole in the Head or Body

guppy-hole-in-head-body-hexamitiasis

Hexamitiasis is caused by a protozoan parasite, Hexamitia. This parasitic disease is rare in guppies. However, there are guppy fish keepers who struggle with this disease.

Guppies infected with Hexamitia produce white, stringy faeces and their colors become pale. The infected guppy will lose its appetite and eventually will refuse to eat.

In other fish spices such as cichlids, one ore multiple holes will appear on their head. In guppies, these lesions appear on their body.

How to cure Hexamitiasis:

  • Hexamitiasis is usually treated with metronidazole (commercially known as Flagyl)
  • The best way to treat Hexamitiasis is through medicated food
  • If the fish refuses to eat, the medication should be applied to the water – at a dosage of 250 mg / 10 gallons once a day for at least 3 days.
  • In the US metronidazole in available at most pet shops, however in other countries it can be purchased with a veterinary prescription

Hexamitiasis usually appears in overstocked aquariums, where the filtration is not adequate. The lack of oxygen and water changes can also be a factor of Hexamitiasis.

I highly recommend oxygenating the water, setting up proper filtration and doing weekly water changes in order to avoid this diseases.

Bent Spine (Scoliosis)

guppy-bent-spine-scoliosis

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W0asvsNTD4

Scoliosis, commonly known as crooked back or bent spine in guppies isn’t rare. It is usually a result of genetics and environmental factors.

Typically you will find this disease or anomaly in younger fish. In some guppy fry the scoliosis can be observed only from above, while in others the side view will reveal the bent spine.

Usually guppies with crooked back will have trouble swimming.

Scoliosis is typically caused by in-breeding guppies and it is specific to live bearing fish. The result of scoliosis is slower growth and swimming problems.

Guppy fish with bent spine are usually weaker and often they get bullied by the others. They also have a shorter lifespan.

Reproduction of guppies with crooked back is possible, though is not recommended. Because this health issue is a result of genetics, the parents will pass it to the offspring.

I’ve experienced a bent spine female guppy giving birth to 45 fry. About 90% of the fry had bent spine. So it is very likely that most of guppy fry will inherit this health condition.

How to treat Scoliosis:

  • unfortunately there is no cure to bent spine
  • it is not contagious; however it can be inherited by offspring

Guppies with this disability can still live a good life, if you give them a good diet and good water conditions.

Fish Tuberculosis

guppy-fish-tuberculosis

Sick Female Guppy: Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria called mycobacterium. The first sign of this disease is the lack of appetite, followed by hollow-belly, ulcer on their body around the anus, fin and tail rot, discoloration.

The fish becomes inactive and slowly die. Tuberculosis can be passed to other fish if the consume the dead body of the sick fish. This disease can also be passed to the offspring.

Tuberculosis in fish cannot be treated easily. Dead fish should be removed from the tank immediately. Fish that are presenting symptoms should be quarantined and treated with Neomycin, Kanamycin or Isoniazid antibiotics. If there is no improvement, sick fish should be euthanize to avoid the spread of infection.

I’ve wrote a whole article about how to euthanize guppy fish in the most human way. I highly recommend reading it, if you area dealing with with sick fish, that cannot be treated anymore.

In very rare cases this disease can also be passed to humans. So be vary careful when dealing with sick fish.

Applying Treatments to Your Fish Tank

Depending on the illness you will need to treat only one fish or the whole tank. Before applying any medication to your tank, remove the activated carbon media from your filter, because this can neutralize the medication. Once medication is over, you can place it back.

Always read the labels on the medication and follow instructions. Never overdose the treatment, because you can cause more damage to your already sick and healthy fish.

After medicating your fish, perform big water changes to eliminate the medicine from the water.

Conclusion

I really hope this article has helped you to figure out the disease and treatment for your guppy fish.

When keeping fish, is important to check your fish daily and ensure you react fast to any illness. Discovering diseases early is the key in saving your fish from death.

Always have medication on hand, or at least know where to go when you need them.

If you have any question regarding this content, please let me know in the comments below.

Resources:

Featured Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/f_jean/5502760684

Dropsy  Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/f_jean/5502168559/

72 Responses

  1. Brady says:

    Hi Fabian
    Thank you for your website, very informative.
    BUT
    My daughter guppies are in good health except for thier gills are swollen. I can’t find any reference to what might be causing it help plz.

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi Brady!
      I’ve just updated this article and included the swollen gills disease.

      When did you setup the aquarium? Did you add the guppies right away? Is your tank cycled?

      Probably your guppies have ammonia poisoning and you should immediately do a big water change.
      I recommend doing ammonia test using the API Test Kit from Amazon.

      Please let me know if you were able to overcome this problem. Did you lose any fish?

  2. Sophia says:

    Hello, I need help. I looked at the list of guppy illnesses but cannot identify the one that my guppy might have.
    He mostly just floats in one place at the top of the fish tank, although not upside-down. When I feed my fish, he eats, but is otherwise inactive. I’m really worried, since he used to be so energetic.
    He has this weird bruise-looking thing on his side, and his scales are gone there. He also has this thing sticking out under him much like the picture of the guppy under the fish tuberculosis section does, so he might have fish tuberculosis. In that case, I’m ready to start grieving :'(
    Please help me as soon as possible. We recently introduced a zebra danio and a glowfish danio into the fish tank, and we already have 7 tetras and a MM platy. I really don’t want them to get sick. Thank you!

    • avatar Fabian says:

      From what you describe here, it might be some type of injury. You only keep guppies in your tank or you keep other type of fish too?

      A picture would help a lot to determine the disease your guppy might have.
      Can you email me a picture of your guppy fish?

  3. Tara says:

    My guppy looks exactly as the swollen guppy in the very first picture. He is always at the bottom of the tank. Is that dropsy? I don’t see any scales sticking out in my guppy. He still has a good appetite. Any information would be helpful. Thanks

  4. Thanasis says:

    Hello, i have also a problem with my guppies.
    I have a guppy and it has a white poo like string. Is the third day that observe it. What i must do? I read some articles and i found that this is a desease. I meed your help to save my tank.

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi Thanasis! The white poo in guppies is definitely a sign of disease. It is usually a sign of infection. You should try medicate your guppy with a general medication such as SeachemPara Guard (Amazon link) and raise the water temperature to 79-82 °F (26-28 °C) for few days. Medicating the fish food might also help combat the infection faster.

  5. Celine says:

    Hi Fabian,
    Thanks for this very informative article. We started a guppy project at my daughter’s daycare. The type and number of fish were chosen by the manager as I am more specializing in bettas. 10 guppies in a 5.5 gallon. They keep dying one after the other and the manager replaces them periodically. The tank is cycled. Water parameters are 0,0,0 and pH is 7.4. There used to be an old veiltail betta in that tank that passed away and they washed the tank carefully after that. I tested after the refill and ten parameters were fine. Do you think I could be overpopulated and therefore high stress level? That’s the only reason I can think of. What is the optimum number of guppy per 5 gallons? I bought a 10 gallon tank for them yesterday and I can’t wait to upgrade their habitat. I also got live plants. I am planning g on using the 5.5 g for a shrimp project. We never used copper in that tank. Would be happy to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks,

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi Celine! Thank you for your comment.
      If the water parameters are good and the aquarium is cycled, and water temperature is stable, than you should be fine.
      The only thing I can think of is overpopulation. In a small 5 gallon tank, I would place up to 6 guppies. In a 10 gallon aquarium you can go with 10-12 guppies at most.
      The 5.5 gallon tank would be much better for shrimp, so it is a good idea. I actually keep red cherry shrimp in a 5 gallon tank, and they love it. They breed like there is no tomorrow.
      Guppies, though, need more space, so the 10 gallon would be a good start.
      Hope, all goes well with this project! Wish you the best!

  6. Madison K says:

    Howdy, so I have recently purchased two male guppies online. They arrived in pretty bad condition (about two days ago they arrived). One of them is in pretty good condition by visually examining him. However, it is the second one I am concerned about. 1/3 of him is primarily a cream color. Which this concerns me- a lot. His back fin is pretty much torn up. There are brownish/yellow spots near the base of this injured fin. I was just wondering if anyone could identify this odd spot?He is placed with the other one in a 10 gallon QT tank with java fern. I turned the temperature up to 80 degrees slowly. But I’m stumped to identify what is wrong with him?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hey!
      Most likely this is caused by stress or ammonia burn. How many days did they spend in the shipping box?
      If the shipping stressed your guppy out, it can get better, just feed good quality food and do water changes.
      If it is ammonia burn, it might never get in his shape again.

  7. Jo says:

    Hello,
    I am concerned about one of my guppies and wondered if I could email you some film footage I took off him as I am struggling to identify if there is an issue.

  8. Jay says:

    Hi Fabian,

    I have noticed some odd behaviour with my guppies ( all male) one is very fat, if it were female I would say it was pregnant, all the other guppies are constantly surrounding him. He has no colour loss etc and seems to me to be healthy.

  9. Jay says:

    Hi Fabian, thanks for the quick response. I have taken some pics however the file size is too large to send through the contact form. He has overnight developed a fine hair like strand with a white bobble on the end, which is coming out of his anal fin.

  10. Brooke says:

    I bought 3 male guppies yesterday, added to a new tank with good paramnters after a failed fishless cycle. I noticed that one had a fuzzy white growth on its Gill this morning, only 12 hours home from the store. Under the fuzz is a red inflamed spot. Since I just bought the fish, I brought it back to the store for them to deal with. The other two fish look fine. I’m hesitant to treat the whole tank and I don’t know if this is fungal or bacterial since the symptoms I listed sound similar for both. Can I just watch the other two rather than treating the tank? I did add 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt this morning as a natural treatment/prevention. Thoughts? These fish were in the same tank at the pet store and only in my tank for about 12 hours. Thank you!

  11. Brooke says:

    Hello Fabian. I added three guppies to a new tank yesterday after a failed fishless cycle. Less than 12 hrs in the tank I noticed a fuzzy white growth on the gill with red inflamed spot underneath the fuzz. I brought the fish back to the store since it was just bought. I added 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt to the tank to boost bacterial fungal prevention properties in the water. I’m hesitant to treat the whole tank but wanted your opinion. All parameters are good and it’s only two guppies in the tank now, no other fish. Can I just monitor? Also, after some research, the symptoms seem like it could be bacterial or fungal, so I’d hate to treat with the wrong treatment. Again, fuzzy white growth with red inflammation underneath the fuzz on the gill area. Fuzz was the size of a point of a pen and the inflamed spot about an 1/16 of an inch. Thoughts?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hey Brooke,
      can you send me a photo of your fish? Please use the contact page and attache a picture to the form.
      Is your tank cycled? Have you treat your water with a water conditioner? Is your tank heated? Have you tested water parameters?

      Red inflated gills are usually caused by ammonia or chlorine.

  12. Brooke says:

    Thank you Fabian for replying! I actually already brought the fish back since I bought it only last night. My only hang up is whether to treat my tank that holds my two other guppies. All parameters are good including ammonia, PH, heat, hardness. Like I said I tried a fishless cycle for 2 months, it failed, I think because I used my well water that went through a softener, so no minerals to help the nitrifying bacteria grow. So I decided to do a new tank with half untreated well water (bypassed my softener) and half bottled spring water. I used tetra safe start, I know it’s not ideal to do it this way, but I’m going to do my best to keep these guys comfortable. I tested my mix and was happy with the results so I think I’m off to a good start other than the pet store selling me a sick fish. The spot was literally a spherical shaped fuzzy white spot attached to inflamed skin on the surface of the gill area, the gills themselves seemed ok. If this was fungus or bacteria, can I do a wait and see on my other fish rather than treat the tank? I hate to expose the other two to meds and turn my tank green. Thank you

  13. Hadzirah says:

    Hi, I actually have 4 guppies (2 males and 2 females) and 2 small goldfish (2 inches) in a 10 gallon tank. I have kept them for a month now and I’ve been doing Water Change either every day or every 2 days, depends on the water quality which I always check and test every day. So far my water quality seems to be just fine, pH is around 6.8 and 7.4, ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5 or maybe below 5.

    All the guppies are doing fine until just now after doing a 60% WC, I just noticed that one of my female guppies has a weird lump or blister on her body. She swims and eats normally, but I think she’s breathing kinda hard unlike all the other guppies.

    this is the video of her. What is wrong with her? Is it some kind of skin disease? or Dropsy? or tumor or something? Is it contagious? Should I quarantine her? I’ll do another 80% WC tomorrow for precautions.

  14. Sharon says:

    Hi. My guppy has a completely clear what looks like a totally clear bubble/blister on its top little fin. Where it attaches to the fin itself is a little black mark. I’ve looked up some diseases but can’t find anything like it. The fish is acting normally apart from occasionally rubbing past leaves of plants. I used ‘Love Fish’ branded anti bacteria and fungal treatment and over 7 days it’s now not hardly itching itself and maybe the smallest of improvements in size of the blister/bubble. Apart from that it seems fine. Its our only guppy (others died months ago of we think old age) but also have 2 neons and a cat fish and a loach which are all fine. Any ideas please.

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi Sharon. A photo of your guppy would help a lot in determining what the problem is. If your guppy is old, this might be a tumor.
      Please send me a photo through the contact form.

  15. Kera says:

    thank you

  16. Susannah says:

    Hi. I have had beta fish in the past, but this is my first time having guppies. I got 6 yesterday: 4 elder guppies, 1 Sunburst platy and 1 delta guppy. All of them were marked as male. They are all totally fine and never stop swimming, with the exception of the delta. He is not showing any extreme signs of sickness, except that he does not swim very much. He is not dead, because I can see that his gills and fins are moving. He does not have any discoloration or anything like that, but simply either sits at the top of the tank, or glides around the bottom. I was starting to think that he had a bent spine, but when I looked up images of that they did not match what he looks like. His back is mostly straight, and not curvy like the images I saw online were like. I have a filter, heater and light, but I do not keep the light on at night so as to allow them to rest (I read that they will be unable to sleep, causing death if you leave the light on). It is a ten gallon tank, so there is supposed to be enough space for them all. Any feedback of what this may be would be extremely helpful! Thank you so much!!

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi! Maybe the delta guppy is just stressed out due to transportation or new environment. If it has no sign of diseases, just give him few days.
      If you want, please send me a photo of your guppy fish via email.

  17. Susannah says:

    I would be happy to send you an email, but I do not know what your email is.

  18. Susannah says:

    Though he was getting better, however this morning I woke up only to find him lying upside down on the bottom of the tank. I thought fish were supposed to float when they died, but I’m pretty sure he’s dead. I think I will go get a new sunburst platy and not have a delta. I think I like the platy better. Just so I know for next time, how is the best way to transport them that they will be safe?

  19. Samuel says:

    I have three guppies in a 40 gal. I have had them for over two months. I observed today that two females have white stuff on their mouths and one has some on it back( over the eye back) and on its fin. It is not ick. How should I treat it ASAP? Thanks

  20. Loryn says:

    Hello. I have a tank of five guppies. And all of the sudden one of them got this red bloody looking stomachand around where their front fins are. And the first one on the bottom of its stomach looks as it’s deteriorating. The others have started to get the red also. Do you have any idea what this is and what could cause it?

  21. Alan Haight jr says:

    Would you know any breeders that send free sample guppy breed’s for a handicapped veteran I know. Would like to see him up and about more. Think it would motivate my friend. He left for service leaving behind over 20 tanks with his mother in charge of care. But unfortunately his mother passed away and all the fish lost. I have no money and can only find any guppies at Walmart that die. Please let me know if you have any breeders that could help me out with this. My friend is going through a lot and this might be what saves him.

  22. Ashely says:

    Hi Fabian, Thank you so much for this article. I’ve checked it a number of times and it really helped me learn a lot. I’ve just sent a message w/photo to you for seeking your advice on whether my guppy has TB. Many thanks for your time!

  23. Megan Macdonald says:

    Hi there my guppy is swimming at the bottom with her right eye against the glass and almost looks like shes hoping I cant figure out what it is please help me I

  24. beatriz says:

    hi, i have had my four guppies for more than two years now, which i now places them at risk of dying of age. they are all from the same offspring, all males and until this morning all healthy. they are kept on the same tank for the past two years and they don’t have a water filter but the water is changed every two weeks and i have water bamboos. this is the set up i’ve had all along. this morning i woke up to feed them and noticed that one of them had a protuberance out of its stomach, like it’s guts were coming out. i had noticed in the last few weeks he has had the odd behavior of hiding and only coming out to eat when i call them (gently tap on the glass and they all know it means food). i immediately separated him to a jar because the others seem to be trying to pick at him. aside from this he seems healthy and eating normally. but upon inspection of the others to see if they were ok i noticed that one of them ha it’s top fin hanging and is is filled with tiny bubbles that look like some sort of tumor (it doesn’t look like gas bubble disease, and i think if it was it would have showed up yearlier). he aside from this appears to be healthy (is swimming and eating just like the other two). now i know they are old and have exceeded their lifespan but i still love and care for them and want to take care of it if possible. i don’t have much experience so i don’t know what to do. if needed i can send photos to you if this means you can help. please i don’t know what else to do.

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi Beatriz. Guppies will develop diseases due to old age and weakened immune system. Once they get old, their immune system will become less effective. Probably this is the reason why your guppies get sick, even if you follow the same routine for two years. If you want, you can send me some photos of your guppies via the contact form.

  25. Theresa says:

    I have a purple female guppy that I just purchased. I didn’t look at her very well when I bought her. So I don’t know if the lighter pale purple to whitish spot about 5cm diameter near her right gills is her natural coloring or a disease.

    • Theresa says:

      My purple guppy in question won’t let me catch her to get a better look at her

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Guppies and most fish tend to lose their color during transportation or when introduced to a new environment. I don’t think it is a diseases, however, you can send me a photo of here via the contact form. I can give you a much better response if I see a picture.

  26. Theresa says:

    Correction, the spa on my guppy is 1 cm in diameter

  27. Amanda says:

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with my guppy. Some say it scoliosis ors say tb, help?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      It is an adult guppy that started developing a bent spine? It may be a sign of TB, however from my experience this can also develop from bad water quality.
      I suggest testing for ammonia and nitrites.
      Recently someone contacted me with the same problem. After some email conversation she realize that ammonia level was at 2.4 ppm – this caused the whole problem and resulted in sick and dying guppies.

  28. Peter OConnor says:

    Hi
    My son just bought a new male guppy for his tank and within 12 hours he started to lose colour and his tail thinned. The other previously healthy 3 guppies began to be less active. The new fish and a female died and the other two have died in consecutive days. The tank water was all clear and tested at the shop. Ammonia levels not detected! There is a white coating in the tank on the filter and glass. Can one new fish turn a healthy tank into a death tank? What could this be?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi Peter. This is unfortunate! Indeed a sick fish can make all inhabitants sick. I can’t tell what type of disease it is, but it sounds terrifying. Are you sure that water parameters are good? Such a huge death rate in such short amount of time can only be caused by ammonia in my experience.

      • Peter OConnor says:

        Thanks Fabian
        I’m not sure but have done a 3/4 tank empty and the cloudiness has disappeared which would indicate ammonia! I’ll repopulate slowly just in case once all has settled.

  29. Fabian Roudra Baroi says:

    Hey Fabian . I had some ich problems with my fish, then i shifted them to my hospital tank and raised my water temperature , also added aquarium salt in it and after 3 days it is looking fine, so can I transfer them to my original tank or wait 2 days more? And some of my guppies are affected with both fin rot and ich , can I use both medicines together ? Will it work?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hi! You can use both medicine and salt in your aquarium, however I would recommend treating your main tank as well. It is not enough to treat ick on only affected fish. You need to treat the entire tank, because ick has a relative long incubation period in which salt and medicine will not affect it. Even though you treat your fish, the ick “eggs” can still remain in the tank, which will make your fish sick again.

      • Fabian Roudra Baroi says:

        Thanks for the help Fabian and can i remove the fishes to another tank which is cure or wait for at least 5 days of medicine course??

  30. Kanza says:

    I need help I don’t know what my guppy has I think he is dying now but I’m not sure from what this has happened to two of my guppies already I have pictures

  31. Ghada Salah says:

    Hi
    I have 3 females and 2 males , one of the females isn’t active since yesterday, it is sticking beside the filter , but when someone touches her it overreacts for a moment then turn back to being very calm as if it was dead .
    What should I do to help her ?!!
    Thanks

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Does she has a swollen belly? Maybe she is pregnant and in labor. It is normal for female guppies to hide or to just become inactive when she is in labor. You could place her in a different tank, but it is not necessary. It takes about 1-2 days to release the fry and she will become “normal” again.

      • Ghada Salah says:

        Thanks for your support
        No she doesn’t have a swollen belly
        She doesn’t want to eat
        She swims up to half the tank then rests back on bottom without reaching for food , even after food sinks in rocks she doesn’t try to eat it 😢

  32. janke maritz says:

    hello
    just recently a few of my guppies have been spotted with white bumps all over their body/fins, and their fins are all torn on the ends… i’m really not sure what it is. At first i thought it was white spot disease and so i got treatment for it but it hasn’t really made a difference.

    what should i do ??!!

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hey! This is most likely ick / ich. You should follow the instructions of the medication.
      It requires some time to cure this disease. It can take up to 4 weeks to get rid of this parasite from your tank.
      I suggest reading the steps from this article to learn how this disease work and how to cure it.

  33. Ashley Strong says:

    Hi Fabian,
    I keep and breed guppies and your article has been most helpful. I do have an issue occurring in my fry tank that isn’t described in the article. I have many fry that have a “pin tail”. After a bit they die and lay on the bottom. They become covered in a white fuzz that reminds me of dandelion fluff. Any assistance you can give would be most helpful!
    Thanks again,
    Ashley

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hey Ashley! This sounds like some sort of fungus. This disease usually occurs due to poor water quality. Try to do water changes more often and do not overfeed your fry tank.

  34. Lukey says:

    How do i lower the ammonia in my tank?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      You need to eliminate ammonia completely. Ammonia level should be at 0 ppm at all time, expect if you are cycling the fish tank.
      You can lower ammonia level with water changes or using Zeolite in your filter.

  35. Alexandra says:

    Hi Fabian , I have read your article and find it really good but I can’t seem to find the illness that keeps killing my guppies for months now , Tank was cycled for a long time , water changes once a week , good water parameters , at some point I added some guppies from someones tank and thats when one by one they started getting ill , nitrates went veryy high ..despite the frecvent water changes , I treated them for fin rot and parasite but ..no succes ..they lose weight but they still have appetite , they are active untill the last couple of days of their life , their fins rot and get darker or lose their colour ,poop stringy , they just keep dieing no matter what I do , I separated them from my main tank , It only affected the guppies and no other specie in my tank . Any ideea what I am dealing with ?..maybe I can save the last remaining ones ..

    • avatar Fabian says:

      My guess is that you have ammonia spikes, probably after feeding your fish. Ammonia in low quantities will make your fish suffer and will cause organ failure which will result in different kind of diseases. Because the source of the diseases is not directly a bacteria or parasite, you can’t really treat it. You have to fix the ammonia problem first.
      Make sure, that you have proper filtration with good biological filter media. Please give me more information about your tank such as size, filter type, number of fish in your tank.

  36. SOheyla says:

    Heyy fabian. I need help with my guppies. So I bought this used 35 gallon tank from a lady. The tank was still running when I picked it up but since it was very dirty I took the tank and washed it but left the filter media just as it was. The tank came with few fish which includes empire Gudgeon, Algae eater, Gouramis and a cat fish. After setting up the tank and waiting few days I added my guppies. But few days later I found one guppy dead. By the time I didn’t think much of it. But now it’s being a week later and I keep losing guppies. One guppie a day if not two. I notice that few of my guppies have a clamped tail and it swims around like dragging its back. If you can let me know what this might be and how I can treat it to save the rest of my guppies will be great thank you !

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hey! If all other fish are fine, then probably your guppies are bullied and stressed by the others. I think that the empire gudgeon might bully your guppies. Keep one eye on this fish, because they don’t go very well with long fin or smaller fish. Empire gudgeon can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in size. I wouldn’t recommend keeping guppies with empire gudgeon together.

  37. Alexandra says:

    Hi again , tank is 100 liters, I use a stingray as a filter (later on I added another filter called tetra something ) , and fishes in the tank 7 mountain cloud minnows , 4 bronze corys and 8 neon tetras and the guppies .but now the guppies left I moved them in another tank .the tank is with live plants , I tested for amonia but I never got anything , I had a problem with nitrates but that went down now ,now most of the guppies died ..and each with diffrent simptoms…I have 4 left and only 2 seem sort of healthy ..the other two ..one it looks bloated and other one way to skinny ..I feed them quality food and frozen food and once in a while pea .thank you for your reply

  38. Alexandra says:

    Im starting to doubt my testing kit , maybe its expired or something .I will buy a new test just in case , I had some Strips one and the one with the disolving tablets .

  39. Diana says:

    I started to order ParaGuard off Amazon for my white poop guppy. It states not to use in a tank with sharks.
    I have a rainbow shark in my tank for cleaning the bottom of the tank along with a Cory cat.
    Will the ParaGuard affect the rainbow shark?

    • avatar Fabian says:

      Hey Diana, I’m not sure if ParaGuard will affect your shark or not. Probably you should ask the manufacturer about this. To be on the safe side, I would treat the guppies in a separate tank.

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