5 Reasons for Guppy Poisoning? (How to Recover)

What Could Possibly Be Contributing to Guppy Poisoning?

Since, You have spent a lot of time developing the perfect environment for your guppies,

and all of a sudden they are appearing to be unhealthy, in fact, several of them are dying.

You have done a great deal of research to try and determine what potential disease that they could be suffering from but you are stymied as to what is the cause.

It could come down to the fact that you are dealing with guppy poisoning, which could be coming from many different issues.

New Tank Syndrome and Ammonia

What is new tank syndrome?

The new tank syndrome simple refers to rising nitrate levels in water in the tank to the peak. thereafter, sinking again to normal nitrite concentration. A well-cycled tank must attain these parameters for a healthy aquarium ecosystem. It is both good and bad in term of its maintenance.

Is new tank syndrome bad?

Toxic Aquarium water & fish poisoning

There are lots of steps that you are going to have to take to set up your new aquarium to accommodate the guppies.

There are many things to watch for in order to make an error free tank setup;

One of the biggest their concerns are going to have is the proper components of the water

this means that you really need to watch the ammonia levels otherwise you were going to be dealing with ammonia poisoning with your guppies.

One of the biggest factors is not having the right filtration system or that it has not fully developed for filtration and the ammonia levels are fluctuating.

When a filtration system fully matures, it develops essential bacteria to handle the ammonia levels.

This means that you have to know that the filtration system is ready to go and able to handle the water changes that are going to take place when you add the fish.

There are some that try and use a method called fish-less cycling to prepare their system.

What they will do here is intentionally add ammonia to the water to help stimulate the creation of the bacteria that is going to be needed to break down the nitrates.

This can be a lengthy and complex process as it can take up to 4 to 8 weeks before the water is totally balanced out where the ammonia levels are safe.

While getting the water optimized before the fish are added to the tank is an important step, what has to be realized is that these ammonia problems can occur in the future as well.

Perhaps the fish are being overfed, and the other significant cause can be that maintenance is not being done properly with the water changes that are recommended for the established guppy tank.

The problem is with too many fish being in the tank or overfeeding that the aquarium filter that is being used cannot handle the amount of waste that is being produced.

You may also like to read 25 Guppy Fish Tank Mates you can Join

While you also have to remember to keep up with the maintenance of the tank in regards to the water,

you mustn’t forget that you need to include regular maintenance on the filter in order to keep it fully optimized and working properly.

Make sure that you follow the directions that came with the filtering system that you are using.

Also, you have to remember that using tap water will kill all of the bacteria that is necessary in the tank to keep it optimized and to handle the ammonia levels.

It is essential to use a proper water testing system to know what the various components of your water are which will also dictate the ammonia levels.

You will find indicators that something is wrong by the symptoms that your guppies may be displaying.

What you may find is that the fish are keeping to the water surface while gasping for breath.

They may be lethargic and not eating well and they may even do the opposite where they lay at the bottom of the tank.

That you may see some signs such as purple or red gills or overall the fish appear darker in colour. These are just a few of the symptoms of ammonia poisoning.

Food poisoning (Overfeeding Fish)

Why do guppies die suddenly? If you are finding that what seemed to be totally healthy guppies are beginning to die there is a chance that they are prone to food poisoning.

Not because you are feeding them bad food but because you may be overfeeding them.

uneaten fish food rots in the bottom of tank and begins to ferment and decompose.

This means a lack of aeration is taking place and toxins are now being generated by the bacteria that is forming in the unconsumed food.

Often what can happen is that this bacteria that has begun to grow can lead to other diseases such as fungal disease.

It can be really difficult to know exactly how much to feed your fish.

This is going to take a little bit of work on your time through observation.

When you feed them see how much they consume in about a five-minute period,

Make sure keeping up with proper tank maintenance which includes partial water changes.

Plant decay

Most likely we add plants to your aquarium to help provide a natural atmosphere for our guppies.

What can happen in some cases is that these plants begin to rot and decompose,

hence decaying pants begin to release toxin compounds that can be dangerous for guppies.

The first sign comes from the bad smell that the tank begins to remit.

Some guppy breeders worry so much about the dying plant’s problem that they keep their tanks bare.

This is going to come down to what you feel most comfortable with,

however, there are other guppy experts that do maintain plants within aquarium such as water sprite.

This helps them to know that the water is in good condition.

Household products

It is not uncommon for many of us to use household sprays for a variety of different reasons,

These could be aerosols, air’s fresheners, insect repellents and many types of cleaners.

The residual from these can become airborne and end up in your aquarium.

If the chemicals are deadly enough they could definitely have a bad effect on your guppies.

Water poisoning (Bad Water Quality)

Water poisoning is something that you are working at trying to prevent with the proper maintenance of your tank.

Following the regime, changing water is going to help eliminate the possibility of water poisoning.

However, there are times that water containing excess minerals can kill your guppies.

The water that comes from lead and copper pipes raises this possibility.

It is really important to have a good knowledge of the type of water, its compounds and its state of health.

Don’t forget to check fancy tank decor items and carefully scrutinize them for potential toxins.

The most common reason for guppies dying in your aquarium is the poor water quality.

Over time the water dirt, lack of oxygen and intoxication can cause guppies to die.

Putting too warm or too cold water in your aquarium can also damage guppy skin.

Untreated Tap water contains chlorine, which in turn is deadly for guppy fish.

Improper Cycling of Tank (Non-Cycled Tank)

After the first Basic setup of tank, If your guppies are getting sick, behaving abnormally, lethargic or even worst dying, probably its bad cycling of your aquarium.

Before you introduce fish to your aquarium, The cycling process is must which can take few days to few weeks depending on the size of aquarium.

  1. Add “Tank water” in your Aquarium.
  2. Add nitrifying bacteria – I use and recommend API Nitrifying Bacteria
  3. Introduce a good de-chlorinator – You can try this Prime conditioner
  4. Wait for few days for good bacteria to colonize and create a bioactive ecosystem.

How long does new tank syndrome last?

It can last from few days to weeks usually (6 to 12 weeks) based on size of aquarium tank.

Test kits for ammonia and nitrites are important to monitor the ppm levels

You can perform a water test with this Ammonia Testing Kit

Note: Ammonia and nitrite should be at (0) ppm, while nitrate of 15-20 ppm maximum.

At this point, you can ready to introduce guppy to the tank. A day after adding the fish, test again to see if the bacteria are able to cope with the nitrogen cycle.

monitor the activity for almost a week and then you are ready with a proper cycled tank.

High Ammonia Levels:

As per the standard nitrogen cycle, The nitrifying bacteria must immediately convert ammonia in nitrites thereafter into nitrates.

Hence, keeping Ammonia levels close to 0 ppm in fish tank (Max permitted level is 2.5 ppm)

What factors increases ammonia level?

  • Uneaten fish food will decompose and will turn into ammonia
  • Decaying dead fish increases ammonia level.
  • Rotting of Live plants or decor disturbs ammonia levels.
  • An uncleaned or clogged filter can cause a surge in levels
  • Unattended substrate dirt can also create ammonia issues.

A high ammonia level usually results in either instant death of guppy or even ammonia burns which will also end up in a slower and painful death. which no one wants.

How do you prevent ammonia poisoning in guppies?

  1. Increasing water flow and changing frequency reduces the ammonia level.
  2. Freshwater increases the dilution and concentration of ammonia.
  3. Avoid Keeping fish in 2.5 ppm ammonia or higher.
  4. Avoid overfeeding or stop feeding if fish is not willing to eat.
  5. Make sure your water parameters are in check.
  6. Marine salt and heat do wonders, you can add 1-2 tbsp per gallon

The most common reason for guppies dying in your aquarium is the poor water quality. The lack of oxygen in the water can also cause guppies to die

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