Hey guys and gals!
I bought 3 guppies today, a lilac-y amber one, a bright yellow one and finally there is one with an assortment of colours with black, leopard-style markings all over.
Once I had successfully introduced them into the tank, one at a time I had time to watch them for half an hour to make sure everything was OK and nobody was aggressive at all before I had to leave for work.
I came home about an hour ago and couldn't find the yellow one. Remembering that it shimmered more than the others, I turned the top tank light on and began to move the lid up and down slowly and there I saw him; upside down, tangled in one of the plants. Sadly, dead.
I removed him from the tank and inspected the body carefully and there are no signs of any infection(s), no scale damage and most importantly there were no damage to the fins (since this could indicate an aggressive community member).
Could he have died because he was tangled in the plant? I'm certain it's unusual for a fish to get trapped like that and it's never happened before.
Water parameters are 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite and only about 5ppm nitrate (I had done a large water change and gravel vac before going out to the store). I used API liquid test kits to get my results.
community members aren't really a big deal since this was the largest guppy I have and certainly the largest fish I own!
I have a 16 gallon (about 70 litres, call it 65 litres and 15 gallons due to displacement) with 4 gold zebra danios (all about 1.5 inches long), 3 juvenile peppered cories, 2 small male (about 1.25 inches) blue/black/silver guppies, 1 'regular' male guppy (about 1.5 inches) and finally the largest male guppy (the colourful leopard one, about 2.1/2.2 inches). The yellow guppy was intended to finish my tank off with a bang of colour!
When it's listed like that, my tank sounds a bit too full but I assure you there is more than enough room in that tank, lots of hiding spaces low down, a few real plants that reach no higher than a third of the way up the tank and a low to moderate current going from one corner of the tank diagonally to the other.
Is it feasible that my guppy died 'cause he got caught in the plant?
Also, I have one other concern. One of my cory cats' barbels doesn't seem to be as long as the others. The gravel I have is approximately a small pea size and rounded (no sharp edges) which levels off to a sanded area which looks pretty cool IMO. I haven't been able to get a REALLY good look yet since they're so illusive and mine are particularly nocturnal but I think it's best that I ask this now whilst I'm thinking about it!
I realise that I've put one hell of a lot of info in one post but these issues are genuinely bothering me and I'm still new to fish keeping; I try to do all my homework on the fish I want first though.
Any help that anybody could offer me is highly valued and appreciated!
How long did you have the guppy before it died. In my experience improperly acclimated fish will survive up to a week with breathing problems. It is unlikely it was ever really got tangled in the plant while alive. And even if that were the case it should have still been alive when you got home. It should have been fine tangled in a plant for several day as long as the plant wasn't blocking water flow past the gills and you have a sufficient filter on your tank to circulate water.
Fish grow at different rates. Female fish sometimes are bigger. Not sure if this is the case with cory catfish but like 1 of my black neon tetras is huge and the other one I bought the same day and was originally the same size is about half the size. I am assuming the bigger one is female. I've had them for a while so I'm not concerned about the size difference.
Thanks for the reply. It's a particularly cold day here so I left the bag to float in the tank water for an extra few minutes (it was in there for a total of 30mins) to make sure the temperatures were ok. Once I netted the fishes into the tank, I added a couple drops of stress coat+ as recommended. There is definitely adequate water flow in every cubic inch of the tank and the venturi valve helps agitate the water surface more than enough to help oxygenate it.
Yeah, I've had my concerns about the size of the guppies but my LFS (they actually have people who know a thing or two and keep fish themselves) assured me that the larger fish are male. In theory, every fish in my tank should be male. I chose them because they're generally considered smaller and would probably get along with a tank the size of mine than a female an inch longer!
Perhaps then, I didn't properly acclimatise the fish properly - is there a 'proper' way to do this?
Edit: Sorry, I forgot to answer your question - my shift was 8.5 hours today and the fish was alive for at least an hour and a half before I left the house for work. After that, I wouldn't be able to tell you.
Your steps for acclimation is correct but you missed something. While floating the bag for half an hour you need to be slowly putting water from your tank into the bag to get the new fish use to new conditions.
Also (and I don't know how this will affect your cat fish) adding a little bit of salt when you add new fish helps acclimate them. It raises the salinity of the water and keeps the vesicles in their gills from bursting. This is also the reason for adding water to the bag to lower the salinity in the bag slowly.
Most people say pH is the reason you have to acclimate them. And I have only seen one article about the salinity but it makes a lot more sense then the common pH information and explanations. So don't take the salinity thing as fact just know you need to adjust the water conditions in the bag slowly and that salt in the tank helps. Providing all your fish can take small quantities of salt. I recommend quarter dosages of salt for fish acclimation you aren't trying to salt your tank. You are just trying to bump the salinity a little to make acclimation easier.
Thanks so much! I'll have to read up a bit on Cories and how they react to salt - I heard that they're not very tolerable but if they can take tiny doses then perhaps this is the best way to procede.
You've been a great help, I take it that I cannot just use any salt and marine salt is also out the of the question - will regular aquarium salt be OK (provided the catfish wont be stressed or harmed by the conditions at all)?
Regular aquarium salt is what I use. Marine salt should be okay I couldn't imagine there is a difference except it comes in larger quantities and probably has way different instructions. Some people use table salt but I would never use table salt as there are additives that are meant for humans not fish.
Putting small amounts of aquarium water in the bag while it floats. I usually do about 5 or 6 turkey basters full but I have the salt to help as I don't really have any sensitive fish. The cats are sensitive to salt as far as I know but with such a low dosage of salt it shouldn't affect them.
Since your tank is almost full or full anyway you may just leave the salt idea alone since you are only trying to add 1 fish and just use extra caution while acclimating make sure you spend lots of time getting them use to the tank water before letting them go.
Thank you Although you've suggested that the salt idea is probably worthless for the introduction of one guppy, I will definitely keep everything you've told me in the back of my mind. I plan to move from my 70 litre to a 250 litre later this year so your salt acclimatisation method will come in very handy sooner or later!