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Hi, Im John, i have 1 small guppy, and this morning about

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Hi, I'm John, i have 1 small guppy, and this morning about 2.5-3 hours after i had gotten up, I had noticed after he had been racing around the fish bowl (quiet alot), that he had a darkish patch that blends into a kind of light brown colour, he has never had that before as far as i am concerned. These colours were not exactly on the tail, but... might you say..., at the end of the body... right before the tail. what are these things caused by, and how can i stop them, get rid of them, and never have them come about again? Because 1 i am little worried that it might be a disease or something, and 2 that it is kind of annoying watching my fish go round the bowl numerous times a day..., to me even though the job of the fish is to swim, but to be swimming and doing laps around a fish bowl numerous times, doesn't seem right to me.

He/she (i don't know what gender my fish is... i can't tell, because it's so mind baffling and confusing) only started pretty much doing almost continuous laps of the bowl today, and if he never stopped at all, then... yeah... he would just keep going round and round the bowl, at first i thought maybe he, one, has got some kind of disease, two, he is just a really energetic fish, three, could even be hyperactive and needs a lot more to take his attention/interest (in other words he could be bored with himself), any other day, was when i had other fish in there and he was only racing around the bowl when chasing another fish... what are the things i need to do, can do, and all the good options i can take, (if one or more things don't work for my fish) please help, it will greatly appreciated 250%. John.

When was the last time the water was changed in the fish bowl?


How often and how much is the fish fed?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The fish bowl was cleaned, and i even put totally new fresh water in it, yesterday (on the 3/3/2011). Even though they say, that as a general rule, to only take out 1/4 to 1/3 of the water every two weeks, but i mean... hey you know, some other people have said that, if your ph, high range ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are too high... then yeah... you change all the water in the entire fish bowl, so that was what i did, because i have an "API Master Test Kit" which alot of people say is good and accurate, i tested the old water before i disposed of it, and found that it had a ph and high range ph of about 7.5-7.6 which is supposedly pretty ideal for guppies, an ammonia level of 4.0ppm which to me is terrible, seeing that it is the second highest level on the ammonia chart and they say that you pretty much no ammonia or very, very little ammonia in the water, a nitrite level of 1.7-1.8ppm, and a nitrate level of ll.5-12.5ppm... but 1.5-2hours before i cleaned the fish bowl, and changed its entire water, i had 2 guppies still alive. But i noticed one of my 2 remaining guppies was swimming and then settling himself down to the bottom of the fish bowl at night and even during the day as well,... but i thought maybe he is just resting, just like we humans rest through the day sometimes, so i thought i'd leave him be, he kept doing this for about 5-6 days prior to his death. Any way i come back like 1.5-2hours later and find him dead, and that was when i decided to say... no... stuff this, i'm doing a complete clean of the bowl and putting in entirely new fresh water, because i didn't want to take any prisoners.

But just to let you know, the stuff i use to clean the bowl with and remove fish from bowl with are all plastic and nylon material, nothing metal, everything rinsed with no chemicals (i never ever use any chemicals, cause i know they will kill the fish). And to make sure that, what i am removing the fish with is clean, i get a large enough bowl (at least 2.5L), rinse it well and make sure that it has never been used for anything else before, then fill it up with clean water (2.5L), and put a tiny drop of "API Melafix" in the water, and then put everything i will use to remove my fish with in that bowl to be disinfected of ammonia and stuff for about 5-10mins, and nothing i ever use has ever been used for anything else but this and never had any chemicals on them as well.

Any way... onto the next part... i feed my fish, maximum 3 times a day, and only give him 1 small flake, and 1 or 2 little granules and thats it for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. And i never leave any excess food in the tank for anymore than 5mins. But you see originally (being more inexperienced and less knowledgeable about fish, than what i am now) i bought 4 guppies for 2.5L fish bowl which was daughnting to find out that, one, bowls are not ideal for almost any fish and that, two, it is not ideal to have a group of guppies in that amount of water, because of water quality issues, and general health and happiness of the fish, and all kinds of stuff like that. But the people who sold me everything, don't seem to give a damn, and i even told them, that i am a complete beginner with fish and don't really know anything about them, and then he just lets me buy 4 guppies.

And if i can remember, the water he gave me looked a bit mysty, and i heard that, that can be to do with fish being over fed, so maybe he originally gave me bad fish that were probably already sick in the first place, and in dirty water. But i will say that, before i knew about the overfeeding thing, that even though i was following the directions on the bottle, saying to feed a maximum of three times a day, i was feeding them all WAY to much, WAY, WAY too much, so that made the water worse as well. First time i changed the water was about 3-4 days after buying the fish, and i only replaced a quarter of the water, and that was it, and it wasn't until about 3-4 days later, that i found out about this overfeeding thing, and also how essential it is to have a "Test Kit", so i took all this into consideration, started feeding them alot less quantities of food, and bought that "API master test kit" only to be shocked at the results.

And at that time, i wanted to to change the entire water, but i hesitated, because i had also read, that if you change to much of the water, to often, that it's like taking the environment away from the fish, and also because they say as a general rule to do it once every 2 weeks. So that's why i never did it right there and then.

Hi again John and thank you for the detailed explanation.


Simply stated the problems you are encountering are due to unfavorable water conditions caused by the rapid formation of ammonia which as you know is lethal to fish.


What needs to be done in order to maintain the fish healthy, thriving and alive is change all of the water in the bowl every other day making sure to use dechlorinated water that is the same temperature as the water being discarded. By doing this you'll be assured that harmful ammonia and nitrites cannot form thus saving the fish from any potential health issues.


It's also important to not overfeed the fish as excess feeding leads to excess fish waste which is a major cause of ammonia formation. Feed the fish only a small pinch of food once a day. Note that a fish's stomach is approximately the size of its eye so not much food is needed to meet a fish's dietary needs.


The cloudy/misty water you saw was an indication of beneficial bacteria forming as a result of the presence of ammonia in the water.


Also be aware that 2.5L is not a lot of water and only 1 guppy should be housed in it as if more fish are added more waste will be produced at a quicker rate thus the quicker that lethal ammonia will form.


I'd suggest ceasing the use of Melafix as there is not a disease issue here but more of a water quality issue. Instead of adding Melafix add a pinch of aquarium salt with each water change. Incidentally a ph of 7.5-7.6 is not dangerous for guppies as it is for some other fish so there's no need to worry about a ph issue.


The most important thing here is to maintain good water conditions and your fish will thrive.


You stated-"But the people who sold me everything, don't seem to give a damn, and i even told them, that i am a complete beginner with fish and don't really know anything about them, and then he just lets me buy 4 guppies." You are absolutely correct and I agree 100% as the goal of many pet stores/shops is to make money and not to have a customer with healthy fish as the more problems a customer has the more likely they are to return to the pet store for products.


Best wishes and please let me know if you have any questions.



TROPICAL FISH AFICIONADO and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
May i say... no problem, i like to explain my self, because that is only how you are going to get true solutions to the problem. And i thankyou greatly for everything... i will take all of your advice into account and do it, and i have never tried that aquarium salt stuff, so that is what i'll get.

I've got some questions though...

1. Now that i had only done this water change like yesterday, and added the "Science Products Complete Water Treatment" which is a dechlorinator, and added that "API Melafix" stuff, can i still add some aquarium salt, regardless of the melafix being in the water, or will that be bad? And should i do my next water change tommorow, or in 2 weeks, and then just add some aquarium salt then instead of melafix like you were saying?

2. And do i add a pinch of salt for a whole new 2.5L of fresh water only replacing the water every two weeks? Or is it a pinch of salt for only a partial water change such as only replacing a 1/4 to a 1/3 every two weeks? And is that the truth, that in general, you should only do a water change every two weeks, and only 1/4 to 1/3 be changed, unless of a dire situation and water conditions are terrible?

3. Now this "Science Products Complete Water Treatment" that i add says that it not only eliminates and removes chlorine, but ammonia as well, as well as all the rest of it, ... binds up heavy metals, provides Aloe Vera, and Vitamin B for the fish and so on and so forth, it says that it eliminates and removes ammonia as well, but after days of having it in the water, the ammonia levels were still a shocking 4.0ppm. What happened there? why is that? and what do they mean that stuff like what i use "Locks Ammonia up"? i never understand what they mean by that, cause they say that it doesn't remove it like the bottle says it does. Do i need to buy only just a dechlorinator, and one that even removes chloramine as well chlorine and that does everything else, binds up metals and stuff, but with out anything to do with ammonia?

4. Do you recommend i get any bottom feeders, such as water snails, siamese cat fish etc?

5. And if so, what bottom feeders should i get that are not aggressive and will not attack guppies even if they are sitting on the bottom of the bowl, that are low maintenance, hardy, and can survive without food for ages, and only need to be fed minimal amount of food? and what food out that is bought from the store, can i give them? just in-case of a dire situation, where they are not getting enough food for some reason?

6. What times are guppies supposed to have complete lights out, to go to sleep, and what time do they usually wake up of a morning,... is sleep deprivation a major cause for loss of health in fish as well? and does it make them, more vulnerable and suseptible to, illnesses diseases, parasites and other enemies of the fish such as hydra as an example, and does it affect their recovery time and how well they will recover?

Thankyou for your patience, time, and knowledge and advice you have shared with me, it has given me great insight, and more confidence, with looking after guppies anyway. John

Hi John. I'll address all of your questions in the order you posted them.


1) It's no problem if aquarium salt is added to water that contains Science Products Complete Water Treatment and Melafix but keep in mind what I mentioned earlier in that it is not necessary to add Melafix as the fish is not suffering from a disease. Also as mentioned prior all of the water should be changed every other day whilst adding the corresponding amount of Complete Water Treatment and aquarium salt. Changing the water every 2 weeks will cause a water quality problem.


2) Aquarium salt should be added with every water change but only the amount that corresponds to the amount of water being exchanged/changed. As for the frequency and amount of water changes, they can be done every 2 weeks if fish are being housed in a larger body of water but in a small amount of water such as that in your fish bowl it's best to change more frequently.


3) Yes what you stated is true about the qualities of the Science Products Complete Water Treatment but it's ammonia binding/eliminating effect is only temporary thus the high ammonia level you witnessed in the water. When a product states that it "locks up ammonia" it is basically saying that it neutralizes it. You can continue to use the Water Treatment when doing partial water changes as it will eliminate/neutralize harmful additives that may be present in the water source you're using.


4) I do not recommend that any more fish and/or snails be added to your bowl as further additions to the bowl will place undue stress on the biological balance of the water in the bowl.


5) (Addressed in #4)


6) The light on the bowl should only be on when viewing the fish and performing maintainance on the bowl as excessive light will cause unsightly algae to grow.

Guppies sleep/rest whenever they desire and sleep deprivation is not an issue with them. They have no set rest/sleep time. What makes guppies ill is stress usually caused by unfavorable water conditions which leave them open to a variety of diseases.



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