Guppy Diseases, Symptoms, Causes, Cure & Treatment

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

Most People are Unaware of Guppy Diseases. Guppies are one of the most popular aquarium fish. They are widely recognized due to their strong immunity and ease of maintenance. But improper care can undermine the health of any fish. Therefore, it is important to know guppy diseases in order to identify their signs in time, eliminate all the causes and proceed to effective treatment.

10 Common Symptoms Of Guppy Diseases

Each Guppy disease has its own characteristic features by which it can be identified. But, in addition to this, there are general symptoms that indicate health problems in guppies:

  1. Apathy or, conversely, hyperactivity
  2. Loss of appetite or overeating
  3. Discoloration of scales or fins
  4. Bloating
  5. Flaking of scales
  6. Deterioration in coordination
  7. Sudden aggression
  8. Bruising on the body
  9. Dramatic weight loss
  10. Changing the level of habitation (guppies swim on the surface, although they have never done this before, or vice versa).
guppy diseases

Having at least one of these symptoms is a sign that the fish is having health problems. Therefore, after its detection, it is necessary to carefully observe the animal in order to make a diagnosis and carry out further treatment.

8 Most Common Guppy Diseases and Treatment

Fin diseases affect fish coordination and activity. These body parts of animals are most often affected because they are sensitive to the environment.  

common diseases guppy fish

1) Fin Rot Disease

One of the most common and dangerous guppy diseases. 

  • The appearance of ulcers on the body or fins of the fish
  • Abdominal distention
  • Discoloration of fins to pale blue
  • Discharge of pus from wounds
  • The appearance of red stripes on the body has never appeared in the color of the fish.

Fin rot in fish is caused by dirty water, in which bacteria – pathogens begin to multiply. If at least one symptom is found, treatment should be started immediately. Otherwise, the disease will first completely destroy the fins, and then spread to the body of the fish, which will be fatal.

Related: What Is Dropsy In Fish? | Symptoms and Treatment

Treatment For Fin Rot:

  • Carrying out baths with table salt – 25 grams per 5 liters of water.
  • Solution “Levomycetin” – 5 tablets per 100 liters of water. To prepare a solution, you need to crush the drug into a powder, add it to a bottle of water and mix it well there before performing the treatment in the aquarium. Therapy should be continued until the guppy is fully recovered.
  • Streptocide baths. It is required to add 15 grams of the preparation to a 100 – liter aquarium and carry out treatment every two days until complete recovery.
  • Bristol tablet – 480 (1 piece per 10 liters).

2) Red Scab Disease

A sign of this disease is the appearance of a scarlet coating on the fin (often on the tail). Over time, the disease progresses and “eats” the tail alive. This occurs as a result of the activity of parasitic bacteria – ciliates, which fish can become infected with from poor-quality food or soil.

Fin Rot

Treatment for Red Scab:

  1. Remove the dead area where the red border appeared with the blade.
  2. Carry out therapeutic baths using table salt (5 grams per 5 liters), a solution of chloramphenicol (1 tablet per 20 liters), or furazolidone (1 tablet per 30 liters).

3) Compression of Fins

The main symptom of this disease is fins tightly pressed against the body of the fish. Both the caudal fin and the pectoral fin are affected. The cause of the pathology is poor nutrition, rare replacement of water, and active growth of fish. 

For treatment, it is necessary to check the fish diet and carry out health baths with table salt at the rate of 1 gram per liter of water.

4) Back Problems

The curvature of the spine is common among guppies. This pathology can be either acquired or congenital. In the first case, you can fight it, in the second, you cannot.

Types of Spinal Curvature:

  • Downward curvature
  • Curvature to the side.

If the spine bent down suddenly, not from birth, then the fish’s nutrition should be adjusted and given less food.

Red Scrabe

Causes of Sideways Curvature Of The Spine:

  • Overpopulation of the aquarium
  • Infection with infectious diseases
  • Increased water hardness.

If the guppy does not show other signs of infection with a dangerous disease, then the number of fish in the aquarium should be revised or the water hardness should be corrected. Otherwise, the sick animal must be quarantined for a while in a separate container and closely watched.

Congenital Curvature Of The Spine:

Scoliosis, which has already appeared in fry, is not cured. Individuals with this disease are often weaker than their brothers and sisters and are more susceptible to various infections.

The reason for the birth of fry with back problems is insufficient aeration of the reservoir where the pregnant female was located and her unbalanced diet, which contains little protein.

Back Problems

5) Breeding and Reproduction Problems

  1. Infertility: Sick females fade, and lose their color. Due to the impossibility of producing offspring, they become lethargic and irritable during the spawning period. The reasons why the fish do not reproduce are congenital genetic diseases or severe violations of the norms of guppy maintenance (exceeding the number of hours of daylight hours, increased or decreased acidity of the water, high hardness). Infertility is not cured.
  2. Hermatoprodism: With this disease, in addition to female hormones, females also develop part of male hormones. Sometimes self-fertilization occurs, resulting in infertile offspring. The causes of the disease and the methods of its treatment are currently unknown.

6) Split Fins and Potropannost Tail

In this case, the fin (most often the caudal) is torn into several parts. The reason for the split is a lack of vitamin D in the guppy’s diet, non-compliance with the conditions for keeping the fish, or injury (a cut on the decoration of the aquarium or a fight with another fish). 

For treatment, you need to carry out baths with iodine at the rate of 1 drop per 5 liters of water.

Most often arises from a fight with other fish. But the unnatural appearance of the tail fin can also be affected by the overpopulation of the aquarium and rare water changes in it. 

For treatment, you need to establish the exact cause and eliminate it. Next, the jagged edge of the tail can be carefully cut with a sharp blade. For the duration of the procedure, you need to put soft cotton wool soaked in water from the aquarium on the gills of the animal.

7) Tetrachimenosis Diseases To Guppies

Despite the strong immunity of these fish, there are specific diseases that affect only guppies. This infectious disease is caused by special bacteria – tetrachimens, which are ciliated ciliates. Pathogens feed on the tissues of multicellular organisms. As a result, they attack the gills and fins of the guppy.

Symptoms Are Characteristic of Trichinosis:

  • Destruction of the tail
  • Damage to the gills
  • The appearance of a white coating on the scales, which later rolls down and disappears
  • Changes in the behavior of the guppy: the fish swims near the surface and violently grabs air with its mouth
  • Bloating is a result of bacteria entering the body cavity.

Treatment is best done in a separate container because only guppies are affected by the disease. This means that other fish will not benefit from using unnecessary medications. For therapy, a solution of biseptol is used (powder of one tablet per 50 liters of water) or furazolidone (1 gram of the drug per 90 liters of water).

Guppy Specific diseases

8) Multifiliis (ichthyophthirius or Guppy Disease)

For the treatment of ichthyophthirius, baths are used only with a fresh formalin solution. The use of medicine prepared earlier is deadly for guppies.

Symptoms of Multifiliis Diseases:

  • Itching
  • The appearance of white rashes on the body, the number of which increases every day, affecting the gills and fins
  • Apathy
  • Refusal to eat
  • The desire of the fish to be mainly in the lower layers of the water, without floating up
  • Difficulty breathing (in the later stages of the disease)
  • Scale lifting, ruffling.

Incurable Guppy Diseases and Symptoms

If at least one of the symptoms of the diseases listed below is detected, the fish should be immediately deposited in a separate aquarium, and in the main tank, plants, walls, and decorations should be disinfected.

1) Mycobacteriosis (tuberculosis for fish)

It manifests itself as apathy, sudden weight loss, an indented abdomen, and a rounded back. The diseased individual grows dim, hides at the bottom, and hides from the sunlight. The scales become unkempt, and the tail hangs.

It is important to remember that mycobacteriosis is contagious, and therefore fish suspects of it should be immediately isolated from the rest.

2) Pleistophora

This is an extremely rare genetic disease that is inherited. With pleistophora, the fish begins to swim vertically, turns pale when trying to take the usual body position, and makes spasmodic movements. The sick individual refuses to eat, and becomes apathetic. My stomach sinks.

Incurable Guppy Diseases

The Following Diseases Can Infect Not Only Guppies But Also Most Fish In The Aquarium

3) Hexamitosis (Spironculosis or Hole Disease)

The main symptom of this disease is the appearance of sores and grooves on the body of the fish, similar to craters. In this case, the anus of the animal swells and turns red, the fins are destroyed.

Hexamitosis is caused by an intestinal parasite that lives in the fish cavity. It is released into the water with waste and therefore can infect a large number of aquarium inhabitants.

  1. Transfer the infected fish to a separate aquarium for quarantine.
  2. Raise the temperature in this reservoir to 33 – 35 ° С.
  3. Carry out baths using metronidazole (300 mg per 40 liters of water).

A fish that once had hexamitosis develops immunity to the disease and is no longer infected.

4) Ichthyophthiriosis (Semolina)

A characteristic symptom of semolina is the appearance on the whole body of the fish of a large number of white dots, which cause itching in the fish. In the advanced stages of the disease, this rash degenerates into wounds and ulcers.

The cause of ichthyophthyriosis is a bacterium – a parasite that lives in poor-quality soil or feed.

Treatment of Semolina in Guppies:

  • Salt baths in a shared aquarium (10 grams per liter of water)
  • Trypaflavin
  • Biomycin

The average course of treatment is 14 days. But therapy can be stopped earlier if all white dots have disappeared from the fish’s body.

5) Columnariosis Disease

It occurs as a result of the introduction of a bacterial infection into the aquarium with new fish. In sick individuals, a gray plaque appears on the body (as well as around the mouth), at advanced stages it develops into ulcers. Under the influence of bacteria, fins are destroyed in guppies.

During treatment, you need to change 30% of the water in the aquarium every 3 days and make baths using chloramphenicol or kanamycin.

Prevention From Guppy Diseases

Almost all guppy diseases are the result of violations of fish-keeping norms. In order for animals to remain healthy for a long time, some simple but important rules should be followed:

  • Purchase fish food only in special stores, and do not bring it yourself from natural reservoirs;
  • If a sick fish is identified, immediately place it in a separate aquarium, and in the main reservoir, disinfect the decorations and walls;
  • Do not overfeed the inhabitants;
  • Choose the neighborhood wisely, excluding cases of hostility;
  • Maintain the required water parameters;
  • Do not overpopulate the aquarium.
Prevention guppy diseases

Although guppies have strong immunity, it is important to closely monitor their health. After all, these fish are prone to certain specific diseases that are difficult to treat. But the attention and love of the owner can protect the fish from any disease.

5 thoughts on “Guppy Diseases, Symptoms, Causes, Cure & Treatment”

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