Guppy Swimming Vertically

Get help on those urgent fishkeeping problems!

Guppy Swimming Vertically

Postby kjlmmh » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:09 am

Hi - we have a sad looking little male guppy which is swimming, without much energy, vertically, with his head upwards. Occasionally he makes it to the top of the tank but then goes back down again. This just started this morning - can see no sign of other illness (spots, slime etc.) and all other fish (guppies, mollies, danios, swordtail, bristle-nosed catfish) are well so far. Is this a swim bladder problem? Can we treat him? Will the others catch whatever he has? Did a water change just last night, btw.
Many thanks.
kjlmmh
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:34 am
Location: Herts, England

Postby Wolfgirl » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:03 am

Have a read of this and see what you think:

My fish are upside-down/ can't swim
This is a common problem whereby fish lose their equilibrium and are unable to maintain their position. This can result in the fish swimming awkwardly, laying upside-down either on the bottom or top of the water, or unable to maintain a horizontal position in the water. This is often attributed to swim-bladder problems and indeed this is the most common cause of loss of equilibrium. The swim-bladder is an air-filled sac laying just under the backbone at the top of the abdominal cavity. By inflating / deflating the swim-bladder, the fish can adjust its position in the water and maintain neutral buoyancy.

The swim-bladder can be affected by bacterial or viral diseases. In addition the swim-bladder may malfunction, leading to over or under inflation. Clearly anything which affects the proper functioning of the swim-bladder will also affect the fish's equilibrium.

However, before diagnosing all equilibrium problems as swim-bladder disease, we should be aware that there are other conditions which can cause buoyancy problems. Disease in other organs such as kidneys and intestines for example can also cause problems. This can happen if there is any swelling of the affected organs leading to either a change in organ density or pressure being put on the swim-bladder. This is often a problem with fancy goldfish whose abdominal cavity is tightly packed.

Treatment is difficult, mainly because it is virtually impossible to diagnose the cause and secondly there are only a few conditions that will respond to treatment. It is always worth considering a course of antibiotic injections in case a bacterial infection is involved. An attempt should be made to see whether the fish is defecating, in case the problem is being caused by an intestinal blockage. If this is suspected it is worth either trying to feed the fish a few frozen peas, which act as a laxative, or else try baths in Epsom salts (70g / litre for 5 minutes) which has the same effect.

If these treatments do not work, there is little else that can be done. There is some work being carried out on exploratory surgery, but there are very few veterinarians undertaking this "cutting edge" procedure.

There are a few reports of fish recovering from balance problems, so it is worth giving the fish some time. One report suggested "wedging" the fish upright between two objects was helpful. If there is no sign of recovery after 7-10 days, the kindest thing is to euthanase the fish.

Source: Fish Doc
Don't let your mind wander. It's too small to be let out on its own.
~John Wagner
Wolfgirl
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:49 am
Location: Lincolnshire, England

Postby kjlmmh » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:12 am

Thanks for this info. Guppy is still moving but doesn't look at all well - sinks down to the gravel, got caught in a plant once and had to be freed. By now, we're hoping he dies quickly and doesn't suffer.
If swim bladder problems can be bacterial or viral, will this cause the other fish problems? :(
kjlmmh
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:34 am
Location: Herts, England

Postby Carylnz » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:14 pm

Are you able to separate him in a net or small container so he doesn't have so far to swim to reach the surface? This will allow him to rest more comfortably. I suspect in this case he may come right again on his own (I hope so anyway)
User avatar
Carylnz
Moderator
 
Posts: 7478
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Blenheim, NZ

Postby kjlmmh » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:40 am

Little guppy died overnight. We're just watching the others now.
kjlmmh
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:34 am
Location: Herts, England

Postby Angel Fish » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:58 am

I'm sorry to here that :(

It might be worthwhile doing a small water change today.
All the advice I give is based on my own personal 30 years of experience.
Main TT Page
Diabetes Forum
User avatar
Angel Fish
Moderator
 
Posts: 6239
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:09 am
Location: Dartmoor, Devon

Postby Wolfgirl » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:31 am

I'm sorry. :(

Was he one of the first fish you got? How long has your tank been set up?

AF is right; a small water change would probably be a good idea. :)
Don't let your mind wander. It's too small to be let out on its own.
~John Wagner
Wolfgirl
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:49 am
Location: Lincolnshire, England

Postby kjlmmh » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:06 am

Hi - we've had the tank since March and started putting fish in early April. Guppies were the last lot to go in, so that would have been May - second bank holiday w/e, I think. It's a Rekord 96. 7 danios, 7 other guppies, 2 mollies, 1 swordtail, 1 catfish (my favourite!) We have only lost one fish before this - a red platy who died after a month. (I have been posting my problems here before but had to come on under a slightly different name this week as I got in a muddle over passwords!)
Like the posting above, we also have lots of algae so I'm glad to know that's normal. And snails. (cucumber, we've been told, as a solution)
kjlmmh
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:34 am
Location: Herts, England


Return to Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests