Guppy fry - Pin tails and exploding brains
Okay, this one is just weird and has all the LFSs confused too.
Step 1: The conditions...
Moderately planted 29G tank.
Ammonia = 0.0
Nitrites = 0
Chlorine/Chloramines = 0
Nitrates = 15-20
pH = 7.2
KH = 120
Temp = 81.5F
Four Colombian Tetras
Three 2-inch Clown Loaches (Because Snails)
Two floating breeder tanks -
- 5x 0.5" Molly fry, 2x 0.5" Guppy fry
- 6x 0.1" (Newborn yesterday) Guppy fry
Up until this morning, we had another 1.25" guppy female that was an older fry from two months ago, getting her colors in nicely.
The general timeline:
In the past three months, there have been three motile guppy fry births. Two females survived from the first group, however one died a week ago and one died today. The second group had two survive, which are the two 0.5" ones in the floating breeder box. Sadly, I've found that releasing the fry from the box before they are about 1" long causes them to be around for about two days at most before they just vanish without a trace. There are two fry boxes because the .5" Molly fry find the newborn guppy fry to be absolutely tasty.
There have been substantial problems with "pin" tails in the guppy fry. Literally their tails become to look like somebody stuck them in a pencil sharpener. They are not clamped, per se, as they are completely atrophied. Postmortem examinations show no tail material to fan out. This symptom has been hitting generally all but two or three fry and invariably results in death. Treatment for bacterial infection has been performed in the past month due to the pin tail issue in the fry and only yesterday's new set of fry are the first born after the treatment.
Previously, when removing dead pin-tailed guppy fry, I didn't concern myself much over the prolapsed brains, thinking it to be a postmortem issue. Last week, one of the two first-fry larger guppies died of pin-tail issues and had a severely-bruised cranium. The top of her head looked beaten up a little but the pin tail was considered the main cause of death.
This morning, the biggest of the original fry (fine last night) was swimming in short bursts, floating upside down, and getting stuck in plants. Quick examination showed that the top of her head was severely bruised, she had internal cranial bleeding, and part of her brain was extruded through the top of her skull, just like the brains of all the smaller fry that had died in the breeder box. She was removed and euthanized. But this finally caught my attention since her tail was absolutely fine.
So I have no idea whether the exploding brains of the fry-boxed guppies has any relation to the exploding brains this morning, but this is getting to be like something out of a horror flick. O.o
No insight, just a thought for possible prevention...I would buy a couple guppies from another source, in case this is an issue of inbreeding causing physical defects. I would purchase a few guppies from other sources, and then rehome some of the current guppies to another tank or back to the store.
The tank temp IMO seems a tad hot, tho I can't see that causing your issues.
Last edited by sheamurai; 04-27-2014 at 06:01 PM.
20gal long planted community
Agreed. Try finding some feeder guppies and add them to the gene pool after a quarantine. An issue with many fancy guppies is rampant inbreeding which may cause issues such as birth deformities.
Hmm. This is tricky, since one of the females is a pretty boring guppy picked out from "Guppies", and the entire set of guppies come from different stores each. I can try replacing the stock, or I can just avoid getting attached to the fry, since breeding isn't the end goal.
On the temp, I previously had it at 78, and with three cats in the house who were prone to drinking out of the aquarium, health problems and infections abounded. At 81-82, there have been no further issues. It's interesting, since the increase happened since the last pin-tail issue and I haven't seen any more pin tails in the next set of fry (knock on wood).
I completely agree with the others. Farm raised guppies will throw all sorts of bad babies because of the inbreeding.
I would buy a couple of good ones from a true breeder and begin your own breeding program.
50 Gallon -
Endlers | Guppies | Blue Eyed Rice | Celestial Pearl Danios | Threadfin Rainbows | Bronze Cory's
Albino Cory's | Nerite Snails | Ghost Shrimp