I Killed the Guppies, Too–Fish Friday #4

You read right: I killed the guppies.

I know by now you’ve worked out that I’m a bit of an idiot. I’ve told you before the nano-aquarium crashed, then recovered, looking just beautiful, but then I did something stupid. I caved.

Okay. My twenty gallon long aquarium was going along beautifully according to plan, but I had been doing some research out and about town to discover if either of the two local fish stores had any ember tetras and how much they cost as well as seeing if there are any of the other plants I needed were available without having to go up to Salt Lake at a great fish store called Fish4U. So at Jay’s Jungle in Provo, I was looking through his tanks when Jay himself walked up and started talking to me about what I needed. Unfortunately, he didn’t have anything I wanted. He didn’t even have any of the plants I need (or the ones he did were nearly dead). The problem with Jay’s Jungle is everytime I go there, the store is empty. I don’t know how he stays in business. So while I was in there talking to Jay, I started feeling a bit guilty and bought two male guppies. They were very attractive, but I should have noticed they were very much full grown and had some fin damage. I just felt guilty talking to Jay while his store was empty when I actually never intended to buy anything since he didn’t have anything I wanted.

So, I decided to put them in the nano-aquarium. The two guppies did great for a week and then one morning I noticed they were both swimming clumsily and a bit sideways and often nose down telling me they both suffered some sort of damage to their swim bladders. I moved them over to the twenty gallon tank as soon as I could. The nano-aquarium was crashing again–for the third time in three months. I was sick of it and decided it was time for the nano-aquarium to be pulled down. The twenty gallon had been cycling for a month and had quite a few plants in it, so I figured the fish, snails, and other plants would survive a quick, but permanent, change of environment. And both fish did fine.

For a while.

After two days, the twenty gallon still looked fine and the fish were eating and seemed to be recovering. However, I was really worried the two fish were not providing enough bioload to kick start the nitrates, so I called up to FISH4U, found out they did have some ember tetras at a very reasonable rate. I took my grandkids up there and bought six beautiful ember tetras and put them into the twenty gallon without a quarantine. I was that kind of worried. Everything went well and the fish seemed very happy.

For a while.

Three days later the two guppies were fighting ferociously with each other. After a day of that, the smaller one was so beat up, I separated the two by putting the injured one behind the aquarium’s Hamburg Matten Filter (HMF) for safety away from the bigger guppy. The smaller one was so hurt, it couldn’t move it’s tail well at all and the bigger one was swimming sideways or nose-down again.

Yeah, It didn’t take long after that. Three days in fact. Both fish were eating okay, but it’s pretty bad when a full grown guppy gets outcompeted for food by a bunch of tiny ember tetras. The small one ate the food as well, but struggled getting to it. The current behind the HMF is so slow, it shouldn’t have been a problem. Eventually, neither could move and sank to the bottom of the tank, so I euthanized them.

I hated doing that, but this is just another proof I need to stop being such a pansy and just be patient. That stupid nano-aquarium combined with my incompetence killed five fish and three shrimp. I hope to never go through that kind of crap again.