Monthly Archives: February 2017

Guppy tank water chemistry.

I have never had any patience when it comes to water chemistry or when it comes to fish in general. In the past I have over fed my fish and they have died as a result from poor water quality and over feeding. I wish I had known more about cycling tanks and how important the nitrogen cycle is when it comes to keeping an aquarium of fish healthy. It really takes weeks to fully cycle a tank.

After replacing my old aquarium filter with my new  sponge filter I left the old filter in the tank for a week so the beneficial bacteria could colonize the new filter. Doing so did raise the nitrate and ammonium levels. The ammonia levels were at 1 ppm and the nitrite levels were at 5 ppm. I removed the old filter and tested the water for the past couple of days and the ammonia has decreased to 0 ppm and the nitrites are down to 2 ppm again. Hopefully the water changes and better filtration will help keep the tank cycled.

The guppy fry are 5 weeks old (one month and a week). They have developed more color. At 4 weeks they had only developed their black markings, but now you can definitely see the difference between the coloring of the males and females. Six of the fry are females and four are males. The obvious difference in fin shape only just developed. The males have a gonopodium, which is a specialized fin that is used to deliver sperm to the female.

I ordered a male turquoise tuxedo guppy from a member on Guppy Fish Enthusiasts facebook page. I saw some in petsmart that were about 4 months old, but did not want to buy another guppy from Petsmart at the moment. This guy is 1 year and a bit, but he was too beautiful to resist. He arrived on Thursday in perfect health. I also started cycling a new tank using one of the mature sponges from my original tank. I have managed to separate my females from my males.

Another update: The mystery snails have exhibited mating behavior and  I expect I will see eggs soon.

Having technical problem’s with photos. Will update as soon as I fix them.


Guppies; Water tests, brine shrimp and mystery snails

On Monday I received my brine shrimp eggs in the mail. I set up my own shrimp hatchery. I used a screw driver to make a hole in the top of a mason jar. I placed some aquarium air tubing through the hole and attached an air stone to it. I put some sea salt into the jar, added a little bit of baking soda and used some dechlorinated water. I put the eggs in and the next day I had baby shrimp. Since the shrimp hatched I added some more eggs and was able to feed quite a few to my guppy fry. I have been feeding them shrimp at least a few times a day. I have been having a lot of fun watching them eat the shrimp. (I had to put this project on hiatus until I purchase a better air pump.

On Wednesday I received my API water testing kit. I tested the water and the ammonia levels have decreased, yay!. They went from 3ppm down to between 0-0.25ppm. This is a good sign that the Nitrosomas bacteria have broken down the ammonia into nitrites. I then tested to see what the nitrite levels in the tank were. They had risen from 0 ppm to 5.0ppm. Nitrite is still harmful to fish and once the tank has gone through the full nitrogen cycle the nitrite levels should be 0ppm. In this case it is a new tank and the high nitrite levels are due to the fact the tank has not fully cycled yet. There also may not be enough beneficial bacteria established on the filter yet. I added more bacteria starter and have been doing 10-20% water changes since I tested the water. The ammonia levels have decreased a little more and it looks like the nitrate level is starting to increase.

I added two mystery snails to the tank to help clean up some of the debris on the tank. I chose a yellow and an ivory mystery snail. I am hoping that the nitrite levels in the tank will not affect them. It looks like they brought some nematode hitch hikers with them, but the guppy fry have been attacking the nematode eggs. I also noticed some hydra clinging to the side of the tank. I personally love hydra after studying them in my Animal Biology class at Pikes Peak Community College.


Ivory and yellow mystery snails. They are a lot of fun to watch.

Earlier this week the fry started to developed some black coloration on them mainly black spots on their tails. Their scales are looking greener and their tails are looking like they will be white like their mothers. She had some blue in her tail, so I am hoping there may be some blue coloration too. I am also beginning to be able to tell the males and females apart. They are 3 weeks old today!


The fry are three weeks old today and they are now exploring the whole tank.

Another development is that released the guppy fry into the tank. They are currently too small for me to put the divider in the tank. I know this because I put it in and they swam through a tiny gap between the wall and the divider. That was fun, because I had identified all the females and males and had separated them.

Out of the ten guppies there are two that have bent spines. I have read many breeding resourced that say to cull those ones, but I am going to keep them. I know that guppies reproduce really fast, but I want to keep these ones separate or in a tank with fish of the same sex and let them live out their lives as long as they are not suffering. They have come this far right?

On Friday I received my XY-2831 Air Pump Sponge Filter. I tried to set it up in the tank with the other filter and the shrimp hatchery going at the same time. The air pump just isn’t strong enough to do that. I ended up unplugging the hatchery and the other filter. I left the other filter in the tank to keep the beneficial bacteria in the tank. So far I love my new filter. I got the idea from a video blog I watched by Home Aquatics. Here is a link to his blog.

Well thats all for now. I have been doing a lot of reading about show quality guppies, watching a lot of video blogs and joined a faceboook group called Guppy Fish Enthusiasts that is run by the same guy in the Home Aquatics videos.