Guppy Disease And Treatment

Guppy Disease And Treatment Reading Time: 5 minutes

Guppies and other most livebearer fish are generally hardy fish. They can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. These hardy fish don’t get sick much. Although they are affected by only a few diseases, if you properly setup your fish tank and you are providing them a good food diet then your guppy fish should be healthy enough to fight off most of the guppy disease and treatment would be minimum.

List of Common Guppy Disease and Treatment

In this section, I will be discussing some of the most common guppy diseases, symptoms, cause, and their treatment more specifically guppy diseases and treatment. Before going through this section, first, make sure that you have properly diagnosed the right disease that your fish is suffering from. Else treating the disease with a wrong treatment will negatively affect your fish.

This article will not only help you to heal your sick guppy fish but also to prevent any disease starting again in the future i.e. prevention is better than cure. Regular maintenance with proper aquarium setup must be done to prevent many diseases from breaking out in your fish aquarium.

The first thing you must do after you witness the symptoms of sickness is removed the sick fish to a quarantine or a hospital tank so that other fish won’t get affected. It’s always better to treat the disease early to prevent a disease from spreading and help recover fast. Make sure you remove any type of chemical media like activated carbon from your filter since Activated carbon absorbs and helps to remove medicine. Also make sure that you give the recommended amount of medication as indicated on the medicine packaging, as overdosage could result into toxic to your tanks water eventually killing your fish.

Below is a list of the most common guppy diseases and treatment


Ick is a disease that causes your fish to get small white spots on their body. This disease is commonly known as white spot disease and Ich. Ick is caused by protozoa named Ichthyophthirius Multifilis. These parasite spends a part of its life within fish skin creating white crysts on the skin of fish. Once these crysts are mature enough, they fall down to the substrate and give rise to thousands of new swimming parasites.


  • Small white dots appearing in the fish body,
  • The fish may try to rub its body against hard surface or decorations in the aquarium,
  • They will look uncomfortable and have loss of desire for food.


  • caused by protozoa named Ichthyophthirius Multifilis,
  • rapid fluctuation of temperature and ph cause whitespot disease,
  • due to poor water quality


  • Since parasites are released into the water, clean the entire tank,
  • Raise the temperature slightly to speed up the life cycle of the parasite,
  • Add aquarium salt 5-8 tbs per gallon,
  • Malachite Green and formalin can be used to control parasite.



Dropsy is a disease that causes you fish to get a swollen abdomen and body with raised scales. Viruses and bacteria cause Dropsy. Once Dropsy reaches the kidney, the disease will be almost incurable and leads to the death of the fish. Therefore, only if you discover this disease early, you might be able to save your fish. Since dropsy is one of the diseases that is almost incurable.


  • The sick fish will have a big swollen body with its scale raised,
  • The fish appear listless and loose appetite.


  • Poor water quality,
  • Feeding infected fish food to your fish,
  • Dropsy is caused by infection from bacteria.


  • Remove the fish immediately after the disease is discovered in a quarantine tank to avoid spreading the bacteria into the main tank,
  • Dropsy is typically one of the incurable diseases, by the time the symptoms of dropsy are visible, and it’s too late to cure the fish since most of its internal organs are already damaged due to infection.


  • Always balance your pH in your fish tank, guppy requires pH rating of 5.5 to 8.5,
  • Clean water helps a lot in preventing further infections.

Fin Rot / Tail Rot

As the name suggests, fin or tail rot is a disease that causes the fins to turn opaque or become blood-streaked. The fish dies when the erosion of the fin reaches the base of the fin. The bacteria that causes fin or tail rot generally do not affect healthy fish. Fin rot starts to attack a fish when the fish are stressed, or when their fin is damaged due to extreme fin nipping.


  • Rotting of fish fins or tails,
  • Fish’s fins or tail looks like torn with a white edge or red blood streaked,
  • Guppy will look like they have missing fins or tail.


  • This disease is usually caused due to excessive fin nipping,
  • Poor water quality causes bacteria to grow attacking a weak fish.


  • You can use a commonly available antibiotic to treat the fish.


  • Separate any fish that is been bullied or fish with its fins nipped to the hospital tank,
  • Frequent water change helps a lot to overcome most of the disease.

Learn more about fin-rot disease and its treatment.



A fungus is a colorless plant which appears in guppy fins or body in the form of whitish cotton-wool. Fungus attack is most common in sick and weak fish where they have had damage to its skin or fins.


  • Whitish cotton-wool growth appears in fish body or fins,
  • Fungus are typically secondary infections,


  • Caused due to excessive fin nipping or wound in body or gills,
  • The fungus also occurs in fish when you keep them in the water that is too cold.


  • Anti-Fungal medicines are available on most of the pet store to fight bacteria,
  • Increasing the temperature slightly can provide double protection,
  • Gradually add aquarium salt in your hospital tank 1 tbs per gallon,
  • Remove half of the tank water in every 2-3 days and add chlorine-free water at the correct temperature.


  • Always add aquarium salt to your aquarium while doing a water change,
  • Check your water hardness, temperature, toxic level,
  • Always keep an anti-fungal medicine in your table drawer.

Gill Disease

Gill Flukes disease is commonly known as gill disease. This Disease makes a fish appear to swim in a great hurry, but are not swimming at all. At the early stage, fish suffering from gill disease tends to hang out on the bottom of your tank with their gills opened.


  • Fish tends to flap their fins very fast, and appears to swim in a great hurry,
  • You can often notice swollen and discolored gills,
  • The gills will look like they are bleeding due to bacterial infection,
  • Your fish will have a lot of trouble breathing.


  • Poor water quality is the main cause of bacterial infection,
  • Chlorine in water often irritates the gills of the fish,
  • Bacteria, fungi, and other parasites in the water cause gill flukes.


  • Anti-bacterial medicine is used to cure bacterial disease, that is easily available at your local fish store,
  • A frequent water change is required since immediate water quality improvement is needed in the preliminary step,
  • Make sure that you de-chlorinate your water first.


  • Usually, new fish or plant in your tank introduce this disease, quarantine your new fish or plant before adding to your tank,
  • Water quality is a must in your closed container, so frequent water change is very important.

Author: Sadikshya Bajracharya

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