As the popularity of keeping guppies in aquariums continues to climb, the number of questions that we see people asking each month also continues to increase.
We see questions from the guppy keeping community relating to pretty much every single aspect of fish keeping that you can think of but a number of people have been asking about their guppy laying on the bottom of its tank recently.
Due to this being a potentially serious issue or at least an early warning sign for a potentially serious issue, we decided that we wanted to publish this article to help as many of our readers as possible who may be having this problem.
We hope that our article will not only be able to help you better understand why your guppy is laying on the bottom of its tank but also how you are able to fix the issue and help your guppy recover quickly.
Why Your Guppy Is Laying On The Bottom Of Its Tank!
Here is a brief list of the more common reasons that your guppy may be laying on the bottom of its tank followed by a detailed breakdown for each problem:-
- Water Parameters!
- Swim Bladder Disease!
- White Spot Disease!
- Water Flow Problems!
- Ammonia Poisoning!
- CO2 Levels!
The water parameters in your aquarium are always the first place that you should look whenever something appears to be wrong with your fish.
If one or more of the key water parameters in your aquarium are out of whack then it can lead to all sorts of problems for your fish including infections, diseases, and in extreme cases, death.
The main water parameters that you should be testing for on a weekly basis are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and temperature.
You should also test for hardness (GH) and alkalinity (KH) on a monthly basis to ensure that they remain stable.
If any of your readings are not where they should be then you will need to take action to correct the problem as soon as possible.
Swim Bladder Disease!
Swim bladder disease is a relatively common problem in fish, especially those that have been bred in captivity for generations like many guppy breeding lines are.
It is caused by a deformity of the swim bladder, which is a gas-filled sac that helps fish to maintain their buoyancy.
Fish with swim bladder disease will often struggle to maintain their balance and may even float upside down at the surface of the water.
In some cases, fish with swim bladder disease may also be seen swimming in an unusual sideways or upside-down position.
If you suspect that your guppy has swim bladder disease then the best course of action is to take it to your local fish store or veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment.
If your guppy has been injured in some way then this could also be the reason why it is laying on the bottom of its tank.
Injuries can be caused by a number of things including fighting with other fish, being caught in the filter or even just bumping into things in the aquarium.
If your guppy has been injured then you will need to keep a close eye on it and provide any necessary treatment as soon as possible.
Like all animals, fish can also experience stress.
There are a number of things that can cause stress in fish including poor water quality, bullying from other fish and even just being moved to a new tank.
If your guppy is stressed then it will often seek out a hiding place in the tank where it feels safe.
This can sometimes be the bottom of the tank.
White Spot Disease!
White spot disease is a common parasitic infection that affects many species of fish.
It is caused by a protozoan parasites known as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.
These parasites attach themselves to the fish’s skin and cause white spots to form.
If your guppy has white spot disease then you will need to treat it as soon as possible.
Water Flow Problems!
Another common reason why guppies may lay on the bottom of the tank is because of water flow problems.
If the water in your aquarium is not circulating properly then it can lead to a build-up of waste and toxins which can be harmful to your fish.
It can also cause oxygen levels to drop which can lead to a whole host of other problems.
If you suspect that water flow is the problem then the best course of action is to check your filter and make sure that it is working properly.
You may also need to add an air stone or powerhead to increase the amount of water circulation in your tank.
Ammonia poisoning is a serious problem that can kill fish very quickly.
It is caused by a build-up of ammonia in the water, which is a toxic waste product produced by fish and other aquatic creatures.
If your guppy has been exposed to high levels of ammonia then it will often seek out the bottom of the tank where the water is cooler.
Ammonia poisoning can be caused by a number of things including overfeeding, under-cleaning the tank and adding too many fish to the aquarium at once.
If you suspect that your guppy has ammonia poisoning then the best course of action is to perform a water test to check the levels of ammonia in your tank.
Another common reason why fish may lay at the bottom of the tank is because of high levels of carbon dioxide in the water.
Carbon dioxide is a gas that is produced by fish and other aquatic creatures as they breathe.
It is also produced by some filters and can build up in the water over time.
If levels of carbon dioxide get too high then it can cause problems for fish, including making them less active and causing them to lay at the bottom of the tank.
If you suspect that carbon dioxide levels are the problem then the best course of action is to perform a water test to check the levels of carbon dioxide in your tank.
Treating Bottom-Dwelling Guppies!
Once you have determined the cause of your guppy’s problem, you can then start to treat it accordingly.
If your guppy has swim bladder disease then the best course of action is to fast your fish for a few days and then feed it live or frozen foods.
If your guppy has white spot disease then you will need to treat it with a medication that is specifically designed for this purpose.
If your guppy has ammonia poisoning then you will need to do a water change and add an ammonia remover to your tank.
If carbon dioxide levels are the problem then you will need to increase the amount of aeration in your tank.
You can do this by adding an air stone or powerhead.
In most cases, treating the underlying cause of your guppy’s problem will solve the issue and your fish will return to normal.
However, if your guppy continues to lay at the bottom of the tank then you should take it to a vet for further treatment.