17 Most Common Guppy Diseases: Parasites and Treatment

Guppies are a popular fish to keep as pets. With their vibrant colors and tails, they’re a sight to behold. They’re simple to look after and reproduce. Guppies are tough fish that can withstand a variety of circumstances. Guppies are so tough that when something goes wrong, it might catch you off guard. They may get ill just like any other animal, fish, or living thing.

Infections, illnesses, and parasites can make guppies unwell. There are illnesses that they share with other animals and diseases that are only found in Guppies.

Guppy Diseases

Having to deal with guppy infections is never a pleasant experience for any fish keeper. Guppies, on the other hand, can benefit from a variety of therapies as well as certain preventative measures that can help them stay healthy and have busy and productive lives.

Everyone would constantly tell you that “it is far more difficult to cure a sick fish than it is to avoid infections in healthy ones.” You’ve come to the correct site if you’re seeking information about common guppy ailments, causes, and treatments.

A List of all parasitic and Bacterial Illnesses that affect Guppy Fish

Here’s a brief rundown of the 17 most prevalent parasites and diseases affecting guppies that you should be aware of. You’ll find thorough information on each one in the sections below, including how to tell if your Guppy has it, what causes it, and how to cure it.

  • White spots
  • Velvet(Oodinium)
  • Rotten Fins and Tails
  • The protozoan is a kind of protozoan (Guppy Disease)
  • Mouth Fungus and Columnaris
  • Dropsy
  • Gasping and swollen gills
  • Blood Spot (Red)
  • Hemorrhagic Septicaemia is caused by a virus (VHS)
  • The disease of the Popped Eye
  • Swim Bladder Illness
  • Inflammation of the Bladder in Swimmers
  • Gill Worms, Gill Flukes
  • Internal Worm Camallanus
  • Hexamitiasis (Head or Body Hole)
  • Spine Bent (Scoliosis)
  • Tuberculosis

How to Prevent Parasites and Diseases in Guppy Fish?

Guppies can be protected from infections, parasites, and sickness in a variety of ways.

1. Be well-informed

Make sure you know everything there is to know about guppy care. Certain breeds have unique requirements, so make sure you know everything there is to know about your Guppies and their demands.

2. Temperature of the Water

Make sure your tank’s water temperature is at a safe level. The recommended tank temperature for guppies is 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit (22-28 degrees Celsius).

3. Feeding

Check to see whether your guppies are receiving enough food. Their immune system might be weakened by too little or too much food, making them more prone to sickness. Adults only need meals 1-2 times each day and only as much as they can consume in 1-2 minutes. Guppy Fries require food 3-5 times a day, but only as much as they can consume in one minute.

4. Maintenance of the Tank

Check to see if your tank and the water inside it are both clean. At least once a month, clean the entire tank. Make sure there are no chemicals left in the tank. Water pollution may be avoided by changing the water on a weekly basis.

5. Fish that has died

Remove any dead fish as soon as possible to avoid contaminating the water and spreading disease. If there’s any doubt about how the Guppy died, make sure to maintain a close check on the other guppies.

6. Inspection on a Daily Basis

Examine your guppies on a daily basis for symptoms of disease or something that isn’t quite right.

7. Removing Fish

If a fish shows indications of an illness, sickness, or parasite, remove them from the tank as soon as possible. Determine the cause of their illness and administer the appropriate therapy.

8. Quarantine of Fish

Before adding additional fish to your guppy aquarium, keep them isolated or in quarantine for 3-4 weeks.

Illness and Infection Causes in Guppy Fish

Stress impairs many aspects of a guppy’s health, making it more susceptible to the ailments listed below.

Providing plenty of areas to hide and “explore” is a terrific technique to reduce stress in any guppy’s system. You’ll want to put plenty of real plants in your aquarium, as well as other natural elements like tree roots or leaves, to provide your guppies with a comfortable atmosphere.

If you have an aquarium with more aggressive fish than guppies, it might be an issue for the guppies in particular.

What is the best way to cure guppy fish diseases?

Make careful to check on your guppy on a regular basis to ensure that nothing bad has happened to it. Remove them from the tank immediately if anything appears to be amiss. Even if it turns out to be nothing, you’ll be pleased you didn’t put your fellow guppies in danger by allowing a sick guppy to remain in the tank.

Take a good look at the Guppy once you’ve removed it to see what’s wrong. Take your Guppy to the vet if you’re not sure what’s wrong. You can provide adequate care for your Guppy after you know what is ailing it.

If you are certain of your diagnosis, it is usually a good idea to keep the drugs on hand so you can treat your fish right away. If you’re unsure, don’t take a chance since the improper prescription might make your fish ill.

What are the most prevalent Illnesses that affect Guppy Fish?

It’s usually simpler to treat the many ailments and diseases that guppies contract if you keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. These are the most prevalent illnesses that might cause death in your guppies.

1. White Spots

This is one of the most common illnesses that practically every fish farmer is familiar with. This is normally not an illness that will kill your guppies if you offer the correct therapy and discover this “itch” early enough.

If your fish is affected by this disease, you may see white patches on them. You may notice that your fish is behaving unusually, such as bumping into items or swimming straight up to the tank’s edge or other decorations. You’ll probably notice the white spots first, but you could also notice that your fish aren’t as hungry as they once were.

To get rid of Ick

White Spots are quite simple to treat. Taking your sick Guppy out of the aquarium and placing it in quarantine will help. You should also treat your primary guppy tank with the following therapy. You want to make sure the parasite is completely gone.

Gradually raise the temperature of the water until it reaches roughly 80 degrees.

Use a medicine product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Seachem ParaGuard is a fantastic product.

Begin adding aquarium salt to your tank. Remember that this could need to be done to both tanks, not just the contaminated hospital tank.

Increase the proportion of your routine water changes and consider performing them more often.

With these steps, you’ll see a reduction in white spots on your fish, and they’ll feel healthier. This procedure normally takes about a week, but you may see effects sooner and want to continue all of the therapies indicated above if your fish begins to show symptoms.

2. Velvet (Oodinium)

For recreational anglers, this is not a common illness. If you suspect your fish is at risk of developing velvet, it’s not a good indication because velvet is typically difficult to detect early on.

If your fish have gold dust all over their body, they may be suffering from Oodinium. This dust is described as little dots by some, however, they are exceedingly minute and difficult to notice. When performing check-ups, it’s critical to inspect your fish thoroughly.

Another important issue with this condition is how quickly it spreads. Because it is difficult to recognize and contain, this may be a lethal combination. For fish owners who may not have as much experience as others, this is not a good combo.

A copper drug, such as seachem cupramine, is the best treatment for velvet. It’s important to mention that this drug can harm snails and shrimp. When adding any substance to a tank, read the directions carefully and proceed with caution.

Making sure the lights are switched off is another smart technique to deal with Velvet. This will really aid in the healing process and is something you should do right immediately.

If your fish is recovering, it’s critical that you do frequent water changes to keep any symptoms from lingering.

3. Fin and Tail rot

A fungal or bacterial infection can cause fin or tail rot. Where fish have been nipped in the fighting, the fungus or illness takes hold. Rot can also be caused by contaminated water and ammonia from rotting food.

Fin, Tail Rot

The fins of a guppy with Rot may appear to be glued together. If the fins appear to be injured, the fungus is most likely to blame for the Rot. If there is no visible damage, a bacterial infection is the most likely cause. Knowing the reason is crucial since they are treated differently.

Fin rot Treatment

To Treat Fungal Fin Rot, Follow These Steps:

Set up a quarantine tank for your fish. Special drugs are used to treat fungal infections. For these, you’ll need to contact your veterinarian. Follow the directions to the letter.

To keep your other guppies safe, clean out the tank. Once the therapy is complete and no symptoms are visible, return your guppy to the tank.

To Treat Bacteria Fin Rot

Quarantine your fish in a separate tank. Treat Fungal infection with Maracyn, Maracyn 2, or Tetracycline.

Clean out the tank to protect your other guppies. Return your guppy to the tank once treatment is successful and no symptoms are apparent.

4. Protozoan

Because it mostly affects guppies, protozoan is also known as Guppy Disease. Other fish are also affected, albeit not to the same extent. Parasites are to blame.

The parasite will cling to the flesh of the fish and burrow inside it until it reaches the bloodstream. Parasites grow in a tank with poor water quality and insufficiently heated water.

Protozoa are Treated in a Variety of Ways

The first thing you should do is add to keep the temperature of your aquarium steady and safe. An aquarium heater might assist you in accomplishing this.

Protozoan can be treated with Formalin or Malachite Green if caught early enough.

If Protozoan has progressed to a more advanced level, copper medication should be used to cure it.

Change out 50-70 percent of the water when your fish treatment is complete. If the water quality was poor before, it’s also a good idea to change it from the start.

5. Columnaris and mouth Fungus

Despite the fact that fungus is included in the name, this is a bacterial infection. This will be noticeable in the mouth region. A large white spot in the mouth of the fish will serve as a warning indication of the sickness.

If you don’t notice this right away, there are a few more signs that your fish has been infected with columnar. Your fish will most likely have difficulty swimming, almost as if it is bewildered. Furthermore, the fish will begin to consume less and less.

Columnaris & Mouth Fungus

If you don’t notice this right away, there are a few more signs that your fish has been infected with columnar. Your fish will most likely have difficulty swimming, almost as if it is bewildered. Furthermore, the fish will begin to consume less and less.

You should examine your tank on a regular basis because this sickness can quickly become fatal if left unchecked. Columnaris is most commonly found in female guppies, but it can occasionally afflict males as well. You may be in danger of losing the whole population of fish in your tank if you find yourself in this predicament.

It is impossible to overestimate the value of early detection. When you have oral fungus, you want to treat it as quickly as possible, which is why you should have medicine on hand rather than ordering it or going to the pharmacy once you see it. Your colony may suffer as a result of the extra time spent addressing the illness.

Treating columnaris and mouth Fungus in Guppy Fish

Formalin is a chemical that many people use to treat mouth fungus in their fish. If formalin isn’t used, fish owners are likely to treat their fish with aquarium salt. It’s vital to remember that just because you’re adding salt to your aquarium doesn’t mean you can stop changing the water. That will continue to be beneficial for your fish as they recover.

Once you’ve cured your fish of the ailment, the most important thing you can do is keep them in a healthy tank environment. If your fish are in a condition where there are just too many of them, you may see re-occurring ailments. Protect your fish by keeping a sufficient quantity in each tank.

6. Dropsy

The illness isn’t especially pleasant in and of itself, but the name is. Dropsy is a parasitic infection that causes your fish to grow. This bloated fish may have trouble swimming and may have internal problems, such as an irritated kidney.

Dropsy is also a ruthless killer. To avoid catching this disease, you must exercise extreme caution, as once you do, it is likely too late to prevent it.


Guppy fish can get dropsy as a result of a lot of stress over time, so make sure yours has a healthy habitat with lots of places to “hide” when necessary. The most essential thing is to maintain it current and to ensure that there are no problems.

Treating dropsy in the Guppy

Dropsy is, unfortunately, incurable. The fish is already too ill to be saved once the signs appear. All you can do now is attempt to make your Guppy’s final days as pleasant as possible.

If you have any guppies with Dropsy, separate them and give them an Epsom salt bath. This bath will make people feel more at ease, but it will not heal their illnesses. For one gallon of water, use two teaspoons of salt. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the fish for 30-45 minutes. Make sure the water in your tank is at the same temperature as the water in your tank.

7. Swollen Gills

Ammonia is the most common cause of this ailment. Ammonia is a dangerous gas that causes guppies to try to get air at the surface of the water. Furthermore, at the correct doses, it is lethal.

To combat this ailment, you must inspect your tank on a regular basis because it is commonly caused by items like fish feces.

Treating Swollen Gills

If you notice your fish struggling for air, your water quality is probably poor. Don’t be hesitant to execute a water change, and you should also conduct an ammonia test very away.

While you’re keeping track of all of your water tests, it’s definitely a good idea to reduce the amount of food you’re giving. These issues are intertwined and operate in concert to cause your fish to get ill.

8. Red Blood Spots

Because of the red coloration, this is a pretty straightforward illness to spot.

A new aquarium condition is nearly always the cause of red blood stains. Bacteria may do a lot of good for your population in fish tanks since they exist unnoticed. You won’t be able to allow the bacteria to function and produce a healthy habitat for all of the fish if you add too many fish too soon.

Red Blood Spot

Treatment of red Blood Spots

If you introduce fish in a month or less, you will almost certainly have a problem such as red blood spots as a result of the poisoning. When you’re first starting out with water cycling, be cautious to avoid these unseen killers.

The Seachem Ammonia Alert is a great tool for checking your water levels. Because you can’t see ammonia or nitrate levels, you’ll need a technique to monitor and test whether your water is fish-friendly.

9. Septicaemia Viral Haemorrhagic

Obviously, this is a guppies-specific viral infection. If you are concerned about viral hemorrhagic septicemia, you will notice one of several indications.

The following are warning signs:

  • Sores or ulcers
  • Lesions
  • Fins that are rotting
  • Eyes that are enlarged
  • Appetite loss
  • A darker-looking body

Treating Septicaemia Viral Haemorrhagic

API Furan 2 is the best therapy for a case when you suspect hemorrhagic septicemia is present.

After a battle like this, the most crucial thing to do is to replace your tank water frequently. There isn’t a point at which I would propose abandoning the fight against this illness.

10. Eyes that have been popped/ popeye

Popped eyes can occur in fish for a variety of causes, making it a hopeless struggle to try to save a fish with this symptom.

Some of the illnesses listed on this page, such as Dropsy, can cause your fish to have popped eyes, or you could just have unclean, low-quality water in your tank.

Popped eyes can lead your fish to grow blind, but treating it while you don’t know what the problem is could harm your fish much more.

Treatment of popeye

Place your ill fish in quarantine. Make an appointment with your fish’s veterinarian.

Follow the veterinarian’s instructions if he or she can determine what’s wrong.

If your veterinarian is unable to determine what is wrong, you can attempt the remedies listed below. However, if you employ the incorrect remedy, it may aggravate the situation.

11. Swim Bladder Infection

Swim Bladder Disorder is uncommon in Guppies, although it does exist. Stress is the most typical reason. They can be bobbing at an odd angle or even upside down. They will look to have no control, which they do not. Swim Bladder Disorder can also be caused by bad water and high ammonia levels.

Swim Bladder Disorder Treatment

Replace 70% of the water and test it to ensure that it is free of contaminants. Raising the tank’s temperature to 78 or 80 degrees will also assist.

Examine your guppy to discover if anything is causing it to get stressed. If there is, do everything you can to alleviate the stress.

12. Inflammation of the Swim Bladder

Swim Bladder Inflammation is a simple condition to recognize. The initial symptoms will be similar to Swim Bladder Disorder. Your fish will begin to swim in unusual patterns. Following that, you’ll see the tummy expanding and bulging. Inflammation of the Swim Bladder is caused by a virus.

Swim Bladder Inflammation Treatment

Swim Bladder Inflammation is a condition for which there is no cure. Because it is very contagious, you must remove your ill Guppy as soon as possible. Nothing you can do will help your fish. It’s great if they die quickly so they don’t have to suffer any longer.

13. Gill Worms, Gill Flukes

This is an illness that can make some people feel uneasy because it can be seen by humans who look closely enough. In this case, a worm is attacking the fish and producing difficulties in the gills.

We see some blood in the gills and a fish that appears to be grabbing at the surface. Your fish may be congregating near the bottom of the tank, rather than at the top.

This can happen if you introduce new fish into your tank population without properly quarantining them beforehand. When introducing new fish or plants to your surroundings, it’s never a good idea to rush.

You might be able to save the population by delivering therapy early enough if you maintain a close check on the situation. As the illness progresses, fish become lethal, and if it has developed too far, there is no prospect of saving the fish.

Treatment for Gill Flukes and Worms

Only one treatment option is effective: a prescription medication from your physician. Treat your whole Guppy Tank by following the directions to the letter. With Gill Flukes, it is possible to save guppies. However, if they’ve already started bleeding, there’s not much you can do. The bleeding will kill you even if the Gill Worms are no longer present.

14. Internal worms in Camallanus 

It’s a parasite that may grow up to 3/4 inches in length. A portion of the parasite may be observed erupting from your fish’s anus.

It travels like a worm, never leaves the fish, and has an orange or brown color that distinguishes it from fish waste.

Camallanus Internal Worm

Nobody knows where the parasite came from. It’s more common in guppies kept outside or fed Cyclops, according to breeders. Nobody knows for sure where the parasite came from. It is, however, more common in guppies kept outside or fed Cyclops, according to breeders.

Treating Camallanus Worms is Guppy Fish

The good news is that this sickness is treatable; you should treat your fish with levamisole for at least 5 days, and there is additional medication available; you may contact your veterinarian for more information. After the treatment, give the tank a thorough cleaning. can do large water changes by removing around 70% to 90% of the water and then repeating steps 1 and 2 after three weeks.

15. A hole in the body or head is referred to as Hexamitiasis

The fact that the fish has a “hole” in it is given a fancy name. This is quite unusual in most circumstances, and as a recreational boat owner, you will almost definitely never have to deal with it. You may have Hexamitiasis if you notice stringy white feces coming from your fish and there is also anything else wrong, such as a lack of appetite.

Treating the Disease

You’ll have to treat the illness with food, which may be tough if your fish aren’t eating since they’re not hungry. You’ll need to put medication in the water if this is the case. The drug’s name is metronidazole.

16. Bent Spine (scoliosis)

A bent Spine or Crooked Back isn’t frequent in guppy fish, but it’s not uncommon in guppies. It can be caused by heredity or environmental causes. This sickness is frequently discovered while the guppies are still warm from the fryer.

When gazing down from above, you may notice it. You may need to glance at the fish from the side at other times. To catch this, it’s essential to inspect your fish from all sides. Swimming will be difficult for guppies with scoliosis.

Bent Spine

However, if your Guppy is swimming backward, it might be an indication of something else. They are usually weaker and live for a shorter period of time. Furthermore, they may be bullied by others, causing stress and making them more prone to sickness.

Scoliosis Treatment

Bent Spine does not have therapy. Scoliosis, unlike germs, parasites, and viruses, cannot be spread from fish to fish. A mother or father guppy with Scoliosis, on the other hand, can pass it on to their kids. The likelihood of the majority of kids being born with this genetic abnormality is substantial.

This is not a fatal condition, and a guppy can have a long and happy life. Make sure they are properly fed and have lots of space to hide.

17. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium. It appears in fish as a lack of motivation to eat at first. The following symptoms depict the disease’s course.

Fish Tuberculosis
  • Hollow-belly
  • Near the anus, there are ulcers on the body
  • Rotten fins and tails


If untreated, tuberculosis in fish will result in death. It can also be passed on to the other fish in the aquarium.

Treating Tuberculosis in Guppy Fish

TB is difficult to treat in fish, so if one of yours dies, remove it from the tank as soon as possible to avoid infecting other fish. If you caught it before your fish passed quarantine, isolate it in a different tank. Antibiotics such as Neomycin, Isoniazid, or Kanamycin can be used to treat it. If the situation does not improve, euthanize your fish to relieve their suffering and prevent other fish from capturing them.

Tuberculosis may be transmitted to people, despite its rarity. It is essential to use caution when handling your fish. Make sure you’ve dressed appropriately, with a mask and gloves. Also, make sure you don’t have any open cuts or sores where germs may enter your body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Guppies have Parasites?

Yes, parasites may infect guppies. An Ectoparasite causes White Spots.
Oodinium is a parasite that causes velvet.
The Protozoan parasite causes Guppy Disease (Protozoan).
A parasitic infection can induce Pop-Eye Disease.
Gill Flukes are caused by a parasite called Gill Worms.
Internal worm Camallanus is a parasite.
A protozoan parasite causes Hexamitiasis.

Is it possible for Guppies to Survive Ich?

Yes, with the right therapy, Guppies can survive Ich or White Spots. Ich is not difficult to cure, especially when compared to some of the other health problems that guppies can face.

What are the Symptoms of Parasitic Infection in Guppies?

The signs of parasites vary depending on the parasites.
An Ectoparasite causes White Spots.
Oodinium is a parasite that causes velvet.
The Protozoan parasite causes Guppy Disease (Protozoan).
A parasitic infection can induce Pop-Eye Disease.
Gill Flukes are caused by a parasite called Gill Worms.
Internal worm Camallanus is a parasite.
A protozoan parasite causes Hexamitiasis.

The Bottom Line on 17 Most Common Guppy Diseases

When reading about various ailments, there are a few distinct strategies for keeping fish healthy that crop up often.

The best approach to keep newborn guppies healthy is to keep your tank in good shape. Regular water changes for your fish are the most important thing you can do to keep your tank going properly. When checking up on your fish, make sure to pay attention to their looks and activity, and look for any anomalies that might indicate that they are unwell.

You should be able to stay on top of any ailments that may strike your guppies and get them back with a decent routine, some education, and proper medical equipment to assist you to take action.

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