Is there white stringy poop hanging down your guppy? Are you worried about the health of your fish? If you are here, you are probably worried about white feces hanging from your guppy, like I was when I started fish-keeping years ago!
Thankfully, white feces hanging from your fish are usually harmless and can easily be cured through proper treatments.
However, in some rare cases, it might be harmful not only to the infected fish but to other tank mates as well, so you should keep an eye out for other symptoms that we will get to!
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment of Stringy White Poop
There are several reasons your guppy has white stringy stool hanging down its anus, some harmful for its health, others not so much. Different causes of this phenomenon require different treatments. Therefore, you should always be careful in diagnosis.
First and foremost, constipation. Among other symptoms of constipation, like lethargy and bloating of the stomach, stringy poop is also one.
Constipation is caused by a diet that lacks fiber. just like in humans, the fish’s body stores the nutrients and gets rid of waste and other indigestible things in your stomach. The stool only passes through if it is lubed and the mucus-producing cells in your body are responsible for that. So essentially, the white stuff hanging from your fish is nothing bus mucus without the stool inside.
Constipation can be cured with fiber-rich foods. You should not give your fish any other food for a few days.
The first thing that you are going to do is remove the fish from the main fish tank and move it to a quarantine tank. Then fast then for 2-3 days. After that, take a single pea and boil it until it has a perfect consistency, not too hard for the fish to eat and not too soft that it falls apart. After that, soak it in water for a few minutes. Feed that single-thawed pea to your fish two to three times, it should cure it.
However, if this doesn’t cure your fish’s constipation, consider visiting a vet as there might be something else going on with your fish.
Another cause for stringy white poop hanging from your fish is stress. Aggressive tankmates or sudden changes in water parameters can prove to be very stressful for your fish.
Stress often encourages your guppy fish to skip meals and hide. This, in turn, causes the stringy white mucus to be extracted as white poop.
Stress can be caused by several reasons. So, it is up to you to figure out what is stressing your fish out. Generally, fish get stressed out if they have violent neighbors. The best treatment is removing the violent fish from your guppy fish tank and moving them somewhere else.
Another cause of stress is a quick change in the environment of the fish tank. A sudden change in the temperature of your fish tank can cause panic; as a result, the fish might skip meals, which will result in white poop hanging from your fish. To counter this, make sure your fish tank has a constant temperature and also keep the ammonia and nitrates in check.
3. Old Age
Another, relatively rare reason for stingy white hanging poop would be old age. Guppies can live up to 3 years.
If the guppy in question is older than 1 year and is suffering from this “disorder” it is most likely due to the fish’s old age, older fish tend to take longer naps and they often skip meals, so you would know when your guppy is old.
Older guppies often skip meals. As a result, their body only extracts the stringy white mucus. There is not much that can be done about aging fish, just provide them with ample sustenance so that they live the rest of their days peacefully.
Diet is also a major factor that can cause white stringy poop to hang from your fish. Guppies are omnivores; therefore, they require a diet of meat and vegetables. You have to fix the potions you give to your fish as overeating and undereating both are very bad for your guppy fish’s health.
Normally, all fish have mucus-producing cells in their body, as mentioned above. If you notice stringy white poop in your fish, it could indicate that your fish has not eaten. On the other hand, overfeeding and a fiber insufficient diet can cause bloating of the stomach and constipation
You should only feed your guppies once or twice a day, and in that time, if you notice some leftovers after 2 minutes, you are overfeeding your fish.
Eating too little also causes the white stringy poop in your fish as there is less food for your fish to extract so the body only extracts the mucus. All in all, keep an eye on your fish’s diet.
5. Infections or Parasites
Moving on, now to something that might be a reason for concern, infections, or parasites. If you notice your fish’s poop dancing opposite to the tank’s current it’s not poop that’s hanging out, it’s a tapeworm! Remove the fish immediately for treatment.
Although parasites in fish are not very common, they can occur if your fish has been in contact with any wildlife. Or perhaps you added a new parasite-infested fish in your fish tank. This is a rare occurrence but is very harmful to your fish.
I would strongly urge you to consult a vet before doing anything if your fish has a parasitical infestation or a bacterial infection, as the vets know how to treat these without harming the fish. However, if you are confident that you can treat the fish yourself, here are a few tips for you!
You should remove the infected fish from the main fish tank and move it to a quarantine tank as the medicine can be harmful to other fishes.
Always read the label and do as is told on the back of the medicine, after all, different medicines have different prescriptions and doses. This is a rare occurrence so you need not worry about other fish catching it. It is practically impossible to catch unless your fish has been exposed to the public or you add new fishes that are infected with parasites already. This is why I always recommend quarantining your guppies for 2 weeks at least before adding them to your fish tank.
The Bottom Line on Stringy White Fish Poop
White stringing poop in itself is not a disease but might be an indication of several other diseases. It is very easy to cure and even easier to prevent.
Prevention of any disease, disorder, or condition is always better than curing it. However, if your fish contracts a disease or any other disorder, it is always recommended to visit a vet before treating it. Happy fishkeeping!