Genetics of breeding fancy guppies for fitness, disease resistance, and beauty
Breeding Guppies: Genetic Pitfalls and Successes (10 page article) describes my experiences with crossing various guppy strains–Metalheads, Blue Grass, pet shop guppies, swordtail guppies, etc. Avoid the genetic problems I encountered as a beginning breeder. Follow the story, which includes basic genetic explanations, to a happy ending–the creation of novel and beautiful phenotypes. (Article revised June 2021)
Flukes and Sick Guppies (8 pages) tackles the problem of why guppies die for “no good reason.” It starts with the author’s discovery of skin flukes (Gyrodactylus species) on her own guppies. Apparently, these Monogenean parasites have been a major, long-standing pathogen of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). The author describes treatments and disease management strategies. Photo (magnified) shows Gyrodactylus flukes feeding on the outer mucus layer of a heavily infested salmon.
Which parasites are most prevalent in tropical aquarium fish? My article Parasite Surveys of Aquarium Fish, a compilation of 11 different investigations from around the world, answers that question. Freshwater fish (goldfish, guppies, tetras, etc) were sampled from Sri Lankan fish farms, Swedish pet shops, etc. Most surveys reported Monogeneans (i.e., flukes) as the most common parasite of aquarium fish–whether healthy or diseased. For example, 37% of 223 freshly caught wild fish from the Amazon carried Monogeneans, ranging from a 92% prevalence in Angelfish to only 7.4% in Cardinal Tetras. The ICH parasite was in second place (21% prevalence in the 223 fish), but other studies reported a much lower prevalence of the ICH parasite. Overall, Monogeneans dominated.
Successful eradication of Camallanus worms in guppies and other tropical fish using fenbendazole and levamisole
Over the years, I have had to deal with nasty Camallanus worms several times in newly purchased fish. My article ‘Treating Fish for Camallanus and Other Nematodes’ contains step-by-step instructions for preparing a Fenbendazole-containing fishfood that successfully rid my tanks and fish of these intestinal parasites. I have also described treatment using Levamisole HCl, another highly effective drug. Article describes the worldwide presence of Camallanus and the related Capillaria parasite. Photo shows a Camallanus worm slowly being expelled from the anus of a female guppy during the Fenbendazole treatment. (She recovered fine.)
Stopping an outbreak of Fish TB using UV sterilizing filters instead of tearing tanks down and starting over. Managing mycobacteria rather than eradicating them. Scientific surveys on the presence of mycobacteria in the aquarium fish trade.
Mycobacteriosis in Aquarium Fish, a 15 page article, provides vital information that fish keepers can use to prevent—or deal with—“Fish TB.” Scientific surveys show that almost half of fish deaths due to unknown causes are due to mycobacteriosis. Article is based on the author’s experience fleshed out with the latest scientific research. Every fish keeper, whether professional fish breeder or beginning aquarium hobbyist, should read this.