Guppy Prolapse: Anus Abnormality

why does my guppys anus look like it

Guppies are susceptible to a wide range of diseases and infections, and one of the most common issues is anal prolapse. This condition occurs when the guppy's anus protrudes outwards, often due to constipation or high pressure on the anus. It can also be caused by a female guppy giving birth to too many fry at once or, in rare cases, a bite from another fish.

To treat anal prolapse, it is recommended to change the water and offer the guppy healthy and nutritional food. Limit the amount of food given for a few days, and ensure the water temperature is controlled with sufficient space for the fish to move around. Planting green leaves and water plants can help create a stress-free environment.

In some cases, guppies may develop stress due to health problems and pain, which can lead to death. It is important to monitor your guppies closely and take action if any signs of distress are observed.


Guppy anal prolapse

The symptoms of guppy anal prolapse include a protruding anus or swim bladder, discoloration, and lethargy. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal. Therefore, it is essential to identify the underlying cause and take prompt action to treat the affected fish.

  • Separate the guppy from other fish: Isolate the affected guppy from other fish to avoid further stress and injury. Create a separate tank and maintain clean and well-aerated water.
  • Provide supportive care: Help the guppy recover by adding aquarium salt to the water, offering a nutritious diet with a high protein content, and maintaining a water temperature of around 78°F.
  • Apply medication: Consult a veterinarian or a knowledgeable pet store professional for appropriate medication such as erythromycin, tetracycline, or Metronidazole.
  • Use a clear sling: If the prolapse is severe or the guppy is having difficulty swimming, use a clear sling to support the fish's back half and take pressure off the affected area to promote faster healing.
  • Monitor progress: Keep a close eye on the guppy's condition and seek veterinary assistance if the prolapse does not improve or worsens.

To prevent guppy anal prolapse, maintain a clean and healthy fish tank, provide a balanced diet, and avoid physical trauma. Ensure proper water quality and avoid overfeeding to reduce the risk of constipation and other digestive issues.

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Camallanus worms

The telltale sign of a Camallanus worm infection is the presence of small, red worms (about 0.6-1.3 cm in length) protruding from the fish's anus. At this stage, the disease is already very advanced, and the fish may appear abnormally thin or have a swollen belly.

To treat Camallanus worms, you can use deworming medications such as Fritz Expel-P, which contains levamisole, or fenbendazole. These medications paralyze the adult worms so they can be expelled from the fish. It is recommended to treat the entire tank by adding the medication to the water, rather than just treating individual fish. Perform a water change after 24 hours to remove the excreted parasites. Repeat the treatment after two weeks to target any remaining worms.

In addition to medication, it is important to lower stress in the aquarium by maintaining high-quality water, providing nutritious food, and regularly cleaning the substrate to remove any paralyzed parasites. Quarantining new fish and disinfecting equipment can also help prevent the spread of Camallanus worms.



Guppies can become constipated due to a variety of factors, including diet, exercise, and tank conditions. Constipation in guppies is treatable and preventable. Here is some information about constipation in guppies:

Causes of Constipation in Guppies:

  • Poor diet: Inadequate or low-quality food, such as bread, can lead to constipation. Guppies require a varied and nutritious diet.
  • Overfeeding: Guppies will continue eating even if they are full, so it is important to feed them for no longer than two minutes and remove any uneaten food from the tank.
  • Lack of exercise: Insufficient tank space or low water temperature can lead to lethargy and reduced activity, contributing to constipation.
  • Swim bladder disease: Constipation can be both a cause and an effect of swim bladder disease.

Symptoms of Constipation in Guppies:

  • Bloated belly: A swollen abdomen can indicate constipation, but it could also be a sign of pregnancy, dropsy, or swim bladder disease.
  • Not passing stool or stringy feces: Constipated guppies may have difficulty passing stool, and their feces may appear stringy and hang from their bodies.
  • Lethargy and lack of swimming: Constipated guppies may exhibit decreased activity and struggle to swim due to their bloated bellies.

Treatment Options for Constipated Guppies:

  • Fasting: Withhold food for 2-3 days to allow any blockage to pass.
  • High-fiber diet: Feed the guppy blanched peas, which are high in fiber and act as a laxative.
  • Epsom salt: Add 1/8 teaspoon of Epsom salt per 5 gallons of water to the tank. Change 25% of the water daily after adding the salt.
  • Increase water temperature: Raise the water temperature slowly to speed up the guppy's metabolism and aid digestion.
  • Water change: Replace 25% of the water to improve water quality and alleviate constipation.

Prevention of Constipation in Guppies:

  • Provide a high-quality diet: Feed guppies a varied diet that includes flake food, live food, and vegetables to ensure adequate fiber intake.
  • Ensure adequate tank size: A larger tank provides more space for exercise, preventing constipation.
  • Maintain water temperature: Keep the water temperature between 72-82 °F (22-28 °C) to promote activity and healthy digestion.
  • Avoid overfeeding: Feed guppies for no more than 5 minutes per day and remove any uneaten food.
  • Provide exercise: Ensure the tank is large enough and the water temperature is suitable to encourage activity and prevent constipation.


Poor water quality

  • Cold Water Stress: Guppies exposed to water temperatures below 75°F (24°C) may experience cold stress, which weakens their immune system and makes them more susceptible to diseases and infections. They may exhibit reduced activity levels and slower growth.
  • Heat Stress: Water temperatures exceeding 82°F (28°C) can lead to heat stress, causing lethargy, loss of appetite, and signs of distress in guppies. Heat stress can also increase the risk of diseases and mortality.
  • Reproduction Issues: Incorrect water temperature can disrupt the breeding habits of guppies, hindering reproduction and leading to fewer fry (baby guppies).
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Guppies are adaptable but sensitive to sudden and drastic changes in water temperature. Frequent temperature fluctuations can result in chronic stress, impairing their immune system and making them more prone to diseases and infections.
  • Impaired Growth and Development: Inconsistent temperature conditions may result in stunted growth, abnormal fin development, and color fading in guppies.
  • Stress on Immune System: Guppies exposed to frequent temperature fluctuations experience chronic stress, which weakens their immune system and makes them more vulnerable to illnesses and infections.
  • Reproductive Challenges: Temperature fluctuations can disrupt the reproductive cycle of guppies, leading to irregular breeding patterns and reduced fertility.
  • Ammonia Poisoning: Poor water quality and lack of filtration can result in ammonia spikes, which are highly toxic to guppies even in low quantities. Ammonia poisoning can cause clamped fins, raised gills, and rapid breathing in guppies.
  • Fin Rot: Poor water quality, especially high levels of ammonia, can lead to fin rot in guppies, a bacterial or fungal infection that causes damage to their fins and tail.
  • Swim Bladder Disorder: Poor water parameters, such as high ammonia levels, can contribute to swim bladder issues in guppies, affecting their ability to control their buoyancy and maintain balance while swimming.

To ensure the health and longevity of guppies, it is essential to maintain optimal water parameters, including proper temperature, pH levels, and low levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Regular water changes, adequate filtration, and consistent monitoring of water conditions are crucial for creating a healthy environment for guppies.

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Guppies are sensitive creatures that can experience stress, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including improper water conditions, cramped living spaces, aggressive tank mates, transportation, and improper diet. Stress can lead to serious health complications and even death, so it is important to recognise and address the issue promptly.

Behavioural Changes:

  • Loss of appetite: A stressed guppy may stop eating.
  • Strange swimming patterns: They may swim frantically without going anywhere, crash at the bottom of the tank, rub themselves on gravel or rocks, or lock their fins at their sides.
  • Hiding: Guppies may hide continuously or sit at the bottom of the tank.

Physical Changes:

  • Colour change: Guppies may lose some of their colour and become pale.
  • Gasping for air: They may stay near the surface, struggling to breathe.
  • Injuries: Look out for nicked fins or other injuries on their bodies.
  • Cloudy or swollen eyes: This could be caused by bacteria or internal parasites.
  • Thinness in females: Female guppies may become extremely thin after giving birth due to stress during labour.

Environmental Factors:

  • Water temperature: Guppies are tropical fish and require water temperatures between 75-78 °F (24-26 °C). Deviations from this range can cause stress and increase the likelihood of illness.
  • Tank size: Guppies need adequate space, and an overcrowded tank can lead to territorial behaviour and stress. It is recommended to have at least a 10-gallon (40-litre) aquarium for adult guppies.
  • Tank mates: Aggressive tank mates can cause significant stress to guppies, who are peaceful fish. Avoid keeping guppies with angelfish, barbs, or other larger fish that may eat them.
  • Water conditions: Poor water quality, such as high ammonia or nitrate levels, low oxygen levels, or improper pH, can induce stress. Regular water testing and maintenance are crucial to ensuring healthy water conditions.
  • Diet: An improper diet that does not meet the nutritional needs of guppies can also be a source of stress.

If you notice any of these signs of stress in your guppies, it is important to take action to alleviate the stress and improve their environment. This may include adjusting water temperature, providing more space, separating aggressive tank mates, improving water quality, or consulting a veterinarian for advice on diet or potential treatments.

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Frequently asked questions

Your guppy may be experiencing a prolapsed rectum, which is caused by constipation and high pressure on the anus. It could also be the result of giving birth or a bite from another fish.

If you notice an anal prolapse in your guppy, change the water and offer them healthy and nutritional food. Limit their food intake for a few days and ensure they have sufficient space to roam. Planting green leaves and water plants can help create a stress-free environment.

To prevent anal prolapse in your guppies, maintain good water conditions and provide them with nutritious food. Avoid cheap, low-quality food that may contain unknown substances that can cause clogging and constipation. Use anti-parasite food to support their digestive system and keep their immune system strong.

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