Do Your Guppies Have Columnaris?

Do Your Guppies Have Columnaris?

There really is a lot of time and effort that goes into your guppies. It all begins with your providing the right living environment for them right on through to keeping them in prime health. You have to always be on the alert that none of them are getting sick, as one sick guppy could wipe out your entire tank population.

Some of the common guppy diseases are easier to detect than others, just as some are easier to treat.

There are three things that you need to focus on when it comes to guppy healthcare. This is diagnosis, treatment and prevention.


The first thing you have to do is really know your guppies as they appear in their healthy state. This way you are going to notice any changes in them much faster. Also be aware of what the most common diseases and illnesses that could afflict your guppies and what their related symptoms are.


This is a common illness to strike guppies and it is bacterial oriented. You may start to see white markings or patches appearing on the guppy these could be on the body or just starting around the mouth area. They almost look like white threads. As this often begins around the mouth area some owners get mixed up with thinking that it is mouth fungus which is another type of disease. If the disease is left unattended or advances quickly you will see that the fins of the affected guppy are beginning to deteriorate. Then sores begin to show on the body. As the disease advances the guppy will not be able to spread his fins and will hold them close to his body.

It is believed that there are various strains of Columnaris.

Strain #1:

Usually no noticeable symptoms but has been known to attack and destroy the total aquarium stock within 24 hours.

Strain #2:

Very similar to strain #1 but death of the fish is not so acute but spans over several weeks.

Strains #3 and #4:

These are the more common types and not as deadly as the others.

In strains #1 and #2 it seems more prevalent in warmer temperatures while in stains #3 and #5 it is more common in cooler temperatures.


How effective your treatment is going to be will depend on how quickly you can detect it. Usually if you can catch it in its early stages then an anti-bacterial medication will work. If it has advanced to the point where it is now invading the internal organs of the guppy a more drastic treatment in the form of antibiotics will be needed. Extra attention will have to be given to keeping the water really clean.


Being as this is a bacterial disease you need to ensure that your tank is kept as clean as possible. Often it is poor water quality that allows for Columnaris problems. There are some fish who when are introduced to a new aquarium suffer shock which in turn makes them susceptible to Columnaris. This is not uncommon with those fish that have recently been imported.

Make sure when you are seeking out treatment for your fish with Columnaris that you rely on the advice of a professional that can provide you with the right medications.


  1. I guess I will have to find out if my local vet is willing to provide health care for my guppies too.

  2. I didn’t realize that guppies could end up with a disease like this. Thank you for the info.

  3. Gosh I think my guppies may have this, going to check out what is available at my local pet store to help them.

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