Originally Posted by Ponyo
My female platy fish is showing signs of distress and I'm afraid I'm going to lose her. It started with some hiding behavior and fin clamping. Over the last couple days she's been hanging out near the surface a lot. She didn't eat at all yesterday, but she did come out and have a few bites this morning. I noticed her pectoral fins looked strange, like they were thinner and jagged. Her dorsal and tail looked okay, but her swimming looks weak. My water is testing zero for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. It is soft and PH is 6.6, which I know is not ideal for Platy. Her other three tank mates (2 White Clouds and a small Bumble Bee Platy) seem to be thriving.
The weather has been hotter than usual this week, which may be adding to my sick one's distress, although I don't think it is the main cause. I have been trying to keep the water below 80-degrees by opening the top and blowing a fan nearby. Also, floated a couple ice bags yesterday. I really don't want to lose this fish because my husband and I are really attached to her and she has always been a hardy gal. I realize it was a bad idea to put her in a new tank five weeks ago, but I have been vigilant with water changes and testing.
I wonder if anyone has suggestions concerning how I can get this fish to bounce back. The fact that she came over and ate this morning makes me think she might still have a chance. I do have a smaller aquarium that I could turn into a quarantine tank, but I wonder if moving her would increase her stress.
Platy's Mollies,Guppies,and Swordtails all need rather hard alkaline water with ph levels between 7.5 and 8.0
You simply won't be able to keep them healthy for long in soft water.
You might try a half cup of crushed coral per 20 gallons of water placed in a mesh bag ,or section of nylon and stuffed into the filter. This would help increase the hardness of your water gradually.
The crushed coral will need to be rinsed or cleaned under tapwater to clear it of mulm,algae,and bacteria that will gather on it and thus making it less effective.
Should think rinsing or cleaning monthly would be suitable.
Would resist the urge to use pH up or Down products which work temporarily but ultimately they are expensive in the long run, and if not used with each weekly water change ,or perhaps more frequently,,
they can cause sudden pH fluctuations that often have negative effects on fish.
The other option is to keep fishes that appreciate the soft water conditions you posted.
would also see that platys were getting plenty of veggie flakes, spirulina flake,along with occasional meaty foods like blood worms and brine shrimp.