Trying to diagnose my Platy.
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.
The first thing I noticed in your post is the lack of nitrAtes.
Your tank isn't cycled with those readings.
Do you have a heavily planted tank ? Are you trying to do a fish in cycle with these fish? Are you using a good water conditioner with the water changes (like Seachem Prime)? What type of test kit are you using?
Sorry for all the questions but give us as many details as possible so we can try to figure out what the most critical issue to address is.
Yes, I am cycling the tank with fish and it has been five weeks since I put them in the new aquarium. There are no live plants at this point, I have been testing the water with the API master kit, changing 40-50-percent of the water two to three times a week, and treating it with Seachem's Prime. The other fish have done fine, but the Platy has been stressed ever since I moved her out of the old five gallon and into the bigger tank. Mostly, she's done a lot of hiding, but the recent behavior has been a lot more scary. We were sure we'd lost her until she came out to eat today and even swam normally with the others for a little while. I've looked at her closely and am fairly sure she doesn't have Fin Rot or Ich. Of course, the pet store sold me some salt to put in a cup to ease her distress, but I know that's no miracle cure. I am glad the weather is cooling off again because that, at least, will allow me to keep the temperature stable.
Any tips would be appreciated, although I'm not sure what can be done. It sounds like no nitrates mean the tank has not cycled.
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.
5 weeks??? I bet that you are using an air powered filter?
My filter is an Aqueon power filter that hangs on the back of the tank. A water fall comes out and puts a lot of bubbles in the water. I was considering adding air stones, but don't think that is necessary, I did have coral in my last tank and the fish did really well, including the one that is now sick. Maybe I should add some to this tank to harden the water. I have been steering clear of those PH powders for reasons mentioned. I have also been trying to vary the diet this week by feeding a few peas and blood worms. They liked the veggies, but I noticed the worms mostly sank to the bottom and didn't get eaten.
I'm sure the cycle has been hard on my Platy and she may just be getting old. I am concerned that her pectoral fins do look slightly damaged. I also noticed she has a curve to her spine when you look at her from above. It's possible she was always that way and I never noticed before. I don't want to turn into a fish hypochondriac, but may quarantine if she continues to seem ill.
Thanks for alll your suggestions!
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