01-26-2009, 06:17 PM
| || | Dark red blotch & sm. white patches on female Swordtail's tail. Please help!
I am pretty new with fish, so please bear with me! Three or four weeks ago I noticed my female pineapple swordtail platy was having trouble swimming normally. She was swimming nose-down, tail-up, and using the plastic plants in the tank to lodge herself in a position such that she wouldn't float to the top. I looked it up and it seemed that she has a bacterial infection of some kind and not a swim bladder problem as her feces was also a bit whiter than normal and her swimming ease varied too much for swim bladder disease.
At first, I added aquarium salts but didn't wanna go overboard and harm the catfish in the tank. It seemed to help for a few days, as she swam a little better, but didn't cure the issue. It had been about 6-8 weeks since my last water change. At first, my sis told me to do them at that interval, but others have recently told me I should do them more often. I did a 25% water change ten days ago and began using Pimafix at that time as I already had it on hand and can't afford to buy more meds unless I absolutely must. I have used the Pimafix daily since then. She seemed to be improving for a few days, swimming more normally and was much less lethargic. But two days ago I noticed that she has a new round, deep blood-red blotch (about 1/16 inch diameter) near the center of her tail, and smaller, elongated white patches forming nearer the edges of her tail. Her fins are not affected as far as I can tell. I did more research and looked at lots of photos of tropical fish disease at badmanstropicalfish.com, but none of the diseases looked exactly like hers. At first I thought it was tail rot/fin rot, but the pictures show fraying tails and fins, and hers is not fraying at all. I don't have an aquarium test kit, nor a quarantine tank, so I don't know my water parameters right now and I can't isolate her. I inherited the tank from my sis when she moved a few months ago, and haven't had the money to get everything I need yet. I do have a top-notch heater with lifetime warranty that works great - not sure of brand, though. The water is a consistent 81 degrees, as recommended by my local trusted fish guy (who I can't reach to talk to today). The food they eat is the regular TetraMin Flakes, and algae wafers for the pleco. It's a ten gallon tank containing the female platy, a male swordtail, a pleco, and a pictus catfish.
Should I treat the tank with an antibiotic? If so, which ones would be best given the fish I have in the tank? I don't want to make any purchases that aren't necessary, and I don't wanna rely on someone who doesn't REALLY know fish well (like most of the employees at PETCO). I want to get a water testing kit, but I want a good one that will tell me what I need to know. I've heard the test strips aren't the best, but I'm such a newbie I don't know what to think and hear conflicting things from people at PETCO. I am also willing to buy meds, but don't wanna be taking a shot in the dark. I have ammonia remover, nitrate/nitrite remover already. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!