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What Is Wrong With My Platy Fish


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#1 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:56 AM




Request Help. Please. I don't want to euthanize my platy prematurely but she is suffering and I don't know what's wrong. On September 17th she started to act lethargic. She was spending some time sitting on the bottom and breathing heaver than normal. I put her in a hospital tank and medicated her with Melafix and Pimafix. She seemed to get better for a while, swimming around and still eating however last night she got much worse.

Now she is sitting at the bottom and gasping for air. She is no longer eating , I tried to feed her crushed peas, she wont eat anything. I am worried she is in pain. What could be wrong?? What should I do??

Fish Symptoms:
Her color is the same. She has lost weight. She was eating up until a few days ago. She is just sitting on the bottom of the tank, she hasn't left the bottom in 3 days now. Here is a video link, sorry, it's upsidown... video link

A full description of the fishes symptoms:
Not swimming.
Gasping for air.
Mouth isn't closing.
Not eating.
Looking gaunt.
Sitting on the bottom of her hospital tank.

Tank size: 25gallon
pH:7.5
tank temp:78

Aquarium store tested the following:
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 0
* water was tested by aquarium west


Volume and Frequency of water changes:
50% water change weekly

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank:
aquarium salt, Nutrafin cycle and aqua +plus, sera kh/ph plus (<-because our tap water is acidic)

Tank inhabitants:
1 guppies (m), 3 platys (f), 6 fry platy (sex unknown), 5 tetras, 2 apple snails, 2 dwarf frogs, 1 shrimp, 1 algae eater.

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration):
2 female guppies but she hasn't met them yet since she is in hospital tank.

Exposure to chemicals:
no.

Digital photo (include if possible):
see video link above.

Edited by OtisTheBulldog, 28 September 2010 - 07:55 PM.


#2 Assaye

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:07 AM

Could be ammonia or nitrite poisoning.

What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH of the tank (both main and hospital). Do you have a filter? Heater? How long have you had the fish?

There is a form at the top of the page - fill it out for more info.

#3 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:03 AM

Water is great. Tests fine. I have a 25 gallon and her family of fish, frogs and snails are all fine.

I'll check form. Thanks

#4 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:20 AM

Assaye, thanks for responding. I'm the main tank I have a filter and a heater. I've had all the current fish and friends for 5 months or more. We took a rescue tank and increased their tank size and added more friends.

The hospital tank has a filter and heater just no carbon. small plants and a pot and smooth gravel <-because she is sitting on the bottom.

When I set it up I added aquarium salt and Nutrafin cycle and aqua +plus, sera kh/ph plus. She has been getting her meds daily: Mexifix and Pimafix and feeding her medicated pellets and peas but she has stopped eating.

___________

One thing that could have set off the sick platy was my solo male guppy was acting out, I saw him going after her and I knew then I have do get him some girls. I since have but the sick Platy has been in the hospital tank and hasn't met the new girls yet.

It is possible she has swimmer's bladder brought on by an injury. I don't see any marks but her gills are looking strange. Possibly he hit her in the gills? I'm not sure.

Edited by OtisTheBulldog, 28 September 2010 - 03:48 PM.


#5 Athena

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:24 AM

Hi - what kind of test kit are you using? Just seems a bit strange you have 0 nitrates.

Before the lethargy set in, did you notice this fish scraping or flicking itself against objects in the aquarium? Just wondering if it has flukes as that produces similar symptoms to this, with very rapid breathing in the stage leading to death.

Athena

- Just had an afterthought - as you have snails in your tank there's also the chance the fish has black ich. Again, produces similar symptoms. Brought into the tank via snails. Don't know too much about it so you might want to research it for yourself and check your fish for any tiny black spots that weren't there originally.

Edited by Athena, 28 September 2010 - 09:31 AM.


#6 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:06 PM

The only test kit I have is for pH. I took the water into the aquarium store and they did a full spectrum test for me. They said the water was perfect.

As far as black ich goes, I will look more into it. It seems unlikely because the snails and platy have been in the tank for months. She has always had those black spots, nobody else is sick and nobody is scratching against objects and flicking of their fins.

thank you for your response! I am hoping to get to the bottom of this soon.

Edited by OtisTheBulldog, 28 September 2010 - 03:30 PM.


#7 Assaye

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:54 PM

I'm a little worried that the shop just told you the water was OK but didn't tell you the actual readings. They should have at least written the results down for you. The reason this *could* be a problem is that somtimes the staff in shops don't really understand the water testing process and don't know what results are really good and what are bad. Many assume low results are good whn in fact a total negative for ammonia and nitrite is the only good result, so you often get a result of say 1 ppm of ammonia and the shop will say it is OK because they assume 1 is a low number and thus good.

Are you doing water changes in the hospital tank? Did you add a mature filter from the main tank or a spare filter from your cupboard? Any mature media put into it?

Another thing that worries me is that you are medicating before knowing the problem. Just like with human medication, fish medication is actually quite stressful for them. In the same way that humans can OD on painkillers and anti-biotics, so can fish. Medicating without knowing the exact problem isn't pro-active - it can actually make things worse and I've known people kill fish by medicating before they knew the problem. It also risks making any bacteria resistant to the drugs.

I would stop medicating for now until we know exactly what is wrong.

Having a brainstorm I would suspect the fish has an internal parasite or an internal bacterial infection. However, until we can tell for sure medicating is a risk! Melafix and Pimafix are for external problems such as bactrial fin-rot and fungal infections on open wounds. I don't think they will be useful to you in this case.

If the gills look odd it could be flukes, burns (say from ammonia - you need an exact number for that and I strongly recommend you get your own test kits!), gill rot. What do they look like? Damaged? Intact but a darker colour that usual? Marks on them?

What medicated food have you been feeding?

#8 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:52 PM

Thanks for your feedback. I trust aquarium west to test my water. They said Nitrates was yellow, or zero. That is in both the main tank and the hospital tank. The checked for every possible problem and said it was perfect across the board. Aquarium west is pretty fantastic, they are a few blocks form my house and they don't mind testing my water for me. I just test the pH at home when I do a water change.

It's definitely not gill burns from ammonia. Ammonia level is 0, in both tanks. But her gills look strange, I will link another video here. It is horrible quality, it's hard to get a good angle.

The hospital tank was changed once. Water tested. It's close to perfect. pH was a little high at 7.3.

The food I tried to feed her was the bakto tabs and crushed peas. She wont eat either. We even tried a blood worm just to test her appetite and she wont eat anything.


Metafix and Pimafix are so mild that it wont harm the fish. That and a little extra aquarium salt. It's the only medication I would use without knowing the problem. I normally can figure these things out. I have brought fish and frogs back from the brink but I can't figure out what is wrong with this platy. I need to figure it out soon or I'll have to euthanize. I hate seeing her suffer.

Any other ideas? Could it just be old age?

#9 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 05:17 AM

I haven't figured out what else I can do. This is really #105###ty. She is suffering. She is weak. Could she just be old? Any last ideas? I can't let this suffering go on much longer.

#10 Athena

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 11:41 AM

Hello again

When Aquarium West tested your water did they use the test strips (dipping them into your sample water) or did they use a liquid test kit (which would have taken quite a bit of time and most LFS don't do this as it is both time consuming and more expensive).

As for your poor Platy, as has already been suggested, it's likely to be internal parasites/flukes with secondary bacterial disease.

Without actually dissecting the fish I don't think anyone can say 100% what is wrong with it. All we can do is to take all the symptoms and try to match them up with a diagnosis that corresponds with those symptoms. It's then up to the individual as to which course of treatment they then follow or, if they feel the fish is too far advanced in the illness, whether they want to euthanise.

If you want to satisfy your mind that you've done everything possible, you could treat with a medication for anti parasites and then if the Platy survives to the end of that treatment course, give it a few days and then begin treating with antibacterial. If it's parasites then it's better to try to rid the fish of these first.

Be aware, though, that internal parasites ravage the internal organs of a fish so it depends on how long it's been affected and how much damage has been done. Sometimes the damage is already too advanced for any medication to save the fish. Darkened areas on the body usually indicate areas that have already been affected. If the head begins to go a dark colour then the fish is suffering brain damage and needs to be euthanised.

But, like I say, sometimes we need to satisfy ourselves that at least we tried rather than just sitting and watching helplessly.

All the best - Athena

#11 OtisTheBulldog

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 05:33 PM

She most likely has Wasting Disease, and the bacteria responsible are essentially impossible to treat...especially since she is so far advanced. I could try Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 but this will just prolong her suffering.

I'm going to wean off the Sera kh/ph plus and use a Rift Valley salt mix instead. Could be the culprit for messing up the water chemistry.

my boyfriend will be giving her a clove oil bath. rip silver fishy. :(




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