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Help platy fish not eating and hiding.

Gemma Tierney

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Hi,
Please can anyone shed some light as to why my platy has been in hiding and not eating, her fins are also closed and if she comes out of hiding she stays close to the gravel just floating, this is the 3rd day I’ve noticed this behaviour. I’ve got another 5 female platy fish in the 60l tank and all seem fine and happy. Water quality was fine Tuesday but I did a 25% water change yesterday just in case (I’m out of strips to test again, more ordered)
I have noticed the other platy chasing her around from time to time but I think they all chase each other at times so I don’t think it’s a case of bullying but I have a small tank with 14 fry in I could transfer her to for a while (the fry are big enough not to get eaten now) but if she’s sick I don’t want her to contaminate the fry.
Any advice muchly appreciated.
Gemma
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Can you post a picture of the fish?

Have you tested the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & pH and if yes, what were the results? We want numbers like ammonia 0.5, nitrite 1.25, nitrate 25, pH 7.4.

How long has the tank been set up for?
How long have you had the fish for?
 
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Gemma Tierney

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Hi thanks for your reply.

I’ve been using the test strips 5 in 1 that just change colour and they always come back that the water is fine but I have just noticed it doesn’t test for ammonia although I thought weekly 20-25% water changes would sort that out?

The tank has been set up almost 4 months but I’ve had my platys almost 6 months.

Here’s a pic of Toffee (my daughter named her)

Thanks again
 

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Colin_T

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Ammonia is dealt with by beneficial bacteria that live in the filter materials. If the tank has been set up for 4 months and you haven't replaced the filter materials during that time, the bacteria should be doing their job and converting ammonia into nitrite into nitrate. Having said this, have you cleaned the filter materials recently, and if yes, how do you normally clean the materials?

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The fish in the picture has a bacterial or protozoan infection that is causing the clamped fins and tail. Have you added any new fish or plants to the tank during the last month?

What else is in the tank?
If you only have platies, you can use salt to treat the fish. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of rock salt, sea salt or swimming pool salt per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours, add another 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres.
Keep the salt levels here for at least 2 weeks but not more than 4 weeks.

To work out the volume of water in the tank:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.

When you measure the height, measure from the top of the gravel to the top of the water level.
 
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Gemma Tierney

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Hi Colin_T

Thank you for your response.

I cleaned the filter on the 23 July. Its a fluval U4 filter. I have porous ceramic filter media, sponge and carbon cartridges inside. I rinsed all the parts in some old tank water and put the filter back in the tank and all has appeared fine since.

I only have 1 live plant in the tank that’s anacharis but that’s always been in the tank even in the previous tank.

I only have platy fish.

I have anti white spot plus or would that be the wrong treatment for this? it does say it’s for protozoan parasites.
Or should I stick to the salt treatment, I have course sea salt or should I really buy aquarium salt?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks again!
 

WILDER

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Liquid test kits are the best as there more accurate.
For now I would take a sample of your tank water to the LFS to be tested. Also ask them if they wouldn't mind writing the readings down for you.

Clamped fins can be a sign of stress,disease.
Does the fish look pale or darker in colour?
Does the fish struggle to get off the bottom of tank, or top?
Any signs of being listless or lethargic?
What does it look like when your fish go to the toilet.?
Any signs of red streaking in fins?
Hows the fish breathing, Rapid, or shallow, or normal?

If there no sign of flicking and rubbing, darting, or tiny white grains of salt on fish I would not treat for whitespot.
 
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Colin_T

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Hi Wilder, welcome back :)

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Back on topic.
It sounds like you are cleaning the filter correctly and since there is no nitrite and the tank has been set up for 4 months, there probably isn't any ammonia. If you can get it checked sometime that will confirm one way or the other but I don't think there's a water quality issue.

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You can use any sort of non iodised salt to treat the fish. If you have sea salt then use that. Aquarium salt is simply expensive rock salt.

I would try the salt for a few days and see how the fish responds. If there is no improvement after a couple of days, then add the whitespot treatment. But give it at least 2 days with salt first.
You can use the whitespot treatment with salt so you can add it to the tank without doing a water change if you use it.
 

WILDER

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Nice to see you back aswell. :)
 
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Gemma Tierney

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Thanks guys I’ll give the salt a go and get the water checked at my local aquatic shop just to be on the safe side.

Just to answer a few questions to Wilder
She hasn’t changed colour that I’ve noticed.
She can dart about when need be and it’s not as though she’s struggling to get off the bottom it’s like she just prefers to be out of the way or in hiding.
There’s no red streaking in her fins and breathing seems ok.
I noticed her poo earlier today was very thin and almost translucent.
All the other fish appear in good health.

Thanks again
 

Colin_T

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Can you check the fish's anal (bottom) fin for me and tell me if it is long and straight, or fan/ triangular shaped?

If the anal fin is long and thin then it might be a male that is being picked on. However, it shouldn't have a clamped tail or fins so there is an issue, but males do bully each other so if it is a male, separating them might help.
 

WILDER

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Do you know how old she is?
Did she go throw a cycling tank?

It's not sounding to promising and her long stringy and see throw poo is because she not eating.
Try her on some shelled peas.
Can you isolate her to make sure the other fish are not stressing her out.
Even if it's in one of those plastic floating boxes you add to the tank.
 
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Gemma Tierney

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She has a fan shaped anal fin normally and I’m pretty sure she’s been pregnant as she was quite large a few months back and then 2 fry appeared or at least 2 fry survived but seeing as I have 3 other females it’s hard to say who’s popping out all the fry as I currently have 14 more fry in another tank and didn’t even notice any fish getting fat of having a dark gravid spot - this fish parenting is hard!

I wasn’t told how old exactly but I’m guessing they must be approaching a year old.

When I first got them they went into a 16l tank that had been cycled for a week and then I upgraded to a 60l tank and had that set up for over a week before I transferred them.

An update since putting salt into the tank she has come out of hiding, had a little food and even had a little peck at the plants/decor, fingers crossed she’s improved a bit more by tomorrow.

Thanks for all the advice
 

WILDER

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Bless her. Good Luck.
 
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Gemma Tierney

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An update if anyone was wondering, turns out Toffee the platy was stressed so I guess I must have a bully in the tank

I’ve placed her in with the fry and within a few hours her fins opened up and she’s been scoffing bloodworm like there’s no tomorrow.

I feel bad cause it’s only about 16ltrs but surely it’s better for her to be in a small happy environment than a big miserable one?!

Here’s a picture, you can even see her having a nice healthy poo
 

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WILDER

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Great to hear that she alot better bless her.
Only thing is that you need to think about her future as if there was a bully in the tank she can't really be placed back in that tank now.

Good luck.
 
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