Lethargic limp male platy


New Member
Aug 19, 2019
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I’m totally winging my aquarium and as you will quickly find out, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Tank size: 20+, I inherited the tank as a thank you for helping a friend move

pH: maybe 7.8? I don’t really understand how I’m supposed to read the indicator

ammonia: <0.02ppm

nitrite: no idea

nitrate: also no idea

kH: I’m not even sure what this is

gH: also not sure

tank temp: 78-79

Fish Symptoms: My male platy is just laying in the gravel or hiding, either in my crusty crab or my density planted area next to it. He doesn’t seem to be eating. Occasionally, like once this week, I saw him swimming around the cage, but only after I picked up the his hiding nook because I thought he might be dead.

He seems to be breathing fast, his fin has some frayed edges, he was laying on his side (idk it just seemed weird), he is no longer showing off or interacting with the ladies. A female panda platy died last week, she was also lathargic but was staying at a corner at the top of the tank not necessarily laying in the substrate.

Volume and Frequency of water changes:
25%-50% every 3-7 days, higher percentages for longer gaps.

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank: Aqueon water conditioner is added to tap water for changes.

Tank inhabitants: 1 Betta, 5 tetras, 3 neon tetras, 2 yo-yo loaches, 3 adult female platy, 2 juvenile platy (3-8weeks), innumerable snails (I’m trying very hard to remove them)

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): beta plant (4 weeks ago), Yo-yo loach (3 weeks), Fluval 30 (1 week) *accidentally flushed a piece of my fluval 106 canister filter during a cleaning, biofilter? (1week) *a weird Little Rock this that is theoretically supposed to work like a mechanical filter and cultivate bacteria colonies, ph and amonium indicators (1week) and finally I upgraded my oxygen to an airstone (3 weeks).

Exposure to chemicals: none that I’m aware unless flourish for my plants counts, I put a high dose in because it was supposed to kill snails about 4-6 weeks ago.

Idk I’m sure I gave way to much info that didn’t matter and not enough of the important stuff.

Digital photo (include if possible):

I’m unable to upload any pics they seem to be too large for the server


Fish Guru
Jan 26, 2008
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Perth, WA
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

If the pictures are too big for the website, set the camera's resolution to its lowest setting and take some more. The lower resolution will make the images smaller and they should fit on this website. Check the pictures on your pc and find a couple that are clear and show the problem, and post them here. Make sure you turn the camera's resolution back up after you have taken the pics otherwise all your pictures will be small.

If you can make a short video of the fish it might help. If the video is too big for this website, post it on YouTube and copy & paste the link here. We can view it at YouTube. If you are using a mobile phone to take the video, have the phone horizontal so the video takes up the entire screen. If you have the phone vertical, you get video in the middle and black on either side.

What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?
How long has the tank been set up for?
How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you have a dechlorinating agent to neutralise chlorine/ chloramine in tap water?
Do you use the dechlorinator when you do water changes?

What sort of filter do you have?
How often and how do you clean the filter?

What are you feeding the fish?
How often are you feeding the fish?

Get a couple of new buckets and use a permanent marker to write "FISH ONLY" on them. Use those buckets for the fish and nothing else.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for the next 2 weeks.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Post pics when you can.

Don't add any new fish?
Don't add any medications until we know what is going on?

The following link has information on what to do if your fish get sick. It's long and boring but worth knowing. I recommend printing it out and reading it in bed to help fall asleep.


Fish Herder
Jun 2, 2019
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Can you buy a test kit or take a water sample to your LFS and ask them to test it for you. Write down the results in numbers with the measurement (eg PPM).
I’d be interested in your nitrite and nitrate readings, also General Hardness. GH can be found on your water companies website. Post a link to their page if you can’t see GH.
Platies need hard water which could be an issue here.