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Male Platy is hiding from the rest of his tank mates

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Sweet_Sassy

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I have a total of 9 plattys, 2 males and 7 females. The one male is blue and the other is orange and both seem to not like being around the females and other fish in the tank. The blue is newer than the orange and when I first got the orange he stayed away from the rest of the group and now he seems to be okay. Now I'm noticing that the blue platy isn't swimming with the rest and is hiding under my driftwood. He comes out when it's time to eat and I've seen him eating with the rest, he just doesn't like to swim with them all any other time. I was just curious if there was anything I should be worried about surrounding this behavior and if he will start getting comfortable over time or if he is sick and I need to treat him. When I first got the orange male I'm pretty sure he had a fungus or something since the ends of his tail and dorsal fins were white and they were really short. He looks normal now and his fins are grown out. I added the blue one and 6 females last week and the females are all doing well and seem to be pregnant already (which I don't mind since I enjoy the babies). These 9 plattys are in a 29 gallon with 5 red minor tetras, 5 danios, 3 green cory catfish, 2 khuli loaches, 5 mystery snails, a dwarf gourami, and a male beta (both the gourami and beta are VERY peaceful and have never nipped at each other or the other fish. All of the fish are friendly towards each other except for a few fin nips here and there between the 5 danios which I see as normal behavior) I did however have an outbreak of mini ramshorn snails and I've been digging around in the tank to pluck them out and I did also notice that I had a few damselfly nymphs that ate all my shrimps (I have since then caught 5 nymphs but I might have more idk). I have an aqueon 20 filter, a heater, and a light that I turn off every night. They are fed every morning and night and eat their food after about 15 minutes. I think my blue platy is beautiful and I really love all of my fish so I want to make sure that he will be okay. This tank has also been cycled for a few months and I haven't had any problems with any other fish. I hope I have provided enough information to receive some help. Thank you so much!! Let me know if you need better or different pictures, I did the best I could.
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i wish i had knowledge to help you... but I'm new to fish keeping... however i saw no one had commented on your post.... so i wanted to say hi and welcome. hope someone comes along soon and has experience with platys so they can help you.

one thing i do believe.. fish have their own little personalities... maybe he's just shy... esp since he comes out to eat. i bet he comes out of his "shell" when he's confidant and comfortable with his new home. ?❤️. but a platty expert will deff know more than me. good luck.
 
What are your current water parameters? Also what is your water Gh ?
you currently have a mix of hard and soft water fish
You also in my opinion have a heavily stocked tank , could be a reason for the platy shyness
 
What are your current water parameters? Also what is your water Gh ?
you currently have a mix of hard and soft water fish
You also in my opinion have a heavily stocked tank , could be a reason for the platy shyness
I currently don't have a water test kit but I do have some of the Tetra strips. I want to get a water test kit but would I have to buy a new one every time I want to use it or is it reusable? Also, what does Gh stand for? I live in the country and so we get our water from a well. I still use a water conditioner just in case but there isn't chlorine in our water usually. What is the difference between hard and soft water? I didn't know fish had a preference so I didn't look into that when picking out my fish. I really just looked at temperature and behavior compatibility. And with the amount of fish that are in the tank, I haven't had a huge ammonia spike according to my test strips and even though there is enough space for all the fish to spread out, they tend to stay in one giant group. How many fish would you recommend for that tank? If I had it my way I would upgrade to an even bigger tank but I don't have space for it. I agree, he might just be shy but I am worried about the little guy as he looks smaller than the others. I got him at a PetSmart and they have huge groups of plattys together so I wasn't really prepared for a shy fish like him. I'll keep an eye on him. Also, do you have a test kit you would recommend? I have been wanting to get one for a while but I wasn't sure where to start. Thank you for trying to help!
 
I want to get a water test kit but would I have to buy a new one every time I want to use it or is it reusable? Also, what does Gh stand for? I
The water test kit (most people use API brand) is reusable. It comes with some glass test tubes and several bottles of test solution that measure ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and pH. GH measures your water's hardness. Some fish do better in soft water, others in hard water. So if some of your fish are having problems, hardness may be a factor. What are you showing on your test strips? Can you do one real quick and post a photo here?

You can get the test kit at any PetSmart or PetCo, Walmart probably carries them too or you could order from Amazon.
 
Gh is general hardness and yes soft water fish and hard water fish take differnt minerals and nutrients from the water it’s all about what the water passes through before it reaches us
 
I don’t know but I think we’ll water is general harder as it’s coming straight from the ground rather than a lake or river
 
I just finished the test and these were my results:
Nitrate: 40ppm
Nitrite: .5ppm
gH: 75ppm (soft)
kH: 300ppm
pH: 8.4 (very alkaline)

What should I do to remedy these things if they are not good enough? I really love my fish and I want to makes sure I give them the best care possible :)
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I just finished the test and these were my results:
Nitrate: 40ppm
Nitrite: .5ppm
gH: 75ppm (soft)
kH: 300ppm
pH: 8.4 (very alkaline)

What should I do to remedy these things if they are not good enough? I really love my fish and I want to makes sure I give them the best care possible :)
View attachment 126906View attachment 126907
Your nitrate should be 20 or below (general consensus although some would argue 40 is fine), and nitrite must be 0 as well. Do you have a way to test for ammonia? Your pH is also a bit high. To get the nitrate and nitrite levels down you'll need to do a large water change (50% or more). Be sure to temperature control the new water and treat with a water conditioner. To get pH down is a bit harder and you need to do this slowly (.2 reduction per week max). I have had luck using Fluval peat granules in a mesh bag in my hang on back filter.

So let's get a water change done pronto to dilute the nitrate and nitrite levels.

I'll also add I have a school of fish (tetras) and over time one of them always "hides" in the tank. It's usually one of the smaller ones so it might just be they've assumed their spot in the tank based on pecking order. As long as the fish is eating and swimming normally without any signs of disease it might just be that's their 'assigned' spot in the tank.
 
I agree with the water change to clear the nitrite, and an ammonia test to check that is ok. The fact that you have nitrite in a supposedly cycled tank shows a problem that you will need to monitor closely.

Water softeners are not suitable for fish keeping, they replace calcium/magnesium with sodium which leads to poor health in fish. Can you bypass the softener for the tank water? If the water is too hard for some of the fish you could set them up in another tank with RO water. You will need to test the hardness and compare the species on https://seriouslyfish.com/

Finally, the blue platy is very stressed. It has clamped fins and is hiding because it is vulnerable, could be ill or struggling with the nitrite or it could be being bullied by the other fish.
 
I ended up getting a water test kit last week and When I did a test on 1/17 I got a pH of 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 80. I did another test today and got the exact same readings. The platy did pass away a couple of days ago. I am not sure how to lower the nitrate levels and the API test kit I have say that keeping it 40 and below is best. All of my other fish are very happy and I have been giving them some leftover bloodworms and brine shrimp that my pea puffer won't eat (He is in a separate tank btw). I think that little blue platy must have been sick or just couldn't handle the community. Thank you all for your input by the way! I'm working on making sure all of my fish stay happy and healthy thanks to you guys.
 
I am not sure how to lower the nitrate levels
The best way to lower the nitrate level is with regular water changes. By any chance is your water source showing a high level of nitrates to begin with? Do you have live plants and are you dosing a fertilizer?
 
Nitrate should ideally below 20 ppm - the instructions saying 40 ppm are a bit out of date.

There are a few reasons for nitrate to test high.
Firstly is the tester itself. Strips are not terribly accurate and liquid tests have a bottle where one of the reagents settles on the bottom of the bottle. The instructions include to shake the bottle and then the test tube, and failure to shake gives inaccurate readings.

Tap water usually contains nitrate. I know that UK regulations permit up to 50 ppm in drinking water; other countries may vary in the amount they allow. [One thing to note is that some countries use a different scale in their regulations. A member once said that the USA allows just 10 ppm but that is using a different scale from our test kits, and using the test kit scale, the permitted level was in the upper 40s]

Nitrate is made in the tank by the nitrogen cycle.
Too many fish make a lot of ammonia which is turned into a lot of nitrate.
Overfeeding the fish leads to decomposing uneaten food which releases ammonia which is turned into nitrate.
Not enough, or not big enough water changes don't remove enough nitrate, or uneaten food and fish poop.
The brown goo which builds up in the filter is uneaten food, fish poop etc which decomposes to make ammonia which is turned into nitrate - not cleaning the filter often enough results in raised nitrate.
Nitrogen containing plant fertiliser ends up as nitrate.

Live plants help to keep nitrate levels down because plants use ammonia as their preferred source of nitrogen, and they turn it into protein rather than nitrite and nitrate. Enough live plants can take up all the ammonia made by the fish.
 
I only have live plants and have been steadily adding more and more to the tank. My goal is to have a heavily planted tank when I'm finished. My filter lights up when it needs to be changed and I have the little aqueon ammonia reducer pad in there too. I don't think I overfeed the fish since after 10 minutes all the food is eaten and nothing is left on the bottom. I don't dose with fertilizer- but I did when I started the tank a few months ago when I added live plants for the first time. I haven't dosed it since then. I would assume that my water contains nitrate already. I usually do a 50% WC every other week. When I started noticing problems with the platy I had just done a 100% change to rescape the tank so he could have been stressed from that as well. When I did that WC I left all the rocks and plants in there without washing and I didn't change the filter so I made sure it would stay cycled- I also added some SafeStart to be safe. I also agree that the strips are not accurate and I'm glad I got a test kit. When I tested the water I did fully read the instructions and shake that Nitrate bottle #2 for 30 seconds to make sure that I would get the correct results.
 

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