rianna21

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Hi everyone, sorry if this isnt the right place to post, I’m looking for some advice.

My variatus platy has been avoiding food for 3 weeks now, and prefers to stay at the top of the tank, near the bottom or swimming up and down the sides. When I say avoiding, I mean it literally swims in the opposite direction away from the food, and I’ve tried gently dangling it in front of him but still nothing. I’m unsure if male or female, but as its the largest fish in my tank I would guess female, and it does not interact with the other fish lately.

I have 2 Platys, 2 Zebra Danios and 2 White mountain cloud Minnows, I am aware this isn’t an ideal set up (pets at home advised me incorrectly), but as its a fairly small tank I dont think I can add anymore fish in. This platy used to be quite dominant but now has gone the complete opposite.

Any ideas what could be the problem? The other fish are happy and swimming beautifull, and don’t seem to be bothering this big platy at all.

Some ideas I’ve had:
- could be feeling cramped, especially as the biggest fish.
- my neighbours have had loud construction for about a month, and the tank is on that side of the wall.
- could be stressed from the other fish swimming quickly around.
- my other platy thinks its a danio and follows them around all day, so could be feeling lonely and like its the only one of its kind?

I’m considering moving it out of the tank temporarily to see if it fares better on its own, and then take appropriate action, but id appreciate any advice as this is the first tank Ive had as an adult.

thank you!
 

CaptainBarnicles

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Hi there, it's always useful to provide your water parameters ie ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc

From what you describe it sounds like stress and not being happy in its environment to me, knowing a bit more about the tank could help us figure out why. Photos of your tank would help
 
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rianna21

rianna21

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Of course. Here is the tank, with the Platy hanging out by the light. It looks like its eating the algae from that photo but its just breathing next to it. I cleaned the tank on Tuesday, and have had the bubbler on most of the day.

I don’t have anything to test the water with right now and pet stores are closed for the day, but hopefully this helps a little and I can maybe get that info soon.

Like I said, the tank is quite small, around 5-6 gallons I think so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was cramped, but I already upgraded from the one I purchased with the fish which was even smaller and don’t really have the room/money for much bigger.
 

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Slaphppy7

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Get a liquid test kit ASAP, and test for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte, and post the results here.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255NCI/?tag=ff0d01-20

ZD's are notorious for being aggressive an nippy, especially when not kept in sufficient numbers.

And as you already know, this tank is much too small for any of these fish.
 

Colin_T

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The black platy in the picture is a male. Male platies have a long thin anal (bottom) fin called a gonopodium. Females have a fan or triangle shaped anal fin.
The yellow platy also looks like a male. If you have 2 males, the dominant one could be bullying the weaker one.

How long has the tank been set up for?
Is the filter run continuously?
How often and how do you clean the filter?

How often do you do water changes?
How much water do you change?
Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?

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You need a picture on the back of the tank. You can buy these from pet shops, online, or use a piece of coloured card or even a plastic bin liner and simply tape it to the outside of the tank.

You could do with some real plants, and floating plants might help the fish feel more comfortable. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is a good floating plant that can also be grown in the gravel. If you get 1 plant and let it float on the surface, it will quickly reproduce and you can then use some of the babies to plant in the substrate.

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If you don't have a test kit, take a glass full of tank water to a pet shop and ask them to test the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for you. Write the results down in numbers when they do the test. If they say the water is fine, ask them for the results in numbers.

If you can't get to a pet shop, or if your fish ever look unwell, just do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week. This will dilute any nutrients or disease organisms in the water and give the fish the best chance of recovering.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
 

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