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One platy pale with clamped fins, the other one fine

haileyykristian

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Hi all,

Ive got a 29gal planted tank with 5 corydoras, 2 pygmy cories (because I had five in another tank with a betta and she turned out to be a murderer, I'm getting more soon), a very docile female betta, and two platies. Last week I noticed that one of my platies had clamped fins. I assumed I just needed to do an extra water change so I did that and added some stress guard to help with that (and my pygmy cory that I moved to this tank on the same day because she got nipped by my other betta). It's been about a week and my platy is still pale and her fins are clamped. She has white edges on some of her scales like they're coming off. Meanwhile the rest of my fish are fine. I can't figure out what it might be. I've had her for a few months and I got her from a reputable fish store so I'm at a loss. Pic.

Water parameters:
Ammonia: 0

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 20
 

Byron

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This has the marks of being related to water parameters; parameters are the GH, KH, pH and temperature. [Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are water conditions.]

Do you know the GH and pH of your water?

Nitrates at 20 ppm is as high as we want for freshwater fish, and lower would be better. Have you tested your tap water on its own for nitrate, and if so, what was the result? Nitrates occurring in the source (tap) water is one thing, and nitrates occurring from the biology of the tank is another, so it is necessary to determine the source.
 
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haileyykristian

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I just did a water change after I checked the nitrates so it should be lower now. I haven't checked my tap water but I have never had problems with any of my other fish. I will check the nitrates in my tap water when I get home from work.

GH: 30
pH: 7.2
KH:80
Temp: 78º

If the problem is the water quality why would it only affect one fish?
 

Byron

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I just did a water change after I checked the nitrates so it should be lower now. I haven't checked my tap water but I have never had problems with any of my other fish. I will check the nitrates in my tap water when I get home from work.

GH: 30
pH: 7.2
KH:80
Temp: 78º

If the problem is the water quality why would it only affect one fish?
This takes some explanation, so bear with me.

First, we need to keep the terms clear or we will get ourselves confused, lol. Parameters are the data given in this post. Conditions are the nitrogenous aspects.

First on the parameters, is the GH 30 ppm (parts per million), or 30 degrees? From the KH at 80 I am assuming these numbers are ppm, but please confirm or correct this. A KH of 80 dKH would equate to 1432 ppm which is not realistic.

Nitrates do affect all fish, but unlike ammonia and nitrite, nitrate is less obvious because it acts over time to weaken the fish. The level and the exposure time factor in, with some fish more sensitive than others so the longer the exposure or the higher the nitrate level, the more variable the effect. But all fish are affected to some extent, so keeping nitrates as low as possible is always best. And while 20 ppm is now held to be the upper limit, if this is primarily occurring within the tank as opposed to coming in partly with the water changes, it is easy to get them lower and under control.

I am not saying nitrate is the direct issue with this one platy; but nitrates at 20 ppm will weaken the fish and that means it is more susceptible to other things including disease. Everything is related. If the GH is actually 30 ppm, that is very soft water and this will seriously impact platies (and all livebearers which need moderately hard or harder water). So that would weaken the platy further still. All this causes stress, and that is further weakening especially of the fish's immune system.

One fish may show signs now, but others may follow. If the GH is 30 ppm, this would not impact the soft water species (corydoras and betta) at all because they need softer water. We can deal further with the nitrate issue once we know the tap water test result.
 

Colin_T

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The fish is covered in excess mucous caused by something stressing it out, usually water quality. Some fish are more susceptible to poor water quality or chemicals in the water and these fish get sick first.

Are you adding any plant fertilisers, medications or anything else to the tank?

If you have a spare tank, you could move the fish into that and add salt.

If the GH is only 30ppm, then that will be a contributing factor.
 

Moony42

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Lots of text, Having trouble loading in
The platy is hurt badly based on your description. I guess you should wait for Further instructions By Collin t my man
 
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