Beginner help

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Emswann

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Hi people,
I'm after a bit of advice as new to keeping fish.
I have six platys and had them for just about 4 weeks. All seemed well.
However today I've noticed one displaying unusual behaviour either spending all the time either right at the bottom of the tank or right t the top at the surface of the water. Doesn't seem to be eating but cant see any injury or visible marks. The only thing that looks unusual is a white/clearish string coming from its rear end.
Any suggestions or advice what it could be?
Thanks
 

mattgirl

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The very first thing I do when I see something off with any fish is get my water changing equipment out and get busy. How often are you doing water changes and how much are you changing each time.

Do you have a test kit to keep an eye on PH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? If you do and can post those numbers it will be easier for us to help you.
 
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Emswann

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I don't have a testing kit yet, it was on my list of things to do. Will get one tomorrow.
I've been advised to do a two weekly water change so next one is due in a few days.
First one I did I changed 3/4 of the tank.
 

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Emswann said:
I don't have a testing kit yet, it was on my list of things to do. Will get one tomorrow.
I've been advised to do a two weekly water change so next one is due in a few days.
First one I did I changed 3/4 of the tank.
You don't have to wait a certain length of time between water changes. Since one of your fish seems to be stressed about something you may want to consider doing another water change now.

Once you get your test kit and let us know the numbers we can hopefully get to the bottom of what is happening. If this tank isn't cycled daily water changes may have to be done.
 
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Emswann

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Ok great...do you think it's likely to be stressed rather than anything more sinister?
20200115_211113.jpg
 

mattgirl

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Emswann said:
Ok great...do you think it's likely to be stressed rather than anything more sinister?
View attachment 653118
It is very hard to say. It could be elevated ammonia. Do you have places where your fish can go just to chill like plants, driftwood or decor. Post a photo of your whole tank. Maybe we can see something you have missed and to be perfectly honest, We do love pictures :) What size is this tank?
 
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Emswann

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Yes it has plants and ornaments. It's a 12 litre tank.
Forgive the very limited knowledge. The fish and et up were bought for my kids with no prior notice by a well meaning relative so I'm a complete novice and have tried to do as much research as I can but I've found the advice out there is a bit of a minefield if you don't know what you're doing.
Thank so much for your help
 

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mattgirl

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Sadly the tank really is too small for the fish in there but I realize you were thrown into this since it was a gift. One thing you can do to make these fish feel less exposed thus more comfortable is add some kind of background to the tank. I would also fill the tank up as full as possible. The more water the better it will be. You are actually doing a great job with the situation you have found yourself in.

Things can go bad quickly with this many fish in a very small tank. The one thing you can do for them is partial water changes at this point but a bigger tank would be the best. I don't normally say anything about the number of fish compared to the size of ones tank but I am afraid these fish will always be stressed 'specially as they grow to their full size. Is a bigger tank a possibility?
 
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Emswann

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Ok great thanks I will do those things you suggested. A bigger tank is possible - what size would you suggest? I believe the tank they got was recommended with the 6 fish they also got so it's very frustrating.
Thanks so much
 

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Emswann said:
Ok great thanks I will do those things you suggested. A bigger tank is possible - what size would you suggest? I believe the tank they got was recommended with the 6 fish they also got so it's very frustrating.
Thanks so much
The bigger the better but realistically a 15 or 20 gallon tank would be perfect. Once cycled you could even get them a few friends.

Sadly this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Those selling fish and tanks for them don't always give the best advice :(
 
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Great thank will look into it quick smart and in the meantime first job of the day is to get a water testing kit and see what the scores are. Did a water change last night and little fish seems a little perkier this morning.
Thanks for the advice
 

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Lots of folks start out with testing strips but they aren't always the best option. 'Specially since most of them don't test for ammonia. That really doesn't make sense to me since it is one of the most important things to test for. If at all possible I do recommend you get an API Master Test Kit. It contains all the test you need.
 
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Thanks I went to a specialist fish shop today and sought some more advice. Unfortunately they were out of the test kits you recommended but will be back in stock in the next couple of days.
They offered to test my water for the next couple days until back in stock and will advise what's best.
In the meantime I got a nitrate test kit as advised, with a solution to try and neutralise the water and some bottled bacteria.
Nitrate levels were at 0.50 when tested .
It appears all advice that was given to the relative when bought was wrong and not just a little bit either. After talking to my relative they weren't advised regarding cycling the tank at all and told to introduce the platies into the tank after 48 hours. For the water they were told to take straight from the tap and just add 'tap safe'.And because of this poor advice initially our poor platies are not likely to make it! So cross with that shop so will not be going back there!
I was told today that platies are very sensitive to water conditions and therefore are not the type of fish to introduce to a new tank? Would you say this is correct?
 

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If you keep up with the water changes your platys may make it. I've never had them so really don't know if they are more sensitive than other fish. As long as you keep the ammonia and nitrites when they show up as low as possible with water changes your little guys may make it.

Did you by chance get a nitrite test kit instead of nitrate? .50 is an unusual number for nitrates.
 
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Emswann

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Yes sorry nitrite test kit!
How often would you suggest water change and what percentage?
 

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Emswann said:
Yes sorry nitrite test kit!
How often would you suggest water change and what percentage?
With this many fish in this size tank I would change out at least 50% of it every day. Once you get your full test kit and can keep an eye on the ammonia level you may not need to change it as often. You can let the numbers be your guide. You want to keep the ammonia down to no more than .5. Lower is better but sometimes hard to accomplish.
 
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Ok that's great thank you. Will keep you posted on the progress.
 
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