Female Platy Is Sick! Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by LindseyAquamarine, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. LindseyAquamarineNew MemberMember

    My female Platy is acting strange, and I'm having trouble pinpointing what exactly is wrong.

    Tank: 10 gal tank with 2 Platys (1 male, 1 female) and 1 male Dwarf Gourami. We have live plants as well.

    We were just on vacation for 4 days, and put a fish feeder in the tank the morning we left. There's still about half of it left, and we got back 2 days ago. They never seem to eat much of it when we do this.

    Everyone has been the normal amount of hungry since we got back, but I noticed them resting a lot. The female Platy especially, as she kept laying on the bottom of the tank.

    I did a water test and the Nitrate was maybe 20 or 40. General hardness was pretty high, which is normal in my tank. I went ahead and cleaned the tank with a 30% water change to see if that helps any. Top Fish brand water conditioner is already circulating and I will be putting the bacteria starter in soon.

    Side note, there's been a lot of green algae growing lately, so I changed the filter even though it was only about 2 weeks old. It was coated in green algae. I usually change it every 4-5 weeks, so that was odd.

    Any help for my Platy, please?? I'm hoping maybe she's just constipated or something...

  2. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    What kind of filter do you have? The hobs with cartridges, when you throw the cartridge away, you tend to loose a lot of beneficial bacteria, and it's possible you could have an ammonia burst if you don't have a bacteria grid or sponge along with the cartridge. If you're cleaning media, are you using tank water?

    Also, the preferential ratio with livebearers such as platys, guppies and do forth is 1 male to 2 females, preferably more females per Male. The reason for this, is that the males like their nookie and will constantly pester the females for it. Without a heavily planted tank, the female has nowhere to hide, and then gets stressed out. This, is my best guess as to what is going on.

    Bacteria starter is really only used when setting a tank up, I'm unsure why you are using it? Which leads to my next questions, how long has the tank been set up for? When you do a water change how much are you taking out?

    As for the green algae, thats normally caused by 3 things : the lights being on for more than 8 hours a day, nitrate build up in the water column and possibly phosphates too.

    Without knowing exact parameters on your water quality etc theres not a lot more I can suggest may help. For high nitrates, only water changes and addition of fast growing nitrate eating plants such as hornwort, wisteria, duckweed can help with this, alongside the addition of a purigen pouch in your filter alongside media.

    Hope this helps!

    Edit: on zooming in I've noticed your female wag tail is ragged. I've also noticed that the sunburst male you have the fins look a bit clamped too. I'm wondering right now if your gourami has anything to do with that. Also if your nitrates are 40 or so I'd remove 50% of the water, adding in slowly temp matches and ph matches clean conditioned water. The best water conditioner on the market in my opinion is seachem prime, as it neutralizes ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for 24/48 hours, and it lasts a long time.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  3. LindseyAquamarineNew MemberMember

    Thanks, Fishywife, for replying!

    My filter has a "biocartridge" but I don't know if that's what you mean by bacteria grid? It's the blue piece in front of the filter cartridge in the photo of my filter below:

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "when you're cleaning media." My tank cleaning just involves scrubbing the walls and decor with a sponge brush while they're still in the tank, so they're still covered with tank water.

    I've had my tank set up since July 2017, and my platy has given birth twice in the time that I've had her. We cycled the tank for about a week before adding fish, and have had these three together since maybe August.

    Our Gourami is a little bit mean, we lost 2 snails because he kept biting them, but the Platys have always seemed able to swim away so he's never bothered them too much. Do you think having more hiding places would help the Platys feel safe? Or would adding another female Platy be even better?

    I only have a 10 gal. tank, that's why I only had the 3 fish to begin with, I wanted them to have enough space.

    I suppose I kept using the bacteria starter because I figured it couldn't hurt. I do only change out about 25-30% of the water at a time, as my levels are never very far from where they should be. I also don't do water changes unless levels indicate that they're necessary. The live plants generally do well keeping things in check.

    You're probably right about the reason for so much green algae. I should probably turn the tank light off earlier in the evening than I do.

    Just tested my water levels before posting this. They are:
    Nitrate: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    pH: 6.5-7.0
    Carbonate Hardness KH: 40
    General Hardness GH: 180
  4. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    Yes the blue grid is the bacteria holder as such. Never use tap water to clean it. The problem with cartridge filters is when you chuck them out you chuck out a lot of good bacteria with them. In one of my tanks I have 2 small whisper hobs which use cartridges, so I put a piece of flat filter sponge cut to size at the back of the cartridge to trap a lot of debris plus grow bacteria. Once a month I squeeze it out into a bucket of tank water to clean it. Cartridges last a lot longer that way too. Then mine has a thin bit of sponge in front (as yours has a blue plastic grid) to harbor the good stuff. With putting an extra sponge with the cartridge you'll be increasing your filtration a little by providing more area for the bacteria to grow, more so when it's time to replace your cartridge. Ps. I have a bigger version of your silenstream, it's my spare as I replaced it with an aquaclear.

    Most tanks also take a minimum of 6 weeks to cycle properly. If I remember right it was 15 weeks or so to cycle my 55g. By now your tank should be long cycled!

    Adding more hiding places would be beneficial, as would adding another female platy, but, I would in your case remove the gourami before adding any more as your tank would seem to be at stocking limit. A good site to check your tank stocking levels is aqadvisor. Google that and add what you have. Tank, filter, inhabitants etc.
  5. LindseyAquamarineNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much for all your help!! I'll definitely be checking that site.

    I really want to keep the Gourami, it's the one fish my husband was actually excited about getting. So I think I'll get more hiding spaces fixed up until I have room for a bigger tank so I can add another female.

    The Gourami is pretty active. Are there things I can get for him to play with? A fish toy that might distract him from picking on the others?
  6. FishywifeValued MemberMember

    a fish toy! Sorry I lol'd at that! I think more hidey holes would work though!

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