Help My poor poorly platy

nmuller

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I must apologse now for my lack of knowledge on keeping fish. I brought a 10 gallon tank from a local store initially for keeping coldwater fish and was talked into buying a heater and converting the same into a tropical tank......mug. Anyway, the shop stated the tank was v.easy to set add - add water - add chemicals and then add fish 48 hours later - job done. However having set the tank up I discover it needs to be cycled so decide to do this only for my mum to buy my children 3 fish - introducing 3 little platties. I have been keeping an eye on the chemicals in the tank, I have today also completed a partial water change (about 30%) as one of the platties is not well. When he went into the tank 2 weeks ago he was very skittsh, always at the top and very active - now he is v.lethargic...goes to top for a few mins then sinks to the bottom knocking into everthing on his way down, also off his food and generally not too good...also on the top of his head his scales looks like they are going black (the fish is yellow) and also the end of his body towards his tail is also going a blackish colour. The other 2 fish are very well and seem happy and have grown however (goldie) seems thin and listless......could this may be neurological or bacterial ? Whilst I may not know a lot at the moment I am commited to trying to provide the best environment for these fish !!
 

Llama

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I think its an ammonia spike personally. When the tank isn't cycled, ammonia increases, stressing the fish.

If you have a test kit, give us your ammonia values (if you don't, its a very good investment) - change around 50% of the water, and see if it helps.
 

Meenu

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Welcome to fishlore.

As you know, when you set up a tank, your tank needs to go through a cycling process to be able to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.

The nitrogen cycle is basically this:
Your tank has ammonia from the waste the fish produce. The beneficial bacteria living on the surface of your gravel and filter media eats the ammonia, changing it to nitrite. Another beneficial bacteria converts that into nitrates.

Any amount of ammonia or nitrites can be lethal to fish. A small amount of nitrates are fine (5-20). Once your tank is cycled, it means you have enough benefical bacteria growing to eat all the ammonia and nitrites, making your tank a healthy place to live. Your readings should be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5-20 nitrates.

You need a good liquid test kit to check your water. Your aquarium info mentions that your ammonia is 40, but that doesn't make too much sense, because your fish couldn't survive that much ammonia. You should try to find the API master test kit, which is reliable, and will give you readings for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

At this point, the best thing to do is daily water changes using Prime conditioner (by seachem), which will dechlorinate, but also detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours at a time. It leaves the toxins in the tank so the bacteria can form a colony, but makes it safer for the fish.

I know this is a lot of info to go through. I am happy to answer any more questions.
 
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nmuller

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Thank you very much for your help - unfortunately Goldie was found on the bottom of the aquarium this morning. I think it is possibly a spike too and going to do another partial water change and continue that and see how it goes (very difficult to know when tank is not cycled properly)....the other 2 still seem okay (so far!!). Also when I went to the shop for the water testing kit they only had the strips and am not convinced they are giving me the correct reading. Visited another today who will test my water for free tomorrow am...so hopefully will know more then. Have noticed when I feed the fish earlier that when they had a poo (delightful!!) it was long and white - is this indicitive of a bacterial problem ?
 

Llama

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Long and white can suggest internal parasites, but I'm sure someone else can go into more detail - I only heard them mention it in another thread.
 
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