One of my platy is staying at the surface

  • #1
Since 2 days my female platy just hangs out near the surface. She doesn't look like she gasping for air but just to be sure I increase my filter speed so more oxygen gets in there. I do 20% water change daily but today I did a 40% change to clean the gravel etc. The 2 other fishes seem to be fine.
She doesn't have any spots, parasites or anything. She doesn't really eat since 2 days either. She looks like she's missing a little bit of fin or her tail. Probably from when my betta was harassing her to first day she was in.

What could it be?

  • #2
Hello and welcome to the forum!

Before anyone can help you out with your fishy problems, you're gonna have to provide some basic info about your fish and set up.

1) Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? and is your tank fully cycled?
2) What is the tank size?
3) How many fish do you have?
4) What are your water parameters and water quality? i.e pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitRAte in specific numbers.

Could she be prego?

  • #3
I know you said she doesn't have any spots but could she be pregnant? We just had a batch of fry drop today and my female acted the same way. She hung out near the surface by the heater and didn't eat. Also her gravid spot had disappeared early yesterday.

  • Thread Starter
  • #4
1) I know a bit about Nitrogen cycle but not that much
2)It's a 5 gal, I know I know I didn't know it took a 10gal for platy I have to get a new one
3)I have 1 male betta and 2 female platy
4)Test strips indicate that my water parameters are the following

Nitrate is close to 40, even though I change 40% of the water today
Nitrite is 0
PH 7
Carbonate hardness 120
General hardness 60

As for being pregnant, she doesn't look like she has a big belly.
  • #5
Def. read up on the nitrogen cycle to know the basics of fish keeping!

Well, I think we can rule out pregnancy unless you got the fish recently or that other platy is actually a male!

I would suggest you do 50% pwc daily to bring down the nitrates and to provide good clean environment so that your platy can heal faster.

Oh, are you adding conditioner to neutralize the chlorine and chloramine in tap?
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Yes there was a bottle of conditionner that came with my tank but tomorrow I'll get a bottle of prime instead and a fresh water master testing kit instead of strips.

Update about platy staying at the surface

Well, I woke up this morning and she was dead by the filter. The other platy looks well, she's eating. My betta looks as healthy as can be and could not care less for the remaining female platy.

I hope the remaining female platy stays healthy

I also did a 50% water change but the water is a bit cloudy for some reason.


  • #7
I am very sorry for your loss.

I see you do not know the nitrogen cycle. This is VERY important. Read about it here:

Your water is most likely cloudy because the nitrogen cycle is starting because you have added your fish.
My advice, keep up on your water changes don't add any more fish and buy a liquid testing kit (API brand is my favourite.) or get your water tested at your lfs.

A bit more information would be appreciated. For example, what is your tank size? How long has this tank been set up? etc.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
My tank is 5 gallons, with a heater and filter. It's been set up for a week. And I did 20% change everyday since the set it.

I just bought an ammonia kit for now, I'm waiting for the master kit.
I went to a store specialized in fishes, they only sell fish stuff to get some prime and the guy told me she probably died because of the bite on her tail. I find that doubtful but who knows.
  • #9
Sorry for your loss

Merged threads.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I just tested for ammonia with a Nutrafin test the reading gave me 0,6. On the chart it says ''for ammonia as nitrogen, divide result by 1.22" which gives me 0.4
  • #11
Sorry you lost your fish.

There are a couple of ways to go about it so that hopefully you don't lose any more fish.

1) Do 25-50% pwc daily and feed minimally to keep the ammonia down. It may take anywhere form 4-6 weeks to completely cycle your tank. This is the time it takes for enough beneficial bacteria to grow in the filter, substrate, any surface in your tank to completely convert toxic ammonia -->less toxic nitrite--> even less harmful nitrate.
2) Add Tetra Safe Start (TSS). Many people rave about it and is done with fish-in cycling. It takes about 2 weeks to cycle the tank and during that time you don't have to change the water. Full disclosure: I have never used it.
There are links here about the complete direction and proper use of TSS.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
I don't have TSS but I have been using Cycle from NutraFin. Is one better than the other?

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