Platy spits out food, won't eat after we removed her babies

thechristophershow

Hi, everyone. I have a single female platy in a 5-gal, along with a pygmy cory (two others died), two snails, and two shrimp. The water is clear, and I do a 25% water change once a week. We've had the platy in this tank for a little over 3 months now, and she's been doing great. Soon after we got her, though, she popped out 6 babies, then more and more kept coming, till we had around 23 fry in there. The sand at the bottom started accumulating poop much more quickly than it used to, and brown algae started growing pretty fast. So we gave all the fry to a fish store. It was right around that time, maybe within a few days of it, that the platy stopped eating. We feed her tropical fish flakes recommended by a specialty fish store here. I've been reading about loss of appetite, but that doesn't seem to be it; she swims near the top when she sees us approach, she takes the food into her mouth, but then she spits it out, even the smaller pieces. Sounds like an appetite to me, and that she just doesn't like the food anymore.

So do fish get bored of their food and want something else?

Do they also get depressed when you take their babies?

Any ideas what's going on and how I should fix this?
 

SparkyJones

yeah, they do get bored of food or don't feel like eating, if you have some algae in the tank they can decide to graze on it for a while and ignore the food you are giving for a change of pace, something different. fish usually get over their fry pretty quickly, they do get lonely though and bored in general.

She'll eat when she gets hungry enough for the food, or she'll stick to grazing on things in the tank for a while and eventually come around to the food again when she gets bored of that.

if she's not pregnant or birthing anymore, possible she just don't need to eat all that much for a while like she used to when she was working on developing fry.
 

thechristophershow

yeah, they do get bored of food or don't feel like eating, if you have some algae in the tank they can decide to graze on it for a while and ignore the food you are giving for a change of pace, something different. fish usually get over their fry pretty quickly, they do get lonely though and bored in general.

She'll eat when she gets hungry enough for the food, or she'll stick to grazing on things in the tank for a while and eventually come around to the food again when she gets bored of that.

if she's not pregnant or birthing anymore, possible she just don't need to eat all that much for a while like she used to when she was working on developing fry.
Interesting. Thanks for your input. But isn't she already hungry enough for the food if she's going after it and attempting to eat it? And swimming at the surface when I approach?

Should I bother buying new food (new flakes? Some kind of pellet?), or just wait this out? Also, if you've experienced this before, about how long did it last?

Thanks again!
 

SparkyJones

Interesting. Thanks for your input. But isn't she already hungry enough for the food if she's going after it and attempting to eat it? And swimming at the surface when I approach?

Should I bother buying new food (new flakes? Some kind of pellet?), or just wait this out? Also, if you've experienced this before, about how long did it last?

Thanks again!
my breeding adult angelfish rarely eat anything for food anymore, a couple flakes here or there most days, they spawn every 15 days roughly, and there's just maybe a handful of days after they both eat well, and then they spend their time arguing and cleaning spots of algae and preparing for another spawn, and picking on whatever is convenient nearby grazing.
they don't deteriorate and aren't losing weight, they also have been eating the eggs lately because I haven't been trying hard for the conditions for them to hatch and be raised to be right, so they have that every 15 days as a big meal of a few hundred eggs.
I'd only worry if she's getting skinny, otherwise, it's likely just a different phase than you were used to.

Like my angels when they were juveniles and not mature yet they ate like pigs, they also ate like pigs for the first couple spawns, somewhere at maximum size and weight and working on 3 years old, they just don't need all that much food anymore, I still supplement with vitamin now, but they will eat something when they want to, I don't worry about it unless they start looking thin or bad like they are deteriorating.

Like I said, if she's a full adult, and not currently pregnant, she likely isn't as hungry as she was when she was growing still, or pregnant and takes a lot less calories to make them happy.

Sometimes if they spit out food, it can be too big and they just take a piece of it and the rest gets spit out, you could try grinding it up smaller and see if that helps at all, but it might just not be really hungry and picking at things around the tank all day instead.
 

thechristophershow

Sometimes if they spit out food, it can be too big and they just take a piece of it and the rest gets spit out, you could try grinding it up smaller and see if that helps at all, but it might just not be really hungry and picking at things around the tank all day instead.
I have been crushing the pieces like I always did, and even smaller. Still just spits them.

She's not a full adult, I don't think. Don't they get to be 3" long? She's like an inch and a half.

And are platies like angelfish in everything you wrote about your angelfish?

Do you think I should just feed her every other day instead?
 

SparkyJones

I have been crushing the pieces like I always did, and even smaller. Still just spits them.

She's not a full adult, I don't think. Don't they get to be 3" long? She's like an inch and a half.

And are platies like angelfish in everything you wrote about your angelfish?

Do you think I should just feed her every other day instead?
no, platties are definitely different being livebearers, but same principles, they eat when breeding and slow done quite a bit when they don't but a mother platy isn't likely to eat their fry like an egglayer might eat their eggs if conditions aren't right, still though, if they aren't pregnant they need far less calories than they do when they are growing babies.

you can rule out a water quality issue by testing, checking ammonia, nitrites, nitrates pH and all that jazz. make sure nothing is slacking, but I'm assuming you are cleaning and doing your water changes and this isn't the issue. there's also temperature, it's been a hot summer. platys like 75F give or take a few degrees in either direction but too hot or too cold they can go off food and eat lightly also, not really feeling it for flakes and just nipping at algae bits or bits of plant to get by instead.

theres a small chance the fish has internal parasites, no idea how it would get them, but it wouldn't eat and spit out food because it feels full, and it would get a sunken belly and look emaciated. Hows the fishes poop? long white and stringy or normal brownish and not trailing like a balloon string?
if it's sort of clear and oozy poop, it can be a sign of bacterial infection in the intestines. this would also make the fish feel full and not want to eat,and that is more likely than the parasite over this amount of time. In either case, you'd notice weight loss and deterioration and if you aren't seeing weight loss, then it's probably not a parasite or intestinal bacteria. the fish would be heading to emaciation of it were either condition, eating or not.

fish go off food sometimes for a lot of reasons that aren't necessarily a health or water quality issue and they will eat again as normal when they get hungry enough. You can try peeled cucumber, peeled zuchini, peeled carrot, chopped up green cabbage, lettuce, cut up small bite size pieces, no seeds, see if the fish is grazing and on a veggie kick right now, pregnancy does take a lot out of a fish, it might be eating veggie/ algae for a deficiency of a vitamin and it's what her body is telling her it needs and not the flake.
you can test out some things you have around the house, just wash and peel and cut up a bit really small and see if she's got any interest in it.

unless the fish is clearly getting thin or there's a water quality or temp issue, it's going to pass in time. they don 't have to eat every day really. they can go quite a while without eating and not lose weight or look sickly.

Platys get 2-3" long but if she was pregnant, she's been mature and adult since then even if there's some more growing to do.

fish are fish, there's some differences, but there's a lot that can apply over many different types of fish. like my angels, they lay eggs, she spend some time and energy to develop the eggs and put them down, she spends time guarding them, and if it isn't the right time and not gonna work out she eats them, and tries again in a couple weeks. the male is cleaning spots, and in this case, neither one is eating much, it's like 5 days on food, 10 days off food between spawns.
with a platy, she's developing fry inside and that's taking her energy, and if she's currently not pregnant, she really doesn't need to eat as much. She was probably pregnant early, and this is why she's small for her age, she's been developing fry instead of focusing on her own growth, it happens.

Anyways you can test a couple things make sure water quality is in order, you can try some out of the box veggie foods and see if she's interested in that, without buying a bunchof fishfoods she may or may not eat. i
but since you didn't come on here complaining about long stringy white poop or a sunken belly, and it's just her spitting out the food. I'm assuming the fish doesn't have a parasite and isn't starving. or sick. and just probably eating plant or algae a little here or there and not so interested in the meatier tasting foods at the moment.
 

thechristophershow

Well, I really appreciate the time you took to write all of that!

Her poop is normal, yeah, so maybe everything is as you say. I'll try some veggies.

Thanks a lot again for your help!
 

thechristophershow

Update: I've started to notice tiny flakes of the fish's skin hanging off her around the left cheek and just a tiiiny bit along the edge of the top fin (also redness at the base of the fins). Sounded to me like fin rot, so I bought Melafix. Today was the second dose, so hopefully that solves the problem.
 

thechristophershow

Update: Melafix doesn't seem to be working. Fish has definitely gotten skinnier. Belly isn't very rounded anymore, but flat. Mostly hides behind some decorations and occasionally comes out to swim. Today was day 9 since starting Melafix, though I didn't treat the water with it today. The fish tried eating the flakes, but spit them out again as usual.
 

emeraldking

if they aren't pregnant they need far less calories than they do when they are growing babies
Well, the mother doesn't eat more during pregnancy. For the embryos don't rely on the mother's nutrition. Before each egg is being fertilized, nutrients are already in the egg, which we call pre-fertilization. The developing embryos are only depending on the nutrients in the egg. Only if we're dealing with real livebearers (viviparous), you would be right. But in this case, we're dealing with ovoviviparous livebearers. And is there no need for the mother to feed herself more.
 

SparkyJones

Well, the mother doesn't eat more during pregnancy. For the embryos don't rely on the mother's nutrition. Before each egg is being fertilized, nutrients are already in the egg, which we call pre-fertilization. The developing embryos are only depending on the nutrients in the egg. Only if we're dealing with real livebearers (viviparous), you would be right. But in this case, we're dealing with ovoviviparous livebearers. And is there no need for the mother to feed herself more.
wow, I learn something new. I've never kept livebearers. thanks for the info. I'll look into this deeper!
 

thechristophershow

The Melafix still isn't working. Fins are looking worse, though, and she's still just hunkering down toward the bottom most of the time, occasionally swimming around with at least some energy. Anything better than Melafix?
 

thechristophershow

Turns out Melafix is just meleuca oil, no antibiotic in it, EVEN THOUGH it says it treats bacterial infections. So, thanks, API and PetSmart! Anyway, fish died.
 

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