Platy Tumbling Out Of Control? Whirling Disease?

faithapaul1

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Hi guys,
Came home tonight to find my female platy, who has always been a healthy fish, torpedoing head first into the gravel and spinning alarmingly fast as she’s doing so. Afterwards she flashes a bit. It happens every once in a while. I noticed her gills are a bit inflamed, too.

Other fish seem to be doing fine.

About a month ago I was dealing with an unknown disease that claimed five of my fishies. It seemed to have settled, so I am worried she’s getting sick from it now, too. All the past fish got extremely thin before dying.

I added some paraguard to the tank. In my experience it isn’t harsh in the fish, so I don’t mind adding it. Her behavior is very, very strange. Seems neurotic, kinda in the same way that mollies with a bad case of the shimmies look: Almost “not fully there.”

Really worried about her.

Ammonia was a little high. Less than 0.25 but not 0.

I added several ghost shrimp this week which promptly decided to die. The fish have been eating them. They’re feeder grade ghost shrimp, I wasn’t expecting them all to make the switch.
 

Gypsy13

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Hey. So sorry you’ve had so much trouble. Heartbreaking to lose finbabies.
Have you done a water change since you checked your ammonia?
Do you have pics? Poor thing, must be driving her just as crazy as you! Post a pic or two and lets see if we can’t help you figure this out. No promises but we’ll certainly try.
 

finnipper59

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faithapaul1 said:
Hi guys,
Came home tonight to find my female platy, who has always been a healthy fish, torpedoing head first into the gravel and spinning alarmingly fast as she’s doing so. Afterwards she flashes a bit. It happens every once in a while. I noticed her gills are a bit inflamed, too.

Other fish seem to be doing fine.

About a month ago I was dealing with an unknown disease that claimed five of my fishies. It seemed to have settled, so I am worried she’s getting sick from it now, too. All the past fish got extremely thin before dying.

I added some paraguard to the tank. In my experience it isn’t harsh in the fish, so I don’t mind adding it. Her behavior is very, very strange. Seems neurotic, kinda in the same way that mollies with a bad case of the shimmies look: Almost “not fully there.”

Really worried about her.

Ammonia was a little high. Less than 0.25 but not 0.

I added several ghost shrimp this week which promptly decided to die. The fish have been eating them. They’re feeder grade ghost shrimp, I wasn’t expecting them all to make the switch.
If you post a pic as Gypsy suggested, that would be helpful indeed. But from what I know already about platies, they get disoriented easily. One from new tank surrounding and two, from change in water perameters. If there are changes in pH that are severe, or even water temperature can make them act unusual. Without a pic it's difficult to tell for sure. You may even have a parasite like gill flukes. If that's the case, the tank may need to be treated with API GENERAL CURE or PraziPro. If it is gill flukes or other parasites and it dies in the tank, the parasites will immediately leave the dead host and infect a new living host.
..the other fish. If you don't quarantine it, you may have to treat the whole tank. High amounts of ammonia can stress immune systems and allow for bacterial infections too.
 
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faithapaul1

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Hi guys,

My female platy, a beautiful healthy fish, has been tumbling erratically through the water for at least a week now. I thought it may have gotten better after I added some paraguard, but I’ve also been very busy and haven’t been able to monitor her behavior closely. This morning I went to feed my fish, and sure enough, she started spinning. I’ve had fish with swim bladder disease before, but they’ve never behaved in such a way (chubby goldfish who had reoccurring bouts always floated upside down in my experience and other fish were usually corrected with peas). For the past two months I’ve been dealing with what I believe to be an internal parasite. It’s made five of my fish become extremely thin, hover at the top, hide, seem to get better, and then die. None of them have shown similar behavior to what my platy is displaying. The ONLY reason I have to believe that she may have something wrong with her swim bladder is that she swims slightly lopsided. I am going to feed her peas later and do a water change and I’ll let you guys know how that goes. All my other fish are fine. My platy seems find too (besides swimming slightly off kilter) until she starts to spin out of seemingly no where. It’s like she gets possessed! She eats, her fins look great, she’s at a good weight (MAYBE lost a little weight), and she swims around and comes out to see me whenever I approach the tank.

She’s such a beautiful, wonderful fish. I want to help her for as long as I possibly can.

I’ve read that whirling disease is caused by a parasite in the brain and that there is no cure. Some people say it can’t happen to tropical fish because the parasite can’t survive in a tropical tank while others disagree. I’ve also read that it can come from tubifex, but my fish have only ever eaten tropical flake food. The only thing I can think of that would transmit this are the ghost shrimp I added to the tank shortly before I noticed her spinning. They are feeder grade, but I’ve had great luck with them before. This time, however, five or six died after being added to the tank, so now I’m concerned these were sickly.

Any thoughts? The videos below are not of my fish but look EXTREMELY similar to her in behavior, especially the first.



Thank you guys in advance. I appreciate it so much!
 

mgarza

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I had the same thing happen to a yellow lab, it was aweful to watch. He'd be ok for about an hour a day, then spin the other 23 hours. I assume mine had been injured by a net when trying to catch another fish in my tank. I ended up euthanizing mine with clove oil after trying all kinds of meds and nothing helped. It was a process of elimination. Head trauma was the only thing I could think of for mine. Sorry you have to watch it.
 
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faithapaul1

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finnipper59 said:
If you post a pic as Gypsy suggested, that would be helpful indeed. But from what I know already about platies, they get disoriented easily. One from new tank surrounding and two, from change in water perameters. If there are changes in pH that are severe, or even water temperature can make them act unusual. Without a pic it's difficult to tell for sure. You may even have a parasite like gill flukes. If that's the case, the tank may need to be treated with API GENERAL CURE or PraziPro. If it is gill flukes or other parasites and it dies in the tank, the parasites will immediately leave the dead host and infect a new living host.
..the other fish. If you don't quarantine it, you may have to treat the whole tank. High amounts of ammonia can stress immune systems and allow for bacterial infections too.
This video is the closest thing! I haven’t answered because I thought she was doing a bit better, but I’ve also been busy!

Gypsy13 said:
Hey. So sorry you’ve had so much trouble. Heartbreaking to lose finbabies.
Have you done a water change since you checked your ammonia?
Do you have pics? Poor thing, must be driving her just as crazy as you! Post a pic or two and lets see if we can’t help you figure this out. No promises but we’ll certainly try.
This is the closest thing to what’s going on!
 

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Gypsy13

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It’s the closest thing but not THE thing right? Could you take pics of your fish?
 
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faithapaul1

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Gypsy13 said:
It’s the closest thing but not THE thing right? Could you take pics of your fish?
It’s literally the exact same thing, just different fish. I’m not home yet but I will as soon as I get home! But seriously, the same movement and sudden flipping out!
 
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faithapaul1

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Gypsy13 said:
It’s the closest thing but not THE thing right? Could you take pics of your fish?
Here’s a video of her. She did this like fifteen minutes ago and I sat there with my camera the entire time. She didn’t do it once. Literally, I turned the light off and BOOM! She started freaking out. Turned the light off and she calmed down after a few seconds. The first time she did it I had just turned on the light and fed them. So bizarre. Nitrites 0, Nitrates 30, I can never tell with ammonia whether it’s 0 or .25 or somewhere in between, but any way, that was normal for what my tank usually is. She ate like a little monster lol!

 

Gypsy13

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faithapaul1 said:
Here’s a video of her. She did this like fifteen minutes ago and I sat there with my camera the entire time. She didn’t do it once. Literally, I turned the light off and BOOM! She started freaking out. Turned the light off and she calmed down after a few seconds. The first time she did it I had just turned on the light and fed them. So bizarre. Nitrites 0, Nitrates 30, I can never tell with ammonia whether it’s 0 or .25 or somewhere in between, but any way, that was normal for what my tank usually is. She ate like a little monster lol!

Sounds kind of like what I used to call dingy platy disease. I had two with different problems but did this same thing. One was partially blind and the light coming on freaked her out. The other had an injury to her head before I bought her (that’s why I bought her). She reacted to the light the same way. They ended up with their own tank with low lighting.
It could also be a parasite. But usually with the parasites, they spin all the time. Yours seems to stop and eat fine. I think if it were me, I’d just watch closely and keep an eye on the others. Keep your water clean and talk to this fish when you’re going to turn the light on. Love heals.
 

finnipper59

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Gypsy13 said:
Sounds kind of like what I used to call dingy platy disease. I had two with different problems but did this same thing. One was partially blind and the light coming on freaked her out. The other had an injury to her head before I bought her (that’s why I bought her). She reacted to the light the same way. They ended up with their own tank with low lighting.
It could also be a parasite. But usually with the parasites, they spin all the time. Yours seems to stop and eat fine. I think if it were me, I’d just watch closely and keep an eye on the others. Keep your water clean and talk to this fish when you’re going to turn the light on. Love heals.
I read the most interesting article recently about a fishes eye anatomy compared to human eyes and our sight. Our eyes have all the same parts including the iris. The iris in our eyes opens and closes to control the amount of light coming in but a fishes pupil always stays open. Their eyes adjust by the rods and cones retracting into the retina in the back of the eye when light gets brighter but the process takes about an hour. Then it does the reverse as the sun goes down. I have the feeling that your fish is just reacting strange because of the sudden change in light. I don't think it's sick...just scared or stressed by the sudden instead of slow light changes.
 
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faithapaul1

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finnipper59 said:
I read the most interesting article recently about a fishes eye anatomy compared to human eyes and our sight. Our eyes have all the same parts including the iris. The iris in our eyes opens and closes to control the amount of light coming in but a fishes pupil always stays open. Their eyes adjust by the rods and cones retracting into the retina in the back of the eye when light gets brighter but the process takes about an hour. Then it does the reverse as the sun goes down. I have the feeling that your fish is just reacting strange because of the sudden change in light. I don't think it's sick...just scared or stressed by the sudden instead of slow light changes.
Thank you SO SO much! You’ve really given me some hope!!!

Gypsy13 said:
Sounds kind of like what I used to call dingy platy disease. I had two with different problems but did this same thing. One was partially blind and the light coming on freaked her out. The other had an injury to her head before I bought her (that’s why I bought her). She reacted to the light the same way. They ended up with their own tank with low lighting.
It could also be a parasite. But usually with the parasites, they spin all the time. Yours seems to stop and eat fine. I think if it were me, I’d just watch closely and keep an eye on the others. Keep your water clean and talk to this fish when you’re going to turn the light on. Love heals.
This is very interesting! I will do both of those things! Finipper said a similar thing! I have hope!!!
 

finnipper59

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You're welcome. If you have fluorescent lighting this won't work, but I think there are dimmers available that work on a timer to slowly lower lighting and slowly raise it. Not just for your guppy, but for the fish in general. I'm going to search for such a thing for my own tanks...if they're not too expensive.
faithapaul1 said:
Thank you SO SO much! You’ve really given me some hope!!!



This is very interesting! I will do both of those things! Finipper said a similar thing! I have hope!!!
 

DuaneV

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I thought only salmonids could get whirling disease?

Definitely looks like some sort of parasite or neurological disorder.
 
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faithapaul1

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Just wanted to update you guys that we lost her a week or so after I posted this. Found her lying sideways of the bottom of the tank one day. Tried to quarantine and added epsom salt and peas but nothing worked.
 

Redshark1

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I agree that the scientifically described Whirling Disease is a problem with farmed salmonids and only occurs at cold temperatures.

So this, while sad, may hopefully have been a disorder of this one fish and not transferable to others.
 
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faithapaul1

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Redshark1 said:
I agree that the scientifically described Whirling Disease is a problem with farmed salmonids and only occurs at cold temperatures.

So this, while sad, may hopefully have been a disorder of this one fish and not transferable to others.
Sorry this is so late. just wanted to say that I think you were right. The one fry of hers that I kept, always swam with a slight tilt and later suffered from dropsy and passed away. It was bizarre and heart breaking at the sometime.
 
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