Sick Platies? ( Update In Comments )

  • #1
About a week ago I added 4 male platies to my 29 gallon community tank. It is a planted, fully cycled tank that also has 9 neon tetras and 6 panda cories. All appears to be well in the tank except for 2 of my platies. One platy appears to be bloated, and I asked for opinions online to see if it was in fact female, but his analfin is pretty clearly male. However, this fish is behaving perfectly normal. My other platy has been rather lethargic (he is the one I am worried about). He has been staying near the surface or on the bottom, his fins are “clamped” (close to his body, and his tail is very narrow, which is unlike most platies) and often his lower half starts to angle down until he corrects it and swims away. He has no problem swimming, when another fish pokes at him he rushes away. But these symptoms reappear when there is no stimulus (Update: another platy appears to be doing this). I don’t want to lose him, so I may be overreacting a bit, but if anyone has any idea if this could be something bad, I would appreciate advice. I have heard that cories are most sensitive to changes in water parameters, and they are acting vibrant and normal. Should I isolate my “sick” platy? Should I medicate him, add slime coat, or just watch and see what happens? Is it a swim bladder problem or something that is just him or a problem in my whole tank? The temperature is 79-80 degrees F, I can get my water tested for parameters if it would be helpful, especially if this sounds like a related issue. I would appreciate any help or advice. Thank you in advance!
  • #2
I was given some unwanted platy & I put them in my tropical tank. I thought them both to be male. Both fish had clamped fins & didn't seem to be 100%. I moved them into a cooler tank & they perked up after a few weeks.
3 months on, both still hold analfins up but both got fat & had heaps of fry.
Sometimes, you can be wrong as I learnt!
If they're not behaving 100%, then an underlying issue might be present. To be on the safe side, I'd either use esha as its fab with sensitive fish &/or move your sick fish to an isolation tank.
I'm sure you'll get heaps of help from more experienced fishkeepers on here.
Good luck
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

For clarification I'm going to number the fish
Fish 1: Alpha male (appears healthy)
Fish 2: First to appear "sick"
Fish 3: Second to appear "sick"
Fish 4: Potential accidental female

So, I have pretty much come to the conclusion that fish 4 is a female. The alpha is acting very protective over "her" and chasing away the other two platies (the sick ones). There has to be some correlation there, right? The sick ones stay to the corners of the tank and float around there. To make matters worse, I will be going away in a few days, someone else will be watching the fish. I need a temporary solution, then a long term one when I get back.

Given this new information, does anyone think it is an illness? Or is this normal platy behavior in the presence of a male-female pair?

Would it be a good idea to isolate the female for the week or would the male partner show aggression due to this action?

Do I isolate the two "sick" ones rather than the female if it still could be a sickness? Would that be best for them? Or would setting up a new, completely un-established, un-cycled, brand new tank be stressful for them, which would make the illness worse? (I'll have to buy a tank, luckily Petco is having their dollar per gallon sale).

Once I'm back, do I return the female fish? What could I do with a single female platy? I have a betta tank and an outdoor fish pond, could she possibly go with the betta? The proper ratio is 1 male to 2 females, right? I can't get 5 more female platies without overstocking my tank significantly. I didn't even want females in the first place for exactly this problem.

I know I have so many questions. This is my first "real" tropical tank and I don't have much experience. Please help!
  • #4
They do tend to chase a female but sometimes a smaller male will chase the alpha.
I seperated the males & females, then gave the fry away. If it is female, can you take it back to the shop you got it from before going on holiday? If the remaining fish aren't showing any kind of infection/disease, then could you leave them be & see what the state of play is when you return?
Fish like to have hiding places, then when they feel safe in the environment they become more confident in venturing out.
Its tough if you don't have a isolation tank but if you've had them in your tank for a while, you'll likely need to treat the tank they're in anyway just to ensure nothing has been passed to your healthy guys.
Hopefully you'll get a reply from a lover of platy, who knows more about them x
  • #5
P.s. I wouldn't buy more females...they pop fry faster than a rabbit & they have large batches, so you really will end up overstocked in a very short time, compromising your other fishes health.
Fingers crossed for you x

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