What do fish do when they get old?

AndyP

I have a red wagtail patty that I‘ve had for 2 years, and was pretty big when I got him, so I have to assume he was at least a year old.

He‘s been swimming around with clamped fins, and now he takes to floating towards the top of the tank and just hanging out behind the heater. If I throw some food in, he gets very active and chows down on the food pretty voraciously and darts around the tank. But then he settles behind the heater and just sits there near the top.

He’s the only fish exhibiting any kind of distress in the tank.

My water parameters are:

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
NItrate: 20 ppm
pH: 6.8

I did a 50% water change last week, followed by another 50% water change the next day.

The only other inhabitants of the tank (29 gallon, planted) are a bunch of small greed swordtails of various ages from about 3 months to 3 weeks.

Is this fish just getting old? Should I euthanize it?
 

Cherryshrimp420

PH seems a bit too low for them, they prefer more alkaline water. I havent seen platies do well in acidic waters...
 

Flyfisha

Euthanasia of fish is not an easy task . If you have to ask the question then the fish is not ready .

It is a job that may have to be done at some stage but until it’s obvious the fish is in distress and has no quality of live don’t rush in is my advice.

As the platies are around 3 years old I would not start messing with the PH at this stage in my opinion.
 

AndyP

This tank has been 6.8 its entire life, which is 2 years now. The other fish seem to be doing fine and they're all livebearers as well.

Since the fish becomes active when fed, I'm not sure what is going on.
 

emeraldking

This tank has been 6.8 its entire life, which is 2 years now. The other fish seem to be doing fine and they're all livebearers as well.

Since the fish becomes active when fed, I'm not sure what is going on.
PH seems a bit too low for them, they prefer more alkaline water. I havent seen platies do well in acidic waters...
Livebearers within the Xiphophorus genus (swordtails and platies) can be kept at moderate soft water (like yours) without a problem. So, that's not the issue here. If it goes more to a pH of 6, that would be more of a problem but 6,8 should be fine for them.

It could also be a stress thing that's going on. You see this also happening when there are too many tank mates that are too vivid for the fish concerned.

I would try to do a small water change first. And add a piece of salt. See, if he'll get more alive in the tank.
 

SparkyJones

tell the kids when fish get old they retire to florida like everyone else does. fish waste and foods have other stuff in them, your water tests fine for the big 4.

Nitrogen; Phosphorus; Potassium; Calcium; Magnesium. in overabundance can cause clamped fin in platties

Not necessarily nitrates, but nitrogen compounds in the water possibly.... not sure. wagtails should do fine for 4-5 years or so though. Something is stressing the fish though.
 

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