What's wrong with this platy?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by 7swans, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. 7swansNew MemberMember

    I have a 36g bowfront tank that has been set up for a little over a week. Three platys were added on Saturday evening along with Seachem Stability. I didn't like what I read about that product so I added TSS yesterday. One of the platys has looked off since she arrived (I only saw the fish at home). She's yellowish in the spots where the other fish are a deep orange and there seems to be a single small white spot on her tail. Her eyes also have a strange yellow gleam that the other 2 don't seem to have. I noticed tonight that her dorsal fin is clamped and looks ragged. My husband says it's been that way since he bought the fish, but I hadn't noticed. She has been swimming near the glass quite a bit but seems to be eating. The other two fish look great. My water parameter are fine, though I always get a 0.25ppm ammonia reading with my API test kit. I can dig my other kit out tomorrow to double check. Nitrites and Nitrates are at 0, which I will double check tomorrow also. I've attached a picture but I don't know how clear it is.

    Attached Files:

  2. lucky strike 21Well Known MemberMember

  3. AquariaUKValued MemberMember

    The tank hasn't cycled properly if you still have ammonia. I've heard mixed reviews with TSS, it is usually meant to be used with some kind of cycle rather than adding fish straight away for best results. Add something like Prime to bring ammonia down, which is what's causing the ripped fins.
  4. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    I am sorry but are you sure that 0.25 ammonia causes ripped fins?? I have never heard of that before, which of course may be a reflection of my ignorance but that sounds weird to me.

    0.25 ammonia with TSS added really should not be enough of an issue, I think. The clamped fins and other symptoms really would worry me though, especially given that this fish has not been well ever since you got it. You do not happen to have a small separate hospital tank that you could move this fish too? I would worry that whatever this fish has may be communicable and thus I would want to keep it separate from the other fish.

    I know that you added TSS and thus are not supposed to do water changes, but I am thinking that generally with a sick fish like that daily water changes are best - daily water changes are generally a good first line of defense.

    Unfortunately I do not know what is wrong with your fish, but here are some ideas:

    Clamped fins that stay clamped indicates stress and is quite worrisome. One of my platies had that but she was also very thin, so we figured internal parasites - she did not make it, or rather I at some point decided to cull her because IMO she was not going to get better, and I wanted to save the other fish and worried that her continued presence made it more likely that the other fish would get sick. She also had trouble swimming sometimes and would rest on the bottom quite often toward the end, so I figured she was pretty gone.

    Could the white spot on the tail be Ich? If so, raising the temperature in the tank gradually and keeping it high for a while is known to cure it naturally - since the ich parasites do not survive in high temps. However, do not raise the temp yet, before anyone more experienced than me chimes in because some illnesses (columnaris for example - though this does not sound like Columnaris, but I bet there are other illnesses for which heat has bad effect) get worse in high temps since bacteria multiply faster when temperature is high.

    PS: As long as your nitrates are 0 and you have some ammonia even if it is only 0.25) your tank is indeed not cycled, and that always is very stressful to fish. However, if ammonia is only 0.25 and nitrites remain 0 (please do check the nitrites they can climb very suddenly very high at some point during cycling) but as long as those parameters are in check, especially with either TSS added or daily water changes if needed, your fish should be safe from water quality point of view. 0.25 ammonia while not good (only 0 ammonia is good) but this is not enough ammonia to cause such symptoms in your fish on its own - a healthy fish would not be acting so ill I think if all that was wrong was 0.25 ammonia. However, if the fish is otherwise ill I think even trace amount of ammonia can contribute to fish getting worse and not getting better. Good quality water is essential to sick fish getting healthy.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  5. 7swansNew MemberMember

    The thing is that I get a 0.25ppm reading on RO water, so I think there's an issue with the test kit. I just woke up so I am going to test again right now with both kits. We quarantined the platy in question last night, but it's really a temporary solution kind of deal. I think I'm going to go pick up a boxing day special 10g to turn into a real QT tank. I'm worried about this fish, but I'm also really worried about my whole tank. I was going to pick up some shrimp today but now I won't put anything at all in there.
  6. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Now that your sick fish is separate, maybe you can do daily water changes of the quarantine tank? Since your quarantine tank won't be cycled, you do need to do something to keep the water quality in there in good shape, and for a sick fish daily large water changes is probably the best way to do it. If you do not already have it, get Prime, it will detox ammonia for 24 hours among other things.
  7. 7swansNew MemberMember

    Ok, water parameters from this morning:

    Ammonia: 0ppm (this is with the Nutrafin test kit - the API is still reading at 0.25 but it never goes to 0 for some reason)
    Nitrite: 0ppm
    Nitrate: 5ppm (either I misread yesterday or this happened overnight)

    The sick platy looks awful today. No colour at all. I'll get a better hiding place for the QT tank to reduce stress and will keep doing water changes + adding Prime. :/

    What should I do about my main tank? My other platys are doing fine, but I wish I knew what this one has so I could treat the tank or do whatever else is necessary...
  8. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    I'd trust the API... and ANY trace of ammonia or Nitrites CAN cause fin splitting, it all depends on the species of the fish and the sensitivity of the individual. It seems to be poor water quality to me. Have any water changed been performed?
  9. 7swansNew MemberMember

    I haven't performed any water changes because TSS recommends that you do not for 1-2 weeks. I certainly can to see if that helps, but I believe that if the API test is showing that RO water straight from the filter has 0.25ppm ammonia, there's an issue with the test. I have read about others having the same issue with the API ammonia test. I'm doing lots of water changes for the quarantine tank and adding Prime to the new water each time. The fish is not looking any better. :/
  10. 7swansNew MemberMember

    Is it possible that the store tank's poor water quality caused this? If so, how long would it take for the fish to get better once moved to clean water?
  11. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    There are lots of issues that fish can have, and a lot of time we do not know what is wrong. You could try a general cure medication for fish that is supposed to cure a number of possible ailments - ask at pet store whether they have one - or you could just keep doing water changes in quarantine tank and hope for the best. The fish may or may not get better. Some fish die, and we never have a clue why. If the fish does get better, make sure to keep it separated from the other fish both when it is not well, but also a while longer even after it appears well, just to make sure that indeed it is well. Whenever a fish shows signs of illness it is always safer to quarantine as long as possible to be safe, so for example a month in quarantine is recommended, and longer if fish does not get better. Good luck!
  12. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Check your tap for Ammonia.
  13. 7swansNew MemberMember

    The platy didn't make it. :( The other fish still look fine but I'm monitoring them quite closely. Guy at the LFS said not to treat the tank for anything, just keep up with water changes and keep an eye on the fish, which sounds reasonable to me.

    Tap water tests the same as the tank water for ammonia - 0.25ppm with API test, 0ppm with Nutrafin test. Tested some reverse osmosis water again and had the same results. :/
  14. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    It has been my experience that API out performs Nutrifin. My best bet is that you naturally have Ammonia in your tap. Not uncommon at all, tends to throw a lot of people.
  15. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    But why then would the RO water also get 0.25? That's not tap, right?
  16. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Tuche. So either the kit is faulty, expired or there is user error(not likely since API is pretty easy). My only other suggestion would be to test the water with the api using 3 testtubes at once and see if one of the tubes isn't off(happened to mine before)
  17. 7swansNew MemberMember

    Do you reckon that API would send me new Ammonia test bottles if I called them to explain about the false positive on RO water? Worth a shot, I guess... In the meantime I'm hoping the the Nutrafin test is not giving me false negatives.
  18. 7swansNew MemberMember

    Also, same colour in all three tubes.

    I'm beginning to wonder if my eyes aren't fooling me. It looks more like 0.25ppm, but perhaps 0ppm isn't as sunny yellow as it I think it should be?