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Old 04-09-2006, 02:32 AM   #1
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What does it mean when a fish seems to not be buoyant?

I have a platty that seems to no longer be neutrally buoyant. Whenever she swims, it looks like she has to keep moving her fins to stay in place. (The other platy doesn't do that.) Consequently, she has been staying on the bottom of the tank the last few days only to come up to feed.

She might be a little bloated, but it's hard to tell. Her tail fin looks slightly frayed. There's no ich, she's not flashing against things, there are no popping scales, the slime coat isn't unusually thick, and there are no fungus spots or anything like that.

Anyone know what the problem might be?

[Ammonia and nitrite = 0ppm; nitrate = 10 to 15ppm; 78 degrees; 10 gallon tank with 2 platties and an otocinclus; Whisper 20 (or something like that) filter.]

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Originally Posted by Devilishturtles
I agree with mollielover. When a livebearer is pregnant, they will get a dark spot behind their anal fin called a gravid spot. That could indicate she is ready to deliver.
There's no gravid spot. And there was another platty that died a few days ago after having the same problem. That's why I suspect it's some sort of disease.
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Old 04-09-2006, 08:32 AM   #2
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Do you have a hospital tank that you can isolate her in? If you isolate her you can keep a better eye on her. Do you add aquarium salt to tank? With the oto in there I'm assuming you don't. I would isolate and add aquarium salt and obsereve her for the time being. Is it possible she is gravid and getting ready to drop her fry? I know my platys hide near the bottom right before a drop.
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:33 PM   #3
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I agree with mollielover. When a livebearer is pregnant, they will get a dark spot behind their anal fin called a gravid spot. That could indicate she is ready to deliver.
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollielover
Do you have a hospital tank that you can isolate her in? If you isolate her you can keep a better eye on her. Do you add aquarium salt to tank? With the oto in there I'm assuming you don't. I would isolate and add aquarium salt and obsereve her for the time being. Is it possible she is gravid and getting ready to drop her fry? I know my platys hide near the bottom right before a drop.
It's pretty well a hospital tank as it is. There are only 3 fish in there. I do add aquarium salt, but I don't add a molly/platty level of salt. There are about 2 level tablespoons of salt in the 10 gallon tank.

I'm not sure she's ready to drop fry because this has been going on for more than a week. If we assume she's not hiding because she's about to drop fry, what other possibilities are there?
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:57 PM   #5
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Are any scales sticking out? Have you see her poo recently. You said she might be a bit bloated. Can you get a closer look at her?
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Have you see her poo recently.
An important question, mobiusnu. She could be constipated.
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:30 PM   #7
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Are any scales sticking out? Have you see her poo recently. You said she might be a bit bloated. Can you get a closer look at her?
No scales sticking out. I don't recall having seen her poop recently (but she has also been sitting on the bottom of the tank for a while).

As for whether she's bloated, it's hard to tell. I can get a good look at her, but I haven't had the fish for very long. She's pretty big for a platty, and when I got her from the store, she was pregnant (the fry are happily swimming in a breeder box in another tank). So, it's hard for me to know what her normal size is.

If we assume she is bloated, what can I do?
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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Take some frozen peas. Blanch and peel the skin off. Cut or mush into bite site portions and put in the tank. Hopefully she will eat. She could very well be constipated.
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:55 PM   #9
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In my experience and research consitpation in not a common problem with livebearers. Although it can't hurt to feed the peas. You said that she has already dropped fry, do you know when that was? Livebearers give birth about once a month. They also store sperm for several months so no need for a male to be around for a while.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mollielover
In my experience and research consitpation in not a common problem with livebearers. Although it can't hurt to feed the peas. You said that she has already dropped fry, do you know when that was? Livebearers give birth about once a month. They also store sperm for several months so no need for a male to be around for a while.
She last dropped fry in February, I think. (Her biggest fry are now about the length of a medium neon tetra but thicker.)

I'll go pick up some peas and see what that does.

When they're bloated from constipation, does that make it hard for them to be neutrally buoyant?
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Old 04-09-2006, 03:02 PM   #11
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I'm not sure exatly why she is not buoyant. I have never had this issue.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:15 AM   #12
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I haven't been able to get any peas yet, but I just fed my fish and the platty having trouble came up to eat. She was towing around a long string of feces. It was whitish looking and was thin and stringy near her body.

Any ideas on what that might mean? She's still having trouble swimming and spends most of her time resting on the bottom.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:51 AM   #13
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I'll bet it's parasites. That's a common indicator of parasites. Get some anti-parasitic food and feed her some. See if she'll take it. White poo is generally a sign of internal parasites.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:37 AM   #14
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I'll bet it's parasites. That's a common indicator of parasites. Get some anti-parasitic food and feed her some. See if she'll take it. White poo is generally a sign of internal parasites.
Will a malachite green and formalin medicine work? I have some of that lying around.
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:40 AM   #15
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No malachite green and formalin are usually used to treat external parasites. Jungle makes a pellet type food you can crush into smaller bite size pieces. There is also a product called gel tek but I have not had any luck with my fish wanted to eat this stuff.
I will also agree that it sounds like internal parasites to me also.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:00 AM   #16
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You need to get some anti-parasitic food. Meds for external parasites won't help any.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:05 PM   #17
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How do you prepare the Jungle parasite food? I didn't have luck with this last time I tried it. It certianly went better than the gel-tec stuff though.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:23 PM   #18
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How do you prepare the Jungle parasite food? I didn't have luck with this last time I tried it. It certianly went better than the gel-tec stuff though.
I just crush a few pellets into bite size peices and feed.
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