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Old 09-27-2019, 02:12 PM   #1
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Platy - White flaking/spots?

I'm on day 15 of a fish-in cycle (my first tank - trying so hard!). I have a small 5 gallon tank and 1 platy. I'm doing 25% water changes every couple of days and treating the water with quick start and prime.

My fish was half dead for the first many days (SUPER still on the bottom of tank) but then she got *all* better and started zipping around happy as can be as far as I could tell since then! And then yesterday, she started slowing down again and hanging around the bottom of the tank a lot. Not leaning or on the rocks like she was when she was really sick - just slow and floating around down there a lot.

Last night I took a jeweler's loupe (strong magnifying glass with a light) and noticed some flaking or spots on her. Please see the photo attached! I can't see the whiteness on her without using the magnifier for what it's worth.

Thoughts? Should I treat her for ich? If so, what brand and product? Should I use a general antibacterial?

Some other notes:
- tank is plastic
- water temp is around 84ish (i can adjust)
- I have been using aquarium salt for about a week as well
- I have not seen her eat, ever. but like I said, she has been zipping around appearing happy for over a week...
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:08 PM   #2
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1.) your tank is way too hot and 2.) it looks like ick. Or white spot disease. This disease will kill your fish if you donít treat the fish. If you just got the fish Iíd take it back honestly
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:12 PM   #3
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Everything I have read about ich advises me to raise the tank temp up high! Even higher than the 84 I have now. Why do you say it’s too hot? I just raised it up from 80 over the last day...
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:26 PM   #4
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For some fish such as platies, that kind of heat can damper the immune system. And you are right, sometimes it does cure ick. However it isnít a silver bullet. I would recommend treating with medicine, and then have the temp up to where it is now or around 80 F. 84 is just quite hot
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:26 AM   #5
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Do you have an air stone in there? With water that warm oxygen levels could be a problem.

Iíd personally agree that if you just got this fish and itís unwell I would probably take it back. Additionally Iím curious what your plans are for stocking. platies are active and often like buddies which makes a five pretty small for this fish (especially if itís a tall tank rather than wide)

Personally I would take back the sick fish, clean the tank and start fresh with a beautiful new Betta fish, but thatís just me! Five gallons are perfect for them and can make beautiful little tanks.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:29 AM   #6
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It’s a wide 5 gallon tank. Planning on 2 platys total.

Not bringing this one back - I’m attached to her already and have been fighting for her!

I’m on my second dose of itch-x as of yesterday after a 50% water change.

Does ich-x also treat internal parasites or just external ones?
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:47 AM   #7
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Obviously it’s your decision but the minimum tank size for a platys is bigger for a reason. Their activity level makes a five cramped for even one (not to mention female livebearers often come home from the store pregnant or carrying sperm enough for months of baby fish...yup that’s a thing for them)

Which can lead to stressed out fish and stressed out fish get sick. That’s the thing about opportunistic diseases like ich. They get to fish when their immune system is not up to snuff usually due to poor conditions. Fish in cycling a small tank certainly qualifies.

I’m not trying to be a jerk I’m just pointing out that you’re going to have an uphill battle keeping a fish healthy in less than ideal circumstances.

In the short term i repeat my question about the air stone and also since you’re fish in cycling I assume you are testing water parameters daily? What are your levels like right now?
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:33 AM   #8
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Hey!

So, I’ve been told by my local pet store owner who LOVES and cares for his fish very much that 2 platys would not be a problem in a 5.5 tank. He said definitely no more than that. Do you feel strongly that this is not ok or just not ideal?

Would a 10 gallon tank be significantly better? I don’t have much space but I do want to have happy fish....

Yes, checking levels daily but have not today yet. I’ve been at about .25-.5 ammonia and now seeing nitrites but don’t remember the number as I got it tested yesterday at the same store I referenced.

Regardless of numbers, I’m changing 25% water every 3-4 days right now during the cycle and dosing the water regularly with prime to help detoxify. Thoughts on that routine for a fish-in cycle? I’ll take any input - I’m new at this and trying REALLY hard to do it right.

Also, now that I’ve treated 2 doses of ich-x 2 days in a row with the 50% water change, should I do it again today? How many doses?

I do not have an air stone or extra oxygen. The guy I trust told me that with the one platy in there now and a 5.5 gal tank I really don’t need it. I have the filter in there that’s producing a steady flow of bubbles shooting into the water and I have not seen my fish gasp for air in the slightest. Thoughts on this? I’m happy to add one if that sounds necessary! I’m all in - I’m just new and learning.

Also, thoughts about potentially treating an internal parasite? Does itch-x do that or so I need something else if she actually is one?
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:04 PM   #9
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For platys (assuming they are not pregnant when you get them) the problem isn’t so much bioload but swimming space. (Which is why similarly sized Bettas are okay in this size tank; they’re more mellow swimmers). Platys are very active fish and tend to dart around a bit. A 10+ gives them more room for that. If they’re pregnant when you get them or are storing sperm for a surprise in a month or two then you have a bioload problem! Will the lfs take back any baby fish? Might be worth asking. Additionally, especially when fish in cycling you’ll have an easier time controlling waste if you have more water volume. Will she survive in the 5.5. Probably? If you can control the ammonia and treat the ich and are very careful about water changes. Personally if you want to do livebearers like platys I would go with the bigger tank if at all possible. It will make things easier on you and the fish! Plus then you can have a few. Makes for a more active and fun tank as a bonus. (If you do go with the bigger tank be sure to move the filter or at least the filter media to the new tank so you don’t lose what progress you’ve made on cycling)

Extra oxygenation is critical if you want to leave your tank temperature high, that can be via bubbler or just by lowering the water level slightly so the filter output splashes more. If you’re already seeing lots of bubbles and surface movement you might be fine, just keep an eye on her behavior. Extra aeration is not necessary all the time, just when the tank water is extra warm because warm water holds less oxygen. Heat can be part of an ich treatment plan but it is also stressful on the fish so just be careful that oxygenation doesn’t become a problem.

Your ammonia level needs to be kept below .5 even while fish in cycling and I would do a water change with prime (dosing for entire tank volume) at least every 48 hours. That’s because prime detoxifies ammonia/nitrite for 48 hours. If you can’t get around to water changing it’s okay to dose the tank with prime to detoxify ammonia/nitrite and get you through to the next days water change but you’ll need to be vigilant. Do you have a liquid test kit for ammonia and nitrite or are you having it tested at the store with strips? If the later, test kits for ammonia and nitrite would be on my minimum-necessary-supplies-for-fish-in-cycling list. They’re more accurate than the strips and you really should be testing daily while you are cycling. A nitrate kit would be good too but it’s not quite as critical. If you only test nitrates occasionally or at the store that’s doable but you should be able to check on ammonia/nitrites daily if at all possible.

Re: ich x I would just follow the instructions. I believe it says daily after a water change until symptoms resolve? You should also be vaccing the gravel when you change water to remove parasites in the gravel.
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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Forgot to ask... What makes you think she has an internal parasite?
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:18 PM   #11
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Thank you so much for taking the time to offer up help!!

I'm keeping a very close eye on her with the temp up and plan to turn it back down (slowly) assuming she continues to recover - as she appears to be.

I think I'll move up to a 10 gallon tank before I get a second fish as advised. Thanks! Yes, I would keep the filter and everything and transfer slowly. When I do that, you may see me pop up again here with more questions

The tests at the store I've been going to are all liquid test tube tests and I have the api kit with various liquid tests arriving in the mail today as well for home testing.

Regarding internal parasite, I'm just worried that I have never seen her eat or poop and thought if maybe something was also in her belly that the ich may have an added benefit. I may be way off on that.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:00 AM   #12
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Being lethargic and not wanting to eat could just be because the ammonia is up and sheís got ich. I donít much feel like eating when Iím ill either.

If she isnít eagerly going after food Iíd back off feeding to every other day or so until her appetite picks up. No need to add more ammonia to the water than you need to.
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:34 PM   #13
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If I were you, Iíd lower temp and do a maybe 25% water change to get the temp lowered a bit, but try to not have the temp change too drastically. Check the temp of the ďnewĒ water before putting in. Try to get at most within 1-2 degrees difference. You do want to shock your fish. Make sure to use dechlorinator in ďnewĒ water BEFORE adding to tank.

As for treating ich, Iíd do antibacterial as soon as possiple. Melafix could help, but your best bet is probably Kanaplex. I only know about those because I have used them, but Iím sure others are good.

!!! Aquarium salt does NOT go away. Donít add more than one dose to a tank! As the water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind. Aquarium salt can be good when properly.
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