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Old 09-20-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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Sick Platy

Hello. My two female platies (especially one) have spent days now hovering very still at the bottom of the tank in back in between the plants. I checked water parameters (I thought I was done cycling tank, but not quite apparently) - Ammonia 0, Nitrites .25, Nitrates 20. I did a 50% water change yesterday to try to help, but no change today. All the other fish are doing well.

I read that I should add aquarium salt, but I want to check on that first as I don't want to hurt the other fish. I have 5 harlequins, 2 endlers, 3 Julii cories in a clean and well monitored 15 column high. I read somewhere else that salt can hurt the cories, so I don't want to make my problem worse!

Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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Sick Platy

No salt for cory. Any other symptoms?

Btw. Nitrites are worse than ammonia. What's your pH? To best of my recollection platy like higher pH. High nitrites lower the pH.


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Old 09-20-2014, 12:50 PM   #3
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My pH is 6.6 which I thought meant the nitrite would be less toxic. I am using Prime during water changes as I heard it detoxifies nitrite temporarily.

No other symptoms besides totally still at bottom of tank. Not eating.

I have pH up by API. I could slowly add drops to raise for plates, but then what about the nitrite. It's a double edged sword!

Just checked and one platy is now hovering at top behind heater.

Temp in tank is 79.


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Old 09-21-2014, 12:24 AM   #4
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Update: I dosed tank with Stress Coat. A couple hours later I tried to lure out sick platy with a little brine shrimp. At first, no reaction then after almost all of it was eaten by the other fish, she sprang to life, left hiding spot, ate a little and has been swimming around normally ever since. So weird - still at bottom of tank for 3 days and then right back to normal seemingly.

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Old 09-21-2014, 05:40 PM   #5
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Sick Platy

Clarifying: the low pH could be due to the nitrites. PWCs until nitrites are gone should bring your pH up naturally.

This info is from liveaquaria about platy: Water Conditions: 64-77į F, KH 10-25, pH 7.0-8.2

So, you are not far from being at a great pH. PWCs, without any chemicals or modifiers, except the dechlor/prime should get you to perfect range.

Yes, ammonia is less toxic at lower pH and lower temps. Nitrite is more toxic than ammonia. Nitrates are the least toxic and should be kept under 20.


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Old 09-22-2014, 02:37 PM   #6
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Could the platy have been gravid? They tend to hide before they have fry. She could also be hiding from aggression.


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Old 09-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #7
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Could the platy have been gravid? They tend to hide before they have fry. She could also be hiding from aggression.


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I agree, it may have been pregnant, but it probably would have looked a little fatter (did it?). You could have lots of little black eyes swimming around! The fry are very good at hiding though. Prior to giving birth, a platy may hide, stop eating, dart all over the place. Once they have dropped their fry (the babies), they will be very hungry from the process and will return to eating.

But, the OP said it was two females I think. I don't know the likelihood of two going into labor at the same time. Sympathy pain? Even if OP you don't have male platys in the tank, the females store sperm for a long time and could have been inseminated a while ago and may have been knocked up at the fish store.

A lot of people don't think Ph up works. I tried using it for a long time with no results. Finally, I heard about using baking soda to increase ph and it works very quickly. A word of,caution, make sure you err on the side of under dosing to do a more gradual increase. I would look up a few different website instructions to figure out the proper formula of water:baking soda to add based on the size of your tank. I learned from experience to compare instructions. First time I did it, the Ph skyrocketed within an hour and I had to do an emergency large water change and then a pwc a few hours later to dilute it to save my fish from dying of shock or stress.
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:07 PM   #8
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I made an awful discovery last night -- tiny white spots on both platies especially in their fins. After some research, I am sure it is Ich. I can't believe it - as my tank fully cycled yesterday and I was feeling so relieved that all my fish had survived it. It is a planted tank with 3 amano shrimp, 3 Julii cories, 2 endlers, 5 rasbora and the two platies.

I spent 2 hours researching treatment last night as it seems tricky to treat when I have plants, shrimp and cories. I order Paraguard online - I can't get it in my small city, but it could take a few days to get to me. I know I could increase the temp but my heater is not adjustable - it is permanently set to 78. I could go buy another heater today after work.

Quite concerned I am going to lose my whole tank just at the point when I thought I could stop worrying so much. I feel quite attached!

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Old 09-22-2014, 04:42 PM   #9
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Aww!! I'm so sorry. Is it possible to quarantine the platies (and if any other fish start showing symptoms quarantine them too?)


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Old 09-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #10
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I don't currently have a quarantine tank (I had no idea what was involved when I impulsively got a tank over a month ago, but until this outbreak I was enjoying myself immensely).

My husband and I agree that I could upgrade my 15 g tank to the Fluval Bowfront 45 g which is currently on sale at a nearby local fish store. I wasn't going to do that until maybe November, but I am wondering if I should just spend the money now, and get the larger tank which comes with an adjustable fluval heater - so then I could heat up the 15 g to 86 degrees (and just store the larger tank until I'm more organized).

Potentially I guess that gives me two tanks to work with, but only one which is cycled.

Wouldn't the spores be all over all the fish and the substrate by now? So if I transfer fish to a 2nd tank somehow wouldn't I then just be spreading the Ich to both of them?

So confusing. Meds, tanks, heaters, $! Don't know what first step to take.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:14 PM   #11
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Since you don't want to spend all that money on the big tank now, why don't you just get a heater? Eventually you're gonna need the heater for the 45, and then the 15 won't have anything. And I'm by no means an ich expert, so don't quote me on any of this.


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Old 09-22-2014, 05:32 PM   #12
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I don't currently have a quarantine tank (I had no idea what was involved when I impulsively got a tank over a month ago, but until this outbreak I was enjoying myself immensely).

My husband and I agree that I could upgrade my 15 g tank to the Fluval Bowfront 45 g which is currently on sale at a nearby local fish store. I wasn't going to do that until maybe November, but I am wondering if I should just spend the money now, and get the larger tank which comes with an adjustable fluval heater - so then I could heat up the 15 g to 86 degrees (and just store the larger tank until I'm more organized).

Potentially I guess that gives me two tanks to work with, but only one which is cycled.

Wouldn't the spores be all over all the fish and the substrate by now? So if I transfer fish to a 2nd tank somehow wouldn't I then just be spreading the Ich to both of them?

So confusing. Meds, tanks, heaters, $! Don't know what first step to take.
Salt wouldn't work because you have cories. They whole tank should be treated because ich hangs around in the substrate and even in the water I think. Treatment should continue even if the white spots go away because it takes more to wipe the ich out entirely.

There are three stages of the ich life cycle, but I am not sophisticated enough to name them or where the ich is in that cycle. You could probably do a search in this forum. A lot of people have explained it when helping others with ich.

When you are using meds - make sure to remove the activated carbon from your filter - or the filter bag entirely, but keep the filter going. If you raise the temp (which should be gradual) and don't use salt (even if you did) you need to make sure the fish get enough oxygen which becomes less abundant with increased temperature and meds. If you have an air pump, use it. I recently got one because I was so worried about oxygen that I would sit by the tank for hours to make sure the fish aren't gasping.

If you need to make an emergency QT tank - which you probably won't unless you have to move the shrimp (I don't know about them enough), you can make one out of household stuff in a pinch until you can get a better one. Again, google that and no matter what, if you use a plastic container from home or buy one at rite aid or,wherever you could get one, it cannot have been cleaned with soap. Warm water only. I was lucky enough to have a plastic container that had never been cleaned with soap because it was brand new.

Other than the possible need for a QT for the shrimp, you may be able to get by until you do more research on the best way to have a QT. I think a QT is not supposed to have substrate especially when treating for ich because you don't want the ich to latch onto it. I am not sure if a QT needs to be cycled per se but the water needs to be pretreated with prime, the same temp, and a ph that is not far off from the main tank so as to prevent stress or shock.

Hopefully this will start you in the right direction and additional research will give you more specifics.

Hopefully more sophisticated advice people will also reply to your post. You might consider buying a better heater that is adjustable temperature wise.

A lot of stuff is cheaper if you order off Amazon. A lot of people want to support their local fish stores and patronize them, but if cost is an issue, Amazon is good.

Keep us posted and I hope this helps you a little bit - just know I am an not an expert by any means.
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #13
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Thank you so much for the advice I am receiving. I have found the help here to be tremendous and I'm hoping it gets me through this ich outbreak.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:51 PM   #14
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Okay, I have a new adjustable heater in the tank (am going to s l o w l y raise the temp), I have removed the carbon from the filter and I've added a half dose of Paraguard so as to protect the shrimp, plants and cories.

Wish me luck.

PS I also have a beautiful new 45 gallon bowfront in my basement waiting for when this crisis passes... the new fluval heater came with the new tank kit (the tank I've been coveting for awhile), so I will swap back in the old heater to the 15 gallon later on when I don't need higher temps.

I'll need to decide what to do now that I have both a 45 gallon tank and a 15 gallon tank. Not sure I'm up to running both, but also may be a good idea to hold onto the 15 gallon one as a quarantine tank. How did I catch MTS so quickly?

I just really hope my fishies make it through this because they will like their new HUGE home!
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:17 PM   #15
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Okay, I have a new adjustable heater in the tank (am going to s l o w l y raise the temp), I have removed the carbon from the filter and I've added a half dose of Paraguard so as to protect the shrimp, plants and cories.

Wish me luck.

PS I also have a beautiful new 45 gallon bowfront in my basement waiting for when this crisis passes... the new fluval heater came with the new tank kit (the tank I've been coveting for awhile), so I will swap back in the old heater to the 15 gallon later on when I don't need higher temps.

I'll need to decide what to do now that I have both a 45 gallon tank and a 15 gallon tank. Not sure I'm up to running both, but also may be a good idea to hold onto the 15 gallon one as a quarantine tank. How did I catch MTS so quickly?

I just really hope my fishies make it through this because they will like their new HUGE home!
Why don't you start cycling the 45 gallon tank now? That way it is closer to ready when this passes.

I'd hold onto the 15 gallon. I don't think it has to be running until it is needed, but don't quote me on that. Again, google it. My 5.5 gallon QT is occupied by a lot of young platy fry. When I thought one of my other fish needed QT/isolation tank (I use the terms interchangeably, but technically I think QT is for new fish while isolation is for sickies), I used this one gallon thing I bought for my first batch of fry (changed it out because too hard to clean with small babies and started to smell). Mine was 10$ US and it came with a mini bubbler (it had a funky tube to put it through from the bottom - bit I didn't use it because there was no gravel to hold it down and it wasn't necessary for functioning.

That way, you don't have to run the 15 gallon, but can use it just in case something comes up.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:17 PM   #16
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I thought somewhere in here i read that you should not add salt to your freshwater tank if you have corys, can anyone explain why? I have 2 tanks total of 7 corys and both tanks have small amounts of salt in them ...
To the OP - you will soon find out that you can never have enough or to much of aquarium and fish items... Its a great hobby, just started back in April myself and i am still having problems like crazy... I hope you are able to help your sick fish and get it all cleared up ..
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:31 PM   #17
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I thought somewhere in here i read that you should not add salt to your freshwater tank if you have corys, can anyone explain why? I have 2 tanks total of 7 corys and both tanks have small amounts of salt in them ...
To the OP - you will soon find out that you can never have enough or to much of aquarium and fish items... Its a great hobby, just started back in April myself and i am still having problems like crazy... I hope you are able to help your sick fish and get it all cleared up ..
I believe it is because they are scaleless fish and bottom dwellers that have direct contact with salt which will burn them. Aquarium salt doesn't,dissolve in water.

I'm sure they can tolerate it in small doses. My problem was I also have a Molly which needs brackish water so I was adding a bit and it didn't seem to do any harm, but I used a small amount.

When I looked at the salt treatment for ich, I read it was harmful to cories for the above reasons. There were a few experts who said they didn't have a problem adding salt even with cories.

I tend to overdose and have only learned through a lot of heartache to err on the side of doing less, but perhaps more often.

I've also learned water quality is the best way to ensure success and to not do a bunch of treatments out of panic. That is still hard because I feel powerless, but it feels worse to see a little guy suffering.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:38 AM   #18
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Thank you, you have explained a few things I'm glad to know. Like I recently got mollies, never knowing they need brackish water or I wouldn't get them. I was told brackish fish only do ok temporary in fresh water.


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Old 09-23-2014, 09:08 AM   #19
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Thank you, you have explained a few things I'm glad to know. Like I recently got mollies, never knowing they need brackish water or I wouldn't get them. I was told brackish fish only do ok temporary in fresh water.


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Mine is okay even though I stopped using salt. A lot of us have them in our first tanks with platys and cories, etc
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #20
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Thank you Noviceafter2ya, you've been very helpful here as well as some of my own threads. 😉


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