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Old 01-29-2022, 02:28 AM   #1
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What is wrong with my Platties? Are they itchy?

I noticed that my platties are rubbing themselves against the edge of the heater. They do it every once in a while when they get close to the heater. Why are they doing this? Should I be worried? I have attached a video to show what they are doing.

https://youtu.be/abSB7njRVTA

Some background: I just got three new platties yesterday form Petco (4 total in a ten gallon tank) and the one who has been in the tank the longest does not do this. The fish seem healthy overall and they are all eating. Water parameters look good according to my test strips and ammonia test. I'm very new to fish-keeping and I got my first fish about a week and a half ago.

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Old 01-29-2022, 03:51 AM   #2
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Thats what is known as flashing and is a sign that something is off. Yes they are scratching an itch.

It could be caused by a parasite, poor water conditions, other infections.

Its likely you brought in already infected fish, and this infection could now spread to the other fish.

Can you give some more details on the tank and its inhabitants? Are you seeing any other symptoms?

What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.

How long has the tank been set up?

What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of*gph*if known.

When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?

How did you acclimate the new fish?

Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
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Old 01-30-2022, 02:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Thats what is known as flashing and is a sign that something is off. Yes they are scratching an itch.

It could be caused by a parasite, poor water conditions, other infections.

Its likely you brought in already infected fish, and this infection could now spread to the other fish.

Can you give some more details on the tank and its inhabitants? Are you seeing any other symptoms?

What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.

How long has the tank been set up?

What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of*gph*if known.

When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?

How did you acclimate the new fish?

Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
I got my first pair of platy fish on 1/20 (panda and a mickey) and the panda died on 1/26. He was always hanging around in the corner and then one day he went berserk and started swimming like crazy, thirty seconds later he started mindlessly floating around, then died, but the mickey was fine. I bought 3 new platys because I felt bad for the lonely mickey swimming alone. I got another panda (from the same store tank as the first panda) along with another mickey and "assorted" platy. So thats four fish in the tank.

On 1/27 I started noticing that the panda was doing the flashing motion, but I thought nothing of it. 1/28 I noticed that the blue mickey and panda were doing it, so I recorded it. Other than the flashing behavior, the panda has always stuck around in the corners, like the last panda, and the blue mickey is aggressive lol.

For water parameters this is what I am observing:

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0-10 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
Total Hardness: 150 ppm
Total Chlorine: 0 ppm
Total Alkalinity: ~100 ppm
pH: 7.2 - 7.8
Temperature ranges between 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day

I bought and filled the new tank with water on 1/13. On 1/14 I asked the fish store guy to squeeze his filter sponge in a bag for me lol then I added that into my filter and threw in some fish food for the next few days. I put gravel and decorations in the tank on 1/16.

I am using an Aqueon QuietFlow 10, which is 100 GPH according to the website.

My first time doing a water change was 50% on 1/20. The last time I did a water change was on 1/26, before introducing the new fish. I did my first gravel vac that day too, I vacuumed up as much as I could until the tank was missing 50%.

I did acclimate the new fish, I think. I left the fish in the bag floating above the tank water for 20 minutes, then I netted the fish individually into the tank.

I have not added anything new into the tank other than a new medium sized decoration, but I rinsed it before adding it. I've been using dollar store fake plants since the beginning if that might have anything to do with it lol. The filter also looks super gunky.

Here's a timeline since I mentioned a lot of dates:

1/13 - Bought tank and filled it with water
1/14 - Added gunky filter water to my filter
1/16 - Gravel and decorations added
1/20 - First pair of platy fish; 50% water change
1/23 - I added Aquarium Salt to the tank
1/26 - First Panda platy died; 50% water change + Gravel Vac
1/27 - 3 new platies added; Noticed the Panda flashing
1/28 - Noticed the Panda and 2 Mickeys flashing

Here's a video of my tank and parameters: https://youtu.be/opcHwZEJUfw
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Old 01-30-2022, 04:32 AM   #4
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I think the likelihood is you bought infected fish. With no other symptoms other than flashing its difficult to say what the cause is. Your water looks ok, so it could be a parasite, possibly early stages of ich.

Up the water changes, aquarium salt is a general cure so that may help. Monitor to see if things improve or whether other symptoms manifest.
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Old 01-30-2022, 01:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
I think the likelihood is you bought infected fish. With no other symptoms other than flashing its difficult to say what the cause is. Your water looks ok, so it could be a parasite, possibly early stages of ich.

Up the water changes, aquarium salt is a general cure so that may help. Monitor to see if things improve or whether other symptoms manifest.
Thank you for all of your help! How much water and how often do you think I should do the water changes? Also, do you think any additional products can help help them? Or would that be harmful to the fish since there is already salt in the tank?
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Old 01-30-2022, 03:03 PM   #6
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I would change 25% of the tank water daily, or 50% every 2 days and see if things improve. If you are treating with salt remember to add in salt to replace any removed with your water changes.

Different countries have different access to medication, so i dont know what you have access too. Here in the UK for instance we dont have access to antibiotics without a vets prescription. If it where me, i wouldnt medicate until i had given clean water a chance to work or see if any further symptoms showed up that might give a clue as to what the cause may be. If things didn't clear up and i still had no idea what the cause is, i would try something broad spectrum like Esha2000. You may have access to stronger meds than i have experience with, but i wouldnt use those in your main display tank anyway.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:16 AM   #7
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I would change 25% of the tank water daily, or 50% every 2 days and see if things improve. If you are treating with salt remember to add in salt to replace any removed with your water changes.

Different countries have different access to medication, so i dont know what you have access too. Here in the UK for instance we dont have access to antibiotics without a vets prescription. If it where me, i wouldnt medicate until i had given clean water a chance to work or see if any further symptoms showed up that might give a clue as to what the cause may be. If things didn't clear up and i still had no idea what the cause is, i would try something broad spectrum like Esha2000. You may have access to stronger meds than i have experience with, but i wouldnt use those in your main display tank anyway.
I did a 50% water change today and added aquarium salt, as well as Imagitarium parasite remedy. It was the only thing I could find at the store. Today unfortunately one of my fish started breathing heavily and is staying at the top of the tank. She also has white spots on her tail fin, so I am pretty sure she has some sort of infection.

Also, I noticed a baby fry in my all-female tank.
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Old 01-31-2022, 03:00 AM   #8
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Can you get a photo of the fish with white spots? Sounds like ich.
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Old 01-31-2022, 11:52 AM   #9
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Can you get a photo of the fish with white spots? Sounds like ich.
Yes of course, here is a picture. I am feeding the fish this morning and their appetite seems ok. This fish seems to be the only one with white spots. She's also the one who has been breathing hard at the top of the tank. All of them have white/clear stringy poo.

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Old 01-31-2022, 02:24 PM   #10
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That looks like ich. This will be in your water now, your other fish could easily be infected also.

You need to gradually increase the water temperature to 28c, get an ich medication and follow the instructions on how to treat using the medication to the letter.
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Old 02-08-2022, 12:15 AM   #11
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That looks like ich. This will be in your water now, your other fish could easily be infected also.

You need to gradually increase the water temperature to 28c, get an ich medication and follow the instructions on how to treat using the medication to the letter.
The fish did not make it Heres a timeline of what happened:

1/31: 5ml Imagitarium Parasite Remedy, increased the water to 28c (the tank is still at this temperature)
2/1: 5ml Imagitarium Parasite Remedy

2/2: 50% water change + 5ml Imagitarium Parasite Remedy
2/3: 5ml Imagitarium Parasite Remedy

2/4: 50% water change + 5ml Imagitarium Parasite Remedy
2/5: 5ml Imagitarium Parasite Remedy - The fish died

This morning 2/7 I did another 50% water change, but did not add the Remedy. I dont think that Imagitarium product did much, it looked like the fish just kept getting worse everyday. As of right now 2/3 fish look healthy except for one. She's starting to behave lethargic/lazy and is hiding. The ends of its fins look a little bit tattered, so if I just had to guess, im pretty sure its getting sick too.

Before the fish died on 2/5 I had ordered a new ich medicine (Ich X) and it should be here on Wednesday, do you think I should still dose the tank with that?

Also, about 3 hours after my 50% water change this morning, I noticed that my ammonia is now at around 1-1.5 ppm. I'm not sure what to do, this whole thing has kind of been a disaster
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Old 02-08-2022, 12:33 AM   #12
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Oh, here's a pic of the gray fish that passed. She didn't get any better and it looks like the white spots never went away, or even budged.

The panda platy is the one that I think is getting sick now. When I look closely at the end of its back fin, it looks like its rotting away and I saw her breathing kinda heavy earlier.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf IMG_5535.pdf (537.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: pdf IMG_5554.pdf (938.5 KB, 6 views)
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Old 02-08-2022, 11:26 AM   #13
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The medication you have used is suitable for ich. You have been treating for over a week, so if there is no signs on your fish i would end the treatment, gradually bring the water temp back, water changes to get the ammonia under control and remove the medication and monitor for further signs of infection.

Its possible the medication crashed your cycle so keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite and do water changes as needed.

I wouldnt add any more fish for a while, make sure the infection has gone. Hopefully your fish recover in cooler and cleaner water and you have rid the tank of the parasite.
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Old 02-08-2022, 06:11 PM   #14
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The medication you have used is suitable for ich. You have been treating for over a week, so if there is no signs on your fish i would end the treatment, gradually bring the water temp back, water changes to get the ammonia under control and remove the medication and monitor for further signs of infection.

Its possible the medication crashed your cycle so keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite and do water changes as needed.

I wouldnt add any more fish for a while, make sure the infection has gone. Hopefully your fish recover in cooler and cleaner water and you have rid the tank of the parasite.
This morning 2/8, I checked the tank and I saw the poor panda platy dead. I did a 50% water change since it looked like ammonia had risen to about 0.2 ppm. I also skipped feeding this morning because I think it might help keep the ammonia down.

Is it bad to do a 50% water change twice a day? Also, at what point do you recommend changing the water? Like if ammonia passes 1.5 or 1 ppm?
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Old 02-08-2022, 06:12 PM   #15
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Doing multiple water changes per day is fine. Try to do sufficient water changes to keep ammonia below 0.5ppm.
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Old 02-13-2022, 02:58 AM   #16
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Doing multiple water changes per day is fine. Try to do sufficient water changes to keep ammonia below 0.5ppm.
Hey @Aiken Drum hope all is well! My last two fish are doing well and they seem healthy. I've been trying to keep them alive by using Prime and Stability, but I have noticed a strange cotton-like thing start developing over the past day or two and it seems like it is becoming more prevalent. I've also noticed that the water is becoming cloudy. I've tried not to do water changes since I felt like I should let the bacteria catch up to the level of ammonia, but I don't know if this was the correct thing to do.

Do you know what the cotton-like substance is and do you know if it is harmful to the fish? Also, as far as "stabilizing the tank" goes, does it seem to you that the cycle in my tank has been restored? It seems like the ammonia and nitrites went away.

I have attached pics of the cotton-like substance and a spread sheet of what has been happening in my tank. Thank you again for all of your help!
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File Type: pdf Cotton-like stuff.pdf (2.32 MB, 4 views)
File Type: pdf Fish Excel Sheet.pdf (656.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 02-13-2022, 04:26 AM   #17
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It looks like your cycle has established again, at least enough to support your 2 fish. Cloudy water is probably a biological bloom and is normal where your cycle is establishing and should go away on its own given a little time.

The cotton stuff looks like mould to me, or it could be biological linked to your cycle establishing. Not sure. I would manually clean it up. Where you can take anything effected out and give it a good scrub, if it persists you may want to clean it with a dilute bleech solution (make sure you look up how to do this), get your water changes done, make sure you arent overfeeding your fish as uneaten food will go mouldy.
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Old 03-11-2022, 02:17 PM   #18
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It looks like your cycle has established again, at least enough to support your 2 fish. Cloudy water is probably a biological bloom and is normal where your cycle is establishing and should go away on its own given a little time.

The cotton stuff looks like mould to me, or it could be biological linked to your cycle establishing. Not sure. I would manually clean it up. Where you can take anything effected out and give it a good scrub, if it persists you may want to clean it with a dilute bleech solution (make sure you look up how to do this), get your water changes done, make sure you arent overfeeding your fish as uneaten food will go mouldy.
Hey @Aiken Drum!! hope all is well. I actually ended up switching everything to a new 20 gallon about two weeks ago and used a different substrate and the issue just never came back. Since I noticed that everything was stable, I decided to add 3 platys to the original 2 platys, but I have run into a few strange things.

About 6 hours after adding the new fish, I noticed that all of the fish were pooping out white string poop, even the original two fish, and they never do this. I know that when I got the original 2 platys they were doing this, but it went away and I'm not sure why it came back for them. Do you know if this is something I should be worried about?

Also, I noticed a bit of aggression toward one of the smaller fish and her fin was slightly damaged so I put her in my old 10 gallon tank so that she could fully recover. The fin damage wasn't bad, but I was afraid that it would get worse. As of right now her fins look better, but I might keep her in there for a few more days to make sure its better. What would be your approach as far as reintroducing her to the main tank/reducing aggression toward the smaller fish? Or do you think it might be best to keep the smaller fish in the 10 gallon permanently until it gets larger?

I've included pictures of the two fish that are having problems. The white one is larger and was bullying the blue one. At the beginning, it seemed like the blue one was trying to be friendly and swim close to the white one, but the white one seemed annoyed and would attack it. I believe they are both female
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File Type: pdf White Fish_compressed.pdf (1.05 MB, 5 views)
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:01 PM   #19
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I noticed that all of the fish were pooping out white string poop, even the original two fish, and they never do this. I know that when I got the original 2 platys they were doing this, but it went away and I'm not sure why it came back for them. Do you know if this is something I should be worried about?
White stringy poop can be a sign of internal infection, or a result of a fish not eating, or it could be nothing and it sorts itself out on its own as you found previously. I would monitor things for a while.

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Also, I noticed a bit of aggression toward one of the smaller fish and her fin was slightly damaged so I put her in my old 10 gallon tank so that she could fully recover. The fin damage wasn't bad, but I was afraid that it would get worse. As of right now her fins look better, but I might keep her in there for a few more days to make sure its better. What would be your approach as far as reintroducing her to the main tank/reducing aggression toward the smaller fish? Or do you think it might be best to keep the smaller fish in the 10 gallon permanently until it gets larger?
Im not really a platy person, so cant advise on their behaviour first hand. My understanding is that they are generally non-aggressive, but can get aggressive if 2 males don't get along. That might be it. I dont even know enough about platys to tell you what sex yours are from your photos. You mention the bullied fish is a "her" though.

Normal things to do if you see aggressive behavior. Make sure there are plenty of hiding places, and aquascape so lines of sight are broken. More fish usually causes aggression to spread out and not be concentrated on one fish.

I would give your bullied fish a week to recover and add her back in. Move the bully into your other tank for a few days timeout and thrn try moving it back. That sometimes works. But sometimes fish are just jerks and there is nothing you can do apart from rehoming it.

How is the bully acting now its target is gone?
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Old 03-31-2022, 03:38 PM   #20
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White stringy poop can be a sign of internal infection, or a result of a fish not eating, or it could be nothing and it sorts itself out on its own as you found previously. I would monitor things for a while.



Im not really a platy person, so cant advise on their behaviour first hand. My understanding is that they are generally non-aggressive, but can get aggressive if 2 males don't get along. That might be it. I dont even know enough about platys to tell you what sex yours are from your photos. You mention the bullied fish is a "her" though.

Normal things to do if you see aggressive behavior. Make sure there are plenty of hiding places, and aquascape so lines of sight are broken. More fish usually causes aggression to spread out and not be concentrated on one fish.

I would give your bullied fish a week to recover and add her back in. Move the bully into your other tank for a few days timeout and thrn try moving it back. That sometimes works. But sometimes fish are just jerks and there is nothing you can do apart from rehoming it.

How is the bully acting now its target is gone?
Hey Aiken Drum!! Hope all is well. I had the blue fish that was bullied in a separate tank for a bit, but then it seemed lonely so it gave it a friend. Then the blue fish started picking fights with the new fish. I've attached a video so you can see what was going on. This is fighting right? All of my platys are female, so I dont think it's a breeding ritual or something.

Fish Fighting -
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