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Old 04-11-2022, 04:24 PM   #1
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Question Platy w/ long-lasting gravid spot(?)

One of my female platy fish have had a gravid spot for the past 2 months (typical platy pregnancy is 28 days, or 1 month), and at this point I am unsure if it's actually a gravid spot. She did have a small issue during her first birth on Valentine's Day, but that was resolved pretty quickly, at least externally. Said platy is also still pretty active, albeit a little aggressive when feeding.

Also, please let me know if I posted this in the wrong section!

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Old 04-11-2022, 05:53 PM   #2
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A picture would definitely help but there's a couple of things to keep in mind:
Under duress, the fish can delay birthing so between the Valentine's Day issue and now, were there any changes to the fish tank?

What is the current temperature and chemistry of the water?

Are there plenty of places for the fish to give birth without being hassled by other fish?

What other fish are in the tank?

Let's start there.
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Old 04-12-2022, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post
A picture would definitely help but there's a couple of things to keep in mind:
Under duress, the fish can delay birthing so between the Valentine's Day issue and now, were there any changes to the fish tank?

What is the current temperature and chemistry of the water?

Are there plenty of places for the fish to give birth without being hassled by other fish?

What other fish are in the tank?

Let's start there.
Aside from a few minor water changes (40% at most), nothing's really been done to the tank.
The temperature rests in the low 80s, sometimes the high 70s if my heater shuts off, though that hasn't happened in a while. As for the chemistry, I haven't checked that yet, so I'll try to remember to do that later today.
There are a few hiding places, but I could move her to a temporary tank if I need to.
There's 2 other adult platies (1 male, 1 female), along with 6 fry (all females-), a mystery snail, one cory catfish, and an antisocial bristlenose pleco who just lives behind my plant light.
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Old 04-12-2022, 09:14 PM   #4
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Update: I did a water test, then a 25% water change. I also got pictures of the fish.

Pre-change water test results:
pH - 6.0
Ammonia - 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm
I may do another test within the next day or two to see how things have changed.

As for pictures of the afflicted fish, I did my best- ngl she's pretty active-

also sorry about the image quality, the water just got changed so it's kinda cloudy right now.
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Old 04-12-2022, 10:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shadow-snails View Post
Update: I did a water test, then a 25% water change. I also got pictures of the fish.

Pre-change water test results:
pH - 6.0
Ammonia - 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm
I may do another test within the next day or two to see how things have changed.

As for pictures of the afflicted fish, I did my best- ngl she's pretty active-

also sorry about the image quality, the water just got changed so it's kinda cloudy right now.
I can't see the pic but the water chemistry is a good possibility as to why no births. Just curious why you are having an ammonia level. Is this a cycled tank?
For what it's worth, while Platies can tolerate water Ph slightly below 7.0 for a while, they do much better at slightly to moderately alkaline Ph. The water changes should help bring yours up some ( unless you have low Ph water at your source.) If it doesn't, you might want to consider using something like crushed coral in your filter to help regulate your Ph. That will also make your water a bit harder which is something else Platies also like.
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Old 04-13-2022, 12:16 PM   #6
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Unhappy

Hm. They did show up at first.
Does this post work any better?

As for it being a cycled tank, I'm. Not exactly sure-
I'm still kinda new to fishkeeping, and tank cycling sort of confuses me.

I don't know much about my local water quality, though I was thinking of testing it later.
The crushed coral does sound helpful; I'm sure I may be able to get some from my LFS.
Also for the water changes, how often should I do those?
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Old 04-13-2022, 08:19 PM   #7
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Alright, the next tests have been done.

The tank results were:
pH - 6.4
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0.50ppm
Nitrate - 40ppm
On the other hand, this is what my tap water showed:
pH - 8.4
Ammonia - 1ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - Somewhere between 5ppm and 10ppm

I had a lime slice in my tank yesterday, and took it out just before testing the water. That and the amount of ammonia in the tap water would explain why the nitrite's so high (and why my water is so cloudy).
Luckily, my fish seem to be doing alright at the moment.
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Old 04-13-2022, 10:16 PM   #8
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Thanks, the pics came in. The spot is definitely in the area where the fry would be developing but it doesn't really look like, to me, that there are fry developing at the moment or are advanced to the point that they would be getting ready to be born.

So here's the deal with your ammonia: at a Ph of over 7.0, ammonia is toxic to the fish. At a Ph below 7.0, ammonia is converted to ammonium which is not toxic to the fish unless in extremely high levels. So the ammonia in your tank is ammonium at the moment because your Ph is under 7.0. That's the good news. The bad news is that ammonium and ammonia are both converted into nitrites and they are toxic to the fish at lower levels so you really want to address this. I suggest using a product like Seachems PRIME or SAFE to treat your source water before adding it to the tank. ( I'll get to what to do with the nitrites in your tank in a minute)

The " cycle" in short is the creation of a natural bacteria bed that consists of 2 species of bacteria where 1 will convert ammonia/ium to nitrites and the other to convert nitrites to nitrates. There are products on the market that add the bacteria to your water if you don't want to wait to have it happen naturally. Once the bacteria bed is established, the tank is considered " cycled" because unless you add too much food or too many fish to fast or add any other ammonia source, you should not see any readings of ammonia or nitrites when you test. Only nitrates. Because you are reading nitrites, I have to think that your tank is not cycled yet. Once you see a consistent 0 reading of ammonia and nitrite, you should be fully cycled.
On a side note, just for your information, the bacteria bed should be considered a living breathing organism which grows and shrinks to it's food source. So say you have a tank with 10 platies and you are showing no ammonia or nitrites, your bacteria bed has grown to the point that it can handle the ammonia output of those 10 fish. But you decide to get rid of 8 of those platies without replacing them with anything else. Now your bacteria bed will shrink over the course of some time because there is less food for it to feed on. Now say 6 months +/- has gone by and you decide to replace those 8 Platies again so you add them all at the same time because your tank held them fine before. Your bacteria bed now tho is probably not large enough anymore to handle that much new bioload all at once and you will see a spike in ammonia again. People call this a "second cycle" or " mini cycle" because the bacteria bed has to grow to catch up with the available food. You want to try and avoid this since if your water was at a Ph of over 7.0, that ammonia in there is toxic and will be stressing your fish. The good news is that bacteria beds grow rapidly so this new" cycling" should not take as long as the original cycling did. ( Science class, right?? LOL ) So you want to add fish slowly when the tank is newish so as not to overwhelm the bacteria bed.
Back to your water: I would be doing more water changes to help dilute that nitrite and nitrate and raise your Ph. Since that 25% water change raised the Ph .4 and that is about the limit you should change a Ph at a time, I'd do a 20% change then treat the whole tank with PRIME or SAFE to detoxify the nitrites while you are diluting them and your bacteria bed is catching up. I'd do this every 2 days ( that's about the limit of PRIME's effectiveness) until the Ph is back up to the mid 7s or up to 8s that your tap is. DO NOT ADD MORE FISH or other ammonia sources until your tank finishes cycling. Also, hold off on the crushed coral until your Ph situation is resolved as well. After then, you can use it as a way to stop the Ph from falling but to do it now might( probably) cause the Ph to rise too much too fast. ( More science class stuff. )

Hope this helps Class dismissed.
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Old 04-13-2022, 10:44 PM   #9
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Thank you so much!
I'll try to get one of the products as soon as I can.

Also by ammonia sources, does that include fish food or just plants/marine life?
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Old 04-14-2022, 12:10 AM   #10
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Thank you so much!
I'll try to get one of the products as soon as I can.

Also by ammonia sources, does that include fish food or just plants/marine life?
I used to tell people: " If it breathes, pees or poops, it's an ammonia source" but uneaten food and any rotting decay can also produce ammonia. You want to either feed sparingly or give smaller meals throughout the day/night ( vs 1 or 2 large meals) so there is no uneaten food when you are done.
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Old 04-14-2022, 12:48 PM   #11
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Smile

Alrighty!
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Old 04-14-2022, 07:04 PM   #12
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Alrighty!
You are welcome. Keeping fish healthy is just like taking an advanced science course. lol You learn a whole bunch of stuff you never thought you'd ever need to know. Keep asking questions.
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Old 04-16-2022, 09:05 PM   #13
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Did another water test (and got a mystery snail bc the water looked way better)
Nitrate - roughly 20ppm
Nitrite - somewhere between 0.5 and 1 (it was hard to tell since the petsmart test strips i have are old and kinda faded)
pH - about 6.2
Hardness - 150-300
Chlorine - ever so slightly over 0
Alkalinity - 40ppm
I need the water treatment stuff to get here so I can finally do a good water change dsajhashj- :'>
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Old 04-17-2022, 02:40 PM   #14
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Did another water test (and got a mystery snail bc the water looked way better)
Nitrate - roughly 20ppm
Nitrite - somewhere between 0.5 and 1 (it was hard to tell since the petsmart test strips i have are old and kinda faded)
pH - about 6.2
Hardness - 150-300
Chlorine - ever so slightly over 0
Alkalinity - 40ppm
I need the water treatment stuff to get here so I can finally do a good water change dsajhashj- :'>
For what it's worth, test strips have not proven to be as reliable as liquid tests are. I'd switch to liquid tests ( I use API brand) for more accuracy. ( They are only an issue if you have any color blindness issues. Liquid tests are still color matching tests so if that's an issue, you'll need to go to digital tests that can be more expensive. )
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Old 04-17-2022, 05:56 PM   #15
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Okay!
New test strips have been ordered already, but I'll try to remember to get a liquid test kit next time.
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Old 05-09-2022, 09:12 PM   #16
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Okay so I have an update after nearly a month now that I have a good test kit:
pH - 6
Ammonia - Slightly above 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrite - Roughly 10ppm

Once again, I have only just removed a lime from my tank, so I'll try to remember to test the water again once it clears up.
Also, there's still no fry, but Eliza's still got a dark gravid spot and is very round.
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Old 05-13-2022, 07:13 PM   #17
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Okay so I have an update after nearly a month now that I have a good test kit:
pH - 6
Ammonia - Slightly above 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrite - Roughly 10ppm

Once again, I have only just removed a lime from my tank, so I'll try to remember to test the water again once it clears up.
Also, there's still no fry, but Eliza's still got a dark gravid spot and is very round.
Glad you got the chemistry issue resolved
Sounds like she is letting the fry develop so it could be any time now. Usually, when fry are about to be born, the female's bottom will flatten out some so that's your sign to look for imminent births.
I'd still try to get that Ph up a little. Livebearers are more a neutral to alkaline fish.
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Old 05-18-2022, 04:33 PM   #18
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Glad you got the chemistry issue resolved
Sounds like she is letting the fry develop so it could be any time now. Usually, when fry are about to be born, the female's bottom will flatten out some so that's your sign to look for imminent births.
I'd still try to get that Ph up a little. Livebearers are more a neutral to alkaline fish.
Alrighty!

I'll continue updating this thread with water stats in the meantime, and possibly a report of the fry when that time comes around.
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Old 05-19-2022, 02:45 PM   #19
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Technically and theoretically, a platy can give birth every 3-4 weeks. But that doesn't mean that she will always have a steady period of time that she will drop fry. For the female herself will decide if she'll open up 1 or more folds of her fallopian tube to release 1 or more stored sperm packets to fertilize her eggs. So, it's not that one can say that they always drop fry every 3-4 weeks. But they can...
A gravid spot itself doesn't mean that a female is pregnant. Also a non-pregnant female can show a gravid spot. The thing with the gravid spot is that it will grow more and become more visible when the female is pregnant. For the gravid spot itself is a translucent part of the skin. When a female is pregnant, the skin will stretch more. Because the gravid spot itself is translucent, the skin becomes thinner at that spot. And because of that, you are more able to see what's going on inside of her belly. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 05-30-2022, 05:49 PM   #20
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Technically and theoretically, a platy can give birth every 3-4 weeks. But that doesn't mean that she will always have a steady period of time that she will drop fry. For the female herself will decide if she'll open up 1 or more folds of her fallopian tube to release 1 or more stored sperm packets to fertilize her eggs. So, it's not that one can say that they always drop fry every 3-4 weeks. But they can...
A gravid spot itself doesn't mean that a female is pregnant. Also a non-pregnant female can show a gravid spot. The thing with the gravid spot is that it will grow more and become more visible when the female is pregnant. For the gravid spot itself is a translucent part of the skin. When a female is pregnant, the skin will stretch more. Because the gravid spot itself is translucent, the skin becomes thinner at that spot. And because of that, you are more able to see what's going on inside of her belly. Nothing more, nothing less.
Thanks for this valuable information!

---

Anyways, I did another water test, prior to a 24% water change:
pH 6.0
Ammonia 0.25ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate ~0ppm

There was recently a slice of cucumber and a small piece of celery added to the tank as some snail treats. And, as stated before, a 25% water change was just done.
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