Help! Platy at bottom of tank, not pregnant

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
May 27, 2020
Hi there. I have a female platy. She's the only platy in my tank. For about a week she's been hiding on the floor of the tank. When she tries to swim any higher, she seems to have some difficulty (wobbly), though I have seen her swim higher a few times, when the light is off and I've just either woken up or walked into the room after being away for a while (she immediately swims down and hides then). I believe when she swims to the top of the tank, she's just quickly going up and back down. I don't think she's spending prolonged periods away from the bottom of the tank.

Mostly, if she's moving, she's moving along the bottom of the tank on her belly. Sometimes she's completely still (her side fins don't move, etc.).

This is new behavior. Previously, she was very active and had a good appetite. Her poops were light gray and stringy (1" long strands).

I just took this picture. As soon as she noticed me, she swam away to hide in the huge mass of flame moss that covers most of the bottom of tank.

She's a bit wobbly when she swims just above the bottom of the tank (like half an inch), as if she's trying to swim higher but it's not working. That said, I have seen her swim higher.

The tank is 20 gallons and fully cycled and there are two otos, an amano shrimp, a nerite snail, and maybe about 15 pygmy corys. None of them seem to be experiencing any kind of distress. The water parameters are good, as they've always been; no spikes of anything like ammonia or nitrites.

I'm currently 24 hours in to an API General Cure treatment (the first of two scoops every 48 hours) to eliminate any parasites of bacteria that might be causing this.

I'm wondering if this is constipation. She's not eating (or at least I haven't seen her eat), and I'm not seeing her usual poop anywhere, though since she's been hiding at the bottom of the tank, it's possible she's been pooping there and I just haven't noticed.

If you think its constipation, how should I proceed? Wait to finish the General Cure treatment? Give her canned peas now? Epsom salt?

Is it dropsy perhaps?

Here's a photo I just took. The cloudy blots on her tail are just because the aquarium glass was dirty. I believe the white spots are just sand.

I'm quite panicked, and I'd very much appreciate any advice you could please give me. Thanks very much.



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