FAQs on Platy Diseases/Health
FAQs on Platy Disease:
Platy Disease 1, Platy Disease 2, Platy Disease 3, Platy Disease 4, Platy Disease 5, Platy Health 6,
Platy Health 8,
Platy Health 9,
Platy Health 10,
Platy Health 11, Platy Health ,
FAQs on Platy Disease by Category:
Nutritional (e.g. HLLE),
Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal),
Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...),
Related Articles: Platies, Poeciliids:
Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks,
Livebearing Fishes by Bob
Related FAQs: Platies 1,
Platies 2, Platy Identification, Platy Behavior, Platy Compatibility, Platy Selection, Platy Systems, Platy Feeding, Platy Reproduction, Livebearers, Guppies, Swordtails, Mollies,
Sick Platy 11/17/10
I am reading for days all over the internet to figure out what is going
on with my fish. Few background information: first time fish tank that
my son wanted to have and now I am stuck with :(. 10 gal tank, no life
plants, was cycled over a month ago, tem 78 F, ph unknown, nitrate and
nitrite 0 but ammonia picked up this week to 0.25-0.50 (changed 40% of
the water after this). The tank started with two platies, they were
happy, always swimming around and looking for food when I came near the
tank. Before the tank was
cycled one of them gave birth, the fry died short after. After the tank
was cycled one of the platies stared to hid in the treasure chest, I
assume maybe pregnant again. The other platy stayed active and ready to
eat but it seemed to be losing weight and after a while died. The other
play still hiding, no new fry, but eating and getting bigger. I did not
have time to buy another platy for a while so I assumed that the
remaining platy is just scared of being alone. Two weeks ago I bought
two new platies, one died 2 days later, the other one seemed to be
active and happy until few days ago when it started to hid as well.
They both come out to eat but other wise are hiding on the bottom of
the tank and if they are out, as soon as I
come near they react very scared and swim crazy around trying to hid
I know they are sick but it is kind of hard for me to see what it is if
they are hiding like this. If I see them I still am not able to tell
what it could be after going over all those symptoms listed here. I do
not see any white spots but the colour of the first platy looks
subdued. Not sure how the breathing should look like, not sure of
anything anymore :(.
Was not really my idea of a hobby but I hate to see any living organism
sick and unhappy.
Thanks in advance for any help, info or advice that you could give
<Hello Katharine. One problem is that 10 gallons is really too small
for Platies; I'd recommend at least 15 gallons. The difference
might not sound very much, but in fishkeeping, the amount of water
makes all the
difference! Read here to learn more about stocking small tanks:
Next up, temperature! Platies come from relatively cool, lowland
They will not do well kept warm. Aim for 22-24 C/72-75 F. Thirdly,
Platies need hard, basic water conditions. In other words, if you have
soft water, they will get sick and probably die. Aim for 10-25 degrees
dH, pH 7.5-8.0. Read here to learn more about water chemistry:
Sometimes adding small amounts of marine aquarium salt mix has a tonic
effect on Platies (and livebearers generally). You don't need much,
2-4 grammes/litre, so this is a very economical way to keep these fish
Marine salt mix is MUCH better than "tonic salt" or
"aquarium salt" so don't make a false economy here!
Marine salt mix contains salt but also other minerals that harden the
water and stabilise the pH, so the overall effect is strongly positive.
Fourthly, review feeding. If you have non-zero levels of ammonia and
nitrite there's a good chance you're overfeeding. A small pinch
per day is adequate, and Platies are primarily herbivorous so use
algae-based flake food not plain flake food. The fact your fish are
hiding suggests they're stressed, not "sick", and my
guess would be you're providing poor environmental conditions.
Check water quality, water chemistry, and water temperature. Cheers,
Re: Sick Platy
thanks for the fast response :). I will get over the points that you
The tem and the size will be a problem. We live in FL and during the
summer I keep the house at 81 F, winter will be no problem but AC in
Summer is money eating monster :(. The size is the only one that we can
fit in the house as of now. I am now angry at the store that sold us
the platies, I trusted that they will know the best fit for us.
Thanks again for your help.
<Hello Katherine. Keep the aquarium out of direct sunlight, and it
shouldn't get too hot. Platies can handle a few months of warmth
during the summer. They do come from Mexico after all! But if kept very
warm all year long, they will not do well. Aquarium size is a problem.
Few fish do well in 10 gallons. Platies really do need more space. The
females get quite large, and the males can be aggressive, and in both
cases the result is stress. When fish are stressed, their immune system
stops working. And then they get sick. Hope this helps. Tscheuss!
What is wrong with my Platys? Am I doing everything
correctly? -- 11/9/10
Dear WWM staff,
<Not staff, merely volunteers, but hello back at you!>
I am a new aquarist. I purchased a 20g tank on October 3, 2010; I set
it up and introduced the fish a week later.
<Do understand that filling a tank with water doesn't do
anything. You have to provide a source of ammonia for a filter to start
the maturing process. Since you haven't done that, it's almost
certain your fish were exposed to non-zero levels of ammonia and
I started with 4 male platys (two grey and 2 red wagtails), 6 neon
tetras, and 6 X-ray tetras, some decoration and 2 live plants (one of
them is a fern).
<Do also understand that many plants sold aren't aquatic and
will die, and in dying they rot and remove oxygen from the water. Do
read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/keepoutfw.htm
Selaginella willdenowii and Trichomanes javanicum are two NON-AQUATIC
ferns commonly sold to inexperienced aquarists.>
On the third week, I introduced an Anacharis plant, and the water
started to get cloudy. I could see very small particles floating
towards the surface. I did a 30% water change, and after two days I
lost 1 neon tetra and the Anacharis rotted (I had left the led weight
on!). I bought another Anacharis and 2 small moss balls.
<Moss Balls are coldwater plants and will not do well in a tropical
aquarium above 22 degrees C.>
After another week or so, I tested the waters and the ammonia was
On week 5 or so, we added 4 female platys. Also, the tank suddenly
cleared up, and the ammonia levels are 0. I think it has cycled, or it
is at the end of the process. I am feeding everyone the same flakes
(for Homnivores), and they all seem to get along well, and are active.
Now, did I do everything correctly?
<No; read here please:
Your fish are sick, dying because the aquarium filter is not
I am asking because in the last two days, all my platys (4 boys and 4
girls) are sitting at the bottom of the tank, on the gravel, behind the
fern, the Anacharis and a natural rock; they do not look or act sick,
and if I approach the tank they will come out. They will just stay
there unless they see me and I feed them, while before they used to
swim around the tank at all hours of the day. They are still responsive
to food and one or two will swim around.
<DO NOT FEED until the ammonia is below 0.5 mg/l; do 20% water
changes per day for the next couple of weeks. Do not add any more fish!
Check the filter is working, and make sure you understand how it works
and how to maintain it. Clean filter media gently, squeezing in a
bucket of aquarium water.>
Of the first four (the males), one of the grey wagtail will chase the
other grey male, but would leave the red males alone. That is when I
decided to bring in the girls. I might have overcrowded. Please give
advice. BTW, I am buying some veggie flakes, would that help them?
<Yes, vegetarian flakes are a good staple for Platies. But that
isn't the problem here.>
Thank you in advance for your input. Francesca B.
<Glad to help. Do read, learn; any questions, write back. Cheers,
Re: What is wrong with my Platys? Am I doing everything correctly?
Thank you for replying.
I forgot to mention that I purchased a Marineland Set, with heater,
light, BioWheel three stage filter with carbon in it, and that I used
Stress-Zyme and StressCoat as directed at set-up, and the following
<Okay, well, the carbon is pretty pointless in a tank like this, but
Marineland will happily sell you that because the profit margin is
colossal. As for Stress-this an Stress-that, they're fine enough so
far as they go, but they don't replace the need to cycle the tank.
You need a source of ammonia, and that's traditionally a couple of
hardy fish, e.g., feeder as opposed to fancy guppies, but more recently
people have favoured fishless methods, i.e., small daily
"feedings" of flake for the first few weeks before adding
fish, or the daily use of ammonia to create a concentration of about
2-5 mg/l ammonia. If you haven't done one of these three things,
you haven't cycled your tank. The ammonia feeds the bacteria, and
the bacteria multiply. Just running the tank without any ammonia source
-- whether fish, food, or ammonia solution -- does nothing more than
get the filter wet. It won't mature that way, period. There are
some potions said to jump-start the filter so you can add fish that
day, but frankly, they're pretty unreliable. I wouldn't
recommend a beginner use them.>
I followed the instructions carefully during set up, and waited a week
before introducing the fish. I do understand that the 4 male Platies, 6
Neon and 6 Pristella Tetras helped me 'cycle' the tank.
<That's the problem. Cycling is extremely stressful for the
fish. Ammonia levels above 0.5 mg/l cause serious stress, and above 1.0
mg/l will be sickening or lethal.>
Currently, I change the carbon filter every two weeks,
<Get rid of this, and add more biological media, e.g., sponges or
ceramic noodles. Do read what the different types of media do. Carbon
has very, VERY specific applications and in most community tanks does
nothing useful. Indeed, it can even do harm by absorbing
and do a 10% water change every week, but I do not touch the Bio
<You need to be changing 25% water change every week or two, once
the filter is mature, and that takes about 6 weeks from the time the
filter was exposed to an ammonia source (whether fish, flake, or
ammonia solution). Prior to the filter being mature, and any time
ammonia and nitrite levels are above zero, you need to do more water
changes than this. 20% every day or two would be the minimum.>
Last night, when I got home from work, I found out that all the eight
Platies have Ich, but the Tetras are free from it. I suddenly realized
that Ich came with one of the females introduced lately.
<Perhaps, and stress will certainly allow Ick to emerge from the
background into a serious problem. As noted, carbon will remove Ick
medication, so remove the carbon before using such.>
I did a 10% water change, raised the temperature to 80 from 76F,
cleaned the gravel lightly and partially (I also found some tiny
snails) and today I have read all the FAQs on treatment (salt and heat)
and will treat as soon as I get home (I am at work).
<Salt/heat would be ideal in this situation.>
Can I use CopperSafe (Mardel), or Rid-Ick+, or Super Ich Cure together
Can I use Pima-fix to prevent other skin injuries and generally give
them a booster?
<Would not do this.>
Also, the tetras show no sign of Ich for now. How are the elevated
water temperature and the meds treatment going to affect them? How far
can I raise the temperature before harming them?
<Raising the temperature to 30 C/86 F is necessary here; while Neons
and Platies prefer cooler conditions -- ideally 22-24 C/72-75 F -- they
will tolerate warmer water for a couple of weeks just fine.>
I started the hobby (on the wrong foot I know) to help my 5 years-old
daughter cope with moving up to a new school - her old provider is
successfully running two saltwater tanks (29G and 125G), and she was
<I see. A fine sentiment, and I'm happy to help. But please do
visit your local library or bookstore and pick something up accessible
and relevant. Manufacturers and retailers are of variable usefulness as
sources of information -- much as they are when buying houses, cars, or
anything else. Spend a little time understanding the cycling process,
what ammonia and nitrite do to fish, and how to minimise problems
through the cycling process. I'm not wild about Neons because the
quality of farmed specimens is pretty low, and Platies vary in quality
from good to bad, but X-ray Tetras are a superb species for beginners,
one of the best in fact. In any case, to keep these together aim for
moderately hard water that is slightly basic, i.e., 10-15 degrees dH,
pH 7-7.5. Softer water will kill Platies quickly, and harder water will
dramatically shorten the lives of your Neons. X-ray Tetras are very
adaptable, and do well in both hard and soft water, one reason I like
them. As for temperature, as stated above, 22-24 C/72-75 F should be
Now I am genuinely 'attached' to all my fish, and hate to see
Again, thank you for your time.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: What is wrong with my Platys? Am I doing everything correctly?
I have lost 3 fish: 1 female Platy (the first one I noticed with Ich),
and 2 Neons (I suspect for the 86F temperature raise). I also noticed
that one Pristella is affected by Fin Rot. Can I treat him/her with
antibiotic as Maracyn products from Mardel?
<Yes; little choice in fact -- untreated Finrot quickly turns into
Septicaemia, and that kills within days.>
Or do you have any suggestions? I am trying to 'do damage
control/salvage as many as I can'. The other Platies Pristella and
Neons only show signs of Ich.
<Do the salt/heat thing, but do understand it *doesn't* stop the
white spots, it kills the free-living stage, so you do have to wait a
few days to see results.>
I read all your suggested readings, and I am looking for a good
informative book on aquaria in use in the US. When I read the WWM
article on Tank Set-up, I performed everything it says, EXCEPT the most
vital steps like performing quarantine on fish and plants, and letting
a local LFS sell me too many fish to start the cycle.
<Ah, I see'¦>
If I end up losing all of them, I will let the tank run fallow, and
<By all means do so, but keep adding small pinches of fish flake
every day otherwise without ammonia in the system (ordinarily from the
fish) the filter bacteria will die. If left fallow for a week,
Whitespot should be exterminated, especially if kept warm as stated,
because the free-living stage needs a host within a day or two
otherwise it dies. At 30C/86F, the white spots should mature and burst
into the free-living stages within a day or so.>
I have a question: for a beginner, what is best, a 20G or a 55G?
<A bigger tank is always safer and easier, but above a certain size
maintenance becomes more difficult. For what it's worth, anything
between 30-55 gallons is a "sweet spot" in terms of healthy
fish and easy maintenance. That said, a 20 gallon tank isn't
impossible to set up; if you begin with half a dozen X-ray Tetras,
which are an excellent species, and keep them in the tank for a month
before adding, say, half a dozen Peppered or Bronze Corydoras, you
should find things very simple. With them all settled down, after
another month you might add a personality fish, perhaps one Angelfish
or a male/female pair of Banded Gouramis, these latter being very easy
to keep (unlike Dwarf Gouramis or Three-spot Gouramis!).>
Thank you for your time again.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
female platys dying (RMF?)<<Zip>>
Hi, I have had a problem lately with my platys dying. They are the only
fish in my tank that are dying. These 6 platys were raised by us in our
tank and are about 9 months old. I don't know what kind they are,
they are red. I had a snail die this summer and following that we had
one female platy die. The water quality was not good at that time, the
ammonia was high. After water changes everything settled back to
normal. However, since then we have lost 3 of the female platys and the
father of the fish.
The females have all looked pregnant, but none had a black spot. They
just looked big. I have had the water checked at our fish store each
time and they have said everything looks fine. We have not noticed any
unusual behavior, like clamped fins, or spots, or injuries etc. They
seem fine then they are dead. One female did have fry last week, we
caught 3 and are raising them, they are fine. Is there some kind of
problem with platys and pregnancy? Could there be a problem with them
mating with their siblings?
Or could something else be going on? We are at a loss, and we don't
want to keep losing these beautiful fish! Our tank is a 20 gallon tank,
we have 2 male red platys, 1 female red platy, 1 blue Mickey mouse
platy, 2 balloon mollies, 1 Gourami, 4 Danios, 2 neon tetra, an apple
snail (with 10 baby snails), a Plecostomus, and trumpet snails
everywhere. We do have hard water and a high ph 7.8-8.0. I am not sure
of the exact number. We keep the temperature at 78-80F. I appreciate
all your great info, and look
forward to your response!
<Hello Jenny. My best guess would be some sort of Mycobacteria
infection, what livebearer keepers sometimes call "Wasting
Disease". Typically infected fish lose condition rapidly -- hence
"wasting" -- but in a busy aquarium you may not notice this.
One problem with livebearers is chronic inbreeding has lowered their
overall fitness. In producing Blue Platies, Sunset Platies and so on
fish breeders have inbred closely related fish, and compared to
wild-type or even cross-breed Platies, the health of most farmed
Platies is not good. This isn't to say that they die because of
inbreeding, but environmental stress is more likely to weaken them, and
this in turn makes bacterial infections such as Mycobacteria more
Although your water has the right water chemistry for Platies, your
aquarium is much too warm for them, 22-24 C/72-75 F being optimal. So
unlike Gouramis and Mollies, but like Danios and Neons, they do need to
be kept relatively cool. Plus, while a 20-gallon tank isn't a bad
choice for Platies or Neons, and potentially smaller Gourami species,
it's far too small for true Plecostomus catfish (Pterygoplichthys
spp.), and I worry that water quality in your tank isn't as good as
you think. The fact you have a lot of Trumpet Snails suggests
overfeeding and/or under-filtering, and that in turn means ammonia,
nitrite, and nitrate may not be as low as you think they are. In short,
the Platies may simply be the "weak link" in a stressed
system, so I'd go back and look at the environment before running
to the pet store for medications (which won't cure Mycobacteria
infections anyway). Cheers, Neale.>
Emergency. Platy is sick, not swimming or eating.
<Will certainly try.>
I don't want to euthanize my platy prematurely but she is suffering
and I don't know what's wrong.
She is sitting at the bottom and gasping for air. She is no longer
eating , I tried to feed her crushed peas, bakto tabs, even a blood
worm...she wont eat anything. I am worried she is in pain.
What could be wrong?? What should I do??
Gasping for air.
Mouth isn't closing.
Looking gaunt- lost weight.
Sitting on the bottom the tank.
<This is all very unusual for Platies.>
Her tail is starting to curl in.
Her color has not changed, no marks or abnormalities. Her gills look
strained and her mouth isn't closing when she breaths. She has lost
weight. She was eating up until a few days ago. Now she is just sitting
on the bottom of the tank, she hasn't left the bottom in 3 days
Tank size: 25gallon
tank temp: 78
I do about 50% water change weekly adding aquarium salt, Nutrafin cycle
and aqua +plus, sera kH/ph plus (<-because our tap water is
<Hmm'¦ Platies do need hard water. I'd tend not to
use "potions" and instead would add Rift Valley cichlid salt
mix at 25-50% the dose recommended here:
The salt mix is very cheap to make. Increase or decrease the amount of
Epsom salt to raise or lower general hardness; increase or decrease the
amount of sodium bicarbonate to raise or lower the carbonate hardness
and therefore the pH. For a mixed community tank, the idea would be
about 10-15 degrees dH and a pH around 7.5.>
1 guppies (m)
3 platys (f)
6 fry platy (sex unknown),
2 apple snails
2 dwarf frogs
1 algae eater.
No new exposure to chemicals.
I was thinking the male guppy could had attacked her, he was acting
like a jerk so I got him 2 female guppies but the sick fish hasn't
been in contact with them yet, she is in hospital tank.
Perhaps it's swimmers bladder? Or just old age? I can't stand
to see her suffer like this, it's been 3 days. I will have to
euthanize via clove oil if I don't get closer to a solution.
thank you for your help!
Here are two video links, sorry, terrible footage, it's upside down
<It's very difficult to say. How old is this Platy? They
don't usually live for more than 4-5 years. But in any case, my
feeling here is that this is something bacterial. In the US your best
approach would be a combination of Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2, but outside
the US antibiotics for fish need to be obtained from a vet.
Unfortunately my suspicion here is that you're dealing with what is
sometimes called Wasting Disease, and the bacteria responsible, such as
Mycobacteria and Nocardia, are essentially impossible to treat. Note
that these diseases may come with your fish when you buy them, but most
often they only become a problem when a fish is stressed, which is why
water quality and water chemistry are so important. Platies also
dislike warm water, so you're aiming for 22-24 C/72-75 F.
What's the water chemistry in the hospital tank? I'm a bit
concerned that you are altering water chemistry using a product like
Sera KH Plus without actually knowing what it does. In the wrong hands
these potions can be lethal! Whatever else you do, I'd wean
yourself off the Sera product unless you're absolutely sure it is
providing you with water chemistry in the safe zone for Platies: 10-20
degrees dH, 5-15 degrees KH, and pH 7.5-8.5. Depending on how soft your
tap water is, the Rift Valley salt mix at 25-50% the recommended dose
should provide these conditions. Don't change the water chemistry
all at once! But over a month or so, with each 20-25% water change you
do at the weekend, replace old water with new water that has the Epsom
salt, sodium bicarbonate, and marine aquarium salt mix added. Only tiny
amounts are needed, and the packages of each should last years, so this
is very economical. Let's say you change 5 gallons, then
one-quarter to one-half tablespoon of Epsom salt would be added,
one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate, and one-quarter
to one-half teaspoon of marine aquarium salt. Stir them in, let the
water stand for 20 minutes. For the first couple of times you do this,
use your water chemistry kit to check the water chemistry; at the very
least, do a pH test, and if it's about 7.5, you're probably
fine. Then add to the aquarium. Easy! I hope this helps. Cheers,
Re: Emergency. Platy is sick, not swimming or eating.
Thanks Neale. I was too late to save Silver, she was too far gone and I
couldn't let her suffering continue. I will wean of Sera and use
salt instead. Great advice. Thanks.
<Sorry to hear the bad news. Good luck with your remaining fish. Do
be careful when adjusting water chemistry. Cheers, Neale.>
Odd platy illness 9/3/10
<Hello again Patrick,>
I have emailed your team once before about a female platy that became
weak with what I suspected initially to be a swim bladder problem but
had a hunch it may have been some kind of parasite or wasting
<Indeed; the latter, some type of Mycobacteria infection, is quite
common in farmed livebearers.>
She did, unfortunately pass away. A couple of weeks later and another
female platy has shown some signs of illness which are not too
dissimilar (hiding, slowness, wasting away, not eating, pale colour but
<Oh dear. Mycobacteria is incurable, but it may be triggered by diet
or environmental issues.
Not much you can do about it once it appears.>
I have separated her into a hospital tank and have treated her with the
Interpet internal bacteria treatment (and have removed the carbon
filter as usual) - currently three days into the treatment.
<Would be staggered if this medication helped. I've yet to see
Interpet Internal Bacteria cure anything.>
All tanks are 3 months mature (Ammonia zero, Nitrite zero-0.1ppm and
nitrates usually around 5-10ppm). Her symptoms began a few days after I
had placed her (and another female) with a male platy for breeding
purposes (about an hour) and then put her back into the female only
tank. A few
days after, she began to hide and would not eat. Currently, she is much
thinner and paler, attempts to nibble occasionally but nothing seems to
go in and she is passing white stringy waste which I assume is a sure
sign of an internal parasite.
<Yes and no. Like all herbivores, Platies consume a lot of food and
produce a lot of waste. Constipation is common if fed primarily flake.
Quite minor dietary changes can result in odd quantities of faeces.
Unless the faeces are unusually clear -- i.e., mostly mucous -- I
wouldn't be too alarmed.>
Today, I noticed that she was turning sideways to rub her body against
the gravel. Any ideas what she is suffering from? She is looking much
thinner. What should I do to aid treatment further?
Kindest regards, Patrick
<If this is Wasting Disease, i.e., a Mycobacteriosis or nocardiosis,
there isn't much you can do. Do read WWM re: euthanasia. Take care
not cross-infect any other aquaria you have, e.g., by sharing nets or
buckets without sterilising them first. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Odd platy illness 9/3/10
Many thanks Neale - your team are the best!
I'll watch her for a few days and then if she fails to show any
signs of recovery, I'll do the clover oil and vodka session ;-(
<Glad to help. Good luck, Neale.>
Brackish water and Guppies?
Yesterday, my favorite very unique Platy showed the very
beginning signs of sickness that leads to rapid death.
<I see. One problem with farmed livebearers is a certain
tendency towards Mycobacteria infections, typically associated
with red sores on the bodies, wasting, and then death. Not much
you can do about that. But otherwise livebearers tend to be quite
tough, if given the right conditions. In the case of Platies,
cool, moderately hard, basic water is what you want; 22-24 C, 10+
degrees dH, pH 7-8.>
I have had many fish that have died and know the signs. But
loosing this platy would of sent me over the edge so I took a
bold step and added 2 gallons of Spring water that I put 1
tablespoon of aquarium salt in each.
<Okay. Now, do understand that while salt can help, it's
not a miracle.
Among other misconceptions, recall that salt doesn't do
anything to raise hardness. So if you have soft water, salt
isn't what you want, at least, not on its own. Marine
aquarium salt mix is somewhat different because it includes other
minerals that do raise hardness and pH, and 5-6 grammes/litre
would be easily tolerated by Platies and indeed all other
Unfortunately this was my first time using salt so I was unaware
to make sure it was completely dissolved and melted.
<It's not a big deal, so don't panic about this. A few
grains of undissolved salt won't kill your fish.>
I than added an air stone to help circulate more oxygen into the
<Good. In summer especially Platies can easily be overheated
25 C/77 F is really at the top end of their comfort zone, and
they're far healthier kept cooler than that.>
This is a 10 gal tank that has been cycled along time ago.
<A bit on the small side for Platies, to be honest. Stress
between fighting males, or males harassing pregnant females, can
lead to "unexplained" deaths.>
All I have in the tank are 2 platy's and 1 guppy. Let me back
up and say that I lost an additional platy that was in this tank,
only a few days ago.
I did not have any nitrate/ammonia test strips at home so I had
to make a quick guess.
<You should have these two test kits: pH and nitrite (nitrite
with an "i", not nitrate with an "a"). If you
give me these two pieces of information, I can be A LOT more
Well the moment I added the salt & air stone the platy I love
came out of hiding and looking sick, and started to soar all over
the tank, and is doing just fine. I was so excited as this is the
first time I have been able to reverse a death. However the guppy
after only one night in the brackish tank, has taken fatally ill.
The last time I saw him this morning he was shaking under a rock,
and now I have come home 6 hours later and he is nowhere to be
<The amount of salt you added, 1 tablespoon/3 teaspoons per US
gallon is not that much. I actually prefer weights because not
everyone's spoons are the same sizes! One level teaspoon of
salt should be about 6 grammes, which is very easy to remember. A
tablespoon will be three times that, i.e., 18 grammes. Normal
seawater contains about 35 grammes of marine salt mix per litre,
or about 6 teaspoons. One US gallon is 3.8 litres, so that's
133 grammes per US gallon. The reason I'm telling you all
this is to point out that your roughly 18 grammes of salt per
gallon, or 4.7 grammes per litre, is about one-seventh (14%) the
salinity of normal seawater. That's well within the
tolerances of Guppies and Platies. So there's no reason at
all to imagine the salt killed either fish.>
I have not removed everything yet to find him. As the tank was
just cleaned and set back up and the air stone is just
<Okay. But you really do need to test the pH (to see if the
water chemistry is right for livebearers) and the nitrite (to
make sure water quality is good). You want a pH around 7.5, and a
nitrite level of zero.>
Questions: Is the salt compatible with guppies (brackish
<Yes. In fact Guppies are arguably happier and healthier in
slightly brackish water. Certainly they do better in such
conditions than they will do in soft water.>
And how long can I leave the guppy "lost" or dead
before I have to find him?
<If he's alive, you should see him within the next day or
two. Check he hasn't jumped out, swum into the filter, got
stuck behind objects inside the tank, etc.>
Will disease travel throughout the tank if not removed
<Depends on the disease. Many are opportunistic, and they
exists in most aquaria all the time. They only cause problems
when we, the aquarists, stress our fish and weaken their immune
If I find him, alive but sick, is there anything I can do for the
<Depends on what's wrong with him. You haven't really
supplied me with any useful information on water chemistry or
water quality. Without lists of symptoms, or a photo (no bigger
than about 500 KB!) I can't say anything at all about
If I take him out of the brackish water the tank I put him in
will not have cycled water in it?
<And that would be bad.>
I appreciate your help.
Re: Update: Brackish water and Guppies?
In response to some of your questions below; first let me state
none of my fish are female livebearers.
All 3 fish are MALE 2 small Platies and 1 guppy, so I thought a
10 gal was more than adequate.
<Not the case, unfortunately. Males will squabble in tanks
I was able to test the water today and it appears the Nitrate is
in caution (20ppm) the nitrite is perfect! (0) The hardness is
ideal (300ppm). The alkalinity is high (300ppm) and the PH is
between 8-8.5 Please tell me what I should do to correct any of
<Nothing. That's all fine for livebearers.>
The guppy (which I found) is real lethargic sitting behind the
filter canister, the platy that seemed to come back from the dead
yesterday has been hiding under a rock ledge, and my other platy
who has not showed any sign of distress is now inside the tunnel
<Could be stress from fighting. But my gut feeling is
Mycobacteriosis, sometimes called Wasting Disease. This is very
common among livebearers.
For some reason juveniles don't often show the symptoms, but
as the fish mature they start to waste away, getting thinner and
often exhibiting poor colouration and sores on their flanks.
It's essentially incurable and very contagious, so it's
important to euthanise infected fish and isolate the affected
tank from any others in your house, e.g., by not sharing nets or
Water quality seems fine, and water chemistry shouldn't be a
Help! What do I need to do? Can I save them??
<Sorry I can't offer any better advice. A photo of the
ailing fish would really help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Update and photos 9/3/10
I appreciate all your advice, but still you keep making reference
to livebearers, which I thought were only females?
<Nope. "Livebearers" is the word given to species
that produce fully-formed young rather than eggs. Both male and
female Guppies and Platies are livebearers. Just the same way
both men and women are placental mammals, even though it's
only women who get pregnant.>
and my fish are male. They never fight. Because their is nothing
to fight over.
<If you say so.>
No females ever in the house/tank. I have attached some pics
however I am afraid they are not clear enough very hard to
<Indeed. With respect, blurry photos don't help me at all.
I can't really tell anything about the fish from that photo.
Do use the "macro" setting on your camera, and
you'll find close-up shots easier to take.>
The yellow one is the guppy that is very sick, sits by back of
filter, but will come out and swim all around and eat. The orange
platy appears to be fine. The white spotted Platies (very rare
gorgeous fish) is the one I love the most.
His color is very brilliant white not faded at all. but his gills
are red and look a little swollen but seem to have always been
like that. These 3 fish have been in this tank for at least 6
months if not longer. Other fish have passed on but it never
<Do understand that Guppies and Platies should live 3-4 years.
If they only live for a year, then something may be amiss with
the aquarium or the way you are keeping them. Review the needs of
Also review the basics of fishkeeping:
Be under no illusion about this: 99% of premature deaths in
aquaria are caused by the fishkeeper doing something wrong. In
the right conditions, fish are much less likely to get sick than
most other pet animals.>
This gut feeling you have about Mycobacteriosis does it affect
and will they still be so eager to eat, as mine are?
<Generally no. So that's a good sign. If Mycobacteriosis
isn't the issue, review Finrot, which affects the fins and
skin and looks like red or white patches. Finrot is almost always
caused by either physical damage or poor environmental
conditions. It's easy enough to cure if caught early, but you
do need to provide the right living conditions for them to
They come running out of hiding and scarf the food down. Very
strange. I also thought maybe the airstone bubbles/noise could be
spooking them or is stressful, hence making them hide.
<Possibly; Guppies dislike strong water currents, but at the
same time, one small airstone shouldn't be a big
Won't more salt be helpful to stop the infection from
spreading so quickly?
<No, salt doesn't have any effect on Finrot or bacterial
infections. Marine fish can get Finrot, and they're kept in
seawater! Anyone who tells you salt helps cure bacterial diseases
is an idiot.>
Or other bacteria kill stuff?
<If by "bacteria kill stuff" you mean an antibiotic
medication like Maracyn, or an antimicrobial product like eSHa
2000, then yes, that can help.>
|Pix too poor to be of use
Re: macro pics 9/4/10
I am going to try one more time. I have attached 3 pix of
Butter Cup the yellow guppy. I know it still may be hard to
see the coat of his body.
<Still impossible to see anything. If the image
isn't sharp, it's useless. Try, try, and try again,
I'm afraid! Don't point the camera directly at the
glass because then it acts like a mirror; angle the camera
so you're pointing slightly below or above the fish.
The flash won't bounce off the glass so badly.>
His fins look good to me no rot, however his gills are
severely deformed and I think you can notice that a bit in
the photo's, can you see it?
<Not really. But anyway, if the deformity to the gill
covers have always been there, then the chances are
they're not the cause of sickness. If the gills have
suddenly become deformed, then that's another issue,
and most likely an issue connected to water
Other than a slight bent posture which he always had that I
thought was odd, the gills are the only thing looking
really wrong. In the first pix as luck has it, there is a
pretty good shot of Paprika the spotted platy with the
orange tail. She looks okay to me, except as you can see
the pix her gills are very red. Is this normal?
<Not normal. You shouldn't normally see the red gill
filaments at all. In some cases inbreeding means that the
gill covers are deformed and the gill filaments are more
obvious. While such fish might be marginally more delicate,
there's no particular reason deformed gill covers
should cause sickness. But as stated before, if the gills
have suddenly become deformed or more obviously red, then
that's a problem.>
One more issue I do have a lot of direct sunlight from a
sky light just above the tank, sometimes during peak time I
will shade the tank with a towel. However I do have a lot
of algae. I try and clean it off often. However I am
wondering if algae can cause sickness?
<No, but overheating if temperature goes up dramatically
can stress fish.>
What is the best way to control Algae?
Usually the addition of fast-growing plants under bright
lighting is required. The addition of algae-eating Nerite
snails may help, but every time you add an animal to an
aquarium you make water conditions worse. Shops will sell
you algae-eating fish, but mostly these are more trouble
than they're worth, especially the cheap "Chinese
Algae Eaters" and common Plecs.>
Lastly, if your advice is still euthanasia. Which is the
most humane way? I heard to drop the fish in ice cold
water, I also heard let it freeze slowly to death in the
the Internet says to smash its head with a hammer. I am
afraid I could not do that one. If we are sure. I don't
want to see the little guy suffer, so please let me know
your preferred method.
<Do read here:
Once again Thank you very much, I appreciate all the advice
you are giving me.
<Always glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Platy with swim bladder disorder? 08/06/2010
My female platy was found stuck to the tank filter a few days ago.
After turning it off, I noticed she wasn't able to swim so well and
had a slight lump where she had been stuck. An hour later, same thing
happened. I moved her to a hospital tank as she was unable to swim well
(slow movement with sudden small jerk plus wobbles from side to side) -
ammonia and nitrite zero, nitrate at normal London levels. I treated
the tank with Interpet's Swim Bladder medication and added aquatic
salts as stated on the packet. I tried her on a crushed frozen pea
(cooked first obviously) but she didn't eat it. After several days,
there appears no improvement although she is desperately trying to eat
some small fish flakes on the surface and has passed some fish pooh - I
am assuming this is a good sign.
I've put in a small filter although she gets blown about even by
the smallest of water jets. Should I continue the medication for the
full 12 days? Could it be something else?
<Hmm... could maybe be constipation or something digestive. I might
try feeding some greens (chopped up romaine lettuce, spinach, peas,
Dr Patrick Nunn
very skinny platy 8/2/10
I'm really baffled about one of my fish. About 4 weeks ago I
noticed my orange platy laying at the bottom of the tank and she
appeared to be pregnant, so I moved her to a 2.5 gal tank along with a
<As a rule, moving fish from proper-sized tanks to silly-small ones
like this doesn't usually do any good. It'd be kind of like
having a hospital in a cramped, damp basement. Wherever you move sick
fish to, conditions have
to be *at least as good* as where the fish is coming from. Since
Platies need 15+ gallons for regular maintenance, I'd not consider
anything below 8-10 gallons useful in terms if a hospital tank.>
This tank is a little warmer and has more hiding places so they can
have their babies in peace and comfort.
<Platies don't like warmth; optimal temperature range for the
standard sort is 22-24 C/72-75 F, and a couple of degrees cooler for
About two days later she was back to her normal size and swimming at
the top of the tank. I assumed she had her babies though I didn't
see any. I put her back in the regular tank and checked for the babies.
I removed all
plants, stored the gravel and even checked the filter...no fry.
<Cannibalism is not uncommon, and miscarriages frequently follow on
from stress, e.g., by confining Platies in too-small aquarium or
Then a few days later I saw her laying at the bottom of the tank until
I got closer, then she swam to the top for food. I noticed she was
I assumed she'd die soon but 3 weeks later she's still alive,
eager to eat but still lays at the bottom of the tank until I come by
to feed them. She doesn't gain any weight no matter how much I feed
<I'd try deworming before anything else.>
There are 3 other platys in the tank and several guppies. They show no
signs of sickness. Just this one. I'm a fairly seasoned fish owner.
About 2 yrs now. Started with goldfish, moved to African Cichlids and
since I needed to do something with my 10 gal tank I decided to get
some guppies and platys.
<10 gallons is really not big enough for either species. I'm
sure you've noticed aggression between males and from males towards
females. Plus, in a tank this small females can't find much
shelter, so they're prone to miscarriages.>
I've made a lot of mistakes and learned from them all and now have
very healthy tanks. But this one fish has me stumped. What could
possibly be wrong with her and what should I do? Thanks for your
<I'd go with worms. In any case, check water chemistry and water
temperature are in the zone for Platies, i.e., pH 7-8, 10-20 degrees
dH, and temperature as stated above. Guppies tend to prefer warmer
water, so the two species aren't really compatible.>
P.S. I love your site. It's been really helpful these past few
years : )
<Thanks for your kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: very skinny platy 8/3/10
Thank you so much for your help. It really explains a lot. Looks like
I'm still learning : )
<Happy to help. Good luck, Neale.>
Platy Tank Needs Help! - 8/1/10
I have had my 20g long tank for 2 years. I currently have 3 neon and 9
Platies of different varieties (Mickey Mouse, Red Tail, Bumble bee...)
3 of those Platies are still small. They were born in our tank several
ago. The tank has a carbon filter, about 1" of gravel, plenty of
areas to hide, an aeration tube (?) along the back wall, and plastic
and live plants. Temperature is 81 degrees,
<Insanely warm for Platies! Honestly, 22-24 C/72-75 F is the ideal
ammonia is 0, ph is 7.5. The tank is salted with aquarium salt.
<No particular need for salt unless you live in a soft water
The problem is this. A few weeks ago, one of my Platies developed a
flat underside. She got very thin and her belly actually went concave.
I moved her to my sick tank. When I checked on line, I read that it
could be TB or
parasites. She was suffering, so I euthanized her. Last week, I saw
another platy looking the same. I moved her to my sick tank, and by
morning, she had died. 2 days ago, I found my algae eater dead too.
<What sort of algae eater?>
I also saw that my one male platy has stringy white poop. I read that
that could be parasites or poor diet. Since I was feeding tropical
flakes alternated with vegetarian crisps, I didn't think that was
the problem. But I did decide to vary the diet (hoping it was a diet
problem, NOT the parasites). I saw that I could feed my Platies cooked
peas. I shelled the peas, fed it to them and they loved them! A week
ago, I also added a new live plant. It is a large one that has a large
<What sort of plant? I ask because a lot of beginners who don't
know the names of their plants buy non-aquatic plants. It's
terrible, but MANY aquarium shops sell such plants: Dracaena, Lucky
Bamboo, etc. And yes, these die underwater, and yes, as they do so they
rot and ruin water quality.>
Now I have 3 female Platies (1 obviously pregnant one and 1 fry) with
clamped fins. They are also hanging out at the top of the tank, mouths
by the water. I am not sure what is wrong. I took the new plant out,
wondering if it was somehow causing the stress. I have done 2 - 30%
water changes this week. Also, I have added more salt to the water to
help with their stress.
<Go easy with the salt. For Platies, a good therapeutic dose would
be around 1-2 grammes per litre.>
I am afraid that all of my fish are going to die if I do not do
something quick. I appreciate any advice you can give me!
<Do check you have moderately hard to hard water; without this,
Platies won't thrive. Intestinal worms such as Camallanus worms are
quite common among livebearers, and this will need to be treated with a
antihelminthic. "Fish TB" isn't common, and most people
who mention this disease have no real idea what it actually is. On the
other hand, similar Mycobacterium infections are quite common,
especially in poor environmental conditions. Do review here:
Platies and Stubborn Aquarium 7/27/10
Once again, I find myself in need of your infinite aquatic
Before I go into details, here are my readings (taken today using
the API Freshwater Master Test Kit):
pH = 8.2 (is this too high???)
<Not for Platies, no.>
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 30 ppm (is this okay???)
55 gallon freshwater (with added aquarium salt one tablespoon to
every 5 gallons)
Aqua-Tech 30/60 filter (330 gph - is this enough?)
Top Fin AIR-4000 Air Pump for bubble wall
6 Adult Platies (4 females, 2 males) and 2 Junior Platies (4
*has been set-up and running with fish for approximately 1
A bit of history - A few weeks back I treated my fairly new tank
with an anti-parasitic medication (containing Metronidazole). The
medication instructed me to do a partial water change upon
completion of administration. After doing the two 48 hour
treatments, I did a 25% water change. In this email, I have
included pictures of my problem fish/other problems for your
viewing pleasure (and/or assistance in
About a week ago (7/20), I noticed my Mickey Platy had a strange
red spot on her and was taking large, rapid breaths **see pic**.
Her demeanor and appetite had not changed at all. On this same
day I saw that one of my other female Platies' fin was torn.
Her top (dorsal?) fin was split, but had no discoloration or
necrotic appearance. I had noticed prior to this that she had not
been pregnant in a while (which is quite unusual for them). She
appeared a bit skinny, but her appetite and demeanor were fine.
With these developments I thought it wise to get my water tested.
I took it up to the pet store and my usual helper tested it and
said that everything was "fine" except for the ammonia
level which was extremely high.
<Ah, yes, like the French aristocrat who said he felt fine
apart from having just had his head cut off. Seriously, ammonia
throws any ideas of "fine" out of the window, and your
fish were very likely sick because of this. Once the cycling is
done, you shouldn't ever detect ammonia, though do test your
tap water as well, because some test kits will detect chloramine
as ammonia, confusing things greatly. Assuming you have a water
conditioner that treats tap water ammonia and chloramine, you
shouldn't have to worry about this either, provided any
'false' readings of ammonia you detect in the tap water
are identical to readings you detect in your aquarium.>
He assured me that this was probably just the new tank cycling
and that it should straighten out on its own. As soon as I got
home I began my research on high ammonia levels and found my
fish's symptoms fit ammonia poisoning. Many places said to
limit feeding, so I fed nothing for one day, a few flakes the
next day, and nothing the following day. I have since been
keeping up with the light feeding, because I suspect I was
probably feeding too much (the little beggars are hard to
<Indeed. A piece of lettuce or cucumber will give them
something to eat without adding ammonia to the system. Platies
are herbivores, and the more fresh greens, the better.>
Hoping my water had improved so that I could get 2 more adult
female Platies, I took my water up to be tested again on 7/24. My
usual helper said that my ammonia was normal but now my nitrites
<There is no normal ammonia level above zero.>
He said this was a typical reaction to the high ammonia, but
encouraged me to use a product called Prime, which according to
the label "may be added to aquarium directly, but is better
if added to new water first".
<Prime is an excellent water conditioner. BUT, it is not an
additive to add to an aquarium! It won't make ammonia go away
if the ammonia is being constantly produced by the fish! Prime is
a one-shot deal for the ammonia that comes with tap water. After
that, it does nothing. It's like assuming that by vacuuming
your carpet you'll stop it getting dirty again.>
I purchased the product and treated the tank as directed as soon
as I got home. By this time the Platy with the fin rot (suspect)
had developed the red spots as well. She has one on her lip and
one on her side near her gill. She has also been swimming around
with clamped fins for a few days **see pic**. Her appetite is
still fine, and she swims around plenty but is not hanging out
with the rest of the crowd very much. I am wondering if the red
spots (they look kind of vessel-like, similar to a varicose vein
on a person's leg only much smaller) are ammonia burns or
internal bleeding or something else entirely.
<Likely a bacterial infection.>
Also, will they ever get better or go away?
<Yes and yes given the right environment and suitable
medication, in this case for internal bacterial infections, e.g.,
Neither fish seems to be any better although my water has
somewhat stabilized. The Mickey Platy is very pregnant, and I am
concerned that all of this may cause her to abort the pregnancy,
and if it does, will she be okay?
Along with all of the fishy problems, I have also acquired a
growth of what appears to be algae **see pic**. I have never had
this problem before and my other tank is just fine. They are out
of direct sunlight, but I do leave their light on for 10-12 hours
per day (but this has never caused any issues in my other tanks).
For the past two days I have been keeping the light off and only
turn it on for about 30 minutes for feeding in hopes to stop the
growth. The algae was never a bright green, just kind of army
<Diatoms, probably. Quite normal in new tanks. Often goes away
It has been developing for about a week - or so I think. My
questions are how do I get rid of it do I have to go scrub
everything down or could I just get a snail or small Plecostomus
to do the job?
<Would not get a catfish just yet, and definitely not a Plec,
your tank is far too small. Nerite snails would be the best
choices, one per 5 gallons, but wait 6-8 weeks before adding
them. Less effective would be a Bristlenose Plec, Ancistrus sp.,
but at least this catfish stays small. Otocinclus are NOT an
option here -- your water quality and water chemistry are all
wrong. In the meantime, ignore the algae.>
And if I go the Plecostomus route, will it eat my future fry?
<A Bristlenose Plec will not eat livebearer fry, no. Nor will
One final issue to address is my water clarity. It is not really
lucky (yes, that is my scientific term), but just isn't
crystal clear. There is a slight cloudiness - Why?
<Diatom bloom; common in new/unstable tanks. Goes away in
Thank you so much for your help! I am admittedly a novice
aquarist, but I do enjoy my little colorful friends (initially
bought for feline viewing entertainment). I have gotten way more
absorbed with this hobby than I ever intended to, but my cats
love their fish and I find them fascinating as well!
<Glad you're having fun. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Platies and Stubborn Aquarium 7/28/10
Thank you for responding so quickly to my previous email
I have a few questions about your responses and would greatly
appreciate your opinion:
1. When treating with Maracyn for the bacterial infection
mentioned in my previous email, should I set up a hospital tank
for the two fish showing signs/symptoms or should I just treat
the whole tank?
<Either. If you have a hospital tank with good water quality
and a cycled filter then sure, you can treat fish in there. But
there's no point moving them to a tank without a cycled
2. Also, will Maracyn kill small fry (the Mickey Platy that I
mentioned earlier had her fry yesterday)?
<Won't harm them.>
3. Is it best to use the Maracyn/Maracyn 2 powders or the Maracyn
<I haven't used any of them -- they aren't sold in the
UK -- but anything with erythromycin, Minocycline or tetracycline
4. When getting Nerite snails, is it okay to get fewer than 1 per
5 gallons, or is this the recommended amount?
<Certainly don't use more than that, otherwise they're
likely to starve.
The thing with Nerites is they only eat diatoms and green algae,
and if they are overstocked then there won't be enough in the
algae in the tank for them. One per 5 gallons seems to work
5. Are they messy and difficult to maintain?
<Far from it.>
6. Do I need to provide a source of food for them?
<Not really. They mostly eat algae, though they'll
certainly eat a little leftover fish food.>
7. Do they reproduce extensively like other snails?
<They don't breed at all in freshwater aquaria. Most seem
to need brackish or marine conditions to complete their life
8. Why is it important that I wait 6-8 weeks before getting
<Nerite snails come from clear, clean streams. They are very
intolerant of ammonia and nitrite. So they should only be put in
a mature aquarium. They also eat almost entirely diatoms and
green algae and nothing else, and if
put in a brand new tank would likely starve.>
Platy Parasites 7/3/10
I come to you today with what I believe is a parasite problem
(though I am no expert - hence why I turn to you). Approximately
a week and a half ago, I noticed that my two juvenile Mickey
Mouse Platies (3.5 months old) were
having strange poo. It looks like a very thin, clearish white
string with small, clearish white sacks or balls every centimeter
or so. The string stays intact for quite awhile, not
disconnecting until after approx. 2.5 centimeters in length.
<May be parasitic to be sure, but also review diet. Platies
are herbivores in the wild, and need a good quota of plant-based
food to do well.
Spirulina flake makes a good basic foodstuff, plus things like
cooked peas, cooked spinach, Sushi Nori, and slivers of cucumber
and blanched lettuce leaves. Restrict meaty foods -- including
regular flake food -- to the minority portion of their diet, say
2-3 times a week. Bear in mind that regular fish often do
perfectly well on Spirulina flake, so in and of itself this
"vegetarian" diet doesn't cause serious problems in
most aquaria. Avoid things like freeze-dried bloodworms and the
like because these high-protein, low-moisture foods tend to cause
constipation in herbivorous fish. Again, you can use them
occasionally, maybe once a week, but that's it.>
I have tried to take picture, but my camera is slow and not able
to catch the picture before the fish moves. I have drawn an
example and attached it to this email. Anyway, I waited to see if
they still had it the next day after I fed them. I found that
they had their normal poo shortly after eating, but also had the
stringy stuff later in the day. A few days after noticing my
juveniles with the stringy poo, my adult Platies seem to be
showing the same problem.
The juveniles have become anorexic and lethargic, not swimming
<A bad sign.>
Their color has faded slightly and they do not greet me at the
surface for food, which is very unusual. The adults seem fine
personality wise, but have not been exhibiting symptoms as long
as the juveniles, so I am sure they will get lethargic and
anorexic eventually. I forgot to mention that I feed frozen
bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp, and flakes (I rotate to provide
variety). I feed once daily. The only fish that I have are
Platies - 6 adults (2 male, 4 female), 2 juvenile, and around 20
ranging in age from 3 weeks to 2 months. I frequently take my
water up to the store to get tested and they always tell me
it's perfect, but they don't give me specific
<I really do need the numbers here to say anything sensible.
Retailers may or may not be telling you the whole story here.
Just to recap, for Platies you need the following: Hard, basic
water (10+ degrees dH, pH 7.5-8); 0 ammonia and nitrite; and a
low to middling temperature, 22-24 C/72-75 F. Soft water, acidic
water, warm water, and poor water quality will make Platies
While this was all going on, I was in the process of setting up
my new 55 gallon and planning to move my adult and older juvenile
Platies once it had been set up. A week ago I went to my local
pet store and talked to the guy in the aquarium section and
described my situation. He said that they probably had hookworms
and told me to use API Pro Series General Cure Anti-Parasitic
Fish Medication. He said that it would probably kill my fry that
is less than a couple months old (of which I have like 20). I
decided to wait until I got my new tank set up, transfer the
bigger fish that needed treating, and then treat them in
<Generally, medications that work on adults to little/no harm
to fry. Even if they do, it's a price worth paying. So
treating fish is the priority here. If you have healthy Platies,
you'll soon have LOTS of fry!>
I have had my 6 adult Platies and 2 juveniles in the new tank for
a few days, and am ready to treat now. I wanted to wait a few
days so that it wasn't a whole bunch of stress all at once. I
am uneasy of treating because I have to remove the charcoal
filter and put the powder in the entire tank once, wait 48 hrs,
and then do it again. Before I took this major step, I wanted to
check with ya'll - the experts! Is this the right medication?
What kind of parasite is it most likely? Can I get the
<Could be worms, though this is difficult to say without a
Camallanus is the most common worm parasite among livebearers,
and though it doesn't seem common here in the UK -- I've
never seen it -- it does seem to be quite prevalent in the US.
Treatment is possible. Levamisole, Piperazine and Praziquantel
are often recommended, but don't work as reliably as either
Flubendazole. Your options may be limited by what's available
to you via your retailer (in the US) or your vet (the rest of the
The tank that they are currently living in is a 55g with a Tetra
Whisper 60 filter system. I keep it at a constant 80 degrees. I
put aquarium salt in the tank (as I do with my other tank as
well) - 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water. I hope this helps!
Thanks for your help!
<Do read here:
With all this said, I'm not 100% sure worms are the issue
here, and some protozoan parasites can cause copious production
of faeces together with wasting; Hexamita is the classic example,
though this is primarily an issue
with cichlids and other perch-like fish rather than livebearers,
though it certainly can affect livebearers. Hexamita typically
causes problems when fish are stressed, often for dietary reasons
or poor water quality. Do read:
The medication used is Metronidazole, again from your retailer or
vet depending on where you live. Cheers, Neale.>
Platy, Molly and Frog in 1.5 gallons; ooh, surprise,
they're dying! 6/1/10
I'm really quite new to this owning frogs and fish business.
<Indeed. Do read.
Do a degree, most problems come with keeping the wrong fish in the
wrong-sized aquarium in the wrong set of environmental
I have two African Dwarf Frogs, a Sunburst Wag Platy, and a Dalmatian
<Mollies are not really compatible with these other animals. While
Dwarf Frogs and Platies should get along fine provided the water
isn't too warm, Mollies need much warmer water and typically need
slightly saline conditions.
If you have hard water and keep the aquarium water very clean -- by
which I mean 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and less than 20 mg/l nitrate -- the
Molly may be okay. But it's difficult to predict.>
I've only had them for a couple weeks but the very next day after I
clean the tank (1.5 gallon)
<Far too small; these animals WILL die in there. The frogs may be
viable in 5 gallons, the Platies need at least 15 gallons, and the
Mollies 20 gallons+. It's not just about swimming space, though
that's important; it's also about social behaviour and their
sensitivity to changes in water quality and water chemistry. Very small
containers of water expose livestock to constant changes in conditions,
and inevitably this leads to death. Me telling you anything else is a
total waste of time unless you upgrade this aquarium to at least 20
it gets cloudy and this white, cloudy, cotton like weird stuff forms at
the bottom of my tank.
<Fungus and bacteria consuming organic waste, essentially doing the
same thing as mould on bad cheese.>
I have no idea what this is and it spreads really fast.
<Because the aquarium is too small, overstocked, and
Within two days the water in my tank is so bad I can't see through
to the other side and I think the nastiness of this mystery substance
killed my other Sunburst Wag Platy, though I'm not too sure.
<You are wrong. Rather, the death of the Platy and the appearance of
the white mould in the aquarium are both symptoms of the same problem:
this 'aquarium' is far too small.>
I change the filter often.
<Meaning? Do you understand that filter media needs to be cleaned,
not replaced, and that it takes 6 weeks for cycling to take place
before the filter can effectively remove ammonia? Furthermore, in a
tank this small, no amount of filtration will save the fish.>
I've tried using a product called Clear Fast by Nutrafin which says
it is supposed to make a difference in the water within 3 hours.
I've never seen a change for the better.
<Indeed not; you've replace lack of knowledge with blind faith
in marketing. The Capitalist Way perhaps, but not particularly
Also upon reading the question/answers I've seen some people say
they only feed their fish every other day.
<Depends on the fish. Frogs need not be fed every singly day, but
Platies certainly should receive a small meal of algae-based flake food
once or twice per day. Problem is, in a tank much smaller than 15
gallons, any amount of feeding Platies properly will overload the
Am I not supposed to feed mine every day? I feed my frogs little foggy
bites from HBH (though they don't often eat that, they do eat the
fish flakes). Is that bad?
<Least of your problems.>
Thanks for your time,
<You need to do some serious reading. You ARE killing these animals
through ignorance of their basic requirements. Hope this helps.
Sunshine Platy: New FW system. Platy Health.
Several possible causes. 5/16/2010
HI All At WWM
<Hi Jack and Wendy.>
We are new to fishkeeping.
<Welcome to the hobby!>
We have set up a tropical tank with advice from the local recommended
we set up for 1 week without fish, added 5 plants, temp stable, a
fishkeeping friend and the shop stated it was time to add the fish.
We bought 4 Platies.
<Good for you on waiting a bit before adding fish. However, it
usually tanks a bit longer than that to establish some sort of
biological filtration. Please do read here:
24 hours later all going well so far, we are taking a water sample in
to the shop next week.
<Do invest in a basic water test kit - it makes diagnosing problems
in the tank much easier. For a basic freshwater tank, pH, ammonia,
nitrIte, and nitrAte are all that is required. Do note however, that
the 'test strips' frequently sold are notoriously
However, we have a behaviour question, the Platies are mixed except one
a sunshine platy and it sits on the bottom, near the heater, does not
all with the others, or participate in feeding time behaviour.
Do you think this is bullying or do you think this is a fish that
hasn't handled the home transition and new environment as well?
<Your question begs a few questions of its own. How big is the tank
and how is the water filtered? The causes could be environmental -
ammonia buildup in the water, bullying by the other fish, or the fish
was just in poor health to begin with.(Not an uncommon event)>
Should we segregate the fish?
We have a spare tank we were going to use for marine when we build
skills and experience.
<At this time, I would not. Do change 20% of the water in your tank
and see if the fish improves.>
<Here are some articles on Platies that you should find helpful.
Regards Jack and Wendy Manchester UK
<My pleasure, Mike V, Melbourne, Florida>
Mickey Mouse Platy's and Orange Platys
Question. Intestinal Nematodes 3/3/10
We just bought 5 platy's, 2 Mickey mouse and 2 yellow
"sunset" platy's I believe they are called. We have a 10
gallon tank and they are only accompanied by 2 neon tetra's.
<Mmm, these two species of fishes "like" quite different
We feed them Tetra tropical flakes, as advised by our aquarium store.
All of our water tests have been coming
back at a normal quality, and overall everything is going well. My
question is that today we noticed that our two yellow platy's have
orange string like things protruding from their abdomen. My husband
thought it was feces but
it hasn't fallen off of them, it is just hang from their bodies. Is
that normal, or could their be something wrong with them? Thank you for
<Unfortunately, this sounds/reads as a case of Camallanus...
parasitic Nematodes. Can be treated. Please read here re:
New Platy's... sys., hlth., beh.... reading --
I am really new to fish. Went from a one gal with 2 guppies to a 10gal,
after one guppy died in the 1 gal.
<Ok, to start with, 1 gallon isn't enough for fish. Period. As
for a 10 gallon tank, that's risky with Guppies. The problem is
that males are feisty, and in 10 gallon tanks tend to chase one another
and harass the females. I'd say 15 gallons is the minimum for
"easy" Guppy keeping. Do read here:
This will give you some ideas about stocking small tanks. A 10 gallon
tank might look big, but it's really tiny, and a very difficult
tank to start with.>
One original guppy is still around, did great through the cycling of my
new 10 gal which is in it's 5th week. I was told ammonia is gone
nitrates are gone but the better one nitrites ( I believe it is) are
<"Better" isn't really the word; nitrites are less
immediately poisonous than ammonia, but nitrite is *still* very
Guppy is doing fine. Then I added 3 platys 2 sunset with black tails,
and one white with black spots and deep Burgundy tail. My guppy
immediately relentlessly followed one sunset platy all around to the
point, I wanted to pull my hair out.
<See above. As I said, Guppies in 10 gallon tanks don't often
The platy appeared very stress. My original thought was to remove this
guppy back to the one gal tank with underground filter and no
<Death sentence. Do read here:
For more on Guppies.>
But as I thought more about it. I decided to isolate the extremely
stressed platy and buy the crazy guppy a guppy friend to play with.
<No, not playing. Chasing, fighting, attempting to mate -- all these
things are possibilities.>
Both guppies are calm friends now, and the white and other sunset platy
are calm friends but they hide and sleep a lot, and only swim around
during and after eating's which are normally 2x a day. One very
important detail is
that all the 5 fish , 2 guppies, and 3 platys are males.
The one sunset platy that is in isolation has really calmed down. She
seems to be okay with her hiding rock and small fake plant. But she is
rather large and the tank is pretty small 1 gal, with little room for
A major concern for long time keep is no heater part.
<Will die. That's why she's "calm", she's
I had done tons of internet reading and picked the local fish store
owner's brain, and we were both thinking the only reason the guppy
could of been all over her was perhaps she was a sick fish.
<Your pet shop person is an idiot. Fish don't chase one another
because they're sick. Male Guppies will attempt to mate with
females of virtually anything plausible. Platy females are similar
enough in shape and size to female Guppies, so I bet that's what
was going on. Keep at least 2, preferably 3 females of each species per
male of that species. Otherwise, don't mix the sexes (though that
won't stop the males chasing each other).>
This guppy has annoyed relentlessly the previous other 4 sick fish that
have died during my earlier cycling weeks. Or perhaps these two were
fighting for the Alpha male position in the tank.
<Sort of. Male livebearers are smaller and more brightly coloured
than the females of their species. Their life spans are therefore short.
So while they are alive, the males desperately try to mate with
everything, and at the same time, try to drive away any males that
might mate with the females in their bit of the pond. So, they're
programmed to be [a] aggressive and
[b] violently promiscuous.>
The isolated platy shows no sign of being real sick. Other than being
very large, perhaps a bloated tummy, but does occasionally have those
long white strings coming out of her, that I am not sure whether it is
poop or parasites. No real unusual behavior. Other than he hated being
chased by the guppy. Question: Should I leave him in this small but
cozy and very comforting 1 gal tank all alone?
<Cozy isn't the word. She's dying.>
She is eating well and appears ok other than not enough swimming room,
with no heater. Do you think that after a while I should try and
introduce her back into the 10 gal tank? and if so how should I do
One retailer told me I should of taken out the bully guppy for a while
and when I added him back, he would of been the new fish in the tank,
and perhaps would of behaved better. The only reason I chose the platy
because I knew the guppy was not sick, and I thought perhaps something
was wrong with the platy, as the guppy did not bother or chase the
other two new platys, just this one smelling the belly area and the
string. The 2
guppies are now fine, The sunset platy in 10 gal tank, has same white
string from his production organ area, sometimes extremely long. Takes
some time, it could take a day, and than falls off. He hides under fake
and looks so dead when he sleeps I find myself hitting him with the net
in the middle of the night to make sure he is alive. My favorite platy
the white one with some black specs and a great tail that looks like
the color of paprika (hence his name) always, always hides, in the
caves. But will always come out for food, swims around during and after
feeding, very timid to all fish in tank, and runs and hides when I
approach tank in any way.
Very hard to get a good look at him. He appears shorter than most
platys with his body somewhat a triangular shape rather than long as
the sunset platys are. I wish he would not hide. He is a gorgeous fish
to look at. Is
this hiding a sign of a bigger problem?
These platys were all brought home only 4 days ago, and I am sure they
are still getting actuated. They have seen their buddy leave the tank,
for isolation, and have no idea where he went, and have been introduced
to the new guppy just yesterday. It really is very peaceful with just
the 2 guppies, who always stay at the top, and the 2 platys who are
usually hiding all the time. I am wondering if I should be proactive
and have any concerns, such as treatments?
<The problems here are your bad choices.>
Should I add salt to either tank as a preventive measure encase their
are parasites or Ick? (occasionally the red platy will rub himself on a
plant or rock in the 10 gal tank. I am wondering if the one I removed
might have infected the 10 gal tank?
<Don't medicate unless you positively identify a sickness.
Adding salt won't do any harm, but there's no real point
either. See here:
should I treat him with anything, as no real signs other than white
occasional strings on both red platys. The pet store owner said I can
get preventive cooper drops one drop per gal that will not hurt healthy
fish, regardless if their is bacteria, or parasites in tank or not.
<Again, stupid "advice" from your pet store. Why not read
an aquarium book instead?
Some of these cost pennies bought used from Amazon.>
In all the reading I have done never have I heard anyone say they use a
preventive med to ward of parasites before they begin? Any truth or
helpfulness to this?
Or is the brackish tank the way to go? Not sure if I should use Epsom
salt, or aquarium salt.
<Totally different things. Do you have soft water or hard water? If
soft water, then using Rift Valley cichlid salt mix can be very useful
(and home-made, very cheap). Brackish water using marine salt mix is a
good option for Guppies and Mollies, but less so for Platies and
Plain vanilla aquarium salt (sometimes called tonic salt) is for use as
a medication, and serves little/no purpose as a daily additive.
This is the first site I have been able to write on. I pray to God one
of you will feel like this is worthy to answer.
<We're happy to help.>
I am extremely sensitive to pets. I am liking this hobby more than I
thought I would. But the sadness of all the death really ruins the
beauty of keeping fish. I am starting to appreciate the long life of my
dogs, that I always felt was too short! lol
<Actually, for their size, fish live longer than cats or dogs. I
have a catfish about the size of your hand who's 16, 17 years old,
and she's not even half full size. Angelfish will easily get to
10-12 years. Well cared for Goldfish routinely reach 20-30 years, and
there are lungfish in zoos well over 70 years old.>
Please advise re: flicking Platy w/ clamped fins
I am a new fishkeeper (emphasis: new) in the process of stocking a
55-gallon tank. Along with the 55 gal I also have a 10 gal quarantine
I recently (one week ago) added three Red Wag Platys (one male, 2
females) to the main tank and have just tonight noticed one of the
females with clamped fins and flicking against leaves. Searching the
internet has helped some with possible diagnoses, but I'm not
entirely certain about how to go about treatment. I'll provide full
details of my tanks below in; I apologize if this is too much
<There is none such>
Planted tank with:
* multiple Cryptocorum Undulatas
* 3 Anubias Nanas
* 4 Aponogeton Undulatus
* 3 Aponogeton bulbs (unknown variety - were a "gift" from
the plant dealer)
* 3 patches of dwarf hairgrass
* one small, ratty clump of Anacharis (Egeria Najas) - picked on by
Siamese Algae Eaters and Platys
all on a gravel base.
Yeast-generator CO2 injection
* 3 Siamese Algae Eaters
* 1 Bristlenose Pleco
* 3 Red Wag Platys
* 2 Red Cherry Shrimp
* 10 Ghost Shrimp
* 8+ Platy fry (more on these later)
Filtered with a Penguin bio-wheel 350
6" long bubble stone under gravel in center of aquarium Last water
change was one day ago - 10% along with change of one filter cartridge
(other cartridge is on 2 weeks)
Water change was done with tap water (hard), treated with TetraAqua
AquaSafe and Seachem Acid Buffer (to reduce pH from natural ~8.4)
Chemicals: pH 7.0,
<I would "leave" the pH here at about 7.5; better for all
purposes and livestock listed>
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0
Gravel base, Planted with:
* 1 Aponogeton bulb (ran out of room in the main tank)
* 1 small patch of Anacharis (Egeria Najas)
No CO2 injection
* 1 small Bristlenose Pleco
* 14+ Platy Fry
* 2 Ghost Shrimp
Filtered with a Tetra PF10 hang-on filter
1 small bubble stone
Water has not been changed for over a week, to avoid sucking up any fry
in removing water and to avoid shocking fry with sudden water chemistry
Chemicals: pH 6.8-7.0,
<And the pH here as well>
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0
The three adult Platys spent about 1 week in the quarantine tank before
one female (the one of concern) began to have fry. To prevent the fry
from being eaten, the adults were removed to the main tank. Although we
don't have intentions of becoming fish breeders, my kids like to
watch the fry.
To be brutally honest, we are stocking livebearers to provide a supply
of fry "snacks" to future Angel Fish, but I digress. After
being placed in the main tank, at least 8 more fry were
"born". The Bristlenose was added to the 10-gal tank two days
ago to help clean up brown algae.
Coming back to the issue, tonight I noticed one of the Platys - the
female which had given birth - flicking against leaves in the main
tank. I cannot see any other signs of parasites or other health issues.
She eats well and swims to the front of the tank when she sees me in
hopes of more food. As I watched her, however, I noticed that her fins
were clamped. However, I also noticed that the male was really
harassing her tonight and that her fins were particularly clamped
around him - so this could be a stress reaction from his advances.
<To some degree, yes>
Incidentally - for example - I just checked the tank again and both
females came swimming up looking happy as could be - no fin
My question, then, is multi-faceted:
1. Considering the flicking as an isolated symptom, with no other
apparent signs of disease or parasite, should I pre-emptively treat
<Mmm, I would not. More likely to cause troubles than further a
2. If I do provide treatment, with what should she be treated?
3. If treatment is provided, should she be removed back to the
quarantine tank (and residents of the QT relocated to the main tank) or
is there something that can (or should) be offered as treatment into
the main tank?
<IF you don't mind risking the fry, I would move this female to
the 10 gal.>
Thank you very much for your help. I appreciate your advice on WWM very
much and have spent a great deal of time reading the posted articles
and Q &
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please advise re: flicking Platy w/ clamped fins
Bob, thank you very much for your quick response. When I get home from
work this evening I will remove the affected platy to the QT for
observation. In your response, you did make a suggestion that piqued my
curiosity and raised another question:
"I would "leave" the pH here at about 7.5; better for
all purposes and livestock listed"
Right now my water change/treatment routine settles the pH easily at
the neutral 7.0 level, and I thought I was doing good to do so. In
fact, with plans to add Angel Fish to the tank, I was concerned that
perhaps the water should be a bit more acidic but I also want to
balance for the other fish. I can adjust my acid buffer dosing and aim
for pH 7.5, but will that be acceptable for the Angel Fish?
<Yes; and not to worry. To be a bit more revealing here, I'd
only do such pH adjustment outside the main tank, with/through new
water change outs, where the new water has been mixed, stored for days
if possible. Having some margin "ahead of neutral" for pH is
fine for domesticated FW Angels/Pterophyllum, and this allows for some
resistance (buffer) for reductive reactions (the downward drifting of
pH) over time>
Within that same consideration: I was thinking that when I prepare to
add the Angel Fish to the tank(s), I should raise the temperature to
closer to 80F from the current temp of ~76F. Would this be
<Depends on what other life is present. the mid 70's F is fine
for all domesticated angels (really only P. altum is likely
Thanks again for your response. I appreciate your expertise, especially
as I get my feet wet (no pun intended) as a newcomer to this hobby.
<Glad to assist your efforts, understanding... and concurrent
enjoyment of the process Monty. BobF>
Male platy with what looks like cotton mouth plus 2
ADFs who are turning white. Env. 2/9/10
I have a 5 gallon planted tank with two ADFs (one male one
female), three male Platies, and a gaggle of opportunistic snails
that have taken up residency.
<Much too small for this many animals. Barely adequate for a
Betta or a couple of African Dwarf Frogs. Platies need 15+
I feed the fish a diet of flaked food and the frogs get one cube
of frozen blood worms every-every other day. The Platies
sometimes snack on this as well and the snails do a great job of
finishing up the leftovers. The tank is heated to 80 degrees, has
an in tank filtration system and a sand bottom.
<Much warm for Platies, and really, too warm for Hymenochirus
Currently the ph is 7.0 and the nitrates and ammonia are 0 ppm.
Everyone was getting along swimmingly and were the picture of
health until about two weeks ago when I noticed empty snail
shells. I checked the water and the ph had risen to 7.6 but the
ammonia and nitrates were 0 ppm.
I got the ph back to normal range by dripping a combo of Discus
Buffer and Neutral Regulator over a five day period.
<Why? How did you decide what was "normal"? Platies
need hard, basic water -- pH 7.5, 10+ degrees dH. Hymenochirus
are similar. Since you've only mentioned pH, and not
hardness, I have to assume you haven't thought about this in
any great depth. Hardness is FAR more important than pH, and
without fail, you shouldn't change pH without messing about
with hardness. This is how you end up with unstable water
The tank has been at 7.0 for about three days now.
<That's the buffer acting. Will not stay that way.>
About a week ago I noticed one platy was sticking close to the
surface of the water and next to the heater I kept an eye on him
but didnÂ¹t notice anything else odd at the time and
he seemed to be eating fine. A few days later I observed what
looked like rough skin around his mouth and a small
white spot on his tail. I immediately treated the tank with five
drops of Life Bearer.
Everyone else in the tank seemed fine. I crossed my fingers.
<Biology doesn't work that way.>
The next day my poor platy was in horrible shape, his mouth was
all but gone in fact the whole front of his little face was a big
<Is not a "wound" but a secondary infection caused
by your failure to keep this fish properly. Do read about the
needs of Platies, and indeed all animals, before buying them.
That you're keeping these things in 5 gallons suggests you
listened to the retailer and did no research at all. Would you
buy a car on the opinion of a car salesman? Or a house from a
real estate agent just because they said it was a good house? Of
course not. You always do research before buying something where
ignorance causes problems.>
Additionally he now has a white bump on his side along with the
white spot on his tail.
<More Finrot and/or Fungus and/or Columnaris.>
Just when I thought things couldnÂ¹t get any worse one
of the other Platies was now lying on his side at the bottom of
<Again, your failure to provide the conditions these fish need
has lead to them getting sick.>
I scooped the lethargic platy up in a fish net and suspended him
at the surface of the tank then rushed to my aquarium store to
purchase some antibiotics. I was given Metronidazole and told to
administer that at night and the Life Bearer in the morning along
with some additional good bacteria
<Do you know what this actually means? Seriously, "good
bacteria" and "bad bacteria" are all much the same
thing, and whether they "behave themselves" depends on
the conditions in the aquarium. Aeromonas spp. bacteria break
down faeces in a healthy tank, but overcome the immune systems of
weak fish in poor tanks.>
to try to support the eco system. I was instructed to treat the
tank with the medications for a total of twelve days. Tonight
will be the fourth day of the antibiotic and the sixth of the
Life Bearer. I have also added three teaspoons of kosher salt
over a four day period.
<Again, why did you think this would help?>
I released the lethargic platy from his net and he seems to be
doing fine - swims to the surface to eat but then hides under the
plants at the bottom with the third platy at least
he is upright. These two appear to have dodged the bullet for now
and exhibit no sign of the mouth disease or spots on their
bodies. The unfortunate mouth less fellow is swimming around,
sticking mostly to the surface and attempts to eat but I
donÂ¹t think he can. Can this poor guy be saved or is
he just going to slowly starve to death?
<To be honest, in this aquarium, he's probably doomed. Put
him in a 15 gallon tank with good water quality (0
ammonia/nitrite) and a medium to high level of hardness (10+
degrees dH) he'd be fine, if treated for Finrot, Fungus
Now, onto the frogs. They have been hiding for days on end and
eating very little. Especially the female. When the little male
came out of hiding today I noticed that he is a much paler
version of himself Â pasty, almost white. And, they
are still eating very little if at all. I am curious if the
treatments for the fish are harming the frogs Â or
perhaps this is a harmless side effect of the treatments and they
will return to their normal brown color when this is all
<Again, you're killing these frogs by inches. Your failure
to provide appropriate conditions has rendered them vulnerable to
opportunistic bacterial infections.>
A bit of additional background history Â about two
months before this all happened I was fighting a terrible case of
black hair algae in the tank.
<Often a sign of sluggish water flow and an
"unbalanced" aquarium. Review water quality, check
water flow rate, and add fast-growing plants under bright
I got it under control with a new lighting regimen (on
8:00am-12:00pm off 1:00pm-3:00pm then back on 4:00pm-8:pm. I use
a full spectrum compact fluorescent that has 5500K) and high
doses of Flourish Excel.
<Dosing the water will only help if there are fast-growing
plants to use up the nutrients. Otherwise you're just feeding
I also suspended a piece of Styrofoam under the filter spout to
reduce the surface turbulence. This
Â³systemÂ² has worked well and I have much
less of the black algae but my plants have started to develop
<Likely iron deficiency, but could be other things.>
I am now supplementing with 12-15 drops of the Flourish Excel and
another plant food with iron. Perhaps more light? And, could this
have triggered the collapse of my happy little colony?
Thank you for your help,
<Time to do some reading:
Otherwise, they're all doomed. Cheers, Neale.>
FW: Male platy with what looks like cotton mouth plus 2
ADFs who are turning white. 2/9/10
I should have mentioned that most, if not all, of the platy
pictures are of the sad gentleman with the mouth disease and the
body spots. You may see the other two peeking out from the plants
at the bottom of the tank. The frog photo is of the male only.
His lady friend hasnÂ¹t some out of hiding since
<Okay. Cheers, Neale.>