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FAQs on Platy Diseases/Health 11

FAQs on Platy Disease: Platy Disease 1, Platy Disease 2, Platy Disease 3, Platy Disease 4, Platy Disease 5, Platy Health 6, Platy Health 7, Platy Health 8, Platy Health 9, Platy Health 10,
FAQs on Platy Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Platies, Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Platies 1, Platies 2, Platy Identification, Platy Behavior, Platy Compatibility, Platy Selection, Platy Systems, Platy Feeding, Platy Reproduction, Livebearers, Guppies, Swordtails, Mollies

 

Thin Platy     11/7/17
Good morning,
I suspect that I may have a problem with one of my Coral/Sunset Platies.
He is very small compared to my other varieties of Platy and he does not seem to put any weight on regardless of his healthy appetite.
Behaviour:
His behaviour is nothing out of the ordinary; he is active, feeds well and doesn't hide away. He does however like to stay close to the surface, a little more than the others but not so much as to cause worry.
Appearance:
His appearance is where my concern comes from. As mentioned he is small and slender (as is the other Coral/Sunset) but he doesn't have the rounded belly that a normal, healthy Platy would. His fins are not clamped, he has no scales missing, sores or anything of that nature. His faeces is not stringy or clear and he has no protrusions from his anus.
My thoughts were that this is likely some kind of internal parasite but after doing some research, I am very worried that this may be a mycobacterium infection.
Now, I don't want to jump to any conclusions (some forums seem to think every ailment is TB these days) but because of his flat belly, this alters his shape somewhat. I do not believe that his spine is bent though.
Environment and tank history:
The tank is 180 litres with an external filter.
It was cycled without fish for 2 months almost a year ago, with 4 fish being added every 2 to 3 weeks thereafter.
Weekly 30% water changes (once a month 50 %)
Current stock:
8 Platies of various strains.
6 Dwarf Chain Loaches.
The tank is moderately planted and is maintained at 24 degrees centigrade.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate approx 10ppm.
Ph 8
I live in a hard water area but I have no means of testing the hardness.
History of illness:
Stringy, long, white faeces in most fish.
This was successfully treated with Octozin about 4 months ago and has not returned. After investigating I realised this was due to feeding frozen brine shrimp. It has not returned since I stopped feeding this.
Now I feed Spirulina flake and various premium flakes and occasional live foods.
Fungal infection of small wound on the side of Mickey Mouse Platy, the wound was from aggression. The fish was removed, put in a hospital tank with aquarium salt added. Fish given Methylene blue bath weekly until fully
healed. The treatment was successful and the fish was returned to main aquarium after being clear of symptoms for a month.
The tank did have a pair of Dwarf Gouramis who died without explanation within 2 months of purchase. I think these were very weak fish with the problems that most DGs seem to have now.
Another Platy died with similar symptoms to those described above approximately 2 months ago.
Initially I dosed Myxazin in case it was bacterial but this had no effect.
I then tried to worm the tank with medication added to the water in accordance with the instructions (2 weeks after the Myxazin) I have since read on your site wormers should be added to the food so maybe that is why I was unsuccessful.
He had the symptoms for approximately 4 weeks before he died, in my opinion he didn't appear to be suffering so I decided against euthanasia.
Finally to my questions!
I do not want to have a knee jerk reaction and dump in anti bacterial medication, followed by anti parasite medication and so on and so on.
Does this sound like parasites or bacterial infection to you? Could he just be a genetically weak fish?
What course of action would you recommend and what medication, if any, would you suggest? I am based in the UK.
In the event of a suspected case of fish TB, what actions would you take?
I have read conflicting information on Mycobacterium. Some say it is present in most tanks but only raises its head when the fish are in a stressed state with a compromised immune system. Others say it has to be introduced somehow, what are your thoughts on this?
If the fish are not showing symptoms and live in otherwise good conditions, is it really necessary to euthanise and start again? (this is the opinion of many forums) I have spoken to a vet who says I just need to be aware that it is in the environment and make sure that there is no cross contamination to other tanks. The fish can lead normal and healthy lives.
The latter is my intention.
If mycobacterium is as infectious as everyone seems to think and as widespread, wouldn't it be safe to assume that it's in most tanks, especially since it can often be present without symptoms?
At the moment I do not intend to stock any more fish unless I can get an 'all clear' somehow in the tank. In a few years when my last fish has gone, what is the best way to disinfect as I understand mycobacterium is resistant to heat and bleach. I have read alcohol is the way to go, would you concur?
My apologies for how long winded this was. I have done extensive reading which has given conflicting advice and left me with more questions than answers..
I hope your fantastic team can clear this up for me.
I am a big fan of your site, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.
Regards
Colin
<Hello Colin, and thanks for the kind words. I fear this is a common problem with Platies, especially the more inbred strains such as Sunset and Coral Platies. May be genetic, the old "runt in the litter" situation, but more than likely some type of Mycobacteria-like wasting disease. Often seen in livebearers. Environment may be a factor: when I maintain tanks of livebearers, but neglect maintenance for a few months, I find more example of these runt-like fish within the group. High nitrate, low oxygen, high temperatures, and monotonous diet are all things I think about in this situation, and try to remedy. Sometimes the fish recover, sometimes not. In any case, Mycobacteria isn't treatable, certainly not without access to antibiotics. There is indeed some debate about where this bacterial infection comes from and whether it's in all tanks all the time -- but I think it probably is, and being highly contagious, even if it isn't in your tank when you set it up, sooner or later something brings it in. That said,
Mycobacteria-like infections are rare, and it's that combination of their rarity and the fact they appear out of nowhere sometimes years after you add new fish that is odd -- and why I personally believe the Mycobacteria
are in most/all tanks, but some stress factor causes the fish to get sick.
There's no real point trying to eliminate it from the aquarium given that healthy fish shrug it off without any problems, and even if you sterilise your tank, the filter and your fish may carry the bacteria anyways. Bottom
line, while you can certainly try to use an internal bacterial medication to deal with the Mycobacteria, isolating the sick fish, even in a floating breeding trap, is probably easier and cheaper. The bacteria will probably have got to the other fish by now, so unless you treat the whole tank, hospitalising the one sick fish isn't going to change anything. Besides, healthy fish aren't going to succumb to Mycobacteria, all else being equal.
As I say, there does seem to be a stress (and perhaps genetics) factor at work here, with Mycobacteria not being a major threat to most fish most of the time. The one alternative that might bear thinking about is Hexamita, a
parasite that infects the gut (preventing proper absorption of the food, among other things) and its most distinctive symptom is indeed white, stringy faeces. Metronidazole is the classic medication here, but in the UK and EU, you'll find it easier to get hold of something called eSHa HEXAMITA that is cheaper and available at pet shops. Good luck, Neale.>
Re Thin Platy      11/8/17

Hi Neale,
Thank you very much indeed for your response.
<Most welcome.>
It would make sense for mycobacterium to be in most tanks; I buy all of my fish from a reputable source who's husbandry is first class but I suppose all it would take is one infected fish (or even a net) and before you know
it, the entire system has the bacteria.
<Quite so.>
I am very happy I asked the questions now because, like I mentioned before, most forums would have you reaching for the clove oil at the first sign of trouble!
<Which isn't a bad approach in terms of humanely destroying sick fish -- something the hobby hasn't always been good at. Plus, identifying and destroying sick fish does, at the very least, reduce the chances of other fish becoming infected. So in a sense, that's what happens in the wild where the "old and sick" would be picked off by predators.>
I will ensure that I keep up the maintenance and look to give them an improved diet.
<Cool.>
Whether or not I put more fish in this tank or not remains to be seen, I think I will let it run down naturally, get rid of all hardscape, plants and filter and convert it to a FOWLR tank in a few years time.
<Understandable. Freshwater fishkeeping can be harder than marine fishkeeping in some ways -- the fact fish are bred to be as cheap as possible does mean that diseases are more of a risk. If you compare a $2 guppy with a $50 Butterflyfish, the whole economics is going to be different, with the retailer making much more effort to ensure his stock is healthy so that doesn't lose money when the fish is in his tanks. Flip side though is that marine tanks are more expensive to set up and maintain, and every bit as prone to problems, whether health issues, algae, or whatever. There's something to be said for brackish water in this issue, in that you can set up the basics as marine (limestone rock, coral sand, a skimmer) and keep a few interesting fish just for fun, like Puffers or Scats, and then, when the time comes, transition these to a FOWLR system by adding your live rock and whatever marine fish you want.>
I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me, I can stop stressing and just get back to enjoying my fish.
Thanks again
Colin
<And thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale.>
Thin Platy      11/8/17

Hello again Neale,
I forgot to say, thank you for recommending the medication, I will purchase that straight away.
<No problem. I'm just aware that not all the medications recommended by Americans are available in other parts of the world.>
Regards
Colin
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Thin Platy      11/9/17

Hi Neale
Keeping brackish species is something I have always wanted to try, especially Bumblebee Gobies or some kind of Puffer.
<Figure 8s and BBGs get along well. Neither is suitable for marine, but a lot of the hardware itself can be used for a future marine tank; the salt, hydrometer, limestone rocks, etc. There are a lot more species out there, maybe not traded widely, but available if you know where to ask, including some that can/should go marine at some point, such as Chelonodon patoca, one of the prettiest of all the puffers.>
This is definitely something to consider!
Regards
Colin
<Cheers, Neale.>

My fish's tail... Lernaea?     3/24/17
So I have attached the best picture I could take of my fish's tail. It is clear, but as you can see there's a white line on it, she never had this before, I've had her for about a week and saw she had it today. What is it?
<Can't be absolutely sure as your large pic file is blurry, but this appears to be an "Anchorworm"; crustacean parasite... common in imported livebearers and goldfish raised in ponds.>
And are my other fish at risk?
<Mmm; yes... There are a few approaches to treatment... Please read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/anchorwrmfaqs.htm
and write back if your path is not clear. Bob Fenner>

Something not quite right with Platies        3/12/17
Hello!
<Hello Lena,>
I'm writing in regards to my 150 liter Juwel aquarium. It's been up and running for around three months now, and the tank is fully cycled. It's parameters are
0. Ammonia,
0. Nitrite,
10. Nitrate
8.2 PH.
Temperate: 25 degree Celsius
<This all sounds good.>
The surface of the water ripples from filtration, so I assume aeration is adequate.
<Should be. These are well-designed tanks, and provided you don't overstock them, the built-in filter mixes air and water very well, ensuring good water quality.>
It's moderately planted with Java Moss, Java Ferns and Anubias, (plenty of hiding spaces) and has two filters running; the inbuilt one and a secondary Eheim. The fish seem to have no issue with the water movement; I added the Eheim as the focal piece of the tank is a large piece of store bought driftwood and its shape was causing dead spots.
<Good.>
The stock list is
5 Kuhli loaches (one of which has giraffe-like print? Is this common?)
<Not uncommon. There are several species of Pangio, easily confused, and frequently jumbled up in the trade. So you could easily have a true Kuhli (Pangio kuhlii) alongside Pangio semicincta, Pangio myersi or one of the
other Pangio species in the trade.>
2 Albino Corydoras
1 Whiptail Catfish
1 Male Platy
1 Male Swordtail
4 Female Platies (2 of which are orange High-Fins)
I have no plans on adding anymore fish, I'm already concerned that it's veering on the side of overstocked.
<In 150 litres you're fine. Indeed, I'd add a few more Corydoras so you get a decent school of 5-6 specimens, and if it were me, a couple more Whiptails too, as they're fun to watch in groups. The males hold tiny territories and do their best to flirt with nearby females.>
Every day they receive either spectrum community fish pellets or flakes (I like to change it up) and also an algae tab, which vanishes over the course of 5-6 hours. I also supplement their diet with freeze-dried blood-worms
once a week (The platies/swordtail seem largely disinterested in these, but the Corydoras and whiptail cat make short work of them).
My first attempt of purchasing Platies was a nightmare; of the original five, only one remains; the female Hi-Fin in the picture, which I assume was not related to the lot that died. The ones that passed away stopped eating, sat themselves above the filter out-take, grew mossy and white and passed away within one or two days. No other fish were affected. I purchased a female Oreo platy a week later from another store, no problems.
All fish are drip-acclimatized.
A week later, (and now about a week ago) I purchased three more platys from a different shipment to the same store where I purchased the original ones (I suspected the store was at fault, now I'm suspecting the supplier). Two of the platies, (female), have settled in with no problem, but the Male platy (pictured) has begun clamping and flashing. He is strongly swimming, attempting to mate with everything and has a full appetite, but I'm concerned about a repeat event. Are there any preventative measures I can take?
<See below.>
Additionally, my pregnant looking Hi-Fin has isolated herself from the rest of the pack since the new fishes introduction. I assumed she was just going to give birth, and I have spotted a handful of grey fry in the tank, but
I'm concerned about the fact that despite all her other fins are looking good, her pelvic fins are glued to her body and she looks to be in slight distress. Her anus also looks swollen, but could this just be from her giving birth?
<Possibly.>
Why would her fins be clamped up beneath her?
<Normally, stress.>
Thank you in advance, regards, Lena
<As you've experienced, the quality of Platies is middling to poor, at least in the UK. This is a problem with livebearers across the board really. All the farmed livebearers have been inbred to the Nth degree, and on top of that, because they're "easy" to breed, and sold as cheap fish, fish farms don't put a whole lot of effort into producing good quality livestock. Bacterial infections as well as things like Camallanus worms seem to be endemic. Your best approach is to buy specimens from a local breeder, as those should be much healthier, or alternatively, skip the farmed livebearers in favour of the less inbred wild-type livebearers such as Limia nigrofasciata. In any case, I'd tend to adopt a 'wait and see' approach here. I'd also be minded to use eSHa HEXAMITA, a product sold in Europe, or alternatively in the US, Metronidazole, to treat against Hexamita infections. At low level these and similar parasites cause wasting in a variety of fish, including livebearers. They're otherwise difficult to treat using the standard medications. Do also note that Platies prefer cool, hard, alkaline water and will never do well in warm, soft or acidic water. While middling temperatures (24-25 C) and hardness (around 10 degrees dH) should suit Platies and other community fish, anything warmer or softer than that isn't going to work. Cheers, Neale.>

"Big", the Platy...       9/23/16
Hi, Neale - our sunset wag Platy, Big, is starting to live up to his name and we're getting worried. He's the reason we have this huge tank, but he's gotten listless, hanging out in the back corner under the plants. His belly has gotten bigger, and the yellow part of his abdomen is looking more pale.
<That is indeed what your photo suggests, and this isn't a good sign with livebearers. Usually associated with stress, sometimes Slime Disease (also called Costia), sometimes a bacterial infection causing Dropsy, other times a 'wasting disease' such as Mycobacteriosis. I've not seen many such specimens recover once they start turning pale. You could medicate as per Slime Disease and/or internal bacterial infections, but isolating the fish is a good idea. If the fish doesn't show any sign of recovery, in all honesty I tend to destroy humanely any such fish to prevent infecting other specimens. Generally this isn't "catchy" as such, though exposing a group of fish to stress can of course trigger a succession of fish becoming sick.>
He comes out into the mid-east, but not to the surface to eat. No eating.
I'll attach a pic, such as I have. He doesn't even chase the gold dust mollies, hardly, and he was really big on that at the beginning. Ideas?
Thanks, as ever. Hope you are doing well.
Tom
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

re: "Big", the Platy       9/24/16
He's been swimming more and pooped, we think, and is acting more normal, but still spends a lot of time down in his corner. We were just talking about how much time he used to spend up around the pump or by the heater, until we put all the plants in and gave him a spot he liked better. I'm not sure the time spent in the corner is more than the time spent hiding up by the filter. But his belly looks swollen and lopsided, bigger on his right side. He's been through so damned much that I hate the idea of putting him down. If this could spread, though, that's a problem. We could put him in
the 10 gallon tank, but the pH on that is around 8 (dunno why)
<It's unlikely that the problem he's got is 'catchy'. The bacteria that cause this type of problem are ambient in all tanks; it's stress of one sort or another that makes the fish vulnerable. So while you might isolate
the fish in a breeding trap to stop him being badgered by other fish or struggling against the current, there's no pressing need to remove him from the tank. On the other hand, there are some fish diseases, like Neon Tetra Disease, that are genuinely catchy.>
You talked about humanely putting him down, but how is that done?
<Various methods, but the cheapest and most humane is probably Clove Oil.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
Put 30 drops in a litre of aquarium water, then lower the fish into this using a net. It'll become sedated very quickly, and after half an hour will be dead as a doornail. Older methods, such as putting a fish in a freezer, aren't considered humane by vets and not recommended. Clove Oil is widely sold in drugstores for various uses including treating toothache. A small bottle will cost $5 or so, and will last you for years (assuming you're not killing fish every day!). It also happens to smell lovely!!!>
Gah.
Tom
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: "Big"... sigh. Never mind.       9/24/16

Big died suddenly. He had been swimming around normally, then we didn't see him for a while and I found him current jammed in the plants, dead
Dang. :(
<Oh dear. Well, that solves that problem. To some degree, fishkeeping is like gardening. For whatever reason, some plants do great in your garden, while others never seem to thrive. Same here: you buy a bunch of different fish that sound like they should be happy in your tank, but you'll very quickly establish your tank works well for just a subset of those fish. If you stick with the fish you've had good experiences with, particular when starting out, you'll find the hobby quite simple and easy. Don't imagine for a moment I'm saying this lightly; I care deeply that all pet animals should be cared for well. But at the end of the day virtually all "good" fishkeepers starting out making mistakes and losing fish. Good luck, Neale.>

Platy fish loss   /RMF   5/3/16
Hi Crew,
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to answer my question.
<We're here to help others enjoy, be successful>
I looked over everything on your page
<All 14k?>
but could not find a solution to my exact problem. I have an established community tropical tank and within the past month or so I have lost two of my platy fish that I have one for a year and another for about 7 months. The first that died started loosing a lot of weight and began getting weird things on his scales that looked liked dry skin flaking off and he started sitting on the bottom of the tank and breathing rapidly.
<Mmm; sounds/reads like possibly Trichodina, or Costia... look up both these genera... or...
>
But then he would zoom around the tank all of a sudden and I thought he was okay, and he was going up to feed
during most of this time. The second platy also started to sit on the bottom but he declined much more rapidly than the first, and would nudge himself into the corner on the tank and lay on his side and just breathe heavily. He too lost weight and would either hide away, lay on his side on the bottom of the tank, or swim at the top of the water listlessly as if gasping for air at the water's surface. His gill's became so stretched away and open they looked like two gaping slits on the side of his face. I have introduced other fish since these and I am wondering if this is some sort of internal parasite?
<Maybe>
It is very hard to figure out what might have caused their death since so many of the symptoms sound alike, and I am deathly afraid of medicating for the wrong disease as I have over-medicated in the past and lost so many of my beloved fish.
<Ah, you are wise here. MANY more organisms are lost to mis-medicating than pathogenic disease. MOST problems are environmental in cause, source, and most effective treatments involve correcting environment, bolstering nutrition>
I also have Cory cats and a Bristlenose Pleco in the tank,
<Do watch at "lights out" time to see if this catfish is "riding" your other fishes... They can be the source of mortalities like those you describe
>
which I know are sensitive to medications.
<Mmm; Loricariids are not so much different than most fish groups>
Any advice you have would be so helpful I am concerned for my other fish, especially for one pregnant guppy who is beginning to display some of the same symptoms as the others did, very red swollen gills, rapid and heavy
breathy, hiding and laying on bottom, overall darkening of color on body and eyes. I am so afraid my whole tank may be infected with what ever this is, and have been doing daily water changes to try to keep everything extra clean. Thank you so much again for any insight you may have.
Sincerely,
Kate Miller
<Please send along water quality test information, your set up, maintenance procedures (water change schedule et al.), foods, feeding.... Your platies may "just be getting old"... Poeciliids don't live long; but there may be some useful clues and responses you/we can provide. Bob Fenner>
Platy fish loss    /Neale        5/4/16

Hi Crew,
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedules to answer my question. I looked over everything on your page but could not find a solution to my exact problem. I have an established community tropical tank and within the past month or so I have lost two of my platy fish that I have one for a year and another for about 7 months. The first that died started loosing a lot of weight and began getting weird things on his scales that looked liked dry skin flaking off and he started sitting on the bottom of the tank and breathing rapidly.
<As Bob has suggested, Costia (also known as Slime Disease) is one possibility here, though I'd be surprised if a Bristlenose was sucking on the infected fish -- Ancistrus are normally extremely well behaved. Costia is difficult to treat, but I've had good success with a combination of eSHa EXIT and seawater dips.>
But then he would zoom around the tank all of a sudden and I thought he was okay, and he was going up to feed during most of this time.
<Understood; and unfortunately, recognised.>
The second platy also started to sit on the bottom but he declined much more rapidly than the first, and would nudge himself into the corner on the tank and lay on his side and just breathe heavily. He too lost weight and would either hide away, lay on his side on the bottom of the tank, or swim at the top of the water listlessly as if gasping for air at the water's surface. His gill's became so stretched away and open they looked like two gaping slits on the side of his face. I have introduced other fish since these and I am wondering if this is some sort of internal parasite?
<Possibly, but seems to be a problem with farmed livebearers across the board. Alongside Costia, you might consider a Mycobacteria infection, sometimes called Wasting Disease, which is very commonly seen among Guppies and other livebearers. These infections are untreatable, and appear to be latent among many types of fish, and triggered by some type of environmental stress perhaps, or diet, or even bad luck.>
It is very hard to figure out what might have caused their death since so many of the symptoms sound alike, and I am deathly afraid of medicating for the wrong disease as I have over-medicated in the past and lost so many of my beloved fish.
<Correct.>
I also have Cory cats and a Bristlenose Pleco in the tank, which I know are sensitive to medications. Any advice you have would be so helpful I am concerned for my other fish, especially for one pregnant guppy who is
beginning to display some of the same symptoms as the others did, very red swollen gills, rapid and heavy breathy, hiding and laying on bottom, overall darkening of color on body and eyes. I am so afraid my whole tank may be infected with what ever this is, and have been doing daily water changes to try to keep everything extra clean. Thank you so much again for any insight you may have.
<The good news, I suppose, is that Wasting Disease among livebearers doesn't seem to jump to dissimilar types of fish, so your catfish, tetras or barbs should all be fine. If the same thing is happening each time, isolating and humanely destroying infected fish may be helpful in slowing down the spread of the disease. Antibiotics are an option, but their success rate with Mycobacteria infections is very low, and probably not cost effective with small fish like Platies. The other tack is to understand that Mycobacteria infections come in with farmed fish but are
triggered by environmental conditions. Platies, for example, are low-end tropical fish from slow-moving streams and ponds. So the right conditions for them would be cool (22-24 C/72-75 F) and with gentle water current.
Hardness and pH would be high. Nitrate should be as low as practical. As herbivores, their diet should be based around algae and softened greens; vitamin deficiency can certainly make fish less able to fight off some infections. Nothing completely certain here, sadly, but some ideas at least.>
Sincerely,
Kate
<Cheers, Neale.>
Platy fish loss     5/13/16

Hi Guys,
Thanks for your response and sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. My tank set up is currently a 10 gallon I have 2 panda Cory cats, two albino Cory cats, one Pygmy Cory, one albino Bristlenose Pleco, one small male platy and two female guppies. I now know this is too many fish for such a small tank and I will be setting up a 20 gallon this Friday.
<Wise. 10 gallon tanks are tricky to stock and maintain. 20 gallons gives you a good amount of space to work with. I'm a fan of them, and consider them the minimum for "easy" fishkeeping.>
Will it be okay to move the fish to the new tank without going through a full cycle first?
<Absolutely. The trick is carrying across the filter. Disconnect from the old tank (with fish still there). Connect up to the new tank, filled with dechlorinated water of course, and switch on. Let it run for 10 minutes to check there's no leaks. If all looks good, switch the heater off in the old tank, let it cool for 5 minutes, then carry across to the new tank. Plug
in, switch on, and wait for the tank to warm across to around the same temperature as old tank. A degree or two difference isn't a big deal. Once the new tank is nice and warm, net the fish and carry them across from the old tank to the new one. Job done! This assumes water chemistry is similar between the two. Which will be the case if you aren't diddling about with water softeners, salt, etc.>
I am afraid if I take the weeks to cycle they may not last. I was doing bi-weekly water changes of about 50% but am now doing daily water changes of 30-50% as I had an ammonia spike. With the daily water changes my levels read nitrate 0, nitrite 0, ammonia 0, pH 7.0, and temp is 76. I alternate between feeding them Omega One veggie mini pellets, tropical flakes, freeze-dried and frozen blood worms, Hikari bottom feeder sinking wafers, Hikari sinking Carnivore pellets (only once in a while) and tropical algae wafers. I also try to provide fresh greens, cucumber, squash, celery, etc.
at least several times a week. I feed once a day and try to feed only small proportions. The albino Cory cats seem to be very red in the gills and have whitish looking patches on them and my albino Bristlenose also has some white patches on both his inner sides as if he is missing some of his armored scales. I am not sure if he was always like this or if I am
just now noticing it due to being hyper sensitive to every little thing.
<Wise to be. It does sound as if this tank isn't "quite right" and the extra space may well be the key to success. Get ammonia and nitrite down to zero, consistently, and these mild inflammations should fix themselves.>
The platy and one female guppy have been having extremely long and stringy white feces, about twice the length of their body if not longer, while the other female guppy had a semi-thick white pointy thing protruding from her last night that she seemed unable to pass. It seemed to be coming from her vaginal area rather than her anus
<Interesting. Sometimes dead/stillborn fry come out when livebearers are stressed. That's the better of two possibilities when livebearers miscarry.
The bad option is when the dead fry don't come out, and become sources of infection as they rot. Almost always fatal. The trick, of course, is to avoid miscarriages, which are almost always caused by stress.>
and I thought at first it was a fry since both the females were pregnant but it looked too big plus the color was wrong and she seemed to be in great distress unable to get it out. I tried to give her cooked pea but she wouldn't eat and she is now just sitting on the ground in one of the caves breathing very heavily and her gills are very red and stretched open. I
thought it might be a worm but did not really look like one from what I could see, however I was not able to get a very clear view as she kept herself on the ground and I did not want to cause her any unnecessary extra stress.
<If it's silvery-grey, it could easily be a dead fry. Faeces usually off-white to brown, depending on what the fish has been eating. White or clear faeces imply gut irritation, usually put down to parasites like Hexamita. Worms are common in livebearers, but usually look exactly like worms, often reddish, and may even be wriggling.>
Sorry for writing a book, I just wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything out this time, thank you again so much for taking the time to read all this you guys are so great and helpful!
<3,
Kate
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Platy fish loss     5/14/16

Well the female with the strange thing hanging out died yesterday, now the third fish I have lost in the past month or two now.
<If all the same species, Platies, I'd suggesting avoiding them in future.
Sometimes your aquarium or water chemistry aren't right for a given species. Sometimes the supplier has got in a bad batch, and it's not worth buying more. In short, wait awhile before buying any new fish just to see how things pan out with the remainder. A month to six weeks is a good hiatus. If all is well, just avoid Platies and try other fish.>
I believe it may have been a dead fry inside her that she was too weak to push out.
<Can happen.>
It does concern me that I have lost three fish that I have had for awhile in such a short amount of time.
<See above, and preceding messages.>
Wondering if the long string white/clear feces that you mentioned may be Hexamita could be the cause of all this?
<Hard to say. Hexamita may be (probably is) latent in a wide range of tropical fish. But it only becomes a problem when the fish is, somehow, stressed or otherwise not healthy. So while heavy Hexamita infections surely do cause fatalities, the $64,000 question is whether the Hexamita is the root cause of those deaths or merely the thing that killed an already
unhealthy fish.>
I have seen my last remaining male platy and female guppy flashing but it has only happened once or twice in the past week or so and I thought they may be trying to remove the long feces strands from them.
Thanks for your time,
Kate
<Hexamita is treated using Metronidazole. Not much else works. It (probably) isn't "catchy" as such, so if stress factors are removed, the remaining fish should be fine. Cheers, Neale.>

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