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    platy lost appetite

    I have a 5 gallon tank which I've had setup for about 2 months. I have only 3 fish one of which is a platy that has lost it's appetite. Awhile back the Molly in the tank had ick, which has been treated and is now gone. I have not tested the tank for ph/or ammonia etc. The fish appears physically ok except it seems to hang out at the surface now alot. I do not have a cover tank so I get quite a bit of evaporation and wind up adding water quite a bit. The water is clear and looks fine. I realize this is pretty vague, but any ideas are welcomed. I plan on buying some test kits for water quality. Any other ideas?

  • Chris...there are 3 important things to get when you start the hobby #1 a tank...#2 a water test kit....#3 fish...notice I said test kit before fish? water quality is the most important consideration when setting up a tank. If the fish don't like your rocks or need more light or like plants they will be unhappy but if the water is bad they will die. I hope your not getting discouraged. The comments by Joyce, Jeff and Linda are right...but get to the store for the test kit. And while your there ask the fish dept supervisor for recommendations for some chemicals that can help you maintain your water quality. Even if you don't need them right now some Sunday night at 11pm you are going to realize that something is wrong but not be able to go out and get something to help. Its like a first-Aid box for your fish.

  • You can call your water company if you have city water for the ph of your tap and hardness.If you add chemicals other than chlorine remover your ph can possibly drop. Also if you overfeed and do not do frequent water changes it may go down, so be aware that your ph may be different from the tap.However this will give you a cheap quick estimate and if you do weekly water changes should be pretty close.You will need the test kit for the ammonia and or nitrates though.When I had platys they were little pigs, so I hope yours feels better soon. Check garage sales and newspapers for used tanks if you are short of money(Yahoo lets you access the classified section of some local papers). Make sure they have not been used for saltwater/marine fish.

  • Hi Chris,,I agree with gasping up for air can mean poor water quality...get your test some water changes...and you tank is real little so it's hard to keep thing stable in there...your platy can be a little touchy and prone to some diseases that can be harder to's also a live bearer so a little salt in your tank wouldn't hurt...( 1 tbs per gal)get a hood as well to keep the evaporation down and fish in...also pouring cold water into your tank often can cause the icky thing to come back...gads I hope I'm not sounding neg..but hey gotta have an excuse to get a bigger tank

  • Chris, go ahead and get the test kits. Fish hanging at the surface could be a sign of too much ammonia in the tank. I know you add water when it evaporates, but do you also do regular water changes?

    platy got appetite back!

    Thanks for your replies. What I did was change out 3/4 of the water in the tank. It SEEMS to have helped this fish out and it actually began swimming around the tank pretty actively. Anyhow, I can see now why it would be better to have a larger tank! Thanks again

  • Chris, I'm glad your platy is feeling better. But, still go ahead and get your water test kits.

  • congrads chris...see what a little water change can do!...but best of all you have a great excuse to go get a bigger tank...bigger water= more stability....have fun!


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