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FAQs on Platy Nutritional Diseases

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, Platy Health 11, Platy Health ,
FAQs on Platy Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Platies, Poeciliid Fishes, Livebearing Freshwater Fishes

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

Need fiber... algae in their diet: commercial flake, pelleted is fine... Beware of Bloodworms (sewer fly larvae): Implicated in disease, anomalous losses


Platy Shimmy?   12/27/11
Dear Crew:
I have a single female platy that started displaying increased respiration / gill movement a couple of weeks ago. Over the last three days, it has stopped eating and is now "shimmying".  It displays no other outward symptoms (flashing, etc). It's in a moderately planted 40 gallon (breeder) tank along with 2 additional female platies without symptoms, 5 x Pristella Tetra, 1 x Bolivian Ram, and 1 x BN Pleco (purchased as Ancistrus L144A).
Fish are fed primarily TetraMin flake, with frozen bloodworms
<Do cut these back, even out... troubles recently associated w/ these insect larvae as foods>

and frozen brine shrimp offered twice weekly. I also include some "veggie flake" specifically for the platies on a regular basis.
Water parameters: NH3/NH4: 0; NO2 0; NO3 20 ppm;
<Don't allow nitrate to be/get any higher than this here>
GH 7; KH 7; pH 7.8; temp
76 deg. F. These have all been stable since the tank was established three months ago and are identical to the other two tanks I have running.
All current inhabitants except the Ancistrus were transferred from a 20 gallon that had been running for over a year. All three platies were acquired over a year ago.
<Well, the one may "just be getting old">
 It receives monthly 30-40% water changes (dechlorinated with Seachem Prime) with the most recent change being 10 days ago. Fertilization is minimal, and consists of a weekly 1/2 dose of Flourish comprehensive and the addition of some KH2PO4 and K2S04 weekly (modified PPS approach). There seem to be enough nitrates present from the fish load.
I'm only about 16 months into the hobby and this is my first problem with a fish that I've had for any length of time. The few other deaths I've experienced were new acquisitions, one of which you were kind enough to assist me with a few months ago.
<I see>
Everything I've read about "the shimmies" indicates a water quality or environmental problem.
<Usually yes; though this is a common symptom for many livebearers for a wide range of issues>
 With stable chemistry and no other fish exhibiting problems, though, I'm stumped. Is there anything to be done here beyond stepping up the water changes and adopting a wait and see approach?
<I would do these. No treatment/medication advised>
Thanks for any advice you can offer, and I sincerely appreciate your contribution to the hobby. Your site has been an invaluable resource to me as I've started learning some of the finer points of fishkeeping.
<Thank you for your kind words. Cheers, Bob Fenner, WWM progenitor>
Re: Platy Shimmy?  -- 12/28/11

Thank you for the prompt response, Mr. Fenner.
<Welcome John>
No improvement in the Platy since I last wrote. My only other thought was, perhaps, gill flukes. I must admit, though, that I don't understand why the others wouldn't be affected by said monogenetic Trematode.
<Me neither...>
 Perhaps her age and or something in the environment weakened her enough to allow the flukes to become problematic?
<Not likely, no. I've dissected many fishes over the years... in seawater fishes there can be quite a degree of species, even size, occasionally sex- restricted distribution, but freshwater... no. IF one Poecilia is infested, they all would be, and debilitated in turn>
 I've done one 20% water change since I wrote originally and will continue every few days until the problem resolves.... one way or the other.
Now, to go completely off topic, can you elaborate on the "troubles recently associated" with frozen bloodworms as food? I've Googled (and searched WWM) but can't come up with any specifics.
Thanks again.
<Loss of health... cryptic; associated w/ their feeding. I don't know of specifics as to root/real cause here. A shame, as these larval chironomids are extremely palatable to many fishes. BobF>

Thin Platy, food, hlth.  5/3/2011
Thanks for running such a great site!
<Glad to help.>
Nowhere in any book I've read so far (and certainly not on the label) does it reveal that a jar of veggie flake food will go stale after a few weeks.
That explains a lot.
<Indeed. It's best simply to treat dried animal food no different to dried human food. Would you expect an open box of cereal to be crispy and nutritious after a couple of months? No, you'd expect it to go stale. No different here, except that whereas stale cereal would be just part of a human's diet, a fish will be getting all its nutrition from that one pot of flake food. So being cautious makes sense. If you want to keep flake healthy for as long as possible, keep it somewhere dry and cool, rather than next to the aquarium. If you buy a big tub to save money, try dividing it out, storing most in the freezer, and keeping just a portion in a tub handy for use at the aquarium.>
Main Tank: 14gal Aqueon filter and heater, cycled for about a month, between 78 and 80 degrees, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <20, PH about 7, KH about 40, GH about 80 (test strip).
<These hardness values are towards the low end of the range, and likely why your Mollies and/or Platies aren't doing as well as you'd hope. If all you have is livebearers such as Mollies, Platies, Guppies and Swordtails, it's well worth adding some marine aquarium salt mix to the aquarium. You don't need much 2-3 grammes per litre should be ample. This is cheap and easy to do at each water change.>
2 adult female mollies, 1 adult female platy, 16 bold platy and molly fry of varying ages, no live plants except algae, most of the fry to be donated and the tank to be upgraded to 29gal within a few months. HT: 3gal Marineland (I know, I know), heater fixed at 78, PH 7, KH 40, GH 150, Nitrite 3, Nitrate <20, Ammonia almost 0 if I keep changing the water. Thin female Mickey mouse platy. I've been feeding everyone alternating regular and veggie flake food, and algae wafers. They all refused lettuce and peas.
Everyone in the CT seems to get along except when the mollies shove each other around. I overfeed on account of the fry and change the water in the main tank by a bucketful (maybe 10-20%) several times a week.
<Mollies are aggressive, and don't be surprised if male Mollies cause some serious problems as they mature.>
I moved the platy to the HT a few days ago for observation after I watched her swimming and saw a picture in a book of a 'sick platy showing clear signs of weight loss' and thought it looked exactly like her. She came from the pet store a couple of months ago, was in a QT for a week with the other platy (same as the HT), released into the community tank, seemed to be doing well, had fry within a few weeks (I think). Has always been a hider, loves her cave. Then last week I saw she was swimming to the surface of the CT almost vertically but not strongly, hovering there at an angle, returning to the bottom. I wasn't seeing her eat. Moved her a few days ago.
In the QT I mostly see her on the bottom where the water comes into the filter. She occasionally does a loop around the tank. At times she seems lively enough. Her fins are not always clamped. They are intact. She doesn't always look stressed except for where she stays. I've cleaned poop out of the now-bare floor of the tank so I know that's happening, and I saw a whitish looking one in progress, but still I only see her pushing food around. I tried fry food and of it was difficult to tell if she was eating that. Photos attached. (The last picture has nothing to do with the platy, it is a balloon molly coming to see what all the fuss was about. Any fish would be thin by comparison)
<Quite so.>
I know I can't keep the platy in the small tank. Her current behavior could be explained by that alone, maybe? But she didn't seem quite right. I've been over the troubleshooting tips and it's not obviously one thing or another, so this is where I ask the audience. Parasite? Swim bladder issue related to diet? I'm a worrywart and she's a gourmand?
<There could be any one of a number of issues at work here. Firstly, farmed livebearers are plagued with certain health problems including systemic bacterial infections (Mycobacteria spp.) that can't be cured, as well as some, such as Camallanus worms, that can be cured. Secondly, your water is a bit soft. Do read here:
Your general hardness level is at the fairly soft end of the range. If you just have livebearers, marine aquarium salt can fix things as mentioned above, but if you have other fish, as well as delicate plant species, you may prefer to use the Rift Valley salt mix at 25-50% the dosage described therein. When livebearers are kept in soft water they manifest a variety of health problems including Dropsy and Dropsy-like syndromes.>
Thanks for any insight -
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Thin Platy   5/4/11
Oh, I know a young human that would eat stale cereal all day. If I told him he couldn't.
Thanks for the quick response!
<No problems.>
I do have Instant Ocean ... I was using 'aquarium salt' and then I read on your site about the difference.
<Good; there is a difference, and the point to using Instant Ocean is that it hardens the water (which livebearers like) while also raising the salinity (which livebearers don't care about).>
There's no livebearer dosing instruction on the package so my routine is to add a few drops of water conditioner and a small pile of IO in my palm of into a bucket - so half a tbsp into 2 gallons of water, give or take - for a water change. It's not exact - I don't know the weight of the salt.
<One level teaspoon is about 6 grammes.>
(I worked with a Graeme once, does that count?) Then recently I read about the Epsom salt and baking soda and I have used that formula once. But otherwise the water is what it is - there's a tufa rock in the CT - and the marine salt as I do water changes - anything else I might try? There are only livebearers and no fragile plants.
<Then your Instant Ocean should work fine. Tufa rock should harden water, but only up to a point, and when covered with bacteria and algae it reacts very slowly with soft water. If you aren't registering water that is hard and alkaline with your test kits, then it's clear the tufa rock isn't reacting much.>
The platy is in her cave in the HT. I stopped by the pet store to view her former tank mates and saw some thin males but she still has a different physical profile. The bottom of her is concave if you look at her from the side. Any suggestions other than to keep feeding and watching?
<Pretty much.>
Ok to risk putting her back in the CT (I guess the risk being that she dies before I can get her back out)?
<You could put her in the main community tank if there are lots of floating plants for her to hide among (plants at the middle and lower levels are useless for livebearers, which are surface fish by choice.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Thin Platy   5/5/11
Thanks. That makes complete sense about the tufa rock. There I was with my new white rock wondering why all the fuss about algae, when suddenly (it seemed) the algae settled in, and that corresponds to when the water hardness may have slipped.
<I would never rely on tufa rock for pH regulation. Much better to get some crushed coral, a cup say, put in a media bag (the "foot" from an old pair of pantyhose works just as well) and place inside a canister filter or similar. This can be washed under a hot tap ever few weeks, and that way kept sparkly clean. If needs be, you can replace cheaply, or add/remove crushed coral if the pH isn't quite right, add if the pH stays low, remove if it goes too high. Still, I prefer adding stuff to the water directly.
Marine aquarium salt is a good, easy substance for this if you're keeping salt-tolerant fish such as Livebearers and Rainbowfish.>
I was watching the other end of the test strip, the nitrates. The whitest thing in the tank is now the rather plump molly - she is not yet as big as the rock though -
I have so much to learn.
Thanks for the info on the grammes.
The bit about the boy was supposed to be a little funny (also true, but I guess this isn't a forum about reverse psychology).
<Oh, I see! Sorry, missed that.>
Cheers. I will watch the platy. No sign of any worms, but no change either.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Thin Platy    5/17/11

She lasted until this morning ... Found her struggling on the floor of the tank; by the time I got around to preparing some seltzer water she was dead. I had moved her back into the HT a few days ago, and even then, as thin as she was, she was very hard to catch.
<Oh dear.>
You mentioned Mycobacteria - I read a little about that and it is sort of scary.
<Is, very.>
I never saw lesions on her, just the slow wasting and she sometimes was bent when she was resting, plus the odd way she swam to the surface. But should I be concerned for the other fish or the humans that care for them - and are there any measures I should take with the tanks?
<Not really. Would recommend you add no more fish for at least a month, ideally two. Let the tank settle down. See how the other fish hold up. With luck, this'll be a one-off. That's usually the case with Mycobacteria. Technically, it's "catchy", but realistically it's something that appears mostly on fish that are either weak right out the box (inbred, intensively farmed varieties of fish) or else severely stressed.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Thin Platy   5/18/11

Thanks. I will be finding a home for some platy fry (which is harder than I expected)
<Can be'¦ does depend on the quality of your Platies; keep a single variety, and the offspring are more sellable.>
so the population of the tank will decrease and I will watch the others. No need to add new fish now.
The good news is that all the other platys seem healthy - I'm trying to keep an eye on the young ones so I can isolate the boys as soon as I can tell which they are - and by using marine salt I've got the water hardness where it should be. And all other stats are good. I am watching the black molly who has just a little whiteness around the gills and in a v shape around the vent (and nowhere else). It isn't changing over time and doesn't seem to bother her. The interesting thing about her is that there has been one (known) fry on two occasions about a month apart, but she doesn't change shape - she just looks pregnant all the time.
<Mollies are fairly hefty anyway, so yes, it can be hard to tell.>
The two young black mollies are doing well.
Thanks, as always, for the info and advice.
<Glad all going well, and happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Platy with swim bladder disorder? 08/06/2010
Hey crew
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, etc.)>
Many thanks
Dr Patrick Nunn
<De nada,
Sara M/L>

Platy fish excreting white stuff 2/14/09 Hi Crew; My platy fish is excreting a lot of white stuff from his/her lower region. They are like strings about and inch and a half long that do not fall off right away. It looks like it could be waste but it is white and there is a lot of it. The fish looks bigger so she could be pregnant. This has been going on for about two weeks and I have no idea what is wrong with the fish. He/she seems active and healthy. Thanks for your help! Joni <I'm assuming that the white stuff you are talking about are faeces. Under certain situations, such as gut irritation, the intestine produces excessive amounts of mucous, and these bulk out the faecal material, producing long, pale stringy faeces that often hang from the anus. My guess is that's what you're seeing here. The commonest problem with Platies is a failure to understand their needs. These are herbivores that should be fed ample green materials. Algae-based flake (Spirulina flake) is a good staple, augmented with things like Sushi Nori, cooked or tinned peas, cooked spinach, and thinly sliced cucumber. Avoid feeding them standard flake foods and do not feed them freeze-dried anything, except maybe once a week, tops. Wet frozen bloodworms and live daphnia are both good supplements to their diet, live daphnia being an especially good laxative. Cheers, Neale.>

Xiphophorus maculatus (health, diet) 10/12/08
I am just wondering if stringy feces are always sings of internal parasites. I have a Platy that has string like feces, but the she is acting as normal as she ever has! Thank you very much! You are always so helpful and the first I come to for my fish advice!
<While it possible that your Platy has a parasitic infection (such as Hexamita) that is irritating the gut wall and causing extra mucous to be produced, and so resulting in stringy faeces, that wouldn't be the first thing I'd worry about. No, instead review diet: Platies are herbivores, meaning they eat mostly plant material. In the aquarium this can be either algae (e.g., Sushi Nori) or else algae-based prepared foods (e.g., Spirulina flake). Most tropical fish foods (flakes, pellets, etc.) are formulated for carnivores, and lack the correct balance of fibre and vitamins herbivores need. How herbivorous fish react ranges from constipation (the probable issue here) through to extreme bad health (things like Head and Lateral Line Erosion). So, make sure you are using herbivore flake and not standard tropical fish food. And yes, herbivore foods are perfectly safe for use in mixed community tanks, and things like tetras and Corydoras will come to no harm at all eating them. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Xiphophorus maculatus (health, diet) 10/12/08

Thank you Neal. One last question, does this mean theoretically I could feed my Platy vegetables?
<Yes, though some vegetables are better than others! Cooked spinach, blanched lettuce, thinly sliced cucumber, tinned peas and cooked rice often work well with herbivores. Any "sea vegetable" sold in an Asian food market should be good, too, for example Sushi Nori. Herbivorous fish used to standard foods may turn their noses up at vegetables at first -- leave the veggies to soften up for a couple of days and don't feed the fish for the interim. All this said, standard issue herbivore flake or wet frozen foods may well be more balanced and easier to use.>
I have seen this in forums and such! Thanks! Marion
<Cheers, Neale.>

Long strands of platy poo   9/3/07 Hi, <<Hello, Lori. Tom here.>> I have a female Mickey Mouse Platy living in my 20 gallon tank with two Peppered Corys, one Zebra Danio, one black guppy, four two month old Platy fry, and four one month old Platy fry. <<Nice.>> She is going to have another batch soon (in the next two weeks.) Ever since I got her, about six months ago, she has produced long strands of poo. They are red, green, or brownish in color, and are up to about six centimeters in length. I feed my fish two to three times a day Nutrafin Max Color Enhancing food, and I feed my fry, Hikari First Bites. Please help me, I don't know whether or not to worry. <<No worries, Lori. If the feces were white, we'd likely have a problem. Otherwise, she's pooing what she's eating. Keep in mind that 'color-enhancing' foods like the Nutrafin product contain items like red-algae (pigments) as well as other natural additives that are meant specifically to bring out the colors in fish. These also 'enhance' the color of their fecal matter. The length may seem a bit disarming to you but this isn't out of the ordinary, really. I've got a Sailfin Pleco that appears to produce "spaghetti" on its diet largely of algae wafers and zucchini. Nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.>> Thanks again, Lori <<You're welcome. Tom>>

Platy Health  6/9/07 Hello, I have a question about platy health. <OK.> I have a 20 gallon freshwater tank that has been up and running for approximately three months, with fish in it for approximately six weeks. <After six weeks, should be close to being stable and mature.> Currently, I have two female platies and one male platy, and three peppered Cory cats. My tank stats are as follows -- ammonia, 0; nitrite, 0; nitrate, 10; pH 7.7. <All sounds fine, though hardness is the other thing to watch. Platies like it "hard" on whatever scale you're using. Adding a little crushed coral or coral sand to the substrate can help buffer the water, keeping the pH and hardness where your platies want it.> My question is about the platies. Two of them occasionally have clear feces, or clear segments in a string of brown feces. <Lack of fibre in their diet. Attend well: platies are herbivores. In the wild, they feed mostly on algae plus small animals like mosquito larvae. In captivity, they need a diet based mostly on plant foods. Most of the generic tropical fish foods (e.g., flake) are formulated for carnivores, such as tetras, that mostly eat small animals. So, you need to stop using that sort of food and switch to something suited to platies. To begin with, there is "vegetarian flake food", often based on the alga Spirulina. This is an ideal staple. You can also use things from the kitchen: thinly sliced cucumber, blanched lettuce, crushed cooked peas, Sushi Nori, and so on all work well.> Do you think it's likely that they have parasites? <No.> Otherwise, they appear healthy and friendly, and they eat well (although one of my female platies is rather fat -- I had assumed that she was pregnant, but she's been pretty big looking for a few weeks now without producing any fry). Would you recommend that I give them some medicated food, or just watch and wait for a while longer? <For now, concentrate on improving their diet.> If I tried to introduce some more vegetable matter into their diet, do you think that would help? <Yes.> They often bite at my plastic plants, so I wonder if they're wanting some veggies. <What you're seeing is their normal behaviour. In the wild, they bite algae from solid surfaces, including plant leaves. Given fish can't talk, yours are trying very VERY hard to tell you what they want!!!> I want to make sure that they are disease free before I introduce any other fish into the tank (I do have a smaller tank that I'm getting ready as a QT tank, but I didn't quarantine any of these fish since they were the first residents). <Sounds a good plan. Platies mix well with other hardwater-loving fish. Guppies are ideal tankmates. Peppered Corydoras do well in such conditions, too, so those were a good choice. Avoid soft water things like tetras and gouramis.> Thanks in advance for your help, <No problems.> Nicole <Cheers, Neale>
Re: Platy Health (for Neale)  6/10/07
Dear Neale, <Hello Nicole,> Thanks for your help! My platies didn't seem particularly enthused about the bits of cucumber that I tried out on them today, but I will get some veg flake food and see how they take to that. <Ah, the trick with cucumber is slice it thin and leave it to soften up. Most freshwater fish cannot digest terrestrial plants "raw" -- too much cellulose and other strengthening materials. But 24 hours after being put in the tank, it should be nice and squidgy, and the platies will chow down. Try other things if this doesn't work. Tinned peas, blanched lettuce, softened zucchini, and Sushi Nori are all good.> Hopefully I can train them to eat their veggies :) <They will. Appetite is a great sauce, so don't feed them anything else for a day or two, and they'll nibble on the veggies sooner or later. This is one instance of "being cruel to be kind" -- the more veggies your platies eat, and the less animal protein, the healthier they will be and the brighter their colours.> It's great to talk to someone who's so knowledgeable about fish, it take a lot of worry out of being a fish parent. <Kind of you to say so!> Cheers, Nicole <Good luck! Neale>

Huge platy   5/9/07 Hi there! Thanks much for your site; I've referred to it several times in the past 2 years, since we started keeping fish..... This is my first time asking my own question; I apologize if it's been covered. I checked several of the site's pages and didn't find it specifically, so here goes... I have a female Mickey mouse platy who started getting really fat. She's the only platy we've had for several months, and there are no other Livebearers in the tank, so I'm fairly certain she's not pregnant. <Mmm, well they do/can "store" sperm in their tracts...> She'd been living in a 55 gal community tank for the past year or so, <Oh! Not this long> but last night I moved her to a 5 gal hospital tank. All water parameters on both tanks are fine, with the exception of the nitrates being a little high perhaps. <How high is high? I would keep below 20 ppm, ideally below 10 ppm> She hasn't acted any different than she ever had, but a few weeks ago she started getting a huge tummy. She does eat like crazy, <What sorts of foods?> so we wondered if she was over eating, but the past couple days it started to seem as though she was curving and becoming deformed because her tummy is so huge. She looks like she's going to burst. She still swims around, her fins aren't clamped, and she doesn't seem to hide any more than normal. When she was in the big tank, she seemed sociable....I moved her, though, hoping to limit her food intake and started her on Mara cyn-two, thinking it may be dropsy. I've read that that's a symptom, as opposed to a disease, <Yes> and that it's quite difficult to "fix" <Depending on cause/s> but I felt I needed to try something. Plus, as I mentioned she looks like she's going to burst, she's got a couple things on her side that look like little splits. Is it possible that it's a tumor? <Mmm, maybe... but likely just stretched skin, insides...> And if so, what can be done about that? <Solve the cause/s...> I know it must be very challenging to help me when all you have to go by are my lame descriptions, but I'd greatly appreciate anything you can offer. I didn't feed her fish food last night, but did give her a pea, thinking it might even be constipation. I just don't know what to do for her, and I feel bad seeing her so gigantic. Any ideas on what could be happening and what we can do to help her? Thank you so much! Nicki <I suggest a regimen of Epsom Salt treatment... for its laxative and ionic/cathartic effects... and the feeding of some sort of small crustacean foods that have the former effect... Brine Shrimp (Artemia) or Daphnia (frozen/defrosted is fine)... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm re the salt use. Bob Fenner>
Re: huge platy   5/10/07
Hi again, and thank you for your reply.... We had been giving her a variety of foods, including Tetra crisps, flakes, blood worms, Tubifex worms, Spirulina flakes, and occasional peas. <Ah, yes... needs more "roughage" here> Today I did a 50% water change and added some Epsom salt with the new water to the hospital tank. I have to say YIKES, because our nitrates were considerably higher than you suggested. They were somewhere over 40, which, according to our test kit, was acceptable (the 40 was, not over...). The reds on the little comparing card are kind of hard to distinguish between... <Yes...> (Our kit is the freshwater master kit by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) Are several water changes the best way to lower that? <Yes, in the short term. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwnitrates.htm and the linked FAQs file above> It appears the 50% change took care of the little tank, but our big tank has been higher for some time, even after our weekly 30-40% changes. I found an article online which suggested doing several changes in one night, rather than several smaller ones over several nights. What are your thoughts? <Posted... please learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM> Also, should I discontinue the Maracyn-two in the hospital tank? Thanks again for taking time to help me. Nicki <Yes, I would and you're welcome. BobF>

Choking Platy?   5/23/06 I have a Dwarf Sunset Platy who appears to be choking on a piece of mashed green pea that I just fed her. Is it possible for them to choke, and how can I help her out?? Thanks so much! :) -Getting All Choked Up <Really best to "wait and see"... most likely can/will dislodge on its own... more likely to damage the fish trying to net, fix this. Bob Fenner>
Re: Choking Platy?    5/24/06
Okay, thanks so much!! She rammed herself into the glass and got it out by herself eventually. Hope it doesn't happen again :) <Me too! BobF>

Sick Platy 6/31/05 Hello, <Hey, Mike G here> I have a platy mom who has white string like fecal matter coming out of her. <That could be exactly what it is. Constipation often exhibits the symptoms you describe. It could also be an internal parasitic infection, but I doubt it.> I purchased her at a pet store along with two other very fat mommy platy's (Educational summer project for grandson.) What can I do to help her?   She is not doing very well.  All of her fry have died.    <Hmm... I would suggest feeding her boiled peas with the skin removed. (Just the pea mush, in other words). This should help loosen her bowels and, if she is suffering from constipation, should help her a lot. If, in 1 week, she is still exhibiting the same white stringy feces, I would suggest feeding an antiparasitic medicated food. I recommend New Life Spectrum's Thera A.> The other two Moms are doing well.  Will they get sick too? <If it is constipation, doubtful. If it is internal parasites, they could likely already be infected.> It would seem that Granny is going to be the one getting the education. <Hehe... isn't that how it always seems to work out? Best of luck! Mike G>

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